Red-headed Mera peeks out of the water in her crown, holding a trident

Book Review – Mera Tidebreaker

  • Title: Mera Tidebreaker
  • Author: Danielle Paige
  • Artists: Stephen Byrne, David Calderon (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer)
  • Line: DC Ink
  • Characters: Mera, Arthur Curry, Thomas Curry, Atlanna
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 05/04/2019

**Spoiler Alert** Mera is an excellent graphic novel and I have already read it three times. Mera is a princess of Xebel and a bit of a rebel. Her country is being controlled by the country of Atlantis and like many Xebellians Mera wants her country to be independent and under its own rule. Her father, the king, has arranged her marriage to Larken, of the Trench, another undersea country. Mera and Larken were childhood friends, so Mera’s father, the Xebellian king, thinks its no problem to match Mera and Larken and join their countries together. Mera disagrees – she doesn’t love Larken and has no desire to marry him.

The story opens with a friend, Pilan, of Mera attending a protest against Atlantis and telling Mera about it over his wrist communicator. But rather than being in the palace getting ready for a diplomatic ball, Mera is secretly planning an act of protest herself – she draws a “no” symbol over the Atlantis symbol on the embassy. Pilan arrives to talk Mera out of her actions, and then Atlantian guards show up. In an attempt to escape, Mera uses bursts of highly concentrated water – which brings down part of the embassy wall. As she and Pilan leave they are found by Hikara, the head of the palace guard and a friend of Mera’s, she helps the two escape the guards.

Mera returns to the palace and gets ready for the ball. At the party, she is bored by the insipid comments of the other girls. Returning to her room, she remarks, “I am not my dress!”

That night she hears her father and Larken planning. Larken will go to the surface and kill Arthur the Atlantean prince. If he’s successful and brings Arthur’s head to the king, Larken will be allowed to rule Xebel. Mera is incensed. She decides to go to the surface and kill Arthur instead, proving herself worthy to rule. She meets with Hikara who gives her some advice, and who remarks she is turning herself in for the embassy attack. Mera isn’t happy to lose her friend, trainer, and advisor.

Mera finds Arthur on the shore and fakes drowning so he will “rescue” her. Arthur does and brings her to his home, a lighthouse. Once Mera is out of the water, she finds Hikara was right – she is weak and her water powers don’t work.

While she gains her strength, Mera gets to know Arthur. She discovers he is kind, giving, and basically a very good guy. He isn’t the monster she’d be raised to believe that all Atlanteans are. Mera is soon stuck with a very important decision – does she kill Arthur anyway, even though he seems to be a good person, and take his head to her father and claim her birthright? Or does she protect him instead? Arthur also doesn’t know anything about his Atlantean heritage.

Mera has some contact with Pilan via her wrist communicator until it’s lost in a scuffle. Larken shows up and again tries to talk Mera into ruling with him. She becomes more determined to have nothing to do with him.

Mera knocks herself and Arthur off a cliff into the ocean – but Arthur is able to breathe and speak underwater, like Mera, and he can also contact and control undersea creatures. This is a power Mera has never seen or heard of. Mera again realizes she can’t kill Arthur. As she decides to warn the Currys, Thomas Curry, Arthur’s father, admits that Atlanna is alive and ruling Atlantis. Mera tells the Currys her father is coming with his army and they must leave – escape. The Currys refuse, choosing to stand their ground.

At the shore, the Currys’ friends from Amnesty Bay also join them to defend their friends and neighbors. But the first army to arrive is Atlanna’s, because Thomas Curry called her using her trident. She and Thomas have a warm reunion, and she’s happy to see her grown son. Atlanna is less happy with Mera. But Mera admits she graffitied the embassy and it got a little out of control. She says it was an accident. Atlanna decides she will not start a war with Xebel or the Trench, that Arthur will stay on land for now, and Mera will pay recompense. Mera agrees, and when Arthur shows trepidation at this, Mera assures him it will be a slap on the wrist. Mera and Arthur promise to see each other again when they can.

