By Kelly Gaines
Allow me to start by saying I made a mistake in my last review of Mera: Queen of Atlantis, and I could not be more relieved. Orm is not marrying his own sister; he's just forcing her to marry Nereus against her will. We can all rest much easier now. Mera's claim on the throne has all come down to this- the final installment of the Mera mini-series. Mera has been a satisfying read, and #6 gives us a trial by combat that would make a Lannister proud and closes out Mera's chapter with a triumphant bang.
When we last saw Mera, she had been double-crossed by Orm and forced to fight for not only her throne but Tula's freedom as well. Unfortunately for Orm's land family, duty has pulled him straight off the right path with little hope of returning. Mera's encouragement to remember Erin and Tommy has no effect on him, and he charges headfirst into consequences he hasn't thought through. The writers have done a solid job of painting Orm and Erin's relationship as a grounding source of light for the former villain. As a reader, I've been rooting for his return home after making amends below the sea. That's not going to happen. It's a crushing blow to Orm's adopted family who now have to live with the knowledge that in the eleventh hour he chose power over love- and lost.
On a positive note, Mera has regained her strength and cultivated a determined new sense of queenly pride. She's ready to take the fight to Atlantis and help Arthur in the final battle against Rath. As a lead into Aquaman #38, Mera #6 does its job to tie up loose ends that surely would have come up if an injured Mera simply showed up back in Atlantis with a whole army behind her. The miniseries was a good idea, even if this final issue was a tad lackluster. Overall, Mera: Queen of Atlantis was a worthwhile read. It explores the depths of a side character in a way that a lot of current titles neglect. The series was well written and perfectly paced. #6 ends triumphant, but by the final panels, the end feels a little too obvious. She wins the battle and charges toward Atlantis, which I suppose is exactly what was meant to happen. I just can't help feeling that this last chapter could have used a little extra something.
Mera: Queen of Atlantis #6