Silver and Bronze Ages
In Mera’s original history, she married Arthur not long after their first meeting, in an underwater ceremony attended by the Justice League (AQUAMAN vol. 1 #18, 1964). This led to the birth of their child, Arthur Jr. (sometimes called “Aquababy”), a year later (AQUAMAN vol. 1 #23, 1965). After many years of happiness and adventure, Arthur Jr. was kidnapped by the villain Black Manta and murdered (ADVENTURE COMICS vol. 1 #452, 1977). Mera went on a quest to bring back technology that would save her son, but she returned too late and found that Arthur Jr. had died (AQUAMAN vol. 1 #58-60, 1978). This led to her and Arthur’s marriage falling apart. Shortly thereafter, she appeared to have died during a fight only to resurface years later with another child, named A.J., before finally reuniting with Arthur. These events, however, do not apply to the modern DC Comics Universe, which has had its history revived on a few occasions. In the current history, Arthur and Mera have never married or had any children.
In the New 52 continuity, sometime after Mera and Arthur fell in love he decided to leave the throne of Atlantis to his half-brother Orm, a.k.a. Ocean Master. Mera was relieved, believing she and Arthur would never be accepted by the Atlanteans because they were seen as outsiders. The two of them moved into his childhood home, a lighthouse in Amnesty Bay (AQUAMAN vol. 7 #1, 2011). Despite her reservations about surface people, and after a few angry confrontations with the police, Mera eventually felt at home in Amnesty Bay.
Mera was instrumental in helping Arthur against numerous foes and in helping to stop a war between the U.S. and Atlantis (JUSTICE LEAGUE #15-17, 2012). After the war was stopped, Aquaman’s half-brother Orm was taken into custody by U.S. authorities for wrongfully attacking its borders. This left Arthur to take the throne in Atlantis. After some hesitation, Mera joined him as royal consort. She now not only helped him against Super-Villains on the surface world, but also with duties to the kingdom; sometimes acting as his official representative.
Soon after Arthur took power, the original “dead king” of Atlantis, King Atlan, returned from his tomb to unleash havoc and take back his kingdom. Before he was defeated, Mera wound up returning to Xebel and discovered that her former fiancé, Nereus, now ruled. The people of Xebel, now considering Mera a traitor, gained access to the outside world and served under King Atlan, helping to subjugate the rest of Atlantis. Atlan and the Xebel forces were overthrown. But Mera found the people of Arthur’s court had new reason to distrust her because of her heritage, even though she’d fought for their freedom (AQUAMAN vol. 7 #18-25, 2013-2014).
After discovering strange structures and signs of invasion, Arthur left to investigate and decreed that Mera was Queen of Atlantis and in charge while he was away (AQUAMAN vol. 7 #42). Unfortunately, Mera was soon replaced by her sister Hila, now called Siren, who impersonated her with the aid of a group of corrupt sorcerers known as the Coven of Thule. As Mera, Siren weakened Atlantis for their invasion. But Arthur and the true Mera were able to turn the tide and defeat both Siren and the Coven.
Not long after this, Mera decided to become the face of a campaign to improve relations between Atlantis and the surface world nations. To help market herself as Aquaman’s wife, she decided to take her “Aquawoman” nickname to heart and adopted a version of his costume (AQUAMAN vol. 7 #49, 2016).
Arthur proposed marriage to Mera and she accepted in 2016’s DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1. Over the next several months, Atlantis at last made progress in being recognized as a nation by the U.N., only to then be blamed for terrorist attacks against the U.S. These attacks were carried out by a criminal organization called N.E.M.O. and by Atlantean extremists known as the Deluge. Mera and Aquaman did their best to keep conflicts from escalating, and, in the end, they exposed the real culprits and were hailed as heroes worldwide (AQUAMAN vol. 8 #1-15, 2016-2017).
But Arthur’s court and some of the Atlantean population grew convinced his and Mera’s loyalty to the surface nations superseded their loyalty to Atlantis. What’s more, the Widowhood of Atlantis warned Mera repeatedly she should not be Arthur’s queen, as a prophecy said a woman of Xebel blood would watch her king fall and lead Atlantis to destruction (AQUAMAN vol. 8 #10, 2016). Mera wondered if she shouldn’t marry Arthur, but he refused to believe their lives were controlled by a prophecy.
Corum Rath, former leader of the Deluge, led a coup and took the throne of Atlantis for himself. While Mera escaped, Arthur was seemingly killed (AQUAMAN vol. 8 #23-24, 2017). Mera fell into depression, but then received news that Arthur was alive. Though she was unable to reach her beloved due to a barrier placed around Atlantis, the Justice League offered Mera friendship and a place to belong. She joined them on several adventures before reuniting with Aquaman. After forging a shaky alliance with Ocean Master to bring the people of Xebel to her aid (MERA: QUEEN OF ATLANTIS), Mera helped Aquaman and the people of Atlantis’s Ninth Tride dethrone Corum Rath once and for all. Upon his defeat, it was decided that Mera- not Aquaman- would henceforth be the rightful ruler of Atlantis.
Mera’s rule has been plagued by difficult challenges, with an incursion by the Suicide Squad (AQUAMAN/SUICIDE SQUAD: SINK ATLANTIS) shortly followed by an assault by interstellar ocean gods (DROWNED EARTH). But perhaps the greatest challenge yet has come with the arrival of a shocking personal development: the Queen of Atlantis is pregnant.