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Mera: How the DC Hero Became Queen of Atlantis

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One of the most powerful, underrated characters in the DC Universe is Mera, the current ruler of Atlantis. Initially introduced as the love interest and, later, wife of Aquaman, Mera's mysterious past has been revealed other the years while the character herself has gone on to become a superhero in her own right.

Now, CBR is taking a look back at Mera, from her origins to her recent history that saw the character ascend to take the throne of Atlantis as its queen.

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WHO IS MERA?

Mera Tidebreaker cover art

Created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy in 1963's Aquaman #11, Mera was initially established as a refugee from Dimension Aqua who was rescued by Arthur Curry and Aqualad after being deposed from her home kingdom by the villainous Leron. After Aquaman defeated Leron, Mera willingly abdicated the throne so she could join Arthur in Atlantis as his wife and queen. Their marriage became estranged when Black Manta murdered their son Arthur, Jr., with the two eventually reconciling after Aquaman's resurrection at the end of Blackest Night.

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Following Aquaman's resurrection, it was revealed that Mera was actually from the Atlantean penal colony of Xebel, existing within a pocket dimension inside the Bermuda Triangle. Ever since an early age, Mera had been trained by her regent father to assassinate the current king of Atlantis upon her escape from the extra-dimension only to fall in love with Arthur and keep the true nature of her past a secret from him for years. After being confronted by her similarly trained sister Siren, Mera reveals the truth to Arthur as they stop an invasion force from Xebel targeting Atlantis.

HOW POWERFUL IS MERA?

Born and raised in the depths of the ocean, Mera has superhuman strength, speed, and endurance, including being resistant to gunfire like her husband. Additionally, she is a blindingly fast swimmer, more than able to keep up with Aquaman as they withstand the increased pressure and geothermal heat at the bottom of the ocean. Unlike Aquaman, Mera is also a powerful hydrokinetic, able to form water around her into hard objects which can use in combat or in a support capacity. This ability also allows Mera to super-heat water into steam or melting hot temperatures or super-cool it into powerful ice construct instantly.

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Since she's trained in combat since birth, Mera is an especially formidable fighter and was able to hold her own against a Black Lantern incarnation of Wonder Woman in battle while later depictions have showcased Mera as perhaps the greatest hand-to-hand combatant in Atlantis and Xebel.

Throne of Atlantis

DC Rebirth slightly retconned Mera's background, instead making her Aquaman's fiancee rather than his longtime wife while Xebel was directly accessible through Atlantis rather than closed off by a magical barrier. As Mera prepares for her impending wedding, a group of widowed seers reveal that she will indeed become Queen of Atlantis after Arthur's death shortly into their marriage, which greatly distresses her.

In her first original miniseries, Mera: Queen of Atlantis, Mera faces off against a resurgent Orm, Aquaman's half-brother better known as the villainous Ocean Master. Orm makes a deal with Xebel in a renewed bid to seize the throne for himself, with only Mera in place to oppose him. After a pitched battle, Mera uses her hydrokinesis to soundly defeat Orm but rebels against Xebel tradition by sparing his life...at the expense of Xebel now formally recognizing her as Queen of Atlantis. After a battle against Black Manta's Death Kraken leaves Aquaman presumed dead, Mera takes her husband's place on the Justice League while serving as the apparent lone regent of Atlantis.\

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