In Aquaman #44, Aquaman teleports into Atlantis for an impromptu appeal to the better nature of Mera, his ex-partner-not-wife who he has been in mortal combat with.
Make-up sex is always the best kind of sex, even when it’s over a fight over who should have won X-Factor. So when it’s over a major international and superheroic incident, it should blow the roof off.
It’s not Mera. It’s never been Mera. And right then, it definitely wasn’t Mera.
Sexual impersonation has been a long standing literary device, especially in a fantasy setting where shapeshifting becomes part of the common parlance, but of late it’s been interpreted as what it is. Rape. Which caused much more discussion in comics of late in Amazing Spider-Man, Batwoman and Superior Spider-Man.
So, yes, under any real definition, Aquaman has been raped, even though the act in the moment was consensual, it wasn’t informed. Another change to add to the list. And I think the conversation about this has just begun.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Who will be hosting the 2015 Jonathan Cape/ Observer/ ComicaGraphic Short Story Prize exhibition, with a private view on October 15th, and an exhibition through till the end of the month.