Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #4 Review

Treading (Under)Water

Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Lan Medina, Norm Rapmund, and Veronica Gandini
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 23, 2018

Desperate for a new ally in the fight for the soul of Atlantis, Mera turns to her ex-husband Nereus, the king of Xebel! But even after winning his favor in a deadly clash, can someone like Nereus ever be trusted? And what of Ocean Master’s promise to return to the surface? Is there anyone Mera can trust?

The issue opens with Orm and Mera fighting a bit of ritualistic combat to gain an audience in Xebel and while it's all good fun, action-wise, I got creeped out by Lady Lammia.  She hasn't fed the Octodon that is fighting our heroes for weeks...Why?  Did she have some sort of premonition that Mera and Orm were coming or is she just a sadistic bitch who was enjoying the pain she was causing?!?  Definitely the later!

While this is going on, back in Amnesty Bay, Erin is showing Tula pictures of her of him smiling!  (Cue the ominous music).  It's all a continuation of the rehabilitation of Ocean Master, but it's still left to see if it all sticks. Back in Xebel, our former foes work together to take down the beast and gain an audience with the King.  The best part is Orm talking shit every step of the way!

After a tiny callback to Geoff John's run on Aquaman, it's down to brass tacks and it doesn't go well at first, but after another quick swipe back to Amnesty Bay we head back to Xebel where King Nerus doesn't go by the old, "say it don't spray it" adage, especially when he hears that Mera is set to marry Aquaman.  Things get even dicier when they find out Mera is to be Queen if Corum Rath is defeated and while they wait for an answer, Mera heads off to see that crazy animal abuser her grandmother, Lammia.  

The story nears the end by stressing (forcing) the issue that woman are half-citizens in Xebel and also giving us a peek at the old Orm for a second.  Luckily we see Tula heading off to see her half-brother to talk sense into him, but the issue's cliffhanger shows that everyone is in big trouble for trusting Xebel even a little bit.

This issue doesn't course correct this mini-series major flaw as it continues to move forward at a snail's pace.  It's not a bad issue and there are some good moments, but I keep being left with the idea that this was all part of the overall story, but had to be shoved into this book since Aquaman is a monthly title now.  Because of that, it is a good companion piece to the main Aquaman title and probably should be read by anyone pulling that book, but as a standalone book, it's lacking and as a Mera book, it is really lacking. 

Lan "Funky Cold" Medina's art looks fantastic, but I wish there was more for him to do here.  The beginning is the highlight and I hope that Abnett can work in some more sea monsters for his creative partner to draw.

Bits and Pieces:

Like the Aquaman, this issue and series has a pacing problem and while that's never good, the slow plot progression is magnified when there are only six issues of real estate.  There are some big things going down, but they are more an interest to those reading Aquaman as well.  If you are just here for Mera and nothing else, sadly I think you will be disappointed.


1 comment:

  1. Solid issue, a bit to much talking, like Jim has stated every time this and Aquaman come out "Treding Water".