Warning: SPOILERS for Aquaman #50
The latest issue of Aquaman has revealed that Mera, currently Queen of Atlantis, is getting married to a man other than Arthur Curry. Mera's shockingly sudden engagement announcement is only the latest in a series of events that have added further turmoil to the love life of one of DC Comics' most famous couples.
While Arthur Curry proposed to Mera in the early days of DC Comics' Rebirth revival, the two have had precious little time to plan a royal wedding. The two heroes faced enemies to their rule from within and without, before Arthur was forced off the throne by elements of his own government, who were wary of a king who wanted closer ties to the surface world. Ironically, those same elements rushed to embrace Mera as their new Queen, after their previous candidate for king turned out to be a warmongering lunatic. This left Arthur ready to assume a new role as consort to his beloved, before his apparent death and rebirth in another dimension. This death was a result of Mera losing control of her powers, reflexively striking out at Arthur when he said he needed some time away from her to think about things after she revealed that she was pregnant.
As Aquaman #50 opens, Arthur is newly returned to Earth and recovering in his hometown of Amnesty Bay, Maine. Because of Mera's role in his death, Arthur is reluctant to make the first move in approaching her, saying that she will come to him if she wants to see him. Mera feels the same way when she learns of Arthur's return, saying that he will come to her if he wants to see her. Unfortunately, Mera's advisers on the council of Atlantis are unwilling to wait any longer for her to choose a husband - a decision Mera has been pushed to make ever since Arthur's apparent death and one that has become even more urgent given the increasing visibility of Mera's pregnancy.
The lone voice against a rushed wedding is Vulko - a former chancellor to Arthur's mother when she was Queen of Atlantis and, in Arthur's estimation, "the most devious political operator I've ever met." It was Vulko who triggered a war with the surface world to force Arthur to press his claim for the throne of Atlantis, when it became clear his half-brother Orm was unfit to rule. Arthur jailed Vulko after learning of his treachery, but Vulko accepted this without without complaint, counting it as a just price to pay for the sake of a sane king.
Ironically Vulko would go on to prove his worth and loyalty during the rebellion against the mad usurper King Rath and earned a full pardon from Mera for his past crimes. Aquaman #50 reveals that Vulko has also been reinstated to his previous position, despite the objections of the rest of the council. Yet Mera seems to have even greater rewards in mind for her most loyal advisor, declaring after the latest round of arguments over her need to choose a fiancee that she intends to marry Vulko. The announcement shocks everyone on the council - particularly Vulko!
Just what Mera has in mind is anyone's guess. Did she make the most controversial choice of consort possible in order to convince the council to allow her more time? Is she hoping the news of her engagement will goad Arthur into coming to fight for her hand? Or is there some other plan in play that will be revealed in the upcoming issues of Aquaman?
Aquman #50 is now available from DC Comics.