Aquaman made his comic book debut in 1941. He appeared in anthology volumes until he got his self titled series in the 1960s. During that decade his most famous partner, Mera, made her debut. Aquaman and Mera hit it off right after meeting and entered a relationship. Mera made appearances in the comics in between Aquaman’s adventures with Aqualad and the Justice League. While he explored the world, she primarily featured as part of his stories back home in Atlantis.
During the '70s and '80s, the two had an uneven relationship. Heroics, other people, and hidden agendas often got in the way. They spent whole arcs not speaking to one another, but they always found their way back together. The two changed a lot since they met in 1963, but their connection and commitment to one another remains.
In modern comics, Mera became more than simply an extension of the Aquaman story. She became a member of the Justice League and Queen of Atlantis in her own right. For his part, Aquaman became more in tune with Mera’s feelings in modern stories as well, taking her on adventures with him instead of leaving her behind in Atlantis.
The two also got a new version of their story in live action with portrayals by Amber Heard and Jason Momoa on the big screen. That journey only just began for Aquaman and Mera. For those who want to look back at their history, here are the 30 Wildest Revelations About Aquaman And Mera’s Relationship.
A story decades after Mera’s first appearance in the comics revealed how she really crossed paths with Aquaman. She might have claimed to be on the run from her people, but she was actually sent on a secret mission to eliminate him.
The princess of Xebel, Mera spent her formative years training in combat. Once she was of age and the line separating Xebel’s pocket dimension from the rest of the ocean thinned, her father and military advisor sent her on a mission to rid the world of the Atlantis royal family. After coming upon a fishing boat, she learned the hero known as Aquaman was also the Atlantean King.
When Mera actually met Aquaman, he saved a group of whales. HIs kindness and commitment to both people and the ocean confused her and made her wonder what she should do. Already thinking her mission to eliminate Aquaman might not be the best course of action, she got some sage advice.
Her mother, long gone from the world, left Mera message in a shell of sounds. The message told Mera that her mother planned for Mera to have the mission specifically so she could get out of Xebel, see the world, and make up her own mind. Mera decided to let Aquaman live and get to know him.
Though Aquaman appeared in short stories in anthology comics before receiving his own solo title, Mera didn’t make her comic book debut until issue eleven of his series. The two hit it off quickly, saving one another from peril. Just seven issues later, they married.
That original continuity saw Mera as Queen of Dimension Aqua, and Aquaman as Orin, King of Atlantis. Though different aspects of their story would change just two decades later when DC comics transitioned into a new timeline, much of their relationship remained the same in the new continuity.
The storyline leading up to the wedding of Orin (AKA Arthur Curry) and Mera revealed on interesting fact about Atlantean society. Citizens of Atlantis couldn’t marry non-citizens. People who weren’t citizens of Atlantis, in particular, couldn’t become members of the royal family.
Mera, as the queen of a water country in another dimension, wasn’t eligible to wed Aquaman. Of course, there was a simply fix for that. As the ruler of the country, Aquaman granted Mera honorary citizenship, bypassing the technicality. Considering the people of Atlantis seemed to really like Mera, it’s doubtful anyone would have protested.
When the original continuity of DC Comics was cut short in favor of the new Prime Earth timeline present in the New 52, much of the backstory readers knew about their favorite characters ended up retconned. For Mera, this meant everything she initially told Arthur about herself was a lie.
Mera wasn’t from Dimension Aqua, an alternate dimension, but the Xebel penal colony, an extradimensional prison created in ancient times for Atlantean separatists. She was also chosen to pass through the dimensional barrier to eliminate the royal family! It was quite the surprise for Aquaman when she told him the truth.
Though Arthur didn’t know about Mera’s history for years, it didn’t change the fact that Mera turned her back on that violent past. Conditioned to become the perfect weapon against Atlantis, her father sent her to destroy the King of Atlantis. Upon meeting Arthur though, Mera decided to get to know him.
She spent a lot of time during the early days of their relationship conflicted, but realized that everything she knew about Atlantean royals was the real lie. She abandoned her mission, Xebel, and her family, when she fell in love with Arthur.
