This week marks the fourth issue of DC’s Brightest Day, and if you were wondering if the DCU would be getting any new faces following Blackest Night, you only have to look to Geoff Johns who revealed the new Aqualad.

Aqualad’s story actually begins in a few short weeks in BRIGHTEST DAY #4. I won’t tell you much yet, but I will tell you – he has no idea he’s about to become Aqualad. In fact, he lives in one of the driest places in America – Silver City, New Mexico.

Time for your thoughts and reactions, and don’t forget Brightest Day #4 arrives in stores this week.

via The Source


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Astro Dinosaurus on

    Blaquaman….Don’t worry a black dude came up with the name so its cool.
    It always annoys me how they never really got down to making Aquaman a cool character. The only thing Aquaman man needs is a good writer that focuses on the aspects that make him interesting. And with a new sidekick and all this brightest day stuff at least they are putting some focus on him. Here’s hoping for a cooler Aquaman from now on if they are going to spend so much time on him. Blaqua Lad looks cool, but is that Deadman (What did he do to deserve a beatdown?)

  2. I’m all for “diversity” in the ethnic background of comics characters. However, I don’t understand why there’s the need to kill off an established character to replace them with a character of another race or ethnic group. The exception would be Blue Beetle where the death of a character (at least for now…until they decide to “Barry Allen” Ted Kord) seemed to be part of the overall story and the person that ends up with the scarab just happened to be hispanic. Since there’s been a “Young Justice” cartoon series in the works for awhile, it makes it seem that the only reason that Garth gets whacked as a Black Lantern is to make way for a black kid from the middle of the desert. Luke Cage didn’t start as a “redone” character, nor did the Black Panther, Vixen, Storm, Black Lightning and the “Dakota” characters. The original Mr. Terrific had been dead for some time before the new character debuted in JSA. I’d rather see a new character started from the bottom up than having another ethnic group get a “hand-me-down” gimmick.

    • Astro Dinosaurus on

      That’s rarely the case. It just looks this way because waaay to many of the characters are white than what the percentages would really look like. So when an old character dies and a new guy/gal takes the mantle there’s the whole adjustment of age, gender and race…And suddenly it looks like a lot of white people are getting killed and replaced just to earn some diversity points, when in reality it has more to do with the fact that a lot of these characters are so old they couldn’t have been anything but white when they were created.

      • Very true. But why not just let that character “die” and go with a completely new name, etc.? It’s not like “Aqualad” was the only name that they could tag this character with. There’s quite a few names related to sea-creatures and legends that they could have gone with. Plus, Aqualad was the only Teen Titan member that didn’t have someone else take their name, even after Garth became Tempest. This just seems like a forced attempt to generate a character for an animated series not even in the same continuity as the DCU, as opposed to bringing a popular character such as Batman Beyond from animation to comics.

        • Astro Dinosaurus on

          True! I always thought the companies liked their properties to much and would go with brand recognition above creativity. And I think you have a point that this happens more than it should with the less and less likely characters becoming legacy characters. I could see how this might be especially true because a writer would want to leave an impression on character he grew up with. But hey if we were picking the name… How about “Sword fish” he could carry a cutlass and stuff. To few superