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Quote1.png I feel like a prisoner in my own life. I want to understand why I'm like this--who I really am... but my mother won't tell me anything about my father. I want to stop hiding myself... but I've grown up in a place where "different" is a bad word. I want to soak myself in water... but I live in an ocean of sand. I want to escape this prison... and start something new. Quote2.png
Jackson Hyde src

Jackson Hyde is the second Aquaman. He is the partner and former protege of Arthur Curry, the original Aquaman. Prior to becoming Aquaman he was the second hero to use the name Aqualad and a member of the Teen Titans for a short time. He is the son of Black Manta and the Xebelian rebel Lucia. He is openly gay.

Early Life

Jackson's mother hailed from the Atlantean Kingdom of Xebel in the Bermuda Triangle, while his father was the treasure hunter and super-villain known as Black Manta. They met when Manta infiltrated Xebel to get access to the map that leads to the Black Pearl, a powerful artifact. Jackson's mother was unaware of his true nature and helped him, being promised a life on land after they succeeded, but when she learnt of his secret intentions, she fled to the surface world with the map and started calling herself Lucia Hyde.[4]

On the surface world Lucia gave birth to Jackson, who quickly showed signs of having inherited her Atlantean physiology and hydrokinetic powers. To keep Jackson safe and secret from his father, Lucia moved to New Mexico as it was very far from the ocean. Growing up Jackson wasn't told anything about his father and had to keep his powers secret, even though he yearned to learn about his heritage and the origins of his powers. Believing that she couldn't fully take away Jackson's history, Lucia gave Jackson the Black Pearl map, enclosed in a necklace, even though he wasn't aware of that. At some point Jackson came out as gay, which his mother was apprehensive about, as it made him stand out more. In defiance of this Jackson bleached his brown hair blond and got a boyfriend named Kenny.[5][1]

Teen Titans

Joining the Teen Titans

Jackson joins the Titans

Feeling trapped in his home town Jackson made plans to leave and join the teenage super-hero team Teen Titans. Upon telling Kenny about this and revealing his powers to him he promptly broke up with Jackson. Undeterred he drove off in secret one night.[5] Once he arrived at the Titans Tower and met the team, consisting of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Kid Flash, Robin immediately dismissed him. But despite being left behind when they left for a mission to fight the Aquaman villain King Shark, who had taken over a prison, he followed them and entered the fight. He defeated the villain and saved Robin from drowning, discovering he could breathe underwater. Afterwards Robin allowed Jackson onto the team and gifted him a modified diving suit as a costume.[6]

During a team-up with the Titans Jackson was asked about his heritage by Tempest and he admitted that he didn't know about it himself. Garth offered to help him find out someday.[7]

Blood of the Manta

Jackson's father Black Manta attacks

After training with Robin he gave Jackson a portable water tank with two hilts to gain better control of his power, focussing it into small constructs such as melee weapons. At his first reunion with his mother since he left for San Francisco she explained that he inherited his powers from her and that she hid him to protect him from his evil father.[8] They were attacked by Black Manta, who revealed that Jackson was his son and made him accompany him on a quest to find the Black Pearl, using the map from his necklace. Before arriving Jackson was grabbed by a giant sea monster,[4] but Manta helped him unlock his Electrokinesis to defeat it. He then forced Jackson to access the artifact, as he discovered that only children of the seas could reach for it. Upon realising that Manta only saved him to use him, Jackson attacked his father, but Black Manta easily overpowered him and each of the arriving Teen Titans with the magic of the Black Pearl. With encouragement from Robin Jackson finally managed to knock him out with a powerful electric blast. After taking back the Pearl and leaving him to drift off, the team returned to Titans Tower. There Jackson was granted a belt buckle with the symbol of Aquaman and the title of Aqualad by the it's former holder, Tempest.[9]

When Star City was threatened by a tidal wave, caused by the villain Onomatopoeia, Aqualad was instrumental in collapsing the wave before it could hit the city.[10]

Super Sons of Tomorrow

When the Tim Drake from an alternate future, called Savior, wanted to eliminate Superboy because his Solar Flares threatened humanity, Aqualad was decidedly against killing him, along with Starfire and Kid Flash. After a small Solar Flare destroyed Titan Tower, [11] the trio was temporarily entranced by Raven, who decided to follow Savior along with Beast Boy. To get to them before the other team Jackson traced the way to the Super Sons' secret hideout through the water.[12] They arrived at their base first and Aqualad was able to incapacitate both Robin and Superboy.[13]

Family Matters

One night Jackson was approached by Black Manta, who wanted his help for a personal mission. They travelled to a cemetery on Rhode Island, where they encountered a man named Oscar at Black Manta's mother's grave. Oscar was Jackson's grandmother's second husband, after Black Manta's father Jesse Hyde. Black Manta confronted him about not using the money he left them for her treatment, but Oscar replied that she never wanted to accept his bloody money. Jackson intervened before Black Manta could attack Oscar, throwing the two of them off a cliff. Once they got underwater the fight ended abruptly, after Black Manta couldn't quite bring himself to drive a harpoon through his son.[1]

