Garth was the Atlantean hero known as Tempest. He began his heroic career as the original Aqualad, teenaged sidekick to Aquaman. His origin is similar to that of his mentor. Garth was an amphibious humanoid who was left to die because of ancient Atlantean superstition and prophecy. He was a prince of the Idyllists, a colony of Atlanteans that settled in the Hidden Valley 4,000 years ago. There, nestled in the capital city of Shayeris, the pacifist Idyllists became rabid builders and collectors, architects and artisans, and eschewed physical violence at all costs. The Idyllists were also practitioners of magic and kept an extensive library of mystical texts and scrolls.
Approximately four decades ago, King Thar and his wife Queen Berra, became the reigning monarchs of Shayeris. Thar had inherited the throne and access to ancient magical energies that his brother Zath, a powerful magician in his own right, believed to be rightfully his. Zath practiced dark sorcery and necromancy, the raising of the dead, and was eventually banished from the Hidden Valley. His body transformed into disgusting, half human form, Zath, renamed Slizzath, returned to Shayeris twenty years later with an army of undead. He planned to invade the Hidden Valley and transform it into a necropolis he would rule.
King Thar knew of this and assembled an armory of robots and weapons to stop his demented brother. But the Idyllist radicals killed him and banished his pregnant wife Berra back to Atlantis. Before Thar was killed, however, he was able to cast a magical spell that trapped Slizzath in an otherdimensional prison. Unfortunately, this spell was linked to a magical ritual which would give his offspring access to incredible mystical powers and accessing that ritual would give Slizzath the energy required to break free of his prison. So word was sent out that all babies born with purple eyes, the Idylist mark of power, should be banished and killed, lest they try to perform the access ritual and accidentally free Slizzath and his undead army. The Idyllists also claimed that Thar had gone insane to hide their complex, fearful plan.
In Poseidonis, one of the domed cities of Atlantis, Queen Berra gave birth to her baby boy, Garth, who was born with purple eyes. The Atlanteans claimed Garth had been born genetically inferior and sentenced him to death on a seabed leagues away from Atlantis. But, with the secret help of Aquaman's father, the Atlantean sorcerer Atlan, the young Garth not only survived but thrived. It was Atlan who taught Garth language and survival rituals and kept the young boy from going feral as he scavenged his way through the undersea. Garth did develop an intense fear of schools of fish, however, that haunted him into his teens.
Garth eventually met Aquaman. As Aqualad, he fought crime and had many adventures above and below the sea with his mentor. When Aquaman assumed the throne of Poseidonis, Garth became a member of the royal court.
Garth was one of the founding members of the Teen Titans, and was a member of that team in many of its incarnations although later as a reservist since he began to feel he was of little help out of the water. His girlfriend for many years was Tula (a.k.a. Aquagirl) until her death during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
As a result of his grief and repeated telepathic abuse by Mento, among other factors, Aqualad lost his ability to control marine life. While he later regained this power during the Millennium event, it came with the condition that his commands must now be phrased as requests to the creatures to perform desired actions, although the animals apparently need little persuasion.
Shortly before Zero Hour, it was Garth who convinced Aquaman to come out of his depression and back into action. The two of them investigated a downed submarine and fought a villain named Charybdis. During the battle, Garth at one point thought he spotted Tula in the distance. After disagreeing with Aquaman, Garth left his mentor and swam off to investigate the Tula sighting. It was not, in fact, Aquagirl, but a "shark-girl". Garth was captured by her people and chained up to a rock, left to be killed by a deadly whirlwind. He was rescued by Atlan, who transported him to another dimension.
Atlan took Garth to the Grotto, a convergence between dimensions, and spent the next several months to a year (although only days or weeks passed on Earth) training Garth in his mystical heritage, preparing him for his eventual role as the guardian of all undersea humanoid communities. In addition to other magical abilities, Garth gained the ability to affect water with blasts of freezing or boiling energy. He then returned to Earth and helped Aquaman fight off an invasion of the Hunter/Gatherers. Proving victorious, Garth left with Atlan again for a new mission.
Atlan took Garth back to the Hidden Valley where he had to battle Slizzath, who intended to conquer all the oceans. Garth adopted a new name, Tempest, and was confronted by a resurrected Tula (only to have her die again) and comes out of the experience older and more mature, with a new confidence in himself (and a new uniform).
