Born to the royal family of the Atlantean prison dimension of Xebel, she was raised as a warrior. She was trained to become an assassin – her target the heir to the throne of Atlantis. Then, the unthinkable happened. She fell in love with him, finding a kind man named Arthur Curry rather than the cruel despot in waiting she expected.
For a time they were happy, taking joy in each other and using their powers to help people. She endured it all for his sake – everything from the slings and arrows of his enemies to the teasing jibes of surface people who called her Aquawoman or “Little Mermaid.” She stood by his side even when he took the Atlantean throne under protest and tried to forge a peace between Atlantis and the surface world that neither side seemed to want. And when he became trapped in Atlantis after securing her escape, she nearly destroyed herself trying to return to fight by his side once again.
Now, Mera must endure yet another new challenge – being Queen of Atlantis in exile. Given the throne by the same forces that once conspired to deny her right to marry the man she loves, she has become a target of assassins hired by the current King Rath. And though she does not realize it yet, another old enemy from her past is reemerging to stake a claim on the Throne of Atlantis as well.
Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1 proves a most efficient introduction to one of DC Comics most underrated heroines as well as a strong introduction to the current Aquaman series. This is no surprise, given that Dan Abnett – the author of this book – is also the current author of Aquaman and has been the main creator to oversee Mera’s development in the DC Rebirth reality.
Abnett’s script shows us who Mera is without telling us much, despite the presence of an omnipresent narrator. This allows the action of the story to flow in a smooth manner, despite several flashbacks depicting Mera’s formative years. The only real flaw in Abnett’s story is the question of why the xenophobic King Rath would trust a surface-world assassin like The Eel with the task of killing Mera, but such hypocrisy would not be unusual from what we’ve seen of Rath in Aquaman and his own forces may be occupied by the events of that book.
The artwork for the book is equally serviceable, but not without flaw. Lan Medina’s character designs are great, but his expressions frequently don’t seem to match up with the character dialogue, with Mera looking more fearful than determined, which is most unlike her character even allowing for her weakened state. There’s also a few forced poses throughout the book. Thankfully, the inking by Richard Friend, colors of Veronic Gandini and letters of Simon Bowland are all excellent, so the comic still looks good despite a few minor incongruities.
Bottom Line: If you haven’t been reading Aquaman or enjoy good books about complex characters, Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1 is one to check out.