One day Jackson was attacked by the Electrocutioner, who wanted to draw Black Manta out by publically beating his son. Jackson beat him up instead, only to find himself confronted by his father. He quickly ended the fight by breaking his helmet and filling it with water, but made sure to let him survive.[1]

Following the shattering of the Source Wall, this incarnation of the Teen Titans was disbanded.[14]

Amnesty

Aqualad ready for battle

Jackson travelled to Amnesty Bay with the hopes of becoming Aquaman's partner. He helped with the resettling of the Sea Gods of the World[15][16] and aided Aquaman in the fight against a mythical sea monster.[17] When Amnesty Bay was attacked by Black Manta's Mecha Manta[18] Jackson had a confrontation with his father[19] and then joined up with Mera to deliver a finishing blow to the Mech, utilising their combined aquakinesis and his electrokinesis. Black Manta managed to get away with the Mech's head as an escape pod.[20]

Almost a year after the fight Jackson's mother had joined him in Amnesty Bay, where they helped watching over Aquaman's infant daughter Andy.[21] When she got kidnapped by the Ocean Master Jackson struck a deal with Black Manta to get the Mecha Manta's head,[22] with which they were able to find her.[23]

Family Business

Jackson gives Ha'Wea a proper Good-bye

Around the time of Arthur and Mera's wedding ceremony Jackson delivered on his promise to Black Manta. In return for the pod he was supposed to get into Xebel and plant a device that would grant Manta access to the city. Upon arrival Jackson befriended a guard named Ha'Wea, who offered to show him around. They quickly grew close. When the city was attacked by the Trench[24] Jackson played a pivotal part in defeating the intruders with his electrokinesis, but decided he should return to Atlantis before people started asking questions. After leaving Ha'Wea with a kiss he contemplated installing Black Manta's device at first, but decided that he should no longer live in fear of his father.[2] Back in Atlantis Jackson and the Mech head helped in the battle against Orm's forces and he was present during Arthur's wedding to Mera.[25]

At some point Jackson and Arthur saved the Naitaka/Ogopogo of Okanagan Lake and it's egg from dangerous sea creatures. He later told the story to his friends from the Teen Titans.[26]

The Becoming

Jackson spent time with Andy, when the two of them were attacked by treasure hunters led by Scavenger. They were after the guide-stones, one of which Andy had found. Jackson defended her against them, but had to be rescued by Mera. Insecure about his abilities he asked Arthur to step up his training.[27]

After a training session in Atlantis Jackson was attacked by an armored intruder, identifying herself as Deluge, who detonated bombs all over the city to incriminate him.[28] Managing to flee from atlantean soldiers with Mera's help[29] he teleported across the USA to get away, but his attacker caught up with him. After his mother arrived and interrupted their fight Deluge unveiled that she was Lucia's daughter/Jackson's half-sister Delilah and got them to accompany her back to Xebel.[30]

She brought them to the Xebellian Liberation Front, a radical terrorist group opposing Xebel's monarchy and child soldier enlistment policy. It was revealed that Lucia had once been part of this group, but decided to flee with Black Manta after the conflict escalated, leaving her daughter behind. Jackson was also shown pictures of her killing Xebellians during a terrorist attack, all of which shattered his trust in his mother.[31] Having grown closer with his sister and met up with Ha'Wea again, he wondered if he should stay in Xebel and fight with her there, instead of at Aquaman's side on the surface. The night before Mera's speech at the Atlantis-Xebel reunification conference, Lucia arrived at Delilah's place, carrying an encrypted drive that she stole from the XLF. It contained not only proof that the images of her were fake, but also plans for the Front's attack on the conference, which Delilah was previously unaware of. Unable to get help from anyone else, Jackson stepped up as Aquaman and the three of them set out to foil the attack.[32]

"Aquaman can."

In a swift battle they managed to overcome most of the terrorists and rescue Mera and the other delegates, but when an attacker got behind Jackson Lucia went between them and took the brutal blow meant for her son. In blind rage Jackson beat the man close to death with his bare hands until he was stopped by an arriving Arthur. He rushed his mother to a medical centre where she was stabilised, but remained comatose. Blaming himself he tried to renounce the Aquaman title, which people had been calling him in the days following the attack, but Arthur was proud of him and refused, insisting on them both being Aquaman from this point forward.[33]

