Welcome back to Love and Comics!
One of the highlights from the new Justice League trailer was the footage we got of Aquaman in action. Wielding a fearsome trident and riding on the waves of the sea like a mer-man on steroids, Aquaman shows how formidable of an opponent he can be with the creatures of Darkseid. Combine that with Jason Mamoa making cracks at the Batman, you have what could be a great mix of action and comedy with capes and punching. This week we are back on track with romance covers from your favorite Justice Leaguer’s, specifically Arthur Curry aka The King of Atlantis and ruler of the sea, Aquaman.
Aquaman Vol 1 #18 (The Wedding of Aquaman and Mera)
Starting off this week’s Love and Comics is one of the essential keys to the romance collection: The Wedding of Aquaman. Aquaman Issue #18 (1964), starts off with the selection of Aquaman as the King of Atlantis following the passing of King Juvor. He is then pressured into finding a wife as the new king. However, as the new king of Atlantis, Aquaman is also persuaded and expected to marry someone of atlantean descent. As he and Aqualad search the seven seas he meets Mera, a woman who is from the dimension of Aqua that was stranded on Aquaman’s earth. Although he knows he cannot marry Mera, he still begins to fall in love with her. He knows he cannot marry someone that is not of Atlantean descent and tries to explain this to Mera but she runs away in tears. Meanwhile Oceanus, an inhabitant of the same dimension that Mera came from, takes over Atlantis and enslaves Aquaman and Aqualad. Mera is also taken by Oceanus to be his bride as they rule their conquered kingdom. Just before the execution of Aquaman and Aqualad, Mera rebels against the new king and usurps him of his throne returning Aquaman into his role as leader of Atlantis. This event is what establishes in Aquaman’s mind that Mera was looking out for the people of Atlantis and is thus made an honorary Atlantean, allowing for the marriage between the two rulers of the sea.
Aquaman Vol 4 #33 (Arthur Curry and Mera)
In this era of Aquaman, the city of San Diego is devastated by an earth quake and is engulfed into the ocean. In order to save it’s inhabitants, scientist Anton Geist altered the physiology of it’s citizens so that they could breath underwater. The city of San Diego was then renamed Sub-Diego and has inhabitants of both the old city and Atlantean refugees. Assisting in the transition to underwater life is none other than Aquaman. He bridges the gap between the surface world and the underwater kingdom. He even begins to flirt with a science journalist named Esther Maris, but is then required to return to Atlantis when he discovers that Mera has fallen terminally ill. One of the sadder issues and moments in Aquaman’s life, the issue ends with Arthur returning to his love promising her that he is here for her.
Aquaman Vol 3 #48 (Mera and Aquaman)
In this issue of Aquaman, Mera is living in an alternate world with her son. They live in a peaceful water world, that has no land mass, called Oceanid. The reason why they live in an alternate dimension is because in the Abnett Aquaman series, Mera is under the control of Thanatos (Basically the “reverse-Aquaman”). Once they broke free from Thanatos, they had to find another planet to hide in because Mera’s son, A.J., had an accelerated aging condition that was only controlled by being in their alternate planet. Very confusing, but nonetheless Aquaman finds Mera and A.J. and helps them defend Oceanid. In a plea to release Mera from that dimension, Aquaman opens a portal and asks Mera to return to his home world with him. She refuses on account of her son, to which her son responds by walking up to Mera, holding her in his arms, and then throwing her into the portal. Not really the best way to relocate but it got the job done and now Aquaman, Mera, and A.J. are reunited.
Aquaman Vol 5 #44 (Aquaman and Mera)
In this story arc, Aquaman becomes an enemy of Atlantis. A bit of a back story given in this issue is the brief history of Atlantis. A once thriving kingdom above sea level, Atlantis was an empire that had covered the entire world. It wasn’t until King Atlan had united the various piece of Atlantis that it was destined to be taken over by the sea. During this time there were ancient wizards that were guiding the empire behind the King’s back but once the kingdom was united, they feared for their lives and used dark magic to flea. They also created an alternate version of Atlantis known as Thule (The Bizzaro-world of Atlantis basically). Over the years Thule had become an enemy of Atlantis and it’s inhabitants had grown twisted and bitter but now that magic that kept them separated is fading and is risking the destruction of both their worlds. Aquaman knows that even if they are enemies, there are still innocent lives on both fronts and decides to save as many Thule inhabitants as he can. This is the reason why Aquaman becomes an enemy of Atlantis and an enemy to Queen Mera. In an attempt to make peace, Aquaman visits Mera in her chambers and they share a night of passion. Aquaman then discovers that he didn’t sleep with Mera, but instead he slept with someone impersonating Mera’s. The impostor ended up being Mera’s sister, Siren! Talk about family drama.
Aquaman Vol 5 #37 (Aquaman and Aquawoman)
In this issue Aquaman and Mera are sent to Gorilla City to solve a mystery of missing destination stones. What they discover is that Grodd has been imprisoned by the new peaceful king of Gorilla City. Unfortunately, Grodd saw first hand when the destination stones were taken. He is willing to give up his information on the condition that Aquaman agrees to a one-on-one battle. If Aquaman wins, he will release the information. Grodd sees this as an opportunity to escape his prison and attempts to go through the portal that Mera and Aquaman came from. Aquaman eventually beats Grodd and gets the information he needs. Grodd still manages to get to the portal while fighting Aquaman, and they are both sent to a dimension of the unknown.
DC Comics Bombshells Vol 1 #15 (Mera and Arthur Curry)
One of the more unique titles of DC comics, Bombshells was initially a digitally released series that took a look at an alternative world history inhabited by retro-designed female super heroes. Beyond that synopsis however is a much deeper story line that incorporates lesbian and bisexual characters into main stream reading. The author of the series, Marguerite Bennett, has developed such a beautiful and unique take on historical events that, in reality, had high animosity/fear/hatred for the gay/lesbian community. She wanted to develop a story where their orientation was inconsequential to the plot and she did a beautiful job of that in this series. To find out more and read about Bennett, please visit her tumblr blog for both the hilarity and writing history of this major DC scribe. Be sure to check out the DC Comics Bombshells series at your local comic shop!
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