It’s often said that comics are like soap operas. The stakes are always high, the conflict exaggerated, the emotions extreme. Disagreements become feuds that can level cities. Relationships are on again, off again, full of tawdry behavior, love and betrayal. The relationship of Aquaman and Mera is a great example of this. When they work they’re strong, full of respect and appreciation for each other, unable to contain their passion. When they don’t work, well, to say their behavior is destructive would be an understatement.
Aquaman and Mera are one of comics longest standing couples, tying the knot in 1964 during the Golden Age. Considering that comics is historically averse to tying heroes down, the fact that writers and editors still keep them together is a testament to their dynamic. However, as you’d expect considering the length of time they’ve been together, their relationship has been tumultuous. They’ve been enemies, partners, estranged lovers and, sometimes, reckless idiots. If that’s not a soap opera relationship, then nothing is. So prepare to dive into Aquaman and Mera’s high points, low points, and plain old steamy points, as we look at 9 times they got it on with each other, and 6 times they got it on with someone else...
15 ALL TIED UP
An obscure moment plucked from the deeps, this scene from Aquaman #21 is a great example of the hints towards bondage that were prominent in some early comics. Hell, a large portion of Wonder Woman was based on it. Knowing Arthur's personality, we can assume that Mera probably likes to take control from him when she can, and that Aquaman is more than happy to submit.
Here we seem to see Aquaman helping Mera with knitting of some kind, but when taken in context of the uncontrollable passion we’ve come to expect from their relationship, we’d be willing to bet it was more than just a clumsy accident and there's some kinkier stuff going on here. Come on, you can definitely see Mera taking a more, ahem, forceful tact with Arthur in the bedroom.
14 AQUAMAN & WONDER WOMAN?!
In Flashpoint, Barry Allen alters the future when an attempt to save his mother from being murdered goes awry. In this timeline, war between Atlantis and Themyscira has erupted. The the war has already ravaged Europe, with Wonder Woman conquering the U.K and ruling over it as New Themyscira, and Aquaman sinking the entirety of Western Europe.
In this Flashpoint universe, Aquaman and Wonder Woman were set to marry each other. Aquaman shoes romantic feelings toward Wonder Woman, which is interesting considering his secret attraction to her in the main timeline. Aquaman gets caught in her lasso of truth and expressed an attraction to Wonder Woman, going as far as stating she was the main reason he stayed a member of the Justice League.
13 A ROMANTIC LIGHTHOUSE
Nothing seems to get Aquaman and Mera going more than an embrace by the shore and honestly, who can blame the? The scene was set; Arthur’s childhood home, waves foaming against the surrounding rocks, the place all to themselves. You’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty romantic situation and would get anyone going.
So when Aquaman told Mera of his decision to forsake his seat on the throne of Atlantis to spend a life with her on land, it’s really easy to see why she leapt into his arms for a loving embrace. Considering they can’t keep their hands off each other at the best of times, Arthur and Mera almost certainly took advantage of the idyllic scene to make some waves of their own.
12 MERA REVEALS AQUAWOMAN
Lots of couples incorporate costumes and roleplay into their bedroom antics, and it looks like Arthur and Mera are no different. Judging from his face, Aquaman’s reaction to Mera absolutely rocking a brand new Aquawoman costume is enthusiastic to say the least.
Mera dons this outfit to signify her position as the new head of the Atlantean embassy and to improve her and her husband’s image, but it's obvious that she has an ulterior motive, or at least is taking advantage of the situation. Arthur can’t stop gawking at her, with Mera quipping “stop opening and closing your mouth like a fish” in response. Arthur looks like one of his dreams has just come true. We can assume he’s going to return the favor as soon as the issue ends.
11 A NOBLE PURSUIT?
As unshakeable as they may appear, Mera and Aquaman were actually estranged for quite a long time. Despondent at the tragic death of their son, Mera grows to blame Aquaman and invokes Atlantean law, annulling their once very much loving marriage together. While Aquaman embarks on his own romantic convalescence, Mera shacks up for a time with Noble, the leader of an Atlantean splinter group.
Unlike Arthur, Mera seems to take it slow, but then again she does end up trying on the wedding dress of Noble’s kidnapped fiancée, so there might have been some crazy mixed signals going on over here. Also, Noble also has the kind of creepy power to secrete a special pheromone that attracts members of the opposite sex, so there’s that.
10 AIN'T NO DUD RELATIONSHIP
The DC Bombshells series was a great change of pace for the DC heroines, finally putting them front and center in a story where the male characters are put into the perfunctory roles that, unfortunately, the heroines usually fill. Mera takes the leading role in the relationship here, playing a key part in the fight against the Nazi’s and, by her arcs end, opening up Atlantis as a haven for any potential refugees who need help.
The Mera and Arthur we see in DC Bombshells are touching, tentatively exploring their feelings for each other. Although it takes place in an alternate universe, it showcases the couple’s more tender side, which can often get lost in massive displays of emotion and passionate affection. It's enough to make the heart melt.
9 WHY SO NEREUS?
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that Aquaman actually met Mera for the first time because she was sent to assassinate him. Given the mission by Nereus, the king of the realm she originally came from, Mera sees that Atlanteans aren’t what she’s been told they are, and Aquaman is not evil. She decides to stay, Arthur and Mera get married, and all is well.
But when Nereus shows up again, we learn more about Mera’s dynamic with her former king. Turns out, Nereus had fallen for Mera, thinking that she would reign by his side as his queen once Atlantis was defeated. While it seems like there was a little spark between them, it’s clear that the feelings were unbalanced, and Mera firmly puts Nereus in his place.
