John Zatara a.k.a. Giovanni Zatara was a stage magician and escape artist, considered to be the greatest of his day. He was also the father Zatanna Zatara. At a young age Bruce Wayne approached him under the alias John Smith. Even though Zatara knew that Bruce had no intension of being a stage preformer Zatara sensed the boys need and took him in as his apprentice. Zatara taught Bruce everything he knew, including secrets that he never shared with any other apprentice. In The Batman Adventures it is revealed that Zatara took on another apprentice called John Smith (who is really a young Clark Kent). Clark Kent told Zatara that there was real magic in the world, however, Zatara did not believe him. Clark then showed Zatara one of his "magic powers" and Zatara became a believer in magic. Although unconfirmed in the series it is possible that Zatara eventually discovered that he was a Homo magi and gained real magic powers that he used to fight crime. At an unspecified time Zatara passed away, supposedly through natural causes, and Zatanna took over his magic act.