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Quote1 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
-- Jackson Hyde src

Jackson Hyde is Aqualad, a young superhero with hydrokinetic powers and an Atlantean Physiology. He was a member of the Teen Titans for a short time. He is also the son of super-villain Black Manta and the Atlantean known only by her surface alias Lucia Hyde. He is openly gay.

Early Life

Jackson's mother hailed from the Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantean Kingdom of Xebel and called herself Lucia Hyde while on the surface. His father was the treasure hunter and super-villain known as Black Manta, although his mother didn't know this when she conceded Jackson. 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 artefact that would allow him to control the oceans with his mind. When the pregnant Lucia learnt of his true intentions, she fled to the surface world with the map.[1]

On the surface world Lucia gave birth to Jackson, who quickly showed signs he had inherited his mother's Atlantean physiology. 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 or his powers, even though he yearned to learn about his 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.[2]

Lucia gave Jackson the map, which she enclosed in a necklace. She did this because she believed Jackson should possess some of his heritage, even if it was something he didn't know about. Eventually Jackson came out as gay. Lucia tried to suppress this part of him as she believed that Jackson would stand out because of it. Jackson would later bleach his brown hair blond and get a boyfriend named Kenny, mainly to rebel against his controlling mother.[2]

Joining the Teen Titans

During one of their meetings, Jackson confessed that he had powers to Kenny. Not wanting any stress on himself, Kenny broke up with Jackson. Feeling trapped in his own life Jackson felt like he had to do something. Jackson saw a viral video of a group of teenage super-heroes known as the Teen Titans providing a tour of their luxurious headquarters the Titans Tower.
Robin was against Jackson joining the Teen Titans

Robin was against Jackson joining the Teen Titans
Knowing that with his powers he could be a Teen Titan and live a life of luxury. Eventually he decided he would travel to San Francisco, where the Tower was located, and try to gain entry to the team.[2] When he reached San Francisco he jumped in the ocean and swam to Titans Island. When he got there he was given permission to enter by Robin's pet bat-dragon Goliath. Jackson walked right into the command center where he met Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Kid Flash- the members of the Teen Titans. Robin questioned Jackson about who he was and how he got in the tower.[3]

After Jackson told Robin that he wanted to join the Teen Titans, he was immediately dismissed as Robin believed the team didn't need another member. Before they could discuss this further a crime alert rang, stating that the Aquaman villain King Shark had taken over a prison with his henchmen and captured a reporter. When Jackson offered his help in rescuing the reporter and defeating King Shark, Robin told him to go home. Jackson ignored this request and still headed to the prison without Robin knowing. When he got to the prison he witnessed Robin at the mercy of King Shark. Using his aquakinetics he dragged King Shark to the depths of the seas where he defeated the villain. King Shark then escaped and the team secured the prison with the assistance of Jackson. After the mission Jackson was allowed into the team by Robin, who gifted him a Robin diving suit to use as a placeholder costume.[3]

Meeting his father

Captured by Manta

Sometime after Kid Flash was kicked off the team, Jackson was undergoing a training simulation where he was fighting Robin's grandfather Ra's al Ghul. After Jackson defeated Al Ghul with his water manipulation, Robin stopped the simulation and stepped in to talk to Jackson.
Black Manta, Jackson's father

Black Manta, Jackson's father
Robin told Jackson that his hydrokinesis was sloppy and amateurish and best and that it would need great improvement. Robin gave him a Waterbearer harness, a device which would allow him to focus his power into small constructs such as melee weapons. After the training session Jackson's mother rang him up and told him that she wanted to meet him in a café, he agreed to meet her but only if she told him what she knew about his past. When he arrived at the café he demanded to know who his father was and why he had his powers. Lucia told Jackson that his father was an evil man and that if he knew about Jackson's existence he would kill him. Lucia also revealed that Jackson didn't inherit the power to manipulate water from his father, but instead she was able to control the oceans. Before Jackson could inquire about anything else Starfire alerted him to an ongoing bank robbery, he quickly left to support his fellow Titans, leaving his mother behind at the café.[4]

