This page is for the second Aqualad, Jackson Hyde. For the first Aqualad see: Tempest.
Like various DC comics characters over the years, Aqualad has gone through various changes.
During the Modern Age, Jackson Hyde, originally named Kaldur'ahm, was born in Xebel, the underwater penal colony of Atlantis located in the Bermuda Triangle. While pregnant with Jackson, his mother was attacked and apprehended by Xebelian outlaws in a lifeboat within the Bermuda Triangle. After taking the mother to Xebel, the Xebelian’s performed experiments on Jackson and his mother in an attempt to discover a biological escape mechanism from their underwater prison. His mother was killed during the experimentation, while Jackson lived. The experiments that were performed on Jackson gave him powers to manipulate water constructs, breathe underwater, and instantaneously grow webbed hands and feet.
Mera, fearing that the Xebelian’s or the Atlanteans would kill Jackson due to his suspected power to open the prison within the Bermuda Triangle, kidnapped him when she left Xebel. Mera brought the boy to a surface couple, who raised him as their own in New Mexico.
After the events of Flashpoint and following the events of DC Rebirth, Jackson Hyde's origins are retold. Jackson's mother hailed from the Atlantean Kingdom of Xebel and called herself Lucia Hyde while on the surface. His father was Black Manta, although his mother didn't know this when she first met him. Manta had only been with Lucia because she knew the location of the map which would show him where to find the Black Pearl, an artifact that would allow him to control the oceans with his mind. When Lucia learnt of his true intentions, she was almost killed by Manta and fled to the surface world with the map. Lucia then gave birth to Jackson, who quickly showed signs he had inherited his mother's Atlantean physiology. To keep Jackson a secret from his father, Lucia moved to New Mexico. Jackson wasn't told anything about his father or his powers, even though he yearned to learn about his father and heritage. Lucia would try to keep him away from water as much as possible, as she didn't want him to use his hydrokinesis at all, believing it would lead Manta to them. Lucia gave Jackson the map, which she enclosed in a necklace. She did this because she believed Jackson should have some of his heritage, even if it was something he didn't know about. Eventually Jackson came out as gay.
This version of Aqualad was created by Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti and Phil Bourassa for the Cartoon Network's Young Justice animated series, where he was featured rather than the original Aqualad, Garth. The character's Atlantean name, Kaldur'ahm, and his connection to Black Manta initially suggested that he was not created as a brand new character but actually a heavily re-imagined Cal Durham. This theory was later proven to be false when the show's official tie-in comic book revealed that within the series' continuity, Cal Durham is an entirely separate character from Kaldur'ahm.
Geoff Johns, who was involved in the series as DC's Chief Creative Officer, saw value in its take on Aqualad. As a result, he and Ivan Reis created a comic adaptation of Kaldur'ahm and debuted him in Brightest Day before the Young Justice series premiered. Changes had to be made in order for the character to fit into comic continuity, so Kaldur was raised on the surface as Jackson Hyde to explain how Aquaman could have been unaware of his existence for so long.
Jackson Hyde is an average student with a girlfriend in Silver City, New Mexico. Since he was a young boy, he’s been taught by his parents to stay away from water, because his true parents might be able to locate him and certain changes happen to Jackson when he gets in the water.
Jackson has kept this secret hidden for years, from his girlfriend about being afraid of drowning and unable to swim, and being in the dark about the mysterious tattoos he’s had since birth. But soon something force him to go out into the open and dive into the water. Later Aquaman is contacted by the Entity, which tells him to find Jackson before someone else does, which might be Siren and her Death Squad.
Jackson goes outside his house, while raining, where he displays for the first time his abilities. He began controlling the water from the rain and his tattoos and eyes begin to glow. At this moment he as revealed to have gills and webbed hands. Its also revealed that Black Manta is actually his real father, and that Mera also displays knowledge of Jackson.
Jackson's adoptive father after witnessing him in the rain, takes him to a cottage by the sea. He tells him the truth about his real parents. That Mera had given Jackson to him, asking that he keep him away from his parents, and he was given an Atlantean chest to be opened when the truth is discovered. Before Jackson can open the chest, Black Manta attacks, almost killing Jackson's adoptive father before Aquaman arrives on the scene.
Jackson is presented in Rebirth as more of a newbie. He has no mastery of his powers,who his father is or what he really is. He knows of his Hydrokinesis and develops most of his powers very quickly. He later joins the Teen Titans for a short time, feeling a sense of belonging to the group and becomes more efficient with his powers. Soon after, he learns of his heritage and who his father really is after the Teen Titans have a tussle with Black Manta. He goes on many adventures with the Titans even meeting Tempest, who bestows Jackson with the title Aqualad.
After the Teen Titans disband, Jackson heads over to Amnesty Bay to finally meet Aquaman and to hopefully become his protege and learn under him
Major Story Arc
For further details: Brightest Day
Now a teenager, Jackson had been raised with only partial truths about who he was. He knew that contact with water somehow empowered him, and to protect him, his parents had raised him to avoid water. The time came when that would no longer be possible, though. Terrorists escaped Xebel and were seeking him out with the aid of his biological father, Black Manta. At the same time, the Entity of the White Lantern gave the recently resurrected Aquaman the mission of finding Jackson first.
Aquaman arrived just in time to protect Jackson and his adoptive father from Black Manta and Siren. Jackson's adoptive parents were taken to safety, and he reluctantly agreed to help Aquaman . Jackson as the new Aqualad, had the power to lock the Bermuda Triangle and prevent the full scale invasion from Xebel.
