Mera Tidebreaker is a graphic novel which explains the origins of two long-established, but perhaps lesser-known, superheroes of the DC comic universe, Mera and Aquaman.
Princess Mera, of the Xebel penal colony, creates an opportunity to seize control of her own destiny by undertaking a mission to assassinate Arthur Curry, the heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. However, on their first meeting, Arthur ends up rescuing Mera from the ocean and ultimately saving her life. As she recovers from her injuries, Mera realises that she and Arthur have a lot in common, and the two characters gradually begin to fall in love. With the undersea armies of Xebel and Atlantis relentlessly battling to impose their superiority over the other, Mera and Arthur find that their situation starts to spiral out of control. The story concludes with the characters being forced to make difficult decisions about their futures, having to choose between their duty to their respective kingdoms and their love for each other.
Though readers never really learn the full reasons behind the complex political situation that exists between the two communities, enough details are provided to help us feel familiar with the world created. Dialogue between the main characters is entertainingly written, with both characters having a stubborn and slightly awkward side to their personality. The captivating plot moves forward rapidly and contains a balanced combination of action and romance, although the ending feels slightly rushed. The book is delightfully illustrated, with the story being told monochromatically. Page after page is coloured completely blue and green, with the sole exception being Mera’s orange hair. Using colour this way is a brave move but, in this case, it pays off completely as the shades used give a constant sense of the predominantly underwater setting.
With the enormous pressure that she’s under from her society, Mera makes many mistakes throughout the story. However, she remains resolute and determined, creating a perfect role model for young readers. The use of a couple of low-level swear words mean that the book needs to be used with some caution in Year 6, but I highly recommend it for graphic novel fans across Key Stage Three.