The comic book species the Trench provided inspiration for one of the types of Atlanteans seen in the new Aquaman movie. In the comics, they were a carnivorous underwater species who made their way to coastal towns, like Amnesty Bay, and abducted residents.
Mera and Aquaman discovered the Trench were taking the people back to their home as a food source. Their population was starving and dwindling. Rather than allow them to continue attacking the surface world, Mera and Arthur made the decision to close off their exit route, effectively causing the Trench to become extinct.
Following their original wedding and Mera’s decision to live in Atlantis, the Atlantean royals had a son they named Arthur Junior. Unfortunately, their time with the son was short-lived as Black Manta used him in a plot to get back at both of them.
Arthur, believing their son was already lost, combatted his own grief by leaning into his heroic acts. Mera, on the other hand, tried to find a way to save him. Her failure and Arthur’s absence during it, drove a wedge between them that lasted for a very long time.
Following the loss of their son, not only did Arthur and Mera have a metaphorical wedge between them, but they also had physical distance. Arthur spent a lot of time in the surface world, not realizing that Mera’s reign lapsed in his absence. A new ruler took her place as she was placed in a mental health facility in Atlantis.
Mera wasn’t just mad with grief. She also wasn’t sure where her loyalties lay. Mera loved Arthur, but she held onto her anger at him for abandoning their family in a crucial time. She also still retained a sense of loyalty to Xebel, making her confused, angry, and grief stricken. The result was an unstable leader.
Despite the difficulties in their relationship, Arthur still deeply loved Mera. When she lashed out at him during his return to Atlantis, she did so with her abilities and physical force. He tried to defend himself without harming her, but ended up nearly fatally injuring her anyway.
During their argument, Mera wound up impaled on a piece of wreckage. Arthur believed it was fatal, and was guilt ridden at his actions. To his surprise, Mera sat up in her coffin, informing him that he never really knew her at all if he didn’t realize all of her vital organs were in different places. The two then spent a very long time apart.
Flashpoint saw a whole new timeline of events in DC Comics. The Flashpoint version of Aquaman didn’t grow up with his human father. Instead, he grew up training to be a warrior in Atlantis. He also grew up thinking he would wed the leader of Themyscira, uniting their two kingdoms. That’s not how things happened for him.
Instead, the Amazons and the Atlanteans end up in a war created from a misunderstanding. Aquaman falls in love with and marries Mera, like he does in most timelines. In retribution for their own losses, the Amazons end Mera’s life. In his grief, Aquaman gives into his anger, causing Europe to sink beneath the sea.
Mera made her comic book debut in the 1960s and fell for Aquaman almost immediately. Despite her popularity, the entire truth of her past (thanks to a massive retcon) wasn’t revealed until the “Brightest Day” stories in 2010.
When Aquaman and Mera found themselves under attack by a villain calling herself Siren, Mera had to reveal the truth. Siren was Mera’s sister Hila. With Mera literally confronted by her own past, she couldn’t hide the truth from Arthur anymore. She revealed her people actually sent her to destroy him, but since she turned her back on Xebel, her sister now had the job. Despite learning about her past, Arthur didn’t turn his back on Mera.
Aquaman has always been a man of two worlds. He feels the pull of the land and sea. Likewise, Mera felt the pull of both Xebel and Atlantis. Not only were both heroes pulled in many different directions over the years, they also found themselves the subject of many meta jokes.
Aquaman is a frequent target of comic book fans for the camp of the original comics. With the launch of the New 52, writers took inspiration from the fans making fun of Aquaman to focus on both characters struggling to figure out just where they fit in the world. They not only searched for a home, but for the right to be taken seriously.
One moment in the Aquaman movie surprised some audience members. Before Mera went on a search for Arthur Curry, she was betrothed to another Atlantean. That’s not far off from her life in the comics though.
Before leaving Xebel behind, Mera’s hand was promised to the military leader, Nereus. (Movie fans will recognize that name as her father, but that wasn’t the case in the comics.) Though Mera and Nereus clearly didn’t love one another, Nereus still thought of her as “his” when she returned to Xebel years later. She quickly used her powers of water manipulation against him to remind him she didn’t belong to him, that she chose to be with Arthur.
