Writer: Dan Abnett / Artist: Lan Medina / DC COMICS
Mera, Queen of These Hands
You know that dope music that comes at the end of a scene when you know that the protagonist is about to open a can of whoop ass? Yeah. This issue is giving those vibes. You can’t even ignore it. Mera is reclaiming her time, and these hands. What I enjoy most about this issue is that we get to see loyalty unravel. The toxicity metaphor from the first issue perfectly weaves into the last. The idea behind losing your powers. The toxicity of your homeland. Deciding what is healthy for your own growth and what is the perfect time to let go. Being loyal to the process, even if it comes at the expense of your life. This whole series touched on that and this last issue released it into the atmosphere.
The writing focused more on strength in spite of visible problems. The focal point is always hidden in what the protagonist is destined to be. Whether it is the Queen, Ruler of the Empire, Destroyer of Darkness we see something beyond destiny with Mera. Abnett’s writing highlights the after effects of growth. The glow of understanding that destiny can only be created after failure. Mera’s powers still not at full capacity means nothing compared to what she been through.
We tend to see protagonists put in positions where we see them grow in a way that hones their physical strength while their environment influences them. In this comic we see Mera understanding how her pain was necessary for this battle. Humanism tends to remind us of our strength, nature forces us to recognize how we got it in the first place.
I will never forget what the art taught me in this comic. The writing/artistic accompaniment was strong throughout. What I appreciated is the pressure Medina never failed to put on the reader. The consistent projectiles and darkness in ratio with Mera’s body was a beautiful way to show what is at stake, and the personification of failure.
As the water pressure builds, so does the reality of death. She was consistently pushed into dark areas. She hid from Orm. Defied his expectations and rose against him. Medina’s best moments is when we watched Mera’s darkness become her weapon of choice.
Not once did I question her ability to whoop Orm into the next empire. In spite of Mera being at a disadvantage, Orm never looked like he would succeed. The moments Mera pointed out what he is losing when he agreed to this fight is when he seemed more vulnerable. Mera Queen of Atlantis taught me about finesse. You might not have a physical weapon in your hand, but once you learn how to finesse your disadvantages, the crown will magically fall on your head.
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