|First appearance||Aquaman #11 (September 1963)|
|Created by||Jack Miller (writer)
Nick Cardy (artist)
|Place of origin||Xebel|
|Team affiliations||Red Lantern Corps|
|Supporting character of||Aquaman|
Can increase density of water and then create any structure with it
Limited interdimensional travel to Dimension Aqua
Can construct creations with a Red Lantern power ring
Mera is a fictional undersea queen that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Aquaman #11 (September 1963), and was created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy. Mera was ranked 81st in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
Mera's Silver Age debut in Aquaman #11 set her place of origin as the mysterious "Dimension Aqua". However, during the Brightest Day crossover, Dimension Aqua was revealed to be the extradimensional penal colony known formally as Xebel, a place of exile for an ancient faction of Atlantean people, banished along with their descendants after one of the many civil wars of the submerged Atlantis.
Fictional character biography
In her first chronological appearance, Mera is shown to be fleeing the criminal Leron, who seized control of her kingdom, when she arrives on Earth and meets Aquaman and Aqualad, who vow to help her. Leron captures them, imprisoning Aquaman and Mera in Dimension Aqua. Aided by the water sprite known as Quisp, Aquaman manages to free Mera and defeats Leron. Mera abdicates the throne of Xebel to Queen V'lana, and returns to Atlantis to marry Aquaman. Soon after, they had a son named Arthur Curry, Jr., also known as Aquababy.
A few years later, Black Manta kidnapped Aquababy and trapped him inside a translucent tank designed to suffocate him. Desperate to save her son Vulko sends Mera on an ambitious crusade to her homeworld to find a scientist Xebel that has the components for a special healing device that could save her son. When she arrives, she discovered that her kingdom has been taken over by the traitorous Leron, who has taken Xebel hostage casting him and the artifacts into the Great Pit. Mera braves the pit and defeats Leron and his elemental monsters in order to retrieve the device. Sadly, she returns to Atlantis too late, finding her son dead.
Although their son's death created a rift between Aquaman and Mera, they tried relocating to a flooded city on the East Coast to start a new life together. It was during this time that Aquaman left to reform the Justice League in Detroit. Becoming more unstable with grief, she was committed to an asylum in Atlantis. Shortly afterwards an alien force of sentient giant jellyfish took control of the city. During Aquaman's battle to free them, Mera escapes and savagely attacks him, blaming his "weak genes" for their son's death. While defending himself, he accidentally pushes her on an upturned piece of metal. Believing her dead, he had her placed inside a coffin and taken to the royal palace. However, she survived, due to her alien physiology. Rising from her coffin, she bitterly reminds Aquaman how little he really knew of her. No longer seeing any reason to remain on Earth, Mera left Atlantis and returned to Dimension Aqua.
In Brightest Day, Mera's origin is revisited with new revelations, expanding upon some elements and writing off others as deceptions and lies fed to Aquaman by Mera herself. Instead of being the Queen of Dimension Aqua, Mera is now the older princess of Xebel, a forgotten extradimensional penal colony for an ancient group of separatist Atlanteans, banished behind a sealed portal in the Bermuda Triangle.
Trained since birth, along with her younger sister Siren, Mera was sent by the King of Xebel, unable to send more than one soldier at time through a small fissure in spacetime to the main universe. They were to confront the current King of Atlantis and kill him in retaliation for the exile of their common people. However, the plan backfired when Mera fell truly in love with Arthur, deliberately choosing to keep claiming her cover story as her real past to avoid frictions with him.
However, on several occasions, like Aquababy's death, Mera's deep-seated hatred for Atlantis and its royal family was re-ignited, sparking the bouts of apparent insanity and angry lashing at her husband for his "weakness". It is also hinted that Black Manta had a long-lasting feud with Xebel's people: despite Aquaman believing for years to have been the cause of Aquababy's death, Mera still thinks that her son was killed to get back at her birth family.