Mera Tidebreaker is a great graphic novel. It really gets into Mera’s character, tells everything from her point of view, and makes her more than Arthur’s girlfriend or wife. The novel follows her path and sees her becoming independent of her father, her people, and her chosen husband to be. Also, the art is beautiful. The color scheme is a minty green, especially in the underwater scenes, which gives the book a different look. Mera herself has beautiful long bright red hair and is drawn at times in poses like a model. This is a beautiful young woman and a princess. Arthur and Thomas are both brunets in this book. Mera Tidebreaker is also the first book in DC Comics new DC Ink line, a new series of graphic novels aimed at teens and pre-teens. This book includes a sneak peek of the next title, Under the Moon – A Catwoman Tale. I really enjoyed Mera Tidebreaker and I highly recommend it, especially for younger readers.

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Justice League Throne of Atlantis

This Review includes SPOILERS.

  • Title:  Justice League:  Throne of Atlantis
  • Director:  Ethan Spaulding
  • Voice Director:  Andrea Romano
  • Date:  2015
  • Studio:  Warner Brothers Animation
  • Genre:  Animation, Action, Fantasy
  • Cast:  Matt Lanter, Sean Astin, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Sumalee Montano, Sam Witwer, Sirena Irwin, Juliet Landau, George Newborn, Khary Payton
  • Format:  Color, Widescreen
  • DVD Format:  Blu-Ray

“Not all heroes wear capes.” – Sub Captain

“Death by collateral damage in a surface war does not comfort me. They kill our race, they poison our oceans, they will destroy this planet and take Atlantis with it. We must protect our people and attack!” – Prince Orm (aka Ocean Master)

“You speak to me of betrayal – you who spilled Atlantean blood and blamed it on the surface world! I have eyes everywhere Orm and you will pay for your treachery!” – Queen Atlanna

“This coup is over!  I am Queen and war is not in my plans!” – Queen Atlanna

I really enjoyed this DC Animated Feature — and it’s the first time in several DC Animated films I’ve been able to whole-heartedly say that. Although technically a Justice League movie, Throne of Atlantis really concentrates on the character of Arthur Curry and his journey to becoming Aquaman, and part of the New 52 Justice League.

The teaser for the film has a sub near the Marianas Trench responding to an SOS call. The sub is attacked and all aboard are lost. Cyborg is called in to investigate, and he calls in the rest of the Justice League.

Meanwhile, a middle-aged man is in a seaside bar in Maine, getting drunk and sharing his troubles with a live lobster in a tank. The bartender cuts him off the booze. When the same bartender takes the lobster out of the tank to make it into someone’s dinner – the man, Arthur Curry, gets in a fist-fight. He’s very strong and a good fighter, despite being drunk. He rescues the lobster, keeps in in his vest, then escapes outside. Defeating several guys from the bar who attack him again, as well as one man armed with a knife, Arthur releases the rescued lobster, sans rubber bands on its claws, back into the ocean.

Cyborg holds a meeting of the entire Justice League, with Flash convincing everyone to show up, though it’s Green Lantern who brings in Batman. Once everyone arrives he shows him the information about the attack on the sub. Wonder Woman recognizes the writing on the weapons as Atlantean. Shazam (Captain Marvel, Billy Batson) suggests contacting an expert in Atlantis and it’s lore. Superman and Batman go to investigate.

Meanwhile, Arthur Curry is living in his father’s lighthouse.

Prince Orm, in league with Black Manta, confronts Queen Atlanna, his mother, whom he blames for his father’s death. His father, the king was warlike and was considering a war plan to “cleanse” the surface dwellers. Atlanna, by contrasts, wishes to abandon their isolationist practices and contact the surface to broker a peaceful co-existence. Atlanna sends Meara to find Arthur, her older son.

