Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1
This week, Dan Abnett (Aquaman) and Lan Medina (Aquaman and the Others) present Mera: Queen of Atlantis, in her debut self titled series. Reeling from the events of the current Aquaman story arch, Mera being exiled from Atlantis must find her way back home to claim the throne. Bookending the issue is a story about Aquaman’s brother Orm; Ocean Master. Having learned about the state of Atlantis and his brother's absence, Ocean Master must sacrifice his simple life for a chance to save his home in the sea. Abnett uses this mini series to flesh out his current Aquaman run giving Mera the full attention she deserves.
Between the Nicola Scott cover, the Artgerm variant, and Lan Medina's interior pencils, this issue displays Mera in all of her beauty. Medina has a simplistic style without skimping out on details. Mera is made beautiful in every panel by Medina, doing a great job of not sacrificing quality for page count. Vero Gandini on colors gives Mera and the members of the Justice League their signature bright color schemes, but it's the flashbacks where Gandini truly shines. His use of the cloudy gray-blue hue in the flashback scenes sets the tone of each respective panel while also helping to distinguish between the present and the past.
The opening and closing scenes with Orm, albeit short, created a large impact and added to the pathos of Ocean Master. Leaving Orm forced to choose between his new family and his home in Atlantis, Abnett and team set the stage for Ocean Master’s long awaited return. These scenes displayed so much character growth for Orm while still leaving readers guessing as to what his next actions will be in the issues to come.
This issue does a great job of adding to previous knowledge of the current Abnett Aquaman run while remaining new reader friendly. Abnett continues the trend of showing versus telling, using exposition only when necessary. The use of flashbacks to cement passed events and presenting them in an accessible fashion for those new to the Aquaman mythos is the perfect way to start a series for any reader.
While technically being a companion piece to the overall run on Aquaman, this series already stands on it's own legs without needing previous knowledge of the this corner of the DCU. Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1 kicks off what promises to be a great long overdue love letter to the titular character.