Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #5 Review

Master of None

Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Lan Medina, Norm Rapmund, Veronica Gandini and Simon Bowland
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 27, 2018

What DC Said:

Just as Mera and Orm prepare to fight side by side to save Atlantis from utter desolation, Nereus makes Orm a devious proposal that’s hard to refuse: control of the Xebellian army in exchange for Tula’s unwilling hand in marriage! Can the Ocean Master really resist the call of the sea? Or will Mera have to fight her own people to help Tula escape a fate that was once her own?

The issue begins with the same narration we've gotten since the series started...and a whole lot of information we already know.  Come on, this is the penultimate issue of a series that has severe pacing issues and here we go again!  We do find out that Mera's powers "fizzle out" if she uses them too long and it really feels like her injury is one of convenience for whatever suits the story at hand.

At this moment, her powers are diminished because it's time to fight Leron and I guess Dan Abnett wanted to make it almost seem like a fair fight.  My big problem is the biggest thing that her injury did was make her not be able to breathe underwater, but that isn't addressed in the slightest here. Besides, we also see that Mera was playing Leron for a fool.  By the end of the scene, we see what is really going on...some underwater hijinks!  But if you read the last issue, you realize that the smiles will soon be gone.

While this is going on, Orm and Nereus are trying to come up with an agreement to go forward and fight Atlantis and Rath, and then it's back to Mera and Leron for a little more recap and advice.  

We finally get things rolling when Orm and Mera head to get Nereus' decision on whether or not he will help them overthrow King Rath.  I am not going to tell you that I was the least bit surprised at what went down since we saw hints at the beginning of the issue, but the pact that Nereus and Orm have agreed to did.  It ties into last issue's cliffhanger and it is messed up!

The issue ends with a bit of tradition promising some action and violence in the final issue next month.  Oh yea, it also assures us that we won't end up doing a whole lot in this mini-series as a whole.

This issue was okay, but that's been par for the course.  I mean, it's a mini tied to a book that hasn't moved but an inch in months so what else would you expect.  My biggest gripe is that we really don't get a ton of Mera in a book with her name on it, but at least give us more Orm then.  Nope, we get a whole lot of recap and a bit too much Xebel traditions.  Speaking of which, why would a Xebelian tradition have anything at all to do with who will be King or Queen of Atlantis.  I really thought that Mera was challenging Nereus for Xebel's crown at the end.

Lan Medina and his art team have been the highlight of the series so far and this issue is no exception.  Everything looks great and even though not a whole lot is going on, I like looking at it. Veronica Gandini's colors really pop off the page and Mera looks stunning!

Bits and Pieces:

I'm guessing that most people reading this mini are also reading Aquaman and will be well aware of the pacing issues that plague both books by now.  Knowing may be half the battle, but that doesn't make things any better when we have one issue left and it's obvious the scope of this series is smaller than I would have guessed.  Yep, it looks like this is all just setup for the main Aquaman title and while that is understandable, why couldn't Dan Abnett shine the spotlight a bit more on Mera?  Her name may be on the cover, but as a fan of the character, I feel a bit ripped off.


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