Black Manta talks to Dr. Shin, the expert on Atlantis, on the phone, then sends his troops after the scientist. Dr. Shin arrives at Arthur’s door to give him some information about his father. Arthur is very hung-over and takes awhile to get to the door, he agrees to let Dr. Shin in, but when he closes the door to take the chain bolt off, Dr. Shin is attacked and killed by Manta’s troops. At the same time, Black Manta’s troops, under orders from Prince Orm, attack and kill Atlantean farmers.

Meara rescues Arthur from Manta’s troops. She takes him to Atlantis and sees the dead villagers who have been attacked.

Superman and Batman investigate Dr. Shin’s lab – but everything’s been destroyed. They find enough to lead them to Arthur Curry.

Prince Orm uses the attack on the Atlantean villagers to stir up hatred and war. Queen Atlanna tries to arrange a meeting between herself and the Justice League. Meara explains to Aquaman that he is the son of Queen Atlanna and a human, his father, Thomas, this sequence uses flashbacks. Meara shows Arthur his armor. He wears the orange and green body suit but not the outer armor.

Meara and Arthur are attacked by Trenchers (sea creatures). The Flash arrives to help Arthur and Meara. A few minutes later, Green Lantern, then the rest of the Justice League arrive to help.

Prince Orm, who shares his dead father’s hatred of the surface world, again confronts his mother, Queen Atlanna. However, she knows he was behind the attack on the farmers, and she insists they will not go to war. He kills her – then blames her death on a surface dweller. Orm and Manta will lead the Atlanteans to war.

Arthur and some Justice League members go to Atlantis. They meet an old woman who says the city is empty because Queen Atlanna is dead, at the hands of a surface dweller, and Atlantis prepares for war.

Arthur, Meara and the League investigate, and run into Orm in his Ocean Master uniform. He brags that he killed his mother, the Queen. He then uses the Trident, the symbol of royal power and a powerful weapon, to attack and imprison the League.

Meanwhile, Batman, the Flash, and Shazam who have stayed behind get an alert that a tidal wave is heading for coastal cities, including Metropolis.

Arthur uses his royal power to break out of the cocoon Orm trapped him in, then uses his telepathic power to call sea creatures to help. He gets the Leaguers free and defeats the sea monster guarding them. Arthur also rescues Meara.

A tidal wave heads for Metropolis, the National Guard arrives, and sirens go off in the city causing panic. An Army General orders the Atlanteans, led by “King” Orm to stand down. Orm orders his troops to attack. The army attacks back. The entire League joins the fray, both those who had gone to Atlantis, and those who had stayed on the surface, including Aquaman and Meara.

The League keep getting defeated in battle. Finally, Batman finds Cyborg and reboots his systems. He finds out from Cyborg that Orm killed Atlanna. Cyborg has computer recordings of this. He plays the recordings a couple of times to the Atlantean troops. When Orm claims it’s a trick, Meara backs up the recording, swearing it’s a true depiction of what happened. The Atlanteans lay down their arms and stop fighting.

Arthur makes a speech that he will guide his people. A little while later, Arthur is “knighted” as king, takes his place as ruler and king of Atlantis. The League meanwhile decide they need to meet on a regular basis, and Arthur is invited to join the League as Aquaman.

I really enjoyed this film. It’s an origin story for Aquaman and explains how he became part of the Justice League. The film also had some great touches – the flashback scene of Arthur and his father when Arthur realises he can swim underwater without difficulty and he also sees his mother, the flashbacks explaining the ill-fated romance between the Atlantean Princess Atlanna and Thomas Curry, and my favorite – the scene at the beginning of the film of Arthur pouring out his heart and troubles to a lobster in a tank, then rescuing the lobster.

The Justice League are not the real stars of this film – it’s Aquaman’s movie. But they are all present, and they do have things to do. I also felt each character was in character and their individual tasks and actions suited their characters.

Overall the film was highly enjoyable and it’s highly recommended.

Recommendation:  See It!
Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars
Next film:  The Third Man