They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. That is especially true if said woman originated as an assassin from the deepest ends of the ocean. Mera (or Aquawoman if you want to raise her ire) hasn’t been scorned by a lover, instead she, like so many others, has been scorned by human ignorance. Aquaman #6 is a step back from the go-go energy of the first five, but it is no less powerful. Geoff Johns again brings his A game to the series. This time telling the story of Mera, the one person who may be more out of her element than Aquaman.
Like most days that end badly, Mera’s day starts out normally. She needs dog food. So simple, so easy, the kind of thing pet owners do without thinking. However, if the grocery store owner is particularly lecherous and you happen to be an incredibly gorgeous minion of the sea (in a skintight green outfit), bad things happen. Mera uses her considerable strength to explain to this junior date rapist how touching a woman without being asked is a bad idea. Naturally, when other humans see a non-human defending herself then evil is afoot and it’s time to call the cops.
Police come, Mera surrenders because she doesn’t want to hurt anybody and she knows Aquaman isn’t keen on rumbling with the locals. On her way to the station, a domestic violence scene arises and Mera steps up to the plate again. This time, she draws all the moisture out of a man who killed his wife and is about to kill his daughter. Who begs for his life? Who asks Mera to spare this abomination? His daughter. Once again, Mera is befuddled, confused and irritated by the logic of humans. She flies away to the oceanside and contemplates her past and future.
Four years ago, Mera’s destiny was focused on killing Aquaman. Sent by her father for reasons that are vague at best, Mera’s quest to slay Arthur was interrupted by the discovery that he was noble and that she loved him. Now, cast out from her people, cut off from her father, Mera is left to fend against the masses with only Aquaman by her side. Johns does a great job of outlining Mera’s feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even when Aquaman returns, he is too preoccupied with his mission to hear that she needs to talk to him. How will these feelings manifest themselves later on? With issue 6, Johns’ makes Mera the X-Factor, elevating her as a character and giving a darker subtext to the whole series.
Joe Prado’s art is good, solid, workingman’s comic book art. Nothing here is flashy, nothing particularly dazzling, but the lines are strong and it tells the story. Prado is particularly good at movement, especially when dealing with Mera’s control of water. He gets across the point of just how powerful Mera’s abilities are and how dangerous she can be. This kind of work is rare because it doesn’t come with any pomp or pretention. It may not make a statement, but Prado’s pencils illustrate Johns’ thoughts in a visually appealing way.
CRAVEONLINE RATING: 8.5/10 (5 Story, 3.5 Art)