Writer: Dan Abnett / Artist: Lan Medina / Publisher: DC Comics
Mera Queen of Atlantis #3, is the perfect example of what goes on in your mind when family and “duty” collide. This issue challenges readers on the ideas of indoctrination. A struggle is formed when one is bounded to what one was taught, while understanding how it might be wrong. It would be a hard case to defend Orm after he came to catch these hands in the last issue. Yet here we begin to understand the hostility, softness and hesitation within Orm. Orm was taught to come through with the “fisticuffs” when the enemy is within reach. Many have seen this trope before. A character bound by oath; not understanding what to do, and therefore having to unlearn their violence to become more collaborative. How would one be able to transform indoctrinated violence into tactful combat?
Waves of Discomfort
What I think readers need to understand about Orm is that he allows himself to be in specific “uncomfortable” situations. When placed in an environment where one is forced to absorb a discomfort they did not plan, it becomes difficult to navigate. I respect that Orm decided to fall in love with an earth dweller. Everyday he chose Erin in the best way he can. Orm did try to fight off his duties until it became unbearable for him. This issue is an exploration of tenderness within the paradigms of self disappointment. In a culture where it is honorable to fight for the throne, and kill on command, what changes your mind?
Mera and Orm in this issue begin to explore what made them say ‘no, I can change this.’ Mera’s empathy and love for an unlikely lover, drew the line for her. Orm’s surprising love for an earth-dweller and new “duties” helps him understand how it could be to lose the two things that soothes him. Conflict is trying to heal your own toxicity, and the toxicity of your own home.
Reading Mera Queen of Atlantis? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.