The Top 6 Fishiest Mer-Ladies in Comics
The live action Little Mermaid movie comes out this weekend and I have decided to do a List of Six about mer-ladies. Not mermaids, unfortunately. I thought I could find six superhero mermaids in comics, but it was not to be. There need to be more mermaid superheroes. But I digress! There are still more than enough underwater superhero ladies to make a list. They don’t all need a fish tail.
I don’t think it’s weird at all that both Marvel and DC have their own aquatic hero: Aquaman and Namor. It makes sense to me. The ocean is cool. Atlantis is cool. Then both comic companies went ahead and started giving both characters tons of sidekicks. And in honor of The Little Mermaid, we’re going to look at the lady sidekicks in particular. And then, surprise surprise, they’re not just Aquaman or Namor sidekicks on this list. I did find some comic book mermaids to throw in, for fun!
So join me after the jump for a list that I wish was exclusively about superhero mermaids, but I had to make some concessions.
So I was able to find the only superhero mermaid in the entirety of comics, and she’s not even a real mermaid. She’s a mutant, and she only existed in the Earth X series from 1999. I never read those Earth X books, so I don’t know anything about Mermaid or her life. But she was one of the premiere X-Men of that series and a staple member of the team. Good for her! I’m surprised that we’ve never seen a 616 version of the character, though there has been a mermaid mutant spotted in some Krakoa pages in recent years.
5. Aquagirl(s) and Dolphin
Honestly, I almost made a list of just the different Aquagirls. Like all good DC superheroes, Aquaman has a whole squad of sidekicks. Mera and Aqualad are constants, but Aquaman seems to go through a lot of Aquagirls. So I figured I’d just lump them all together. The first two Aquagirls were Lisa and Selena, two one-off characters who never reappeared beyond single stories. The first real Aquagirl was Tula, created to give Aqualad a love interest, and she went on to have a pretty full superhero life and career of her own. Rather than stop there, we also had Lorena Marquez, who became Aquagirl after an earthquake sank San Diego below the sea. Sucks to be her. Lastly, there’s Dolphin, a teenage Atlantean who picked a different name than Aquagirl. I think she still counts!
The cloned daughter of her own mother, Namorita is a Marvel Comics Atlantean who went on to join the original New Warriors back in the 1990s. She had all the attributes of a female Prince Namor, only as a teenager. She did all sorts of New Warriors-type things, including dying in the incident that kicked off the Civil War. But don’t worry! A different Namorita from an earlier timeline was plucked from her time and brought to the regular Marvel Universe, so that she could live again and not die in her own timeline. So…hooray?
So if Namorita was the cloned daughter of her own mother, who was her mother? Namora, baby! And she is definitely just a female version of Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner. Namora was created in 1947, so she predates most Marvel superheroes. She joined Namor in his original adventures as his Atlantean cousin. The name similarity is just a nickname, though, so she’s not that identical. Her real name is Aquaria Nautica Neptunia, three names that I have to imagine are very common in Atlantis. Anyway, Namora was also killed in the 1970s, but through comic book trickery, she was preserved and brought back alive and well several decades later.
The wife of Aquaman and a badass undersea warrior in her own right, Mera was first the queen of Dimension Aqua when she debuted in the 1960s, which was later retconned in the modern day to be the Xebel penal colony. She has the distinction of being the bride in the first ever comic book wedding. And unlike all the other aqua-ladies on this list, Mera has the power to control water, which comes in handy when you live in it. She also gets to appear in movies, which is more than can be said for the other women on this list.
1. Lori Lemaris
My friends, sit right back and hear the tale of Superman’s mermaid girlfriend. As we all know, Superman’s greatest love is Lois Lane. And when he was in Smallville, he had a high school girlfriend names Lana Lang. But did you know that he dated a mermaid in college?! I’ll grant you, this was all a bunch of Golden Age silliness, but Lori Lemaris was a mermaid who hid her fishtail with a wheelchair and a blanket, and Clark Kent was even going to propose marriage before she revealed that they couldn’t be together, seeing as how they’re from different worlds. When she was brought into the modern day, Post-Crisis DC Comics, a lot of her origin was maintained, and she was given the ability to turn into a human with legs whenever she was dry — just like the movie Splash! Because hell yeah!
I don’t know if you follow James Gunn on Twitter, but whenever he posts about Superman Legacy, he likes to include a little mermaid emoji. That is a reference to the Peacemaker show, but I also choose to believe he’s teasing a Lori Lemaris appearance in the next Superman movie! A man can dream…of fish ladies.
Posted on May 24, 2023, in Comics, Lists of Six!. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
I thought Namora and Namorita were the same person, learning! Superman is literally from a different world, he should have had as much in common with a merlady as a land-lady right? He should have given it a chance.