Lady Zannah of Khera, aka Zealot, is a woman of many skills and abilities. However, her time among the Birds of Prey has confirmed a new power that raises many questions about her background in the Dawn of DC age.
The new power was revealed in Birds of Prey #3, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire. The team arrived on Themyscira in secret, as part of a plan to rescue Black Canary‘s adoptive sister, Sin. Zealot wandered off alone, and was later discovered performing a magical ritual. This stunned her teammates, who only saw Zealot as an alien warrior woman. This reaction was likely shared by some readers, given the current confusion over Zealot’s background in the current era of DC Comics.
Zealot has magic powers, but rarely uses them
Originally created for the Wildstorm Universe, Zealot was one of the founding members of the WildCATs. Exiled from her homeworld, Zealot was one of many near-immortal aliens, the Kherubim, who became stranded on Earth. She went on to establish the Coda, a tribe of warrior women like the Amazons of the DC Universe.
Despite being trained in the warrior traditions of the Kherubim, Zealot also has training in the art of magic. This was due to her enslavement by the dark sorceress called Tapestry, who claimed Zealot’s services for a century. Zealot tried to purge herself of her powers, turning to them only once to defeat Tapestry for good.
When Zealot and the other Wildstorm characters were folded into the New 52 universe in 2011, it was unclear how much WildCATs continuity still stood. Zannah of Khera remained an alien warrior woman, but was never shown using any magical abilities consistent with her training under Tapestry. Her use of magic in Birds of Prey #3 is the first instance in over a decade.
Birds of Prey hints at Amazon/Coda connection
It is also unclear what connection, if any, the Coda and the Kherubim might have to the Amazons. A decade passed in the New 52 reality before Wonder Woman and Zealot met in 2021’s Batman: Urban Legends #6. However, that story did nothing but confirm they had encountered one another before.
The new Birds of Prey series offers more details, but has yet to make a connection clear. When she is recruited and told of their mission, Zealot warns Black Canary that she will not kill Amazons. Indeed, the ritual she works makes it impossible for her to kill anyone, even as it makes her immortal on Amazon soil. She also confirms, in Birds of Prey #3, that she has been to Themyscira, and worked with the Amazons before.
Unfortunately for WildCATs fans, this does not confirm that the Kherubim had a role in training the Amazons. Not does it confirm the fan theory that the Coda were an off-shoot of the first Amazon tribe, like the Bana-Mighdall. However, Birds of Prey #3 does tease a connection between the two tribes, as it confirms Zealot’s magic powers.