Warning: SPOILERS Through Mera: Queen of Atlantis #6.
Mera, the hydrokinetic warrior and long-time love interest of Arthur Curry, has proven her worthiness to rule as Queen of Atlantis following a trial by combat to determine the rightful heir to the throne. This trial was the culmination of several months' worth of stories in both the main Aquaman monthly comic book, and Mera's own mini-series Mera: Queen of Atlantis. It has been an epic tale, which many have likened to an undersea Game of Thrones.
Mera was once part of the royal family of Xebel - an aquatic realm apart from Atlantis, which started out as a penal colony for Atlantean exiles. Trained from birth in the arts of combat, Mera was also taught an assassin's skills with the goal that she would one day destroy the royal line of Atlantis and claim it for her family. To the surprise of everyone, including Mera herself, she would abandon her mission after falling in love with Arthur Curry, the half-Atlantean eldest son of the former Queen.
She would go on to become Arthur's consort when he claimed the throne of Atlantis for himself, after thwarting the efforts of his half-brother Orm to start a war on the surface world.
Arthur's reign as king was uneasy, with Atlantean traditionalist groups rebelling against him due to his plans to construct an Atlantean embassy to build better relationships with other nations and his decision to take a Xebel-born like Mera as his queen. Eventually, these factions overthrew Arthur and Mera, appointing Corum Rath - leader of the terrorist group known as The Deluge - as the new King of Atlantis.
When Rath's xenophobia and paranoia proved more harmful to Atlantis than Arthur's attempts at diplomacy. the Atlantean Council of Elders appointed Mera as the new Queen of Atlantis in absentia. Ironically, the same factions that earlier protested at having a Xebel-born noblewoman on the throne of Atlantis decided it was preferable to a mad king.
As Arthur Curry led a resistance movement against King Rath, the newly anointed Queen Mera had her own battle to fight. Finding an unlikely ally in the exiled Orm (who had heard of the Atlantean civil war and wanted to help bring peace to his homeland) the two journeyed to Xebel in the hopes of forging an alliance against King Rath. To Mera's shock and horror, Xebel had been taken over in her absence by Nereus - a warrior to whom she had been betrothed before she left on her mission.
Unsurprisingly, Nereus was unwilling to listen to Mera's claims of now being Queen of Atlantis and schemed behind the scenes with Orm to arrange a plot that would see Orm on the throne of Atlantis and Mera slain.
This led to a trial by combat between Orm and Mera to determine who was the true heir to the Atlantean Throne. Despite being denied a weapon and still being in a weakened state from an earlier battle, Mera was able to win thanks to a clever application of her water-manipulating superpowers. Realizing she was unable to shift great quantities of water, she thought smaller and used her power to stop the flow of water in Orm's gills.
He was left gasping for mercy, as a shamed Nereus was forced to acknowledge Mera as a superior warrior and a true Queen, offering command of Xebel's armies to her in the war to retake Atlantis.
Mera: Queen of Atlantis #6 is now available from DC Comics.