Aquamen

When Ocean Master attacked the United Nations Building with a giant sea serpent the Aquamen responded. Jackson angrily attacked the creature, taking out his frustrations on it, while Arthur arrested Orm. Despite Arthur's worry Jackson immediately set off to Paris when they were informed that Black Manta had murdered a man on an open street. Jackson tracked him to his hideout, where Manta was dissecting the man, and tried to put him down, but Arthur stopped him and informed him that Black Manta was actually on their side.[34] Not believing him, Jackson took the body and returned to Atlantis alone, where he called a "family meeting" with Mera, Garth and Tula. They discovered that the man had been an ancient atlantean sleeper agent, which fit into a pattern of recent incidents across the world. Trying to get answers Jackson confronted Orm in his jail cell and tortured him with his powers until he got a hint that lead him to Gotham City.[35]

After setting off by himself he teamed up with Batwoman to fend off another sleeper agent. Together they attended a gala where Jackson suspected Scavenger might show up. When he confronted him Scavenger revealed that he was working with Orm and punched Jackson into the street using a new mystical armor. Just when he was about to finish him off Arthur and Black Manta intervened.[36]

Powers

  • Atlantean Hybridized Physiology: Due to generations of living under the sea, Atlanteans have evolved greatly. Even hybrids are far superior to any other human.[8][4]
    • Amphibious Nature: Jackson discovered that he can breathe underwater indefinitely using his gills and even speak while submerged.[6][4] Being born and having spent most of his life above the water, he is also adapted to prolonged periods without it.
    • Enhanced Senses:
      • Enhanced Vision: 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 in the water, similar to wearing infrared goggles. He displayed this ability when he tracked Superboy by following his solar energy pattern.[13]
      • Enhanced Hearing: Jackson's hearing is far greater than any human's.
    • Superhuman Durability: He is adapted to survive the crushing depths of the ocean, where pressures up to 1086 pounds of force per square inch are applied.[37]
    • Superhuman Reflexes
    • Superhuman Speed
    • Superhuman Stamina
    • Superhuman Strength: Jackson was strong enough to cleave through a steel street light with his water sword.[8]
  • Illuminating body marks: Jackson has dark/tattoo-like, arrow-shaped body marks on the outer side of both arms. Whenever he uses his hydro- or electrokinesis they light up and turn bright blue.[5] However, they weren't (permanently) visible when his powers first manifested during childhood.[1]
    • Hydrokinesis: Jackson has the ability to control water by "speaking" to it mentally. He inherited it from his mother (It is unknown how she acquired these powers, as they are usually reserved for Xebelian royalty). He was mostly self-trained at shaping water and usually focuses it through his waterbearers to form weapons. He has still shown some impressive feats, such as constructing a giant spear to kill the sea beast guarding the Black Pearl[9] or collapsing a tidal wave.[10] He can also use it to divert incoming water, like protecting someone from rain[7] or sealing an underwater hull-breach,[13] walk on a flat water surface,[8] or influence the water/blood inside a living creature.[35]
      • Cryokinesis: Aqualad is able to turn water he controls to ice and melt it quickly.[13]
      • Haemokinesis: A facet of his water warping skills also enables him to control the hydration content that exists within blood flow in the same manner. Aqualad himself inferring he could twist a living person inside out by taking direct command over their sanguine fluids with enough concentration.[38]
    • Electrokinesis: Jackson can emit bioelectric shocks from his body.[9] He can also transmit them through his hydrokinetic constructs.[20]
      • Electro-Blast: Releasing his energy all at once creates a huge electric blast.[9] With support from an external energy source he was once able to take out an entire army of Trench soldiers in one strike.[2]

Abilities

Equipment

  • Jackson's map necklace

Weapons

  • Waterbearers: Aqualad possesses a pair of waterbearers which were given to him by Robin. These hilts allow Jackson to possess more control on his hydrokinetic abilities. He often uses the hilts to channel water into the shape of a weapon, creating something like a water sword or mace. He was also given a tank-backpack, for missions where water isn't available.[8]


  • Jackson's hair is naturally black, however he later bleached it blond.[39][1]
  • Jackson stated that he was 16 years old when he first saw the ocean,[27] which was also the day he joined the Teen Titans.[5][6]
  • Jackson has been shown to be attracted to Ha'Wea.[32] They shared a kiss after their first meeting.[2]
  • Jackson plays center-midfield in soccer. His favorite subject is Math and his favorite band is A Tribe Called Quest.[4]
  • From a young age sea creatures seemed to be drawn towards him and he to them. That is why he got an aquarium.[27]
  • Every year on Father's day Jackson and Black Manta meet in a private location to have a conversation about their relationship. Each year Jackson asks him to turn himself in to prove his love to him; Black Manta usually sends robot drones of himself.[27]
  • Jackson has never seen the movie Jaws.[26]

Related

Footnotes


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This character is or was an ally of Aquaman, and a member of the Aqua-Family and/or its supporting cast. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Aquaman Supporting Cast" category. See also: Aquaman Villains.

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