She is once again queen of the seven seas on the comics page, but DC Comics superhero Mera may soon reach even greater heights thanks to her impending debut on the silver screen.
But the co-star of Aquaman is doing much to shed her “co” status with a number of publishing moves that place Mera out on her own. Next year will see her first YA original graphic novel, Mera: Tidebreaker, through the DC Ink label. However, leading the way in Mera’s renessaince is the main DC monthly comics line with her first original miniseries, Mera: Queen of Atlantis, seeing its fifth and penultimate issue arriving this week.
CBR spoke with longtime Aquaman writer Dan Abnett about Mera’s path both on the page and off. Below, the scribe digs into her self-titled series with artist Lan Medina that sees her clash with her Xebel roots while teaming with Ocean Master and how her ascension to Queen of Atlantis without Aquaman makes her a force to be reckoned with. Plus, an exclusive first look preview at Mera #5, and insight into Aquaman’s own future battling the Suicide Squad.
CBR: Mera has been around for over 50 years, and as close as I can tell this is the first time she's headlined so much as a one-shot let alone a miniseries. Part of this story seems to be solving the "problem" of Mera no longer Aquaman's wife at the advent of the New 52, which earned some notice from fans at the time. How have you hoped to build her role without necessarily relying on marriage to a male character to define her?
Dan Abnett:I’ve come to see she’s one of the strongest characters in the DCU, and one of the most underrated. I think it’s high time she got the exposure she deserves, certainly as more than Arthur’s “partner” or wife. Throughout my run on Aquaman(and in Justice League) I’ve tried to build her into a true character in her own right. This is the culmination of that process: A story focused on Mera, and her dreams and ambitions.
That said, the men in this series have proven to be powerful as antagonists. Ocean Master has made his comeback for the first time since "Throne of Atlantis." Why was now the time to finally bring him back on stage, and do you think he's a different character now in an honest sense?
Orm is a great character, and he’s been out of the books for a while for many reasons. I don’t see him as a genuine “supervillain,” more as a man who is the victim of his own personality. It was really nice to see him almost reach a point of redemption, because if any bad guy in the DCU is capable of it, it’s him. But he can’t forego his true character. And I thought it would be particularly effective to bring him back here – he’s Aquaman’s greatest foe, but on this occasion it has to me Mera who deals with him.
After issue #4, it's been revealed that the "big bads" of this series are the ruling elite of Mera's homeworld of Xebel – particularly her former betrothed Nereus and the Queen Mother. How does having her own rogue’s gallery complicate Mera’s story?
Indeed. You can take the girl out of Xebel, but…Nereus and Lammia hold all the cards right now. Mera needs their help, but she may not be able to cope with the demands that are attached.