WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Black Panther
It's time for Queen Mera to show Aquaman the kind of ruler Atlantis really needs. The longtime lover of Arthur Curry will be doing that and more in the coming years of DC Comics. Not only have the authorities of Atlantis selected Mera as a more promising, better equipped ruler than Aquaman ever was, but the DC higher-ups are giving Mera: Queen of Atlantis her own comic for the first time in history. Better late than never.
But before Mera can take the throne or the spotlight of her own comic series, the final act of Aquaman's year-long comic adventure must come to an end. A story that has seen Arthur become King of Atlantis, and work harder than ever to unite the underwater kingdom and the nations of Earth. For his troubles, Aquaman was overthrown in favor of a Trump-esque revolutionary named Corum Rath. As things have gone from bad to worse, and civil war erupts like never before, there's only one solution left.
Queen Mera is crowned in the newest Aquaman #33... but this final battle is just getting started.
Mera is Named a Better Leader For Atlantis Than Aquaman
The last year hasn't been kind to Aquaman's ego, after the world effectively turned away all his offers of friendship (when rogue factions within Atlantis turned into full-blown terrorists). Having claimed the throne of Atlantis which was rightfully his, Arthur believed that the future demanded that Atlanteans form some kind of peace with those of the surface world. A belief easy to grasp for readers in an increasingly-globalized world... but to the Atlanteans who favored tradition, it posed a problem.
As humans behaved worse and worse, and Arthur refused to make them his enemies, and as his Xebellian lover was dismissed as an unsuitable queen, the traditionalists launched their plan. The highest (and therefore oldest) authorities surrounding the king revolted, placing a more violent, isolationist, militaristic figure on the throne. Erecting a wall of magic around Atlantis and sending Aquaman into hiding as a vigilante, the new King Corum Rath made the crown his own.
And fairly soon, the Atlanteans realized their mistake.
Mera Becomes Queen of Atlantis... Without Aquaman
Rath's hunger for power and determination to crush any who would oppose him was a wake-up call. But the changes didn't make Aquaman a more attractive monarch. He was still too liberal and progressive, valuing humanity as much as his own people... Corum Rath was just too far in the other direction. So as war breaks out in Aquaman #33 with Arthur trying to wrestle the throne from Rath's forces, the real solution comes into focus. Atlantis doesn't need a better king... they need the perfect queen.
The bad news? She's close to death when she's pronounced queen. And where Arthur's crown once kept them apart, hers promises to do the exact same. But that all changes in the issue's final pages - setting up the launch of Mera's very own comic next week.