The DC Comics cosmic zombie vs. superhero megaseries BLACKEST NIGHT and its sequel BRIGHTEST DAY have thrust several B-list characters into the spotlight.
Chief among these characters is Queen Mera of Atlantis.
This stunning red-haired beauty has been a supporting player in the DC Universe for almost fifty years.
She is generally known as a footnote in the Aquaman mythos.
Though after the DC "reboot" in a few weeks there is a good chance that Mera will be an A-list character in her own right.
Let's take a look at the history of this unique character.
Mera first appeared in AQUAMAN Vol. 1, #11 (September 1963) as an undersea queen from another dimension. That teen in red and blue is Aqualad, Aquaman's original underwater sidekick.
Mera was deposed and exiled to Earth, where she met the king of Atlantis, Aquaman (Arthur Curry aka Orin).
The two were taken prisoner and after being rescued, Mera decided to stay on Earth with Aquaman, as the two began to fall in love.
Within several issues, the two were soon wed in gala ceremony attended by the Who's Who of the DC Universe.
Mera and Arthur enjoyed several adventures together over the months that followed.
She often overshadowed him on the cover.
Within months, Mera gave birth to Aquababy, Arthur Curry, Jr..
With junior around, there was now an Aquaman family.
Things seemed to go along swimmingly for a while.
The Aquafamily continued to face unusual rivals.
Presenting: The Fire-Haired Karla!!!
Above is an awesome cover, though this seems to start a trend where Mera is victimized and Aquaman must come to rescue her.
See what I mean?
Oh, here's the incredible shrinking Aquaman. Unfortunately his comic book series was soon canceled and Mera was in left in limbo for a few years.
Things took a turn for the grim when AQUAMAN's title was revived in the 1970s. Aquaman's nemesis Black Manta kidnapped the Aquababy (Aquaman vol. 1 ,#60) and the couple fought against all odds to rescue and save his life. They failed.
Mera appeared in a series of solo adventures in the back pages of her husband's title during this period.
Mera then suffered a breakdown, abandoning her husband and blaming him for the baby's death. Their marriage was dissolved and Aquaman soon left Atlantis, but Mera stayed behind.
After a while Aquaman tried to make peace with Mera, but she savagely attacked him. In a desperate attempt to defend himself, Aquaman accidentally impaled Mera, believing that he killed her.
She in fact survived and later rose from her coffin, eventually leaving Earth.
We later found out that she was captured and held in yet another dimension, having had another son named AJ!!!.
After this escape she faced some evil sorcerers who stole her powers, forcing her live up on the surface world for a while.
Mera was now part of Arthur's life and adventures once more.
She even had a brief affair with his son (from another relationship)!
Things seems to normalize for a while when Aqualad (now Tempest) married Dolphin, Aquaman's ex-lover.
Mera appeared alongside Aquaman, Tempest, Lori Lemaris, Power Girl and Arion the Immortal in a JUSTICE LEAGUE OF ATLANTIS one-shot.
After all this, AQUAMAN was cancelled yet again and Arthur was thought to be dead for a while.
After a few years, he resurfaced. He was actually in a time warp, and The Justice League managed to rescue him - and he was awarded his own title once more.
After the INFINITE CRISIS, Mera somehow regained her powers and led a army of Atlantian rebels - and teamed up with a new sword-wielding Aquaman. Her former husband, Arthur was soon transformed into a squid-faced freak and was eventually killed. Again.
In BLACKEST NIGHT storyline, at the request of Tempest (remember him?) Mera reluctantly allows Aquaman's Earthly remains to be returned to Atlantis.
However before they can do so, they are attacked by zombie Aquaman, Aquagirl (she died during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and Tempest's wife Dolphin (she also died at some point) who have been brought back to life as cosmic zombies called Black Lanterns.
Tempest is killed by Tula (Aquagirl) and instantly transformed into a Black Lantern as well. Mera manages to escape with the Trident of Poseidon and flees to JLA headquarters where she begins a cosmic adventure alongside The Atom. During the battle, Mera is chosen as a deputy officer of the Red Lantern Corps!
In the process she gets a great new red costume and a whole slew of new powers. Following the events of BRIGHTEST DAY and FLASHPOINT, the DC Universe is "rebooted" and a new AQUAMAN series is slated to begin, with Mera as his co-star once again.
Normally, Mera can breathe underwater, possesses enhanced density and muscle mass, granting her enhanced speed and reflexes as seen in his Hostess Fruit Pie ad.
And here she is on a jigsaw puzzle! Aside from comics, Mera's appeared on Filmation's SUPERMAN/AQUAMAN HOUR in the late 1960s. In the 2000s she appeared in three episodes of the JUSTICE LEAGUE animated series. Recently she made a brief cameo as part of Atlantis's royal family on an episode of Cartoon Network's BATMAN: BRAVE &THE BOLD.
So there you have it, the almost 50-year history of Mera in one blog post. She's a real catch!