Adventure Comics #269 (February 1960)
Brightest Day #4 (June 2010)
Robert Bernstein (writer)
Ramona Fradon (artist)
Greg Weisman (writer)
Brandon Vietti (writer)
Phil Bourassa (artist)
Geoff Johns (writer)
Ivan Reis (artist)
|Place of origin||Atlantis|
|Abilities||Can breathe underwater, can swim at superspeed, superstrength, can withstand underwater pressures|
Aqualad is the name of two fictional comic book superheroes appearing in books published by DC Comics. The first Aqualad, Garth, debuted in Adventure Comics #269 (February 1960), and was created by writer Robert Bernstein and artist Ramona Fradon. The second Aqualad, Jackson Hyde, was based on the version originally created for the Young Justice animated TV series by Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti and Phil Bourassa. Several months prior to the launch of the cartoon, an altered version of the character was brought into the comic books by writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis.
Fictional character biography
Approximately four decades ago, King Thar and his wife Queen Berra became the reigning monarchs of Shayeris, the capital of a group of Idyllist colonies in the Hidden Valley. Radical Idyllists deposed and murdered King Thar and banished his pregnant wife Queen Berra to Poseidonis, the capital city of Atlantis; there she gave birth to Garth, a child with purple eyes. Superstitious Atlanteans claimed that Garth had been born genetically inferior due to his purple eyes and banished him to a barren seabed leagues away from Atlantis. He survived and later befriended Aquaman, the sometimes outcast King of Atlantis. He was a founding member of the Teen Titans, and later became known as Tempest.
Jackson Hyde first appeared in Brightest Day #10 (September 2010). This coincides with the appearance of Aqualad in the Young Justice animated series (albeit using the name Kaldur'ahm). According to Johns, the new Aqualad is named Jackson Hyde, and is a black teenager from New Mexico. In a teaser poster for the Brightest Day event, he is shown using "hard water" abilities to create a sword. This ability had previously been thought to belong exclusively to Aquaman's wife, Mera, and people from her world.
In other media
- Aqualad's first animated appearance was alongside Aquaman in Filmation's 1967 animated series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, as well as in the Teen Titans shorts that were part of the series. The Aquaman cartoon series of 1968 was a repackaged 30-minute version featuring primarily (but not exclusively) Aquaman and Aqualad. He was voiced by Jerry Dexter.
- Aqualad has also appeared on the Teen Titans animated series voiced by Wil Wheaton. His first appearance was in "Deep Six" where he, Tramm, and the Titans defeated Trident; here and in his other appearances, he demonstrates telepathic control of sea life. In "Winner Take All", Aqualad demonstrates the ability to control water by means of Hydrokinesis. In the series, he serves as a Titans East member, a short term crush of Raven and Starfire, and a temporary rival to Beast Boy. He is now an official member of Teen Titans' sister group, Titans East, with Bumblebee, Speedy, and the twins Más y Menos. He appears in a cameo in the movie after the series, Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. As the Titans travel to Tokyo, Japan he comes out of the water and waves to them.
- Aqualad also makes eight appearances on the comic series based on the show. In his first appearance in Teen Titans Go! (issue #10), he searches for Gill Girl. He told the Titans that she used to have a crush on him, but he looked at her like a sister. Beast Boy did not believe him and says that she dumped him. He made short appearances in #20, #25, & #27. One of the stories in issue #30 focused on him and Speedy. In issue #48 an alternative version of him as Tempest appeared in a group called the Teen Tyrants.
- Aqualad was mentioned in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Color of Revenge!", as Batman says to Robin, "Even Aqualad had to scrub barnacles." He made a full appearance in "Sidekicks Assemble!", voiced by Zack Shada as a teenager and by Zachary Gordon as a child. He battled Ra's al Ghul along with Robin and Speedy. Here, Aqualad is shown to be in his late teens and is very resentful of the praise lavished upon Aquaman, eventually telling him off in the episode's final scene.
- Garth appears in the Young Justice episode "Downtime", where he is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. In the episode, it is explained that Garth is the best friend of Kaldur'am. While Kaldur went on to become Aquaman's sidekick, Garth stayed in Atlantis in order to hone his abilities at an Atlantean sorcery conservatory. Sometime in between this, and the episode 'Downtime', he started a relationship with Tula, who was formerly involved with Kaldur. A reference to his Tempest identity is made during a battle with Black Manta, with Garth shouting "I summon the power of the tempest!" while conjuring a cyclone.
- He is referenced in Teen Titans Go! episode 3 Drivers Ed his face appears on a club called the Cave where he is a DJ.
- Aqualad appears in the animated series Young Justice, voiced by Khary Payton. His name is Kaldur'ahm, but he goes by the nickname Kaldur (the name "Kaldur'ahm" is apparently a nod to Cal Durham, a supporting character in the Aquaman comic book stories; an African-American man, formerly a colleague of Black Manta, but who betrayed the villain and became an ally of Aquaman). It has been confirmed that within the series, he is the son of supervillain Black Manta, and the leader of Young Justice. In the episode "Alienated" it is revealed that Kaldur has left the team and has aligned himself with his father. He blames the team for Aquagirl's death on a mission during the 5 years in between seasons as well as Aquaman for not telling him who his real father was. He dons a similar outfit to Black Manta. While confronting the team, he apparently murders Artemis. It is later revealed that his entire actions have been part of an elaborate ruse to go deep undercover in Black Manta's organization.
The Garth version of Aqualad appears in the video game Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis. He is also an unlockable character in the game.
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