During one of the several attempts to escape en masse from the Bermuda Triangle portal, the people of Xebel ordered to capture and experiment on several land-dwellers, including the future Black Manta. During these grueling experiments a young hybrid, son of Black Manta and an unnamed woman, was born. While Mera's father wanted to experiment on the child, using his hybrid nature to escape from the barrier, Mera took pity of little Kaldur'ahm and, adding a new reason of friction between herself and her birth family, kidnapped Kaldur'ahm to give him to a caring family on the surface. Mera never met Kaldur'ahm again for many years, until a now adolescent Kaldur'ahm was discovered by the Xebel army, forcing Mera to return in his aid.
Return of the Queen
During Peter David's Aquaman run in the 1990s, Mera is revealed to be in the hellish dimension called the Netherworld, where she is brainwashed by Thanatos, an old enemy of her husband. Time passes differently in the Netherworld and she has apparently had a second son whom she refers to as only "AJ". AJ appears to be about 8–10 years old and it is not known if his father is Aquaman or Thanatos. Eventually, Mera and AJ break free of Thanatos' control, but find that they cannot stay on Earth due to AJ's accelerated aging. Mera and AJ again leave Earth for parts unknown. When next shown later in the series, Mera and AJ are on Oceanid, a waterworld that is being exploited by aliens for its resources. Mera and AJ team up with Aquaman to defeat the aliens and Mera chooses to stay with her former husband in Atlantis, while AJ remains behind on Oceanid to act as its protector and champion, assuming the role of Aquaman.
Mera and Arthur eventually reconcile, living in Atlantis and continuing to have adventures together, including a trip to Skartaris, where they team up with Travis Morgan, the Warlord. They appear to form a true royal family along with Tempest (Garth of Shayeris) and his wife, Dolphin (Aquaman's former lover). Mera participates in the delivery of Garth and Dolphin's son, Cerdian, during this peaceful time. Unfortunately, the Aqua-family's happiness is cut short due to the events depicted in DC's "Obsidian Age", Infinite Crisis, and "One Year Later" storylines. Following these events, Mera is shown leading a rebel faction in the rebuilding of Atlantis, which was destroyed by the Spectre in Infinite Crisis. Mera appears in the Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis series during which Aquaman (having been transformed into the Dweller of the Depths during DC's World War III mini-series) appears to perish. Members of the JLA visit Atlantis to give their condolences and Mera is not referenced in DC comics until the "Prelude to Blackest Night" story in Titans #15, where it is revealed that she is in mourning for Arthur. This story also reveals that Dolphin and Cerdian died during the destruction of Atlantis.
In the Blackest Night storyline, at the request of Tempest, Mera reluctantly allows Aquaman's remains to be returned to Atlantis. Before they can do so, they are attacked by Aquaman, Tula, and Dolphin who have been reanimated as Black Lanterns. Mera and Tempest battle them, but are overwhelmed by their power. Tempest is killed by Tula and summarily transformed into a Black Lantern as well. An angry Mera manages to escape and flees to the Hall of Justice. She sends out a distress signal, and Firestorm (Jason and Gehenna) come to her aid. She reveals that she was able to evade the Black Lanterns by keeping her emotions in check. The Black Lantern Justice League attacks the group. Gehenna is slain. The Atom helps the heroes escape via a phone line. The Flash tells Atom and Mera that they are the Justice League now. Atom and Mera meet up with the Justice Society who are battling Black Lanterns. The reanimated Jean Loring uses Atom's own technology to shrink Mera, Atom, and herself. They fall into the freshly killed Damage's ring. As Mera and Atom battle Loring inside the black ring, Loring reveals Nekron's plan. Deadman witnesses their battle and plans to rescue Mera and Atom from Loring. Deadman saves Mera and Atom by briefly possessing Loring, allowing Mera and Atom to escape and join the heroes against Nekron and his army. Fuming after battling and being nearly killed by a ruthlessly savage Black Lantern-powered Wonder Woman, an angry Mera is chosen as a deputy officer of the Red Lantern Corps to be more effective against Nekron's forces. During the battle, Mera is approached once again by Aquaman, who now has the reanimated corpse of their child. Aquaman attempts to use their son against her, but Mera states, "I never wanted children," and destroys the Black Lantern version of Arthur, Jr. The power of her anger even impresses Atrocitus. She then shows a desire to hunt down Aquaman and destroy him. Mera then encounters Wonder Woman, who had been transformed into a Star Sapphire by a duplicate of Carol Ferris' ring, and attacks her. During the fight, their two rings interface with each other, the violet light giving Mera some measure of control over her new-found savagery and provides Wonder Woman with an insight into the reasons for Mera's rage. Following Nekron's destruction, Aquaman is restored to life by the white light. The sight of Arthur alive calms Mera down, breaking her connection to the red ring and causing her to go into cardiac arrest. Carol and Saint Walker use their combined lights to restore her to life, and she tearfully reunites with Aquaman.
