WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2
After years of fighting Aquaman for the throne of Atlantis, his brother Ocean Master might finally be turning into a hero. In Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2, Orm comes to Amnesty Bay seeking answers about what's happening in Atlantis and offers his help to Aquaman's lover (and new Queen of Atlantis) Mera. And while Arthur Curry's half-brother has played nice before, there's reason to believe that this time the good guy act might actually stick.
Previously, during Orm's ill-fated reign as King of Atlantis, he led the underwater nation in an invasion of the surface world (as seen in the the pages of the Aquaman/Justice League crossover, Throne of Atlantis) which left Boston in ruins and thousands dead. As punishment for his crimes, Orm was sent to Belle Reve Penitentiary where he languished until the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3 attacked and freed all the prisoners (see the DC Comics' villains event, Forever Evil).
It was Orm's chance to escape and return to the sea, but... love got in the way. And in Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2, it's revealed that love may be what finally makes Aquaman's brother more heroic than dangerous.
When making his way back to once again compete for the throne of Atlantis, Orm's plans change when he can't help but rescue a store clerk from attackers. Thanking Orm for saving her life, the store clerk, Erin implores him to also save her son, Tommy. And at first, Orm can't bring himself to care, but his conscience gets the better of him and he saves the boy. This moment sets Orm on a path of redemption and he makes a life for himself with Erin and Tommy. Come Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1, it's revealed that Orm and Erin are engaged and Tommy has just begun calling him "Dad."
Life on the surface has been good to Orm - will he risk it all to again become Ocean Master and conquer Atlantis, now that his brother has been removed from the throne?
There is certainly a moment in Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2 where it looks as if Orm is returning to his old, maniacal ways. After learning from Mera that Arthur lives but he's been dethroned and the tyrant, Coram Rath rules Atlantis, Orm believes it's his duty to return as the kingdom's true monarch. Except, Atlantis already has its true monarch - Mera, recently named Queen in Exile and the one who will assume the throne once she's healed and Rath is overthrown.
This infuriates Orm and he attacks Mera, calling her unfit to rule Atlantis because of her Xebel heritage. With her powers still not fully returned, Orm is able to get the upper hand on Mera but just as he's about land a devastating blow he hears, "Dad? What are you doing?!"
Erin and Tommy look on in horror as the man they've grown to love as their own family stands above a defenseless woman, trident in hand and murder on the mind. This is the moment which stands as the cliffhanger for Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2, leaving readers to wonder whether Orm will fall back on old habits or remember the happiness of his new life and let Mera live.
The tease for issue #3 suggests it'll be the later, with the tagline "The Enemy of My Enemy!" hinting that the next issue will see Mera and Orm put aside their differences and work together.
However, even without that rather leading tease it seems safe to assume that Orm has, in fact, turned over a new leaf. Before lashing out at Mera, he speaks so lovingly of his new life and new family, finding himself surprised to "find true love in the dry heart of the surface world." Love has changed Orm for the better, and for the sake of Atlantis and all the world, let's hope this time it sticks.