The Idylists were a group of pacifists living in self-exile from Atlantis in the Hidden Valley for over 4,000 years. They knew no violence; peace and serenity were their way of life. King Thar came into power and ruled from Shayeris, the Idylist capital city. Thar had inherited much of his ancestor's mythic power, and practiced sorcery alongside his brother, Slizzath. The history of Atlantis is fraught with a recurring theme: brother against brother. King Thar was no exception.
Thar's brother Slizzath thought the power should be his and resented his brother taking it from him. Slizzath was denied his birthright because he dabbled in the black arts by practicing necromancy – the evocation of the dead. He was banished from the Hidden Valley but returned 20 years later with an army of undead soldiers. Fearing his brother's attack, Thar assembled an armory of weapons, specifically designed to stop Slizzath. The Idylists, however, thought Thar was going insane. The peace-loving people revolted, killing their once-beloved king. Fearing the monarchy was tainted by foul violence, the Idylists banished his now-pregnant wife, Berra, who found her way to Atlantis and gave birth to a son - who she named Garth.
Before Thar died, he was able to use his magics to trap Slizzath in an other-dimensional prison. It was, however, an imperfect imprisonment; Slizzath would be able to manipulate particular spells as a means of escape. Such a spell was Garth's birthright ritual - which he would one day perform to seal his mystical powers. Upon giving birth to Garth, Berra gazed upon his purple eyes - the Idylist mark of power. At that moment, her son's destiny seemed clear: Garth would one day perform the very spell that would free Slizzath. Feeling she had no other choice, Berra left her son to die.
Aqualad and the Teen Titans
Eventually, Garth met and rescued Aquaman and became his sidekick, Aqualad. Together they shared many adventures. Once Aquaman married his lady love, Mera, and had his own son, Garth was left feeling unsure of his role in his mentor's life. Eventually, he ventured to the surface where he met other teen heroes, becoming one of the founding members of the Teen Titans. Still shunned by many Poseidonians despite his heroics on their behalf, Aqualad was sent away to be schooled in Scotland, at a school on the shores of Loch Ness. Soon, life for Garth became increasingly difficult, both at home and away. Mera was kidnapped, forcing the Aqua-duo to go in search of her, during which time Garth's left arm was nearly severed by an attacker. While he recovered in the hospital, a plot against the crown developed and Aqualad was forced to escape, finding that he was being deliberately over-medicated to keep him from thwarting the usurpers.
While on a quest to assist Aquaman, Garth was kidnapped and forced to fight a giant sea beast to the death, surviving just long enough for Aquaman to defeat the monster. Little did Garth know that, before long, he would be forced to defend himself in a life or death struggle against his mentor over the survival of the infant Arthur Jr. Betrayed and abandoned by Aquaman, Garth stayed in the Hidden Valley to search for links to his identity, eventually finding out he was the lost prince of the Idyllists, though it would be several more years before he learned the truth about his father's murder and his mother's complicity in his exile at the hands of the Poseidonians.
Also as a teenager, Garth met and fell in love with Aquagirl, the impetuous and feisty Atlantean ward of Aquaman's predecessor, King Juvor. They dated for years, aiding Aquaman as defenders of the undersea realms, until Tula's tragic death at the hands of Chemo during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Grief-stricken, Garth left Atlantis, rejoined the Teen Titans on a number of occasions, and saw his relationship with Aquaman become violent and strained.
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.
Garth nearly joined the list of casualties during the Titans story arc Titans Hunt, an all-out attempt to wipe out the former teen sidekicks and their allies. While trying to free the ascending Golden Eagle from the clutches of a member of the Wildebeest Society, Aqualad fell from a great height, his body mangled and his bones shattered on the rocks of a sea wall below. Rescued by the (then) reformed Steve Dayton and Deathstroke, Garth was confined to a tank and left to be cared for by STAR Labs physicians, who found that they could do little for him due to his Atlantean physiology. After he nearly died twice, the Titans called for Aquaman, who took Garth to the Idyllists in the hopes that their metaphysical cures might save him. While at the edge of death, Garth saw Tula and begged to join her in the Great Beyond, but was instead revived by Tusky the Walrus. Angered that Arthur had yet again abandoned him and, worse, with people he thought hated him, he came to blows with Aquaman and Garth severed his ties to his mentor.
