Mera fans better get their wallets out as the character takes center stage in the latest issue of Justice League. This may be a hero-fighting-hero affair, but it’s clear writer Dan Abnett may be changing Mera’s role in the DC universe forever!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The Justice League see an anomoly in the ocean and rush to figure out what is going on only to come up against Aquaman’s lover Mera. Fighting commences!
Why does this book matter?
Abnett has been writing a strong Aquaman series since Rebirth and that’s partly due to how he’s written Mera. She’s a character who has come up against conflict politically and attempted to navigate the waters. Recently Aquaman has been removed as king and that’s seriously ticked her off. This issue showcases how powerful Mera is and possibly how unutilized she is.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Is Atlantis ever not trouble?
This issue opens and closes at the Watchtower as the Justice League attempt to figure out what is going on in the ocean. There’s no way to describe this beyond heroes fighting heroes due to a miscommunication, but that’s alright since we never see Mera go all out like this. There’s also a purpose to the Justice League taking Mera on, as Abnett shows she’s more than powerful enough to take them out–at least, as long as they come at her one by one. As she takes them out she thinks out loud and explains how she’d fight them which gives the book a bit of strategy too. It also expresses what many of us have done ourselves, by guessing how heroes could take each other on.
Mera fans might be annoyed to see the character fight in an irrational way–at least the reason behind it–but Abnett uses the character in an intriguing way by the end. Given her power set she’d certainly be an interesting Justice League member and the finale seems to suggest maybe she could be used more in the DC universe.
Ian Churchill draws this issue well, giving Mera a muscular look that makes her look incredibly badass. The Justice League looks great too, and there’s an awesome full page spread from the Watchtower looking down on Earth that’s quite impressive. This helps sell Abnett’s point about every life form on Earth being in it together. There really are no dividing lines when you look at the big picture.
Somebody is very pissed.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s no getting around the fact that this is a hero-fighting-hero setup we’ve seen a thousand times before. It’s also unfortunate that Mera is inadvertently putting millions of lives in danger simply because she’s overly upset and not thinking things through. This makes her seem irrational and too dangerous to be a hero. She has reason to be upset, but accidentally killing millions shouldn’t be forgiven as quickly as the Justice League do here.
Is It Good?
Hero on hero stories have been told so many times it’s a trope that can be very boring. Luckily, Abnett and Churchill make the fighting interesting and the ultimate turn by the end is compelling, especially for Mera fans.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!