Writer: Dan Abnett / Artist: Lan Medina / DC Comics
Grab Your Popcorn
Mera Queen of Atlantis is like a comic book remix to a Soap Opera. “The Fin and The Restless”. The series at first was a slow climb, but in this issue, readers are smack dab in the climax of the series. In the beginning, we see Mera submerged in intense combat training. In the last issue, we saw how her relationship with Orm transformed and how a reflection of upbringing versus environment plays a part in the growing psyche. The consistent question of “How much of yourself are you allowed to let go to still maintain your identity?”.
I hope to see how Mera’s power reduction allowed her to regain different forms of strength over time. In previous issues, the artistry in the combat was executed by shadowing and fierceness of the setting. In this issue, the artistry is the battle itself. How the merging and lessons taught within a lifetime is incorporated within war. Mera’s experiences have saught her slim victories, but the most treacherous ones are not the battles that come as a surprise.
Always There, But Never Ready
Much like daily human life, the hardest battles for supers tend to be the ones they know are ahead. Countless preparation can make you feel like you’re ready for the result. The cumulating battle between the political views of “tradition” versus the political views of “righteousness” is the theme at the forefront. This issue introduces the idea of experience versus situational circumstances. Life experiences for Orm and Mera are similar but ended up with two completely different results. The psyche of both prepared them for the battles ahead of them but it did not nurture them for the aftermath. The separation from their home, they endured. They present themselves, and are consistently being rebuked for not being able to “understand”.
What I appreciated about this issue’s artistry is that we get to see Mera in full figure. In previous issues due to her lack of power, certain shadowing is reflected that heightens her perseverance in spite of pain. In #5 we see the result of sort. Even when she is taking hits, instead of a wince it’s more of a head nod. More of a “I see you Mera, you took harder hits than that”. Medina highlighted the “watch that shine” that we’ve seen in various moments throughout this special. The difference with this shine is that you feel like a proud surface dweller that has secretly been watching Mera shadow-box underwater preparing for this moment. The blues of the water is getting heavier so you already know… she about to get in some deep sh*t.
I’m excited to see the results of Mera’s perseverance. It is hard to come back from exile, reduced power strength, without your partner. The emotional support often comes from places she had to create on her own. I’m proud of Orm’s transformation and passion. The growth was tremendous, but the drive remained consistent.
The growth of these characters and the arc was beautiful and the series cumulation is sure to be a showstopper.
9.5 Clam Bikinis out of 10Reading Mera Queen of Atlantis? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.