By the time Jackson had arrived at the scene of the crime Starfire and Beast Boy had already taken care of the robbers, he then headed to the beach to locate his mother who was no longer present at the café. Eventually he found his mother battling the Aquaman villain known as Black Manta on the beach. He quickly leapt into the fray, attacking the villain. During their battle Manta revealed to Jackson that he was his father. Thrown off guard by this statement, Jackson and his mother were defeated by Manta. Jackson then agreed to come along with Manta as long as he didn't hurt Lucia, Manta conceded to these terms and took Jackson underwater onboard his Manta-Sub.[1]

Retrieving the Black Pearl

Deep in the Pacific Ocean, Manta stopped the Sub. He turned around to Jackson and grabbed the shell necklace around his neck. He then revealed that the necklace was the reason he had attacked Jackson and Lucia, as inside it was the map to the Black Pearl. Eventually Jackson and Manta arrived at their destination in uncharted waters. After leaving the submarine Jackson tried to connect to his father by telling him about the life he had, however Manta expressed that he didn't care about Jackson and didn't want to know. Eventually Jackson and his father reached the bottom of the trench and discovered where the pearl laid waiting. Before Manta could grab the pearl a giant sea creature attacked Jackson from behind.[1]

Jackson cried for his father to help him but the man stood still, mesmerized by the Pearl. As Jackson accepted his death in the jaws of the sea creature Manta attacked the beast in an attempted to save his son. Manta blinded the creature in one eye and told Jackson to do the same, however Jackson just expressed that he wasn't able to get close enough. Manta told him to reach deeply into himself and to use the whole ocean as his weapon, Jackson did so and was able to create a giant spear of water to kill the beast with. After the beasts death Manta forced Jackson to open the seal protecting the Pearl, as only a person of Xebelian blood could unlock the seal. Jackson unlocked the seal for his father, allowing Manta to retrieve the Black Pearl at last.[5]

Becoming Aqualad

Aqualad and the Teen Titans

Aqualad and the Teen Titans

When Jackson realized that Manta only saved him to get the Pearl, he attacked his father. With the new power in his grasp, Manta easily defeated Jackson. At that moment the Teen Titans arrived to support Jackson. Beast Boy grabbed Manta and brought him underwater as a shark. Aqualad told his fellow Titans to leave as they wouldn't stand a chance against Manta, however they ignored him and all attacked Manta. Manta easily defeated the whole team and offered Jackson the chance to join him or die. Jackson refused and began battling his father once again. Using everything he had learnt about his powers from Robin and his father, Jackson managed to unleash a powerful blast of electricity out of his body hitting his father. The blast was powerful enough to knock Manta out so Jackson quickly retrieved the Black Pearl so he couldn't use it anymore. He then allowed his father to sink into the ocean, citing that he didn't need Manta and never had.[5]

When Jackson and the team got back to the tower they were greeted by Tempest. Garth told Jackson that he had heard what had happened with Manta and was proud of him. Garth then offered Jackson the symbol of Aquaman, to be worn as a belt buckle. Jackson accepted the gift and was dubbed the new Aqualad by the ex-sidekick. The pair then headed into the tower where Aqualad was thrown a party by his teammates and his mother, in celebration of his new title.[5]

Return of Kid Flash

Sometime after the Dark Multiverse invasion, Jackson and the other Teen Titans held a meeting excluding Robin. In the meeting they decided that Kid Flash should be allowed back on the team effective immediately.
Kid Flash and Robin did not see eye-to-eye

Kid Flash and Robin did not see eye-to-eye
Aqualad and the team met with Robin in the training room, who was constructing A.I. of the team members for training. Robin told the team that he would not allow Wally back onto the team as he believed he could still prove problematic. The team decided to go behind Robin's back and travelled to Central City- Kid Flash's home town. Aqualad and the Titans found Kid Flash halting a bank robbery, which was quickly taken care of. Kid Flash told the team that he had recently joined another team ran by Deathstroke known as Defiance, which had also gone poorly. With two bad experiences on teams, Kid Flash informed the Titans that he would only rejoin the Titans if Damian gave him a formal apology.[6]