Aquaman and Mera spent the night together in the lighthouse of Amnesty Bay, but in the morning, Mera finds Arthur on the dock, looking at the sea and wondering why he was resurrected. Mera comforts her husband and invites him to swim with her, but Arthur is hesitant, seeing only his Black Lantern form reflected back at him in the water. While cleaning up an oil spill, she and Aquaman are attacked by soldiers from Mera's homeworld and leading them is Siren, who bears a striking resemblance to Mera herself. As Mera pulls her husband away from them, she reveals that she was sent to kill him, proceeding to confess her real origins to him.
She also hints that, despite the long-lasting exile of her people, Xebel's soldiers had been enemies of Black Manta himself from a distant time, even preceding the first public appearance of Aquaman, and states that, despite Mera's original mission being a "solo" one, Siren is now backed by the entire "Death Squad", elite Xebel soldiers at the orders of the acting princess. Mera then states that Siren is her younger sister. After being shown a vision by the Entity, Aquaman tells Mera that he must track down a teenaged boy with an eel tattoo. Upon hearing Arthur's description of the boy's appearance, Mera looks shocked and suddenly tells him that she knows who the boy is. Afterward, her husband, Aquaman started to find the boy himself. Although not a direct appearance, when Atrocitus faced Hal Jordan in New York City while looking for "the Butcher", the Emotional Entity of the Red Lanterns, he creates a construct in the shape of former Red Lantern Mera to attack. This prompts Hal Jordan to suggest that Atrocitus "still has a 'sweet spot' for the Queen of the Seas," to which Atrocitus proclaims he does not need to explain anything to the Green Lantern. Later, Mera arrives at Lorena Marquez's place asking for help. Later while facing Aquaman, Siren apparently lies to him when she tells that her Death Squad had captured Mera while she was searching for help and that she had killed Mera herself.
Mera and Aquagirl arrive and aid Aquaman in the battle against Black Manta and Siren. Mera tells Aquaman that her sister lied about her condition for unknown reasons. While battling, Mera uses the ultimate power of hard water to pull Black Manta, Siren and the Death Squad back into the oceans to prevent any citizens from suffering casualties in the crossfire. After sending Black Manta and Siren back to the Bermuda Triangle, Aquaman accepts Mera back and forgives her for not telling him the truth. However as they share a kiss, the Entity claims Aquaman by reducing him into what appears to be white water, leaving Mera sorrowful. Afterward, Aquaman is returned and reunited with Mera where he discovered that the Xebel's weapons were effectively made of Atlantean technology.
The New 52 relaunch
In the The New 52, the 2011 relaunch and retcon of DC Comics' entire superhero line, a greatly disillusioned Aquaman, distressed by the rejection faced from his fellow Atlanteans and his poor standing as a superhero, often ridiculed because of his shortcomings and less than glamorous superpowers, decides to return to Amnesty Bay. Mera follows him, helping her husband try to find a new place in the world, despite being saddled from the same ill reputation as the almost useless "Aquawoman". It is shown that Mera has difficulty adjusting to society on the outside world and severe problems controlling her anger. She also aids Arthur in trying to uncover the mystery behind the sinking of Atlantis.
