Sunday, May 19, 2024

Watch the Queen Conquer in Justice League

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A new issue, a new story for Justice League. Last time we had some character action for Jessica Cruz, even if I was a bit befuddled at Simon Baz being left out. This time, the whole crew (sans Arthur) is back together and just in time!

See, there’s an anomaly in the ocean, and it’s threatening to wipe out an entire city. The League rushes to investigate only to run face first into a very, very angry Mera. So look, some things have happened over in Aquaman land. Some pretty big things, like Arthur’s throne being usurped and him having to do some Batman level vigilantism. The problem is, Mera, up until now, was kinda in the dark about a lot of it.

Now she’s angry. I’m going to be upfront. Most of this review is going to be me gushing over how Mera is a walking personification of “you could be the king, but watch the queen conquer.”

When the Justice League confront Mera, she completely and utterly hands them their asses on a silver platter within minutes. Wonder Woman and Superman? Can’t fight when you can’t breathe.

Simon and Jessica? A Little layer of water and those rings come right off.

Cyborg? Well.

Buh-bye, Victor.

Flash has his butt handed to him by Mera essentially stripping the water from his body, and Batman’s attempts to be sneaky earn him an ass whooping.

The ONLY reason they get out of this is because Mera comes to her senses. She was just told the news about Arthur and she’s been trying for days to break the protective shield around Atlantis. And she almost wiped out a city in the process. They talk her into coming back to the tower, where she relays recent Atlantean events to them, and then confesses that she truly has nowhere to go now. She can’t go back to Xebel, Atlantis is barred from her, and Arthur is on the lam.

When Batman asks her how Arthur knew all of the team’s weaknesses, Mera levels up yet again in badass and admits he didn’t. Aquaman had just mentioned to her in passing that Batman is a paranoid grump that actively looked to find ways to defeat each of his teammates if they ever went rogue. And Mera quietly realized “yup, makes sense, should do that” and then researched everyone all on their own. She even got one over on Batman, psychologically by throwing the “Arthur told me your weaknesses!” line in his face.

Bruce’s reaction is priceless.


In fact, if we could hear it, it’d sound exactly like Oliver Queen’s little “hmph” in the Superhero Fight Club 2.0 promo. Go on, take a listen. I queued it up for you.

Anyways, Diana offers to let Mera join their team and get her bearings. She then swears to help only in what Mera tells them, that the Justice League won’t jump the gun. Then there’s a disturbance in the force. Sorry, Jessica is made aware that the Quraci military is making an offensive maneuver on Pakistan, and it’s once again all hands on deck. (Seriously, didn’t Jason and Artemis just dismantle General Heinle’s regime?)

Batman offers to have Mera join them, and she accepts. Simon is a little incredulous. He reminds Bruce that Mera just wiped the floor with them, and that was when she was tired and weakened. To which Batman, earning my respect says “exactly.” Four for you, Batman.

In their canonical history, Arthur and Mera have had a rough go of it in getting storylines. There’s a meme that’s gone on for years essentially mocking Aquaman and calling his powers more or less worthless. Until the New52 really, and Geoff Johns stepping in and letting the King and Queen of the Seven Seas be the rightful superheroes we knew they could be all along. This was a wonderful issue to remind readers just how awe-inspiring Mera is as a fighter, including her physical strength, her skills as a leader and planner, and her powers of hydrokinesis. If Arthur is going to play the Atlantean Batman for now, Mera more than makes up his spot on the Justice League.

The art is fine, more or less. The colors are gorgeous, and really help Mera’s skills pop. My only real quibble is that Ian Churchill sometimes Greg Land’s Jessica or Wonder Woman’s legs when they’re jumping or flying. Outside of that though, it’s an art bonanza of Mera being the queen she is.

Next up we run into Justice League #25, which is sure it be an explosion “gala” in and of itself. We’ve got Diana, Jessica, and now Mera. Who could possibly stand against the Justice League now?

Fanfinity Rating: 9/10

Justice League #24

Writer: Dan Abnett

Art: Ian Churchill

Colors: Adriano Lucas

Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft

Images courtesy of DC Comics

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