Mera: Queen of Atlantis #5 Review

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Lan Medina
Inks by Norm Rapmund
Colors by Veronica Randini

So far, Dan Abnett’s mini series has been one for mainly the die-hard Aquaman fans. Not enough has happened in the first four issues to warrant its inclusion in DC’s lineup if I am being completely frank as the plot developments could have been side-loaded into the Aquaman monthly without much effort. Nothing earth shattering has happened yet, and the series has moved at a similar pace to the Aquaman monthly, and it shouldn’t be because it doesn’t have the luxury of being an ongoing series.

Having said all this, Mera: Queen of Atlantis is still interesting enough to persist with despite its teething problems and here’s why. This is the first time Mera has even had her own series, and Mera fans that have been waiting so long for one deserve to see a payoff that will not ruin any potential future mini-series or dare I say it, an ongoing monthly that bears Mera’s name because of a few stumbles that Abnett has made in terms of slow pacing. If you like plenty of political maneuvering and royalty protocol in your comic then just go ahead and disregard any pacing comments I have just made.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Dan Abnett is a big fan of Mera because he tries so hard with her dialogue and actions to show her trying to take the high road each time. This is especially highlighted in this issue as things come to a head between Mera, Orm and Nereus as we get the insight when she goes through all the internal machinations and permutations of what would happen in tense situations where what she decides will have so many knock on effects. She must consider how this will affect herself, Arthur, Xebel and all of Atlantis itself.

This issue also has the added bonus of Orm returning to form as Ocean Master, it’s not as cut and dry this time but nothing a regular reader of Atlantis related material will be surprised by. Abnett has done his best to humanize Orm in this mini-series as much as possible to the reader by showcasing the family he has been living with on the surface. That is probably the only reason you might have an emotional reaction to the resetting of his factory defaults.

The art by Lan Medina is gorgeous just like it was in all the previous issues. This guy was born to draw Mera: the consistency of her look from page to page seems so effortless. It’s not just Mera that looks good though as Orm looks fantastic in his costumed return to his Ocean Master garb.

Norm Rapmund’s inks complement Medina’s pencils so well by being precise and not overdone to maintain a fresh and sharp look to the characters and their surroundings. Not to be forgotten is the color work of Veronica Randini that helps to make everything look as vibrant as possible while maintaining the dark underbelly tone of the upheaval that Atlantis is currently under. While I love Sunny Gho’s gloomy colors on the Aquaman monthly, I would not want to see it here because that would mean that the only two Atlantis comic titles in publication right now would look too similar, and it’s nice to have the distinction especially in terms of shading and fine ink lines.

Being such a big Dan Abnett fan, I have found it hard to pull the plug on this mini-series even when it hasn’t excited me as much as I wanted it to, and hopefully this loyalty will be rewarded in the final issue next month.

7 out of 10

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