Mera: Queen of Atlantis #3 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Lan Medina, Penciller; Norm Rapmund, Inker; Veronica Gandini, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Probably the best issue yet of this series, as after two Ocean Master-centric issues, it finally feels like Mera is taking charge of her own series. Sure, the bulk of the issue is still devoted to Ocean Master’s angst, but it feels like it’s being filtered through the trio of female characters that surround him. As the issue starts, we flash back to Mera’s youth in Xebel, as she trained under her future husband and king Nereus and her trainer Leron. Even at that age, she showed compassion towards her enemies and underlings that they never did, and she was frequently abused because of it. I think Abnett has a good take on a character that combines that compassion with a strong warrior’s core. And that comes in handy in the present day, as Mera finds herself with an opportunity to take out Ocean Master, as he’s distracted by the sudden arrival of his family – horrified to see him about to strike Mera down.
What ensues is wholly unexpected, as the fight genuinely does end the second Orm is snapped out of his rage. Instead, Mera, Tula, and Orm’s fiancee Erin head back to their family home, where Orm is finally able to explain exactly why he feels compelled to go back to Atlantis. Erin, who was a fairly thin character until now, manages to point out several of the holes in his argument, as well as come up with an alternative idea – Orm and Mera will go back together, with her keeping him in check and making it more likely that he’ll want to come back. Orm is able to part from his family not by abandoning them, but by promising them he’ll return. Their first stop – Xebel, to find some new allies, but this is anything but a happy reunion for Mera. They immediately come under attack, and Mera is going to have to face off against her ruthless former fiancee before she can claim her throne in Atlantis. If this issue is any indication, we’re in for a good ride here.
Corrina: It actually didn’t seem much like a Mera issue at all to me.
The story is still centered on Orm and his choices. If there’s a central focus of this issue, it’s Orm and Erin, with Mera as a side issue, with most of her action in flashbacks. Erin has little personality beyond being a supportive wife and yelling at her husband to do better, and being sad that he doesn’t love his family enough.
Mera’s not driving the action, everyone else is driving the action. Even the decision to team up with Orm is presented by someone else. Perhaps we’ll see that finally in the next issue, as they go back to her original home. But maybe that will be about her ex-boyfriend instead.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
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