I recently rewatched Aquaman and I believe she qualifies. Without further ado, let’s discuss Mera.
Note: This proposal is only for the main universe version of Mera, not the alternate Knightmare reality version of her.
What's The Work?
The DC Extended Universe is a live action cinematic universe based off the titular DC Comics. For this character in particular, the movie Aquaman is about the titular comic book character who accepts his Atlantean heritage and fights to stop his evil half brother King Orm from commting genocide against humanity with the help of this character.
Who is She/What Has She Done?
Y'Mera Xebella Chala better known as Mera is a major character in the DC Extended Universe, serving as a supporting character in Justice League and the deuteragonist of Aquaman. She is the princess of Xebel and the eventual love-interest of Aquaman along with the ex-fiancee turned archenemy of King Orm.
She is first introduced in Justice League where she is guarding one of the three Mother boxes on Earth in Atlantis. When Steppenwolf arrives, she fights him off and knocks him down the building, but Steppenwolf eventually gets the best of her and knocks her unconscious. Aquaman then arrives but is unable to prevent Steppenwolf from getting the Mother Box and leaving. Mera then creates an air bubble to talk with Aquaman, chastising him for finally appearing in Atlantis and telling him that she knew his mother Atlanna who trained her and that Atlanna only left him to save his life and that it pained his mother more than anything to leave. She then encouraged Aquaman to go fight Steppenwolf, telling him that the responsibility would have been his mother’s but now it is up to him as he is no longer a defenseless child.
Mera appears much more prominently in Aquaman as the deuteragonist. One year after the defeat of Steppenwolf, Mera came to the surface to warn Aquaman that his brother King Orm is planning on starting a war against the surface and committing genocide against humanity that would lead to billions of deaths and asked for Aquaman to come to Atlantis to take his rightful place as king. However, Aquaman refused and stated that he would face Orm and left her to go back home with his dad. Mera would then go on to save Aquaman and his father from a tidal wave caused by King Orm which convinced Aquaman to travel with her to Atlantis. They then went to Aquaman’s mentor Vulko who told them the history of Atlantis and how to find the Trident of Atlan in order for Aquaman to claim his rightful place as king. They were then ambushed by Orm’s men and Aquaman got captured. She would save Aquaman from his duel with Orm and together they went to the Sahara desert to find the first clue to recovering the Trident and after they saw Atlan’s message on where the Kingdom of Deserters that held the location of the Trident, Mera destroyed the message to prevent Orm from following them. They then found a bottle that led them to Sicily, Italy for he next clue. They used the bottle to find the way to the Trident but were promptly attacked by Black Manta along with Captain Murk and his Atlantean soldiers. Mera defeats the Atlantean soldiers and Murk while Aquaman defeats Black Manta. They then go to the Kingdom of Trench where they find out that Queen Atlanna is actually alive and survived her “execution” to the Trench. Mera then sees Aquaman return from his successful trial by Karathean and acquire the Trident of Atlan. Aquaman then leads the final battle with Mera saving him once more from Orm’s soldiers and telling him that she was going to stop the war by convincing her father and the rest of Orm’s army to stand down. She then rescues Vulko from King Orm’s imprisonment and urges him to go with her to help Aquaman defeat King Orm but Vulko convinces her that Aquaman must defeat Orm alone to win people’s respect and be a true king. Once Aquaman defeats Orm who now calls himself Ocean Master, Mera stands by his side and declares him King of Atlantis to the cheers of the Altanteans.
Now the DCEU has a moderate standard as the Justice League saved Earth from Steppenwolf being the most admirable action in the franchise so far. However, I would argue that Mera passes the admirable standard considering she is just one person and isn’t part of a superhero team and despite being a princess, has no access to the Atlantean military.
- Guards the second Mother Box in Atlantis
- Duels Steppenwolf to prevent him from getting the Mother Box.
- Encourages Aquaman to help the other heroes defeat Steppenwolf.