8 DOLPHIN YOU CAN COME CRAWLING BACK
Okay, that pun is terrible, but stick with us. During their estranged period, while Mera was in full on villain-mode, Aquaman got together with Dolphin, a genetically mutated human with generally Atlantean powers. With their relationship now in complete soap opera territory, Mera bursts into the room when Arthur and Dolphin are recharging post-coitus.
It’s safe to say she’s none too happy about Dolphin’s presence, which is only made worse when Dolphin attacks her, leading to a knockdown brawl while Arthur looks on. However, the most awkward thing of the entire scene has to be Dolphin’s lack of clean up post-coitus. Yeah, Mera is a villain at this point and thus battle must ensue. But you cringe to think of Mera’s dry cleaning bill after such a fight…
7 EXPOSED FEELINGS
The events of "Blackest Nigh"t, while harrowing, did bring some happiness to DC’s wettest couple; the return of Arthur Curry. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Aquaman’s corpse was actually enlisted into the ranks of the Black Lanterns at first, and in this form he insisted that Mera join him in death so that they can be with their son again.
Naturally Mera refuses, things happen, and Arthur is resurrected as a living being by the White Lantern Entity at the end of the event. When we next see them, Mera wakes up naked in a bed in Arthur’s lighthouse. With so many emotions flying during "Blackest Night", and such a long time apart, it’s no surprise that they shared a private, intimate night together. Sometimes Mera and Arthur’s passion is wild and urgent, but this moment shows a gentler, more loving side to their relationship.
6 SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE
Not long after Aquaman’s resurrection in Brightest Day, we get an incredible scene of one of their famed passionate embraces, this time in front of the new proteges Aqualad and Aquagirl. Just when it seems like Aqualad is catching feelings for Aquagirl, she quips “don’t get any ideas,” which kinda puts a damper on things for poor Aqualad.
Whatever happens with the younger generation, it’s obvious neither Arthur or Mera care about public displays of affection in the slightest. Not even death can tear them apart, and the two of them seem destined to be. And let's face it, when you’re one of the sexiest, most passionate super-couples in any comic book universe, why would you? If anything, Arthur and Mera love to put on a show...
5 A LOVE REBORN
Rebirth was slated as a return to DC’s storytelling roots, a no-nonsense, straightforward back-to-basics approach that ditched the grim and gritty aesthetic of the more recent DC stories to embrace the bright and hopeful tone their heroes were founded upon. The scene of Aquaman and Mera having dinner on the beach where they first met is sweet, and you can feel a real sense of history between the iconic pair.
The scene culminates with Arthur on one knee, proposing to Mera once again, indulging in what he calls “a surface custom”. Being a part of the initial issue of Rebirth feels like a mission statement for Mera and Arthur going forward and that DC is really behind them both. Knowing their relationship, they probably celebrated in a suitable amorous style.
4 A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE
As if to cement Arthur and Mera into their classic, healthy, passionate relationship, we get this scene seven issues into the new Rebirth Aquaman series. Dealing with a plethora of issues on their arrival in Atlantis, this scene serves to both show how strong they are as a couple, and just how damn randy they can be. But hey, what’s the point in being monarchs if you can’t do the nasty in your throne room?
Credit has to be given to the random guard who takes Arthur and Mera’s foray into exhibitionism in her stride and leaves them to it with a sly grin on her face. Give her extra shore leave whenever you can, Arthur. Do Atlantean guards get shore leave, or is it coral leave? Hmm...
3 THE PASSION OF THE ARTHUR
Arthur and Mera have such an eventful history together that it’s easy to forget that they weren’t always DC’s ocean dwelling power couple. In fact, their child wasn’t even Aquaman’s firstborn! The mini-series Time and Tide followed Arthur’s early adventures, one of which took him to Alaska where he saved a woman named Kako from getting mauled by a polar bear, which you have to admit would be a pretty disagreeable way to go.
After growing close to one another, Kako makes her move (seen above with typical '90s anatomy). Arthur is cast out by her grandfather, and later on we discover that Kako had given birth to Arthur’s illegitimate son in his time away. All because Kako and Arthur wanted to roll in the snow.
2 HAPPILY ESTHER AFTER
These puns are getting really bad, aren't they? After an earthquake wrecks San Diego, sinking half the city, Aquaman arrives on the scene to assist the city and uncover the truth. He’s assisted by Esther Maris, a scientific and investigative journalist whom he ends up getting lovey with, at least until remembers that Mera is back in Atlantis and is in fact dying. Come on, Arthur. Not cool.
The issue ends with Esther and Arthur locked in a sensual embrace, clearly about to become way more than just friends. Arthur might be a complete and total jerk sometimes, but hey, some women like the bad boy. And it doesn't hurt that the dude is always wet and coming out of the water. We don't blame dear Ester at all.
1 THE WEDDING
This list wouldn’t be complete without looking back at where it all started for these two oceanic lovebirds; the Pre-Crisis marriage of Aquaman and Mera. Taking place in Aquaman #18 in 1964, they were one of the first major couples to actually have their ceremony within the comic book pages (as opposed to being introduced as already married).
The marriage of Aquaman and Mera has since become a beloved inclusion to the DC canon, and one that’s fiercely defended by it’s fans. Sure, they’ve had their ups and downs, but what soap opera couple hasn’t? Deep down, they’ve always harbored some intense feelings for one another, feelings that no plotter or villain can ever truly hope to diminish. Here’s to another 50 years of (mostly) blissful Aqua-Love.
Are Aquaman and Mera destined to be or should they find other people? Hit up the comments and let us know!