Journey beneath the waves in Mera: Tidebreaker as author Danielle Paige introduces you to a (bland, one-dimensional) Mera and Arthur Curry and tells you the (boring and predictable) story of how they first met.
I was very excited for Mera: Tidebreaker. I’m unfamiliar with the lore (and I still haven’t seen the recent Aquaman movie – soon!) but I am intrigued by Mera as a character. It was probably better that I don’t really know a lot about these characters because I didn’t have a lot of expectations, and I don’t have past characterizations to weigh this book against. That said, I was still disappointed.
As I said, I don’t know a lot about these characters. And after reading this almost 200-page graphic novel… I still don’t know a whole lot about these characters. There was precious little development for any of the characters (especially the side characters). Mera, as a heroine and as a main character, is wishy-washy. Arthur is flat and boring. The two have absolutely no chemistry, know nothing about each other, and have no significant conversations, yet somehow they manage to fall in love in the span of two days.
Mera and Arthur’s romance isn’t the only thing that’s rushed; this entire book feels like it moves at a breakneck pace. It skips ahead too quickly, and at times it felt like there were panels or even pages missing. Mera’s change of heart happens incredibly fast; Arthur learns about and then is somehow able to control his powers in record time. The story itself is very predictable: young woman is out to prove that she can rule just as well as a boy, so she sets out to perform a task and then ends up falling in love with the target. Very ho-hum, and it sadly lacked any sort of interesting climax.
This is a graphic novel. It’s a visual medium; yet so much of this story consists of two characters standing around and large speech bubbles explaining everything. I don’t read a lot of comics, but I read enough to know how much can be conveyed in a scene without using any dialogue. Mera: Tidebreaker suffers from too much dialogue – and it’s not even really that good of dialogue.
I’m not a fan of the art; that’s fine – I don’t have to be a fan of every artist who ever lived – but the art in this book seems inconsistent. I did like the emphasis on blues and greens, with only the red of Mera’s hair to distinguish her, because it gave the whole book a very watery atmosphere, which seems apt for a story about two characters who live under the sea. However, when combined with the over-reliance on dialogue, the lack of color only served to emphasize the dullness of the story.
It’s nice to see Mera get her own title, as she is usually only a side character, and Mera: Tidebreaker may serve as an adequate introduction for people wanting to get into the lore. But it didn’t do much to hold my interest, and honestly I thought it did a huge disservice to Mera.
Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige is published by DC Ink and is currently available wherever books are sold.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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