- Travels to the surface world and convinces Aquaman to help her stop Orm from declaring war and attempting genocide on humanity.
- Saves Aquaman and his father from a tidal wave by King Orm.
- Saves Aquaman from being killed by Orm.
- Activates the first clue to finding the Trident of Atlan and recovers the bottle that will take them to the next clue and the Trident.
- Destroys the Atlan’s message to prevent Orm from following them.
- Gives a coin to a human girl to put it into a fountain to make a wish and entertains her by using her powers to create sea animals out of water.
- Defeats Captain Murk and his Atlantean soldiers.
- Saves Aquaman from Atlantean soldiers.
- Stops the Atlantean civil war and Orm’s attempted genocide by convincing her father and the rest of Orm’s army that Aquaman is the true king so they should stand down.
- Rescues Vulko from his imprisonment by King Orm.
- Declares Aquaman to be the one true king after he defeats Orm to the joy of the Atlanteans.
Unlike her comic book version who is much more vengeful and anti-heroic, DCEU Mera is incredibly compassionate and dedicated to doing what is right no matter what. However, I will address two potential corrupting factors that I ultimately believe don’t hold up.
First of all, she is currently listed under the Lethal category but this is pretty inaccurate. She does kill 3 Atlantean soldiers led by Captain Murk at Sicily but I believe this is justified. She tried to reason with them at first and use her authority to make them stand down but they refused and tried to kill her on the orders of King Orm. She couldn’t knock them out since any damage to the soldier’s water breathing helmet would kill them anyway, so she only killed them as a last resort to defend herself. In fact, this is proven when she destroys Murk’s helmet to stop him from strangling her, and she sees him goes into a human bathroom and plunges his face into toilet water to breathe. Even though Murk is in a defenseless (and very embarrassing) state, Mera chooses not to kill him and instead goes back to help Arthur, proving that she only killed as a last resort and in self-defense.
Secondly, she initially acted somewhat cold towards Aquaman when they first meet and gets angry at him for insulting his mother. However, I do believe this is also justified. For starters, she was skeptical and cold towards Aquaman because Aquaman initially refused to help her stop Orm’s attempted genocide on humanity by becoming king and did not even take the threat of Orm seriously and arrogantly thought that even if Orm attacks, that he could just fight the entire Atlantean army by himself all while acting like a jerk to her. Despite that, she still decides to save Aquaman and his father from Orm’s tidal wave. She also got angry when Aquaman insulted his mother since Mera knew Aquaman’s mother and told him how she only left Aquaman to save his life which ended up changing Aquaman’s mind about his mom. Even then, she gradually warms up to Aquaman as they spend more time together throughout the film and falls in love with him, even kissing him in the final battle to encourage him to have confidence in defeating Orm and being by his side when he becomes King of Atlantis, shedding this corrupting quality if it ever was one.
I believe she qualifies. She saves Aquaman’s life numerous times and was an encouraging supporter to him despite initially getting off on the wrong foot with him. She also saves other major characters like Vulko and Aquaman’s father from being killed or imprisoned by King Orm. She was the one who deciphered the clues to find the Trident of Atlan to make Aquaman take his rightful place as king. However, what stands out to me the most is that she was the one who initiated the plot of the film by taking it upon herself to stop King Orm’s attempted genocide on humanity by going to the surface and enlisting Aquaman’s help even though King Orm was her fiancee and she had only experienced the worst of humanity up to that point from horrific pollution to evil piracy. She single handedly stopped the war by convincing her father, and the rest of Orm’s army to stand down by revealing that Aquaman was the true king. Without her, Aquaman would have just let Orm start a war and genocide against humanity, and countless people would have died in the iniventable conflict. Overall, she should be approved for choosing to save humanity despite only seeing the worst examples of them up to that point, stopping Orm’s attempted genocide/war, saving Aquaman numerous times, and being the most compassionate and selfless character in the film who made Aquaman embrace his destiny as King.