Mera

merafilmThe pic was released quite a while ago, but we got there only now: with Justice League arriving next year, we got our first look at one of the movie’s new entries, and albeit in the usual dark colors that are an unavoidable (?) part of the DC Extended Universe, we see Mera in all her glory, portrayed by Amber Heard. She’s described as some sort of frenemy of Aquaman, with a love-and-hate relationship that puts them one against the other as often as besides each other, with that possibly evolving in the following Aquaman movie. This is the second live action portrayal of the character, as she already appeared in Smallville, portrayed by Elena Satine: in the show, she debuts as Aquaman’s wife and queen consort, joining him and Clark in a mission to destroy Slade Wilson‘s prisons for superhumans; she also spends all her time criticizing Lois Lane for being an unworthy partner to Clark, but she changes her mind when the “puny human” saves Arthur‘s life. Now, let’s see who in the comics the Queen of the Seven Seas is.

Mera’s origins are still partly shrouded in mystery. At first it was believed, following her own claim, that she was the Queen of an alien realm known as Dimension Aqua, until her kingdom was invaded by Leron, a man who deemed any woman unworthy to rule a country. Leron deposed Mera and tried to kill her, but she managed to escape to an alien dimension…Earth. Being mostly an aquatic creature, Mera seeked refuge in Earth’s oceans, where she stumbled upon Aquaman and Aqualad, who offered her their help…just in time, as Leron found her and kidnapped her along with Aquaman, bringing them both to Dimension Aqua to be executed; in the alien dimension, Aquaman obtained the help of Qwsp, a water Imp, and defeated Leron. Grateful to the beautiful and heroic king, Mera decided to follow him to Atlantis rather than remaining in Dimension Aqua, and she came back to Earth, becoming a recurring presence in Aquaman’s life. All this, however, turned out to be a lie, a ruse to win the King’s trust and to take a place at his side. Mera, in fact, was a Princess, the daughter of the King of Xebel, an alien meracomics1realm that had been turned into a penal colony for rogue Atlanteans. The King wanted revenge against Atlantis and freedom for his people, but he knew that he had no hope to obtain either of them with the current royal family, so he decided to use a dimensional passage in the Bermuda Triangle to send to Earth his two daughters, Mera and Hila, to kill the King of Atlantis and to free Xebel. The passage could only be passed through by a bunch of people, so only the two princessesses left for the mission: while Hila tried with a more direct approach and failed, starting a series of events that would have turned her into the murderous Siren, Mera used her brains, and put up the Dimension Aqua deceit to play the damsel in distress and get close to King Orin before being able to kill him with the slightiest risk. This plan worked perfectly, until it backfired on Mera…

In the effort of becoming one of Aquaman’s closest friends and allies, Mera shared a number of adventures with him and Aqualad; grown up with stories about the evil and cruel Atlanteans, Mera couldn’t help but realise how different Orin was from what she was told, and she saw how noble, good-hearted and truly heroic Aquaman was. Eventually, she truly fell in love with him, and she gave up on her original mission betraying her people. Even Orin felt something for her, and their love matured, until Aquaman asked  for her hand, and Mera accepted to become his wife. She moved to the Atlantean Royal Palace as the Queen of Atlantis, hiding from her husband the truth about her origins not to create any division between them; quite ironically, she had now become part of that same royal family she had sworn to bring down, and she was happy with it. Sadly, the apex of the royal couple happiness was also the beginning of its end: soon after their wedding, Mera gave birth to a son, Arthur Curry Jr., affectionately nicknamed Aquababy. The heir to the throne was the light of Mera’s and Orin’s eyes, but he was also an easy target for who meant the royal family arm, in this case Black Manta, a sea terrorist who was both Aquaman’s nemesis and an old enemy of the royal Xebelian family. Mantha kidnapped Arthur Jr. when he wasn’t meracomics2even one year old, and he locked him in a cruel trap that slowly poisoned him: while Aquaman dealt with Black Manta, Mera secretly travelled back to her home dimension and embarked in a solo mission in the Great Pit, a legendary crevice guarded by elemental monsters in which Xebelians said a universal healing device was hidden. Mera fought and defeated the monsters and managed to retrieve the device, but when she came back to Atlantis it was too late, and the baby had died. Their child’s death brought a rift between the spouses, and Mera, in the middle of a nervous breakdown, nearly revealed herself, blaming the “weak genes” of the Atlantean royal family for her child’s death. She abandoned Orin, mourning her son’s death and swearing to never come back…until something happened that led her back to Atlantis…

Mera is a proud and strong woman, an intelligent and cunning spy whose loyalty is torn between her duties to her homecountry Xebel and her love for her husband Orin. As a Xebelian, she can survive both underwater and on land, she possesses superhuman strength and durability, she’s able to swim at high speeds, she possesses a slight telepathy connecting her to other Atlanteans and, most of all, she’s able to use hydrokinesis, manipulating with a variety of effects water in the surroundings (she mostly uses this to create powerful water-blasts or to create objects of “solid water”). She’s also a formidable warrior, a trained assassin and spy and a naturally gifted tactician, a commander of men and armies forged to lead and rule. With a psyche made fragile by the double life she chose and the trauma of losing her only child, accompanied by the sense of guilt coming from the knowledge of being the one truly targeted by Black Manta, Mera tries to mantain her sanity while ruling the Seven Seas and rekindling a relation lost for far too long…not exactly an easy task, even for one of the most powerful beings on the planet.

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