Garth and Aquaman rekindled their friendship and began to team up more regularly. As the Aqua-allies tried to stave off an alien invasion, Garth was whisked away by Aquaman's father, Atlan, a mage who existed in another dimension. Atlan told Garth his destiny was to become a powerful mage as well. Atlan trained Garth in his dimension, and taught him how to greatly augment his powers. Garth studied with Atlan for a couple of years, although only a couple of months passed in Aquaman's world. Thus, Garth returned a short time after his disappearance (yet aged a couple of years) with new powers, including the ability to control the temperature of water and fire mystical power blasts from his eyes. Garth was also given a new purpose by Atlan, who told him his destiny was to protect all who live in the ocean.
Upon his return, Garth encountered his uncle - Slizzath - who had transformed himself into a demonic sea creature through dark magic. Slizzath sought to escape his mystical imprisonment using Garth as a conduit. Slizzath created a mystical doppelganger of Tula, who was created to trap Garth and siphon his new powers. Garth saw through the plan and was able to defeat Slizzath, and once and for all maintain a sense of closure about Tula's death. Garth also adopted a new identity as Tempest.
During this time, Garth also discovered his mother Berra was still alive, and living with a group of Idyllists. This forced Garth to confront his feelings of abandonment by his mother, and mother and son began to take tentative steps toward rebuilding their relationship.
Father and Husband
Shortly after this, Garth began a relationship with Dolphin, who was once romantically involved with Aquaman. Initially, Garth and Dolphin concealed their relationship from Aquaman, unsure of what his reaction would be. Eventually, Aquaman learned of their relationship and gave them his blessing.
The Titans later gathered together to save their former member, Victor Stone, from alien influence. The original five Titans - including Tempest - decided to re-form the team with five additional recruits.
Dolphin later discovered she was pregnant. Garth was happy at the news and proposed marriage. Garth and Dolphin were married in a traditional Atlantean ceremony with friends and family in attendance. Dolphin has since given birth to a son. Dolphin and Tempest's first child was named Cerdian by Aquaman as a gesture to the surface-country Cerdia, which had recently fallen under Atlantean control.
As Garth's obligations to the Titans increased, he seemed to have trouble balancing his family life with his dedication to the team. Dolphin rectified the situation by moving into the Titans Tower with Cerdian. Soon after, however, the Titans Tower was destroyed by enemy forces. To put a further strain on the situation, Tempest was almost killed by an addictive drug from a Chemical World. After these events, Dolphin insisted Garth retire from the Titans and Garth reluctantly complied.
Garth moved his family to New Atlantis, where he was greeted with suspicion from the new rulers and placed under house arrest. Leaving his wife and small child behind, Tempest used his wizardry to escape Atlantis and sought Aquaman for help. Eventually, the sorcerers' rule was overturned and Atlantis was restored. Before its citizens could celebrate, Atlantis was attacked by the Spectre, who was driven mad when he lost his human host. As Spectre razed Atlantis to the ground, Tempest and several Atlantean mystics unsuccessfully tried to combat him. With Atlantis destroyed, only Tempests' tattered costumed was found leaving his fate in question. Garth was found however his wife and son remained missing.
One Year Later
One Year Later reveals that Tempest was trying to help Arthur recover the Trident of Poseidon. Tempest was found by Cal Durham and the people of Sub Diego, amnesiac and unable to process water into oxygen, with a post-hypnotic suggestion warning Arthur and Orin on the upcoming fight with their nemesis, Issitoq the Narwal. For the time being, he seems to have lost the ability to process water and any mystical abilities. He later regained his abilities to full power. Later Garth encounters Black Manta, who belittles him yet spares his life as a nod to the cripple he has become. As Manta attempts to murder Arthur and Cal Durham, Garth destroys the Mantamen's ion cannon and thwarts Manta's plans. Deeply depressed about his physical condition and fearing the fates of Dolphin and Cerdian, Garth is introduced to a sorceress named Leah who leads him to a spacecraft she'd used to transport herself from a mystical city where the young mage might find the answer to his troubles. He then boards the ship and leaves in search of his family.
While the fate of his wife and son are still unknown, Tempest has since regained his powers. He was able to escape the clutches of the Anti-Life Equation when Darkseid's elite released it on Earth. He continued to fight alongside the resistance, taking part in the final stand. During the battle, he fought from the ramparts, launching magical bolts as well as heat and ice bursts at their assailants. He saved Hawkgirl, using his ice powers to douse the flames on her wings.
