The DC Comics “Rebirth” continues and Aqualad returns to TEEN TITANS and from the looks of it…just in time! The latest arc in this revamped title is shaking (or “sharking”) things up!
There were several components lost to readers when DC Comics decided to practically eradicate a good chunk of the DC Universe after the events of the publishing wide event “FlashPoint” which reestablished a new continuity on the Prime Earth (Earth-0) of the newly constituted multiverse. One of the greatest casualties lost in that reboot was the introduction of the “new” Aqualad who was introduced to readers during the “Brightest Day” arc, the aftermath of the Green Lantern’s “Darkest Night”.
The newly minted Aqualad (real name Jackson Hyde) has been reintroduced into the DC Universe in the just released Teen Titans #6 as part of the latest slow roll-out reform entitled “Rebirth” and will assume a very important place alongside the teen heroes. In the current arc “The Rise of Aqualad” Part One, Jackson is demonstrating the same metahuman abilities that fans have come to associate with the young hero — the tattoos on his arms light up and grant him the ability to control water.
While the Teen Titans reformed and under the leadership of Batman’s son Damian Wayne, the current Robin settle into their new headquarters in San Francisco (ironically their more grown-up counterparts in the Titans are moving into their digs on the opposite coast) something in the bay is attacking the local wildlife and has also taken a local newswoman prisoner! When the Titans proceed to investigate they learn that the culprit is the merciless King Shark!
Fortunately for them Jackson has just arrived, after leaving his home in the deserts of New Mexico and moving on from under the oppression of his mother who doesn’t support her son’s metahuman abilities or the fact that he’s also gay, but when Jackson shares his powers with his boyfriend Kenny — it is clear that Kenny doesn’t want to continue in this relationship — not if Jackson is going to go around flaunting his metahuman abilities.
Jackson can’t help but feel that he has a proper destiny and seeks out the Teen Titans, hoping they can answer some questions about his abilities, where they have come from and most importantly help him become a hero! Written by Benjamin Percy with pencils by Khoi Pham the introduction of Aqualad, the latest opening gay character taking the forefront in a major book for DC Comics, continues the imprint’s desire to create diverse characters that are more reflective of the real world.
The new Aqualad gained some major traction when he was aligned with the animated universe and proved a leader among the members of Young Justice. It was also revealed that he was the son of one of Aquaman’s greatest adversaries Black Manta. Whether or not the newly introduced Aqualad will also be revealed to share his predecessor’s lineage and be also related to Atlantean blood remains to be seen.