Smallville brought Mera to the live action series in season 10. There, she and Arthur married after she helped him learn about his past. The writers emphasized one aspect of Mera’s personality that a lot of comics gloss over: her superiority complex.
During the show, Mera wasn’t shy about telling Lois that an average human shouldn’t go after so many “super” people. At that point, Lois had spent time with Arthur, Clark Kent, and Oliver Queen. By the end of the episode, Lois helped Mera save the day, and Mera changed her tune, realizing that even normal humans could be “super” as well.
When the DC Universe went through its rebirth, Arthur Curry decided to bring a new stage to his relationship with Mera as well. At that point, their storyline pre Infinite Crisis no longer existed, so they weren’t married. He got down on one knee on the beach to propose to Mera, much to her confusion.
Arthur had to explain the surface custom to Mera, and she accepted. What’s not clear is how an Atlantean proposal would have been different. Perhaps there’s a specific swimming sequence Atlanteans use to propose while under water instead?
During the “Blackest Night” arc, Mera found herself fighting members of the Justice League who were reanimated corpses as Black Lanterns. The experience was hard on her, to say the least. She embraced her deep seated rage at events in her past in order to wear a Red Lantern ring and lead the Red Lantern Corps.
Eventually, when the battle wound down, Arthur was brought back to life by the powers of the White Lanterns. It was only seeing Arthur, wholly alive again, that allowed Mera to let go of her anger at her previous losses, and give up the power of the Red Lantern. She was nearly lost to it while battling Wonder Woman.
Though Mera and Arthur have lost their children in numerous continuities, one thing remains the same: all of the major timelines only see them having sons. They only time the royal duo has daughters is in obscure alternate timelines, or one possible future in an animated series.
Perhaps this is a result of writers clinging to old rules of royalty with first born sons inheriting the throne from their fathers. The Aquaman comics have already seen Mera earn the throne of Atlantis on her own though, so perhaps future writers will change this.
Original comic book continuity gave Mera and Aquaman’s wedding the cover treatment. After the big event, things obviously went south over the years. Following their fighting and the distance between them, the two temporarily went their separate ways.
Mera must have believed that Aquaman would wait for her to return to him. When she came back to Atlantis, she discovered he and his friend Dolphin (yes, that was her real name) entered into a relationship while she was gone. Mera later informed him under Atlantean law, that meant the two were no longer married. If one person was unfaithful, the contract terminated.
Since DC’s Rebirth launched with Aquaman getting down on one knee, Arthur and Mera haven’t had the chance to actually get married. That doesn’t make their relationship any less serious.
They clearly consider one another husband and wife. In conversations with Nereus, Mera referred to Arthur as “my husband,” and only corrected herself with “to be,” after Nereus pressed the issue. It’s likely only a matter of time before the two make it official. Perhaps comic book writers will wait a while since there was a flurry of weddings in comics in 2018. Catwoman and Batwoman as well as Shadowcat and Colossus nearly made it to the altar, while several other characters considered marriage.
If there’s one repeated point of contention in their relationship, it’s that Aquaman places, quite literally, everyone else first. His love for Mera is clear, but it doesn’t stop him from leaving his relationship behind for months at a time to track down a villain or solve a mystery.
Aquaman probably spent more time with the Justice League than he in Atlantis over the years, which might be why the people of Atlantis have placed a lot more trust in Mera in recent years. The couple does take on some villains together, but that doesn’t stop Mera from resenting his heroics every once in a while.
Proving the underwater city itself is aware of its people, a comic book arc revealed Atlantis didn’t recognize Arthur and Mera’s authority to rule. A series of quakes from the ocean floor prompted an investigation. It turned out the city still believed Arthur’s mother Atlanna was the rightful queen, even though Arthur believed she perished.
The reveal led Aquaman and Mera on an adventure through multiple portals, to Gorilla City, and to a hidden island to find Atlanna. When they found her, Atlanna didn’t recognize her son and almost sacrificed him to a Volcano god. Mera ended up saving the day, and the duo returned home with the ability to rule.