Tempest is then seen swimming in Atlantis, remembering the destruction that had happened to Atlantis. Tempest then realizes that his wife and child died through this, he then goes to bury them. When Garth finally buries his wife and child he thinks back on his life, when he was first born with his purple eyes and was outcast, when he became Aqualad at Arthur's side, when he ventured to the surface world and found a family with the Teen Titans, when he fell in love with Tula, his first love, only to have her taken from him. Then while still standing over the graves his Uncle Slizzath shows up, saying bad things of his dead wife. Garth then attacks him, which is what Slizzath wants, making sure Garth won't stop, and before he dies he says
"The dead shall rise and I will be on the winning side", then Garth passes out. When Garth wakes up he is in the royal palace. Tempest is then told that the queen is not doing her duties and he should be the king of Atlantis. He then goes to see Dick Grayson, someone who has fell into the shoes of his mentor, then goes back to Atlantis and looks like has taken the role as King of Atlantis.
Garth is then seen on land with Mera at Arthur Curry's grave saying that he shouldn't be buried on land, that the king of Atlantis should be with his people.
In Blackest Night #2, Mera and Garth attempt to bring Arthur's body back home, but they are interrupted by Black Lantern Dolphin, Tula, and Arthur Curry, who has brought along an army of dead sea life. Dolphin's head is blown off in the
ensuing fight but the body continues to fight and soon regrows it's head. Garth tells Mera to run before having his heart ripped out. Mera gets away, and Garth becomes a Black Lantern.
Next time he is seen fighting the Titans alongside fellow Black Lanterns Tula, Dolphin, Pantha, and Wildebeest, but Dove is able to defeat them. He, along with Black Lanterns Terra and Hank Hall is able to escape.
Garth appears as Aquaman's ward during Flashpoint. He is framed for the murder of Wonder Woman's mother, and killed.
In the New 52, his status is unknown, but has been mentioned twice: once by Starfire and another time briefly alluded to in Aquaman 14 about a purple eyed youth.
Powers, abilities, and skills
Tempest possesses superhuman strength, allowing him to lift about 8 tons on dry land. 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. 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 speed.
Tempest can swim at speeds of 74 knots. 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. 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. He also has a powerful sense of smell. Tempest breathes by extracting oxygen from the water through tiny pores in his skin.
Tempest also has magical abilities; he can project powerful purple energy blasts from his eyes. He can manipulate water currents; he can create whirlpools, tidal waves, and can boil or freeze vast bodies of water he can also uses these powers to create powerful blast of energy. His powers also include sensing magical energies, post-cognition, telepathy [talking to sea life], dimensional travel, limited telekinesis, and astral projection. Tempest's powers are so great that he was once able to 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. Whether he still possesses any telepathic abilities is debatable.
In Other Media
Teen Titans Animated Series
Aqualad appeared in the animated series of the Teen Titans. In the series he demonstrates that he has the ability to control the water at free will. He later appears as a member of "Titans East" with Speedy, Bumblebee and Mas y Menos.
Episodes in which he appears:
- Deep Six
- Winner takes all
- Calling all Titans
- Titans Together
Batman: the Brave and the Bold
Aqualad was mentioned in the episode "The Color of Revenge!", when Batman says to Robin, "Even Aqualad had to scrub barnacles." Then he made his full debut in the episode "Sidekicks Assemble!", voiced by Zack Shada as a teenager and by Zachary Gordon as a child. Here he battles Ra's al Ghul along with Robin and Speedy. Aqualad is shown to be in his late teens and finally stood up to his mentor Aquaman for all the years of never getting any credit.
Garth appears in the episode "Downtime." This episode gives a glimpse of Garth's origin, that during a battle between Aquaman and Ocean Master, he and Kaldur had intervened allowing the King to triumph. Aquaman impressed with their valor, offered to take on both young heroes as his pupils, but Garth turned down the offer in order to continue his studies at the Conservatory of Sorcery, while Kaldur accepted and became Aqualad. During "Downtime" Garth is with Kaldur's girl Tula. And while Aqualad must deal with his friends' "betrayal," Black Manta attacks Atlantis in attempt to steal an ancient life form from the Science Center. Aqualad, Garth, Tula and Aquaman's wife battles Black Manta's forces to prevent the attempt. Garth is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
Garth is going to appear as one of the 12 playable heroes in the new game Young Justice Legacy which is set for released in 2013.