Mera goes in search of dog food! (Not as fun as it should be)
Well this month we get to see more of Mera as Geoff Johns decides to try and define her character. The issue stumbles immediately and what we get is nothing more than an exorcise in terrible and contrived characterisation.
Now it isn’t all bad. Mera is still an infinitely more interesting character than Johns’ emotionless and stoic Aquaman. It maybe an utterly over sentimental moment, but the scene near the end when Mera is given dog food by Jennifer (who works at the grocery store) actually entertains. It’s not amazing but at least works. Also the team of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado deliver the necessary goods when it comes to the art. Not as spectacular as Reis on his own, the issue still has enough inspired art to at least make it a nice visual read. When Mera first summons the water in the grocery store it’s a nice image, which sells how powerful she is.
But the book is filled with concepts and characterisation that just offend. The whole flashback idea of Mera’s father sending her to kill Aquaman, but ultimately she changes her mind is so ill conceived it’s tragic. Overtly familiar, thanks to a Supergirl storyline pre-reboot, it just doesn’t go anywhere. It adds nothing to Mera’s character that makes her stand out as anything other than a woman in love, who is conflicted by her feelings for her evil father. Obviously this is set up for later storylines, but it is so heavy handed and over used that it holds no interest.
The moments at the grocery store and outside the house with the gunman are just as insulting. The actions of the pervy store guy are so overblown it is more comical than it should be. He is a caricature of a serious problem, and although he is dealt with in perhaps the right manner, the whole moment just leaves a bad taste. Especially when you include the reactions of the other customers and security guard. All are over the top and sensational, making Johns writing no better than tabloid journalism. There is no common sense in these scenes and this leads onto Mera.
She seems to come across as a bit stupid. Not because she doesn’t understand how to interact with humanity, but just due to her general demeanour in the script. The “lost in translation” character depiction is an easy one to get wrong as most writers need to balance the naivete with frustration. But Johns just has Mera react with anger far too quickly and for no better reason than she doesn’t like things. To be fair to Mera, you can’t really blame her for her actions when faced with johns army of ignorant and stupid human characters. But at the end of the day her actual characterisation is just unbelievable and over the top.
Whereas the art works and one scene isn’t all too bad, it is not what you expect from a comic that seems to do well in the sales charts. Much like the bombastic and meaningless Michael Bay directed Transformers films, Aquaman trundles on with absolutely no purpose. It’s characters come off more like caricatures than believable protagonists and it is a shame. You can target a large market share and still deliver intelligent, well structured and entertaining stories. But Johns has forgotten this and has decided on delivering the lowest common denominator for his easy to digest issues. For this title to have such a high profile is as depressing as knowing Transformers: Dark of The Moon was one of the highest grossing films of last year.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The art and one scene that didn’t offend||The characterisation of both Mera and the minor characters, the banal plot and the writing in general|
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