He made her an honorary citizen in the original comics, but in the modern storyline, Arthur went a step further. He made her an Atlantean Ambassador to the surface in an effort to improve relations between the two parts of the planet.
On the one hand, this was a good move. It showed Mera that Arthur trusted her to handle political responsibilities. There’s also the fact that Mera had experience in this area since she was raised to be a queen. On the other hand, Mera’s always had a hard time controlling her temper, and she didn’t exactly take kindly to people picking up the moniker Aquawoman for her instead of calling her by her name.
Just after Mera became the Atlantean ambassador to the surface world, she and Arthur ran into a problem. Someone claiming to be Atlantean sunk a warship in the middle of the ocean right before their scheduled meeting with the leader of the United States.
As a result, Arthur was arrested for the crimes committed before the two even made it to their meeting. When no one listened to Arthur or Mera’s claims of innocence, Mera decided to take matters into her own hands. She broke Arthur out of jail and even battled Superman to prevent him being recaptured.
A group of Atlanteans decided they didn’t like the way Arthur and his family ran Atlantis. Even though his sister Tula stood as Regent of Atlantis, the group ousted her and plotted to eliminate Arthur himself.
Tula and Mera managed to escape the coup and travel to Arthur’s lighthouse at Amnesty Bay. Arthur, however, was injured and trapped in Atlantis. The group used the ancient Crown of Thorns to surround Atlantis with a powerful barrier so that Mera and Tula couldn’t get back in. Mera was so determined to use her power to break through the barrier that she accidentally caused tidal waves up and down the coast before trying to find another way in.
As evil versions of Batman entered the world thanks to a strange incursion of the multiverse, different members of the Justice League found themselves faced with unfamiliar foes. Aquaman faced off against Bryce Wayne, a woman who went by the name The Drowned instead of the usual Batman.
The Drowned had the ability to actually turn her enemies into fish monsters when their fear went unchecked, or when their emotions became a little unstable. While en route to solve the fish monster problem, Mera ended up turned into one! Aquaman had to avoid a confrontation with her to bring an end to the problem.
Following confrontations and coups, the Atlantean people chose the ruler they wanted to run their underwater city. It wasn’t Arthur. Instead, it was Mera. To the surprise of some readers, Arthur didn’t attend her coronation.
In an issue of Suicide Squad, Arthur kept an eye on festivities from afar, but he was more concerned that the title team would ruin Mera’s big day. Amanda Waller sent the Squad on a mission to sink Atlantis back to the bottom of the ocean after it rose to the surface. They chose Mera’s coronation day to make a statement, and Arthur wanted to make sure neither he nor the Squad got in her way.
Arthur not telling Mera about the Suicide Squad planning to sink Atlantis was just one example of Arthur keeping things from her, but the secrecy is very much a pattern in their relationship. Arthur often doesn’t tell Mera about his heroic missions to keep her safe, or to not get into an argument with her. It doesn’t sit well with Mera.
Of course, some readers might argue that Mera is a hypocrite if she doesn’t like secrets. She did, after all, keep the real reason she met him a secret for years. Both of them have a lot to learn about being open and honest with one another.
The 2016 Aquaman comics introduced an order known as the Widowhood. Women who bonded together in Atlantis, they all had special gifts. Among them were healers and seers. The seer had a vision of the future that didn’t sit well with Mera.
In the vision, the world ended as a result of the Atlantean Queen’s grief over the loss of her husband. In her grief she became “the fatal queen,” ruling with an iron fist and bringing destruction, not just to Atlantis, but to the entire world. While Mera wasn’t initially superstitious, it did cause her to doubt her place in Atlantis and her relationship with Arthur.
No matter the version of the story in the comics, Mera and Arthur always click immediately when they meet. They quickly cooperate on a project, usually when someone is in peril, and then decide to learn more about one another. For the live action movie, that isn’t the case.
The two couldn’t go more than a few sentences without arguing, both in their initial meeting in Justice League, and in the more recent Aquaman. The idea that they come from two very different worlds is highlighted in a new way for the live action version of their relationship, and it causes them to butt heads more often than not.
Did you learn something new about Aquaman and Mera’s relationship? Are you looking forward to seeing more of them in the movie universe? Let us know in the comments!