There are plenty of female heroes in the world of DC, such as Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and the Batwomen. And all of those heroes are phenomenal in their right. I love DC with all my heart and soul, flaws and all. To tell a story properly, a film must fill out the character with a backstory. Otherwise, they remain hollow, empty and unendearing. That was an extreme problem with Justice League. The film didn’t have time to flesh out all of its wonderful characters. It is tough to accomplish such a story with an ensemble cast and relegate the “whys,” and the ”hows” into short interludes, giving the bare minimum to accommodate the needs of a team-up story.
We first met Mera in Justice League, though it was merely a cameo. It wasn’t enough to be concerned with her story at the time since Justice League had bigger fish to fry. Later, as we would come to find out in Aquaman, her appearance in Justice League did not do any favors to her character. All she appears to be is a guard, and nothing more. In Aquaman is where Mera truly shines.
Aquaman shows that Mera is a hero in her own right. The movie updates her insane roots from the comics, as she is anything but a damsel in distress. As much as she is a queen, and Aquaman’s love interest, her journey does not revolve around Aquaman. You could remove the romance, and this story would still flow perfectly. It involves her following her heart over her head, even though all the rules say otherwise. She is strong and powerful in her own right, and Amber Heard portrays her beautifully, providing chemistry between Mera and Aquaman, that I have yet to see in any other medium. She challenges him and helps him along his journey into the unknown, pointing him into the right direction to become the hero Atlantis needs.
Mera is a superhero, and having her be a part of Aquaman helps provide her the backstory she needs before appearing in any other DC movie. We know her, and her motivations, and as such she could stand on her own. She provides an open door for a potential story in Flashpoint and has the backbone to hold her own with Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman. This version of Mera does not seem content to stay on the sidelines, and I love that about her. She will throw her fist in with any action around her, and she will follow her heart to lead her into the light.
The DC movies needed Mera. They needed another woman’s touch, one who could stand up for what she knew was right, and fight what’s wrong around her. DC isn’t taking a gentle step into welcoming women into the midst of their heroes, they’re going full frontal assault, and I’m digging it. I hope we see Mera again, and not just in Aquaman 2.
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See Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman, in theaters now.