Jackson Hyde: Aquaman
Writer Brandon Thomas gave readers a glimpse into Jackson Hyde’s future in Aquaman: Future State. Thomas explored a future where Jackson Hyde was Aquaman and the Arthur Curry and Mera’s daughter was Aquawoman. Wisely, Thomas avoids the tangled continuity of DC’s Future State books. Instead, Aquaman: The Becoming delivers a solid foundation and reintroduction to the character of Aqualad.
By: DC Comics
Written by: Brandon Thomas
Pencils by: Diego Olortegui
Inks by: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Jackson Hyde, Aqualad, was a member of the Teen Titans. Hyde is also the son of the villain Black Manta. Aquaman: The Becoming does not spend time going over Hyde’s history. Brandon Thomas jumps readers directly into a training battle with Arthur Curry’s Aquaman. Furthermore, this first issue is more of a “day in the life” than an origin. Thomas is interested showing readers who Jackson Hyde is, more than how he got here. This present tense perspective provides energy to the opening issue.
Story & Continuity
The story picks up after a side story in August’s Aquaman 80th Anniversary issue. Aqualad is part of Atlantean society and taking advice from Aquman and Mera. Jackson Hyde is comfortable with who is, both as a hero and as a person. Brandon Thomas takes this character who struggled initially under Robin’s Teen Titans and shows off his friendship and self-confidence with the Teen Titans. Additionally, Thomas highlights the strong relationship Jackson Hyde has with his mother. Readers witness a caring, confident superhero. However, super heroes come with confrontations. Hyde is attacked by a mysterious figure in Atlantean armor. As Hyde regains consciousness, the guards accuse him of terrorism. Brandon Thomas creates this conflict as a challenge to Hyde’s confidence and place in Atlantis.
The artistic team of Diego Olortegui, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Adraino Lucas create a bright and colorful world for Jackson Hyde. Grawbadger’s inks and Lucas’ colors match the cheerful and optimistic tone of Brandon Thomas’ opening. Olortegui’s pencils portray the movement in the action scenes and capture emotion of the wordless panels. However, there are panels when to character details are limited. This gives the artwork a solid, cartoony presentation.
Aquaman: the Becoming
Brandon Thomas returns to Jackson Hyde after his creative approach in Future State. Aquaman: The Becoming is a solid start for a creative team who hopeful has a lot to say during this limited series.