Following the Throne of Atlantis storyline, Mera is approached by the police force to arrest her again for violent assault following an outburst of temper in town. Mera and the police officers discuss civic virtues and she is confronted by Officer Watson (who knew Aquaman when they were at school) who reasons with her and tells her to stop being hostile. She also tells her that she needs to respect the law and society on the surface. As Mera concedes, she and the police officers are attacked with the winter storm by the Dead King (who is the first king of Atlantis) who demands her to lead him to the Xebel location. The Dead King drags Mera to the Bermuda Triangle and opens the Xebel barrier, but Mera manages to escape from the Dead King. When Mera returns to her previous home of Xebel to warn them, it is revealed that she was betrothed to Nereus, who is the current king of Xebel. He asks Mera "Where the hell have you been?". Nereus is angered when he discovers Mera is on the side of Atlantis and Aquaman's lover. Mera and Nereus are frozen in ice by the Dead King, who plans to rule the Seven Seas once more. Aquaman arrives to free Mera and confronts the Dead King, who turns out to be the first king of Atlantis. During the fight, Mera frees Nereus and Xebel soldiers to help Aquaman against the Dead King, but Nereus and Xebel soldiers are bowing to the Dead King, claiming he is the true king of the Seven Seas.
When Mera and Aquaman escape from Xebel soldiers and arrive at Atlantis, it is under attack by Scavenger and his men. Aquaman tells Atlantean to fall back using his physical force ability to summon the Kraken that attacked Scavenger's men. However, Aquaman is unconscious when the Dead King and Xebel soldiers arrive. Aquaman revives with Vulko on the surface world, but Vulko reveals to him that he has been in a coma for six months. Aquaman asks what happened to Mera after six months; Vulko said he saw Mera was facing the Dead King. Later, Mera is imprisoned by the Dead King and Xebel soldiers are controlling Atlantis. Mera refuses to marry Nereus and warns that she will kill him if she is released. Aquaman arrives to free Mera and the Atlanteans, and they battle the Dead King and Xebel soldiers. When the Dead King is destroyed, Nereus and Xebel soldiers retreat, and Mera reunites with Aquaman and decides to remain in Atlantis.
Powers and abilities
Mera has the unique ability to form "hard water" objects, as well as super strength and powers related to her adaptation to live under water. She has been shown to be powerful enough to control, albeit briefly, huge amounts of water, enough to pull an entire army out to sea. Due to her intended role as an infiltrator and a killer, Mera received extensive training in Xebel, becoming a formidable opponent on her own.
Earlier stories placed some limits on Mera's abilities, such as susceptibility to lead. However, her main weakness was her struggle with mental insanity, made more apparent after A.J.'s death. Once suspected to be the lingering effect of the psychotic breakdown suffered for the loss of her only son, with Mera blaming Arthur for his shortcomings, it has later been revealed of the byproduct of the torn loyalties between her duties towards Xebel and her love for Arthur, and the full knowledge that Black Manta actually hated her (for hiding Jackson from him) more than Aquaman himself, and thus having to hide her responsibilities in the events.
In the Flashpoint reality, Mera is the Queen of Atlantis and killed by the Amazons at some point. Her death prompted Aquaman to cause Western Europe to sink into the sea, hoping to destroy New Themyscira as well. Mera's death was ordered by Wonder Woman. In a flashback, Mera is shown to attack New Themyscira, but she is beheaded by Wonder Woman.
In other media
- Mera appeared in the 1960s The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure television series, voiced by Diane Maddox.
- Mera appeared in the 2001 Justice League animated series, voiced by Kristin Bauer. Her origins are not elaborated on, nor is she shown to have the ability to forge structures from hard water as in the comics, so she is presumably an Atlantean. She appears in "The Enemy Below", "The Terror Beyond", and "Hereafter" (attending Superman's funeral with her husband). Bruce Timm's design for Mera is inspired by her Silver Age comics look, but adds elegant touches of regality such as gold jewelry and transparent green draped fabric, as well as a midriff-baring halter.