Tempest resumed his role as Aquaman's right hand man and also joined the newly reformed Titans along with his old friends. Some friction arose between the two heroes when Aquaman's lover, Dolphin, left him for Tempest, but the two have since resolved their differences.Tempest proceeded to get Dolphin pregnant and temporarily freaked out over it. Tempest and Dolphin decided to get married shortly thereafter. The Titans came to Atlantis to attend the wedding. (See the Talk section for more on this plot twist)
Dolphin gave birth just as Atlantis was being attacked by the island nation of Cerdia. The baby was kidnapped by Ocean Master, who had orchestrated the war, but was successfully rescued. After the war, when Atlantis annexed the island, Garth decided to name the baby Cerdian (Ian for short) as a gesture of goodwill.
Aquaman later died and was replaced by distant relative Arthur Joseph Curry.
Garth assumed the duties of king of Atlantis after the new Aquaman had abandoned both the kingship and role as Aquaman.
Garth was attacked by the possessed corpses of the original Aquaman, Tula and Dolphin who were Black Lanterns. Garth fought off Tula and Dolphin until he was stabbed in his chest and died instantly, Aquaman left him to fight Mera. Upon his death, a Black Lantern Power Ring flew onto his finger and attached itself bringing him back from death as a possessed being. Garth then stood beside his deceased wife, former girlfriend and adopted father as part of the Black Lantern Corps.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Atlantean Physiology: The Atlanteans are offshoots of humanity that are biologically adapted to the deep ocean environment. All their abilities are by-products of their bodies being adapted to survive unprotected in the tremendous pressures of the ocean depths.
- Amphibious Nature: Tempest, as an Atlantean, and the son of a wizard and Atlantean queen, can breathe both water and air, but must return to the aquatic environment at various intervals; this length can be prolonged by the humidity in the atmosphere. Tempest breathes by extracting oxygen from the water through tiny pores in his skin.
- Enhanced Sight: His ability to see in the murky depths of the ocean allows him exceptional night vision while on land. Tempest has excellent close range vision and he can see particularly well in low light. He is partially color blind, almost unable to distinguish between black, green, and blue.
- Enhanced Hearing: He has several times more acute than human capacity. His sense of hearing is particularly acute, although, because the rate sound travels on dry land is different than beneath the water, his hearing is directly linked to his vision.
- Enhanced Physiology: His bloodstream is filled with an amino acid that keeps his body from freezing in the ocean depths, although his own temperature is naturally quite high, allowing his muscles the heat they need to swim at such high speeds. This hybrid physiology means he can survive indefinitely underwater or on land (though he would still need occasional contact with water to survive) this length can be prolonged by the humidity in the air.
- Superhuman Strength: He can lift approximately 8 tons.
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Speed: He can swim at speeds of 97.76 knots (or 85 MPH).
- Superhuman Durability: He can survive at depths of up to 3,400 feet below surface level. His body contains fluids that adjust to give him buoyancy at varying depths. His body also produces gases that push out against the ocean pressures as heavily as they push in, preventing him from being crushed at great depths. His body is also highly impervious to physical injury.
- Marine Telepathy: Tempest has a form of telepathy which works particularly well on other aquatic life.
- Sorcery: Tempest's magical powers are so great that he was able to magically teleport the entirety of Atlantis into the past during the Imperiex War; further, the villainous Darkseid used him as a conduit to help open a Boom Tube powerful enough to send Imperiex back to the beginning of time.
- Force Beams: He is able to project purple beams of mystical energy from his eyes.
- Water Control: He inherited the ability to mystically control water and water-based solutions for a variety of effects. He can manipulate water currents, create whirlpools and boil or freeze vast bodies of water.
- Mystical Detection: He is able to sense these changes in the fields around him, and make some estimations on the what and the why of the things he senses.
- Heat Generation: Tempest has the ability to generate massive amounts of heat energy from his left hand.
- Cold Generation: Tempest has the ability to generate massive amounts of cold energy from his right hand.
- Power Limitation: Tempest must return to water after a period of time or he will weaken. Garth can bypass this limitation by drawing moisture from the air and replenishing himself.
- Imp: (formerly)
- 475 Appearances of Garth (New Earth)
- 143 Images featuring Garth (New Earth)
- 9 Quotations by or about Garth (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Garth (New Earth)
- Tempest at dccomics.com
- Tempest at Wikipedia.org
- Tempest article at Wikipedia
- Tempest article at Titanstower.com
- Tempest biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Aqualad-related posts at the Aquaman Shrine
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