Jackson and the team were soon contacted Robin, who requested their immediate back-up. While the team had been finding Kid Flash, Robin had been working with Red Arrow to capture a super-villain known as Onomatopoeia. Unfortunately Onomatopoeia had detonated a bomb in Star City harbor that created a massive tidal wave capable of destroying the whole city. Jackson, the team, and Wally quickly rushed to the aid of Robin and Red Arrow. Each member of the team was given a specific role in stopping the wave, with Aqualad having to use his aquakinesis in the center of the wave to cancel and collapse the wave's energy. Eventually the team was able to stop the tidal wave with the assistance of Kid Flash, who then took care of Onomatopoeia. Seeing that Kid Flash could still be valuable, Robin apologized and let the hero back on the team. Jackson and the other Titans then celebrated Kid Flash's return.[7]

Batman of the Future

Incident at the Tower

After the return of Wally, Jackson and the team was fighting a group of assassins known as the Hangmen. These assassins were highly dangerous and were initially overpowering the Teen Titans, however Superboy soon arrived and helped the team take down the assassins. Aqualad and the team then headed back to the Tower where they met with Superboy.
Savior sought to eliminate Superboy for the damage he would do in the future

Savior sought to eliminate Superboy for the damage he would do in the future
Superboy told the team that Robin had promised him a mission-a-month, and that he had not upheld this promise so Jon decided to help the team anyway. As the team talked, Batman appeared on the TVs of the tower. Robin explained to the team that this wasn't the real Batman, but instead a hostile Tim Drake from a possible future who had clashed with the Bat-family before. Tim told the team that he was there to kill Jon, as in his future he would accidently destroy Metropolis and all of its inhabitants with a power known as a Solar Flare. This solar flare power would be controlled by Superboy's emotions, so when he got too stressed he would solar flare whether he wanted to or not. Drake then enclosed all of the Titans in a room they were unable to escape from and began bombarding Superboy with goo that he couldn't escape from. This inevitably made Superboy stressed so he burst out of the tower and solar flare, destroying the tower and knocking the team unconscious.[8]

When Jackson and the rest of the team came to Robin and Superboy had fled the scene. The team congregated on Titans Island where they were greeted by Tim, who was wearing a new costume after his old one was destroyed in the explosion and was calling himself Savior. Raven and Beast Boy agreed to help Savior take down Superboy, on the terms that he would be contained and not killed. On the other hand Aqualad, Starfire and Kid Flash believed that they shouldn't help Drake as they didn't trust him. Using her telepathy Raven made Aqualad, Starfire and Kid Flash believe they were rebuilding Titans Tower, while in reality she, Savior and Beast Boy began hunting Superboy. Jackson told the remaining Titans that he could track Superboy's unique energy frequency through the water, and so the trio set of on their own hunt.[9]

The Justice League of the future

Aqualad eventually tracked Robin and Superboy to a secret headquarters beneath the ocean. The trio entered the facility and were met with hostility by Superboy and Robin. After the Super Sons took Kid Flash and Starfire down, Jackson defeated the pair.[10]

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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.[4][1]
    • Amphibious Nature: Jackson learned he can breathe underwater indefinitely. Having been born and spent his entire life above the water, he's easily adapted to prolonged periods without it. He even has no problem breathing and speaking while submerged.[1]
    • Superhuman Strength: Hyde was strong enough to cleave through a steel street light with his water sword.[4]
    • Superhuman Speed
    • Superhuman Durability
    • Superhuman Reflexes
    • Superhuman Stamina
    • 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 similar to wearing infrared goggles, he displayed this ability when he tracked Superboy by following his solar energy pattern.[10]
      • Enhanced Hearing: Jackson's hearing is far greater than any human's.
    • Hydrokinesis: Jackson is able to control water as the power was inherited from his mother, it is unknown how she acquired these powers as they are usually reserved for Xebelian royalty. Jackson is an amateur at shaping water, he usually focuses it into his waterbearers and uses them as weapons. However he has still shown some impressive feats, such as when he constructed a giant spear to kill the sea beast guarding the Black Pearl.[5]
    • Electrokinesis: Aqualad's ability to emit electricity most likely came from his mother, he is able to emit concentrated beams of electricity from his body.[5]

Abilities

  • Driving
  • Swimming: As an Atlantean Jackson's swimming is as natural as a surface person's walking.

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.[4]
  • Jackson plays center-midfield in soccer. His favorite subject is Math and his favorite band is A Tribe Called Quest.[1]

Related


Footnotes


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Aquaman Family member
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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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Teen Titans member
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This character is or was primarily a member of the younger superhero team known as the Teen Titans, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Teen Titans members" category.