- Mera is featured in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Sirena Irwin. She made a brief cameo as part of Atlantis' royal family in the episode "Evil Under the Sea", where she is seated next to Aquaman and Orm (Ocean Master). Mera also appears in "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure" where she demands her husband take her and Arthur Jr. on a land-based vacation. Mera has greater-than-human strength when helping to fight the Penguin's henchmen, but she is not shown to have the ability to forge structures from hard water as in the comics.
- Actress Elena Satine portrayed Mera in an episode of the final season of Smallville. In this incarnation, she once again was Aquaman's wife. Arthur and Mera discovered that Slade Wilson was building prisons for superheroes following the passing of the Vigilante Registration Act and destroyed one of them. Clark Kent went to confront Arthur about this, but Mera, deeming him a threat, knocked him aside with her hydrokinesis. As Clark and Arthur went off to investigate Slade's operation further (resulting in Arthur being kidnapped), Mera was confronted by Lois Lane, who was trying to help Clark. At first, Mera deemed Lois a lesser being compared to herself, Arthur, Oliver Queen and Clark, until Lois managed to help them save Arthur with information on the prisons. Mera managed to rescue Oliver and Arthur. Later, before leaving town with Arthur, Mera apologized to Lois and admitted that she is a worthy partner of equal standing for someone like Clark.
- Mera appears in the Young Justice episode "Downtime", voiced by Kath Soucie. She is Aquaman's wife and queen of Atlantis. She is also shown to be an instructor at the Conservatory of Sorcery. During Black Manta's assault on the palace, she is shown to be able to forge hard water constructs. She also has skin markings similar to Aqualad's, though hers take the form of the tentacles of an octopus and are only visible when using her full power. It is also revealed that she is pregnant with her and Aquaman's child. Her status as Atlantean or otherwise is not determined.
- Mera briefly appears in the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. In a flashback scene of the distorted timeline, she is shown to be murdered during a confrontation with Wonder Woman, which serves as Aquaman's prime motivation for sinking most of Europe and waging war against the Amazons.
- Mera will appear in the animated film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, voiced by Sumalee Montano.
- Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 52. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
- Aquaman #11 (September/October 1963)
- Brightest Day #6 (July 2010)
- Aquaman #22 (July/August 1965)
- Action Comics #539 (January 1983)
- The DC Comics Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2004. p. 200. ISBN 0-7566-0592-X.
- Aquaman #60 (February/March 1978)
- Aquaman #57-62 (August/September – June/July 1978)
- Aquaman vol. 3 #5 (October 1989)
- Brightest Day #16 (December 2010)
- "Thanatos". Comic Vine.
- Blackest Night #2 (August 2009)
- Blackest Night #3 (September 2009)
- Blackest Night #4 (October 2009)
- Blackest Night #5 (November 2009)
- "Tales of the Black Lantern Corps" co-feature in Green Lantern vol. 4 #49 (December 2009)
- Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2 (January 2010)
- Blackest Night #6 (December 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #50 (January 2010)
- Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3 (January 2010)
- Blackest Night #8 (March 2010)
- Brightest Day #0 (April 2010)
- Brightest Day #5 (July 2010)
- Brightest Day #9 (September 2010)
- Brightest Day #10 (September 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #54 (July 2010)
- Brightest Day #18 (January 2011)
- Brightest Day #19 (February 2011)
- Brightest Day #20 (February 2011)
- Brightest Day #24 (June 2011)
- Aquaman vol. 5 #2 (October 2011)
- Aquaman vol. 5 #6 (February 2012)
- Aquaman vol. 5 #17 (February 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5 #18 (March 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #19 (May 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #21 (June 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #22 (July 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #23 (August 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #24 (October 2013)
- Aquaman vol. 5, #25 (November 2013)
- Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #2 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2 (July 2011)
- "Mera Makes Splash on 'Smallville'". Newsarama. October 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-26.