Here we are, at the halfway point of this limited series, and I still feel like virtually nothing has happened. This issue particularly feels like a loss of focus for the series. It spends a lot of time laying things out and making it painfully clear that these characters are being silly about their differences, without any real progression in plot. It’s okay to have a slower paced issue in a miniseries, but when all the issues are inching along at a snail’s pace, it can be hard to build a larger narrative.
Last issue ended with Orm just absolutely laying waste to Mera, only for his girlfriend and child to show up at the very end and ask what he was doing. While I think the use of Erin and Tommy could have been a great way to explore Orm’s more human side, the whole thing just ends up being painfully rudimentary. Erin can’t understand why Orm feels a duty to take back Atlantis, and we have to have our hand held through this entire exchange to finally come to the thing we already knew was going to happen: Mera and Orm teaming up. The focus on duty to your country in a royal way was something I can’t imagine a lot of readers can relate to, but it was based in something very crucial to these two characters so I’m okay with it.
In my review for last issue I praised Medina’s art for his rendering of water. There was no change in this issue in that regard, but the characters’ facial expressions and body movements were noticeably lacking emotion and fluidity. The scene where Erin throws the coffee mug and then on the next page is totally fine was a prime example of the weird transitions between character’s emotions that Medina displays. The writer shares a piece of the blame in this instance, but overall, I just didn’t feel any oomph behind this art. It felt very static and typical.
And yet again, a Mera: Queen of Atlantis comic…ends up feeling more like an Orm: Ocean Master of Atlantis mini. The title character plays a secondary role in her own comic, which can really never be good. This is especially true for a character like Mera, because people (me included) were so excited for her to get a solo spotlight. I really wanted to like this comic, because I love Mera and think she’s a fabulous character with a lot of wonderful attributes that a strong writer can use to their advantage. In the end though, if Abnett wanted Orm to play as big of a role as he is, even sometimes having more of the issue focused around him than Mera, he should have just written an Ocean Master comic. If the writing was tighter and more well-woven, this might have been a forgivable offense, but where this series stands now, it’s completely average in every way.
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