Aquaman and Aqualad headed for the Triangle only to swim head into an army of Xebelians, who had already emerged from the opened Bermuda Triangle. Jackson suddenly found himself fighting an army on the beaches of Florida. In the course of the battle, Jackson fought Black Manta and was confronted directly with just how cruel and uncaring his biological father was. Then the arrival of Mera and Aquagirl turned the tide in Aquaman's favor, and the Xebelians were driven back into the Bermuda Triangle, where Jackson successfully sealed the dimensional barrier to end their threat.
Power and Abilities
Aqualad has a number of superhuman abilities which is derived from his Atlantean heritage. He is more suited for life beneath the sea than humans and has no problem breathing under water. Atlanteans live at varying pressure levels causing their bodies to be more physically heartier than the average human being, granting them: Superhuman Durability, Superhuman Stamina, Superhuman Strength, Superhuman Agility, and Superhuman Speed.
Aqualad has the ability to breathe underwater with gills that slit on the sides of his neck to extract oxygen from the water. Contact with water appears to bring the gills out along with giving him webbed hands and feet.
A thin invisible membrane cover Aqualad's eyes that allows Jackson to see perfectly in the pitch-blackness of the ocean. His eyes also allow him to pick up energy patterns similar to wearing infrared goggles, he displayed this ability when he tracked Superboy by following his solar energy pattern.
Aqualad is able to survive the crushing depths of the ocean; this translates to a significant level of stamina and durability that he has exhibited both above the ocean's surface and below it.
He has natural Superhuman Strength and was able to rip a cord off that, Robin threw on him, that gets tighter the more you struggle. His lifting/carrying capacity increases from his "dry" capacity of 4-6 tons, to more than 10 tons when fully hydrated, or underwater.
Aqualad has demonstrated the ability to make vertical leaps of up to two stories.
Aqualad’s physical abilities increase when he is underwater. He moves, reacts and fights at superhuman speed, and swims through the water at roughly 60Knots (70mph).
Aqualad has the ability to generate electricity. His electrical control is not as refine as his control over water, meaning he does not create constructs of electricity. His electric shocks are transmitted either by touch or through his water constructs. He can conduct all forms of electricity through their bodies, created or not, making them totally invulnerable to electricity, no matter the voltage.
Aqualad has the ability to to shape, manipulate and control water in his immediate vicinity, similar to his mother,Lucia, Mera and other citizens of Xebel. He is able to extract water from a person's body, create shields of water, create watertight seals, create hard constructs and manipulate water in concussive blasts or waves and he can also alter the physical state of the water by freezing water into ice and creating rainbows.
Weapons and Equipment
Aqualad wields two hilt-like devices called Waterbearers. They focus his hydrokinetic power, allowing him to quickly and easily form weapons with them. He typically keeps them on holsters upon his back.
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Blond
- Race: Human/Atlantean hybrid
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: Xebel
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Vigilante
- Known Relatives: Black Manta (father), Lucia Hyde (mother)
Young Justice (Animated series)
For further details: Young Justice
Originally created for this animated series, the fundamental difference between this Aqualad and the version of him adapted for comics was that this Aqualad was raised in Atlantis as an Atlantean. Therefore, he never got the surface name of Jackson Hyde, going by the name Kaldur'ahm, and developed a different personality. Also, the source of his water powers was much less unique, because in this continuity, his brand of water sorcery is commonly taught in Atlantis to the magically gifted.
In the series' continuity, Kaldur became Aqualad instead of Garth, who chose instead to focus on his sorcery studies. As such, Kaldur was among the first generation of this world's sidekicks along with Dick Grayson, Wally West and Roy Harper. He became a founding member of the first team of teen heroes, namely Young Justice, and was its first leader because he was apparently the most level headed and wisest member.
He is voiced by Khary Payton, who previously voiced Cyborg in the Teen Titans cartoon.
Young Justice: Invasion
Kaldur reappears in the sequel series, set five years after the events of the original show. He is no longer a member of the team, and now works for his biological father, Black Manta. During a battle against his former friends, it is revealed that Kaldur left the group after the death of his ex-girlfriend, Tula. His combat skills have improved, as he is shown easily besting both Aquaman and Superboy in combat. During an attack on a shuttle launch organized by Carol Ferris, Kaldur captures Lagoon Boy and kills Artemis in cold blood. This is later revealed to be an elaborate ruse orchestrated by Nightwing, with Kaldur in reality working undercover to spy on his father's organization. Now declared dead, Artemis joins Kaldur in his infiltration under the new identity of Tigress. Meanwhile, unaware of Artemis' survival Kaldur's true loyalties, Superboy and Mal Duncan vow to exact vengeance on their former comrade.
After his confrontation with Miss Martian in "Before The Dawn", he is now in a vegetable state. Sportsmaster and Cheshire are now revealed to be going after Aqualad due to him "killing" Artemis. In "The Fix", Black Manta orders Tigress and Deathstroke to kidnap Miss Martian, who he plans to force into healing Kaldur's mind. The plan is somewhat successful, though Miss Martian admits that repairing Kaldur's brain will take weeks to complete. She succeeds, and Kaldur and Miss Martian disguised as Deathstroke infiltrate the Light's meeting and ultimately save the world.
Young Justice: Outsiders
Kaldur returns in Young Justice season 3 but is now the current chair-leader for the Justice League and has now taken over the mantle of Aquaman.
Aqualad is a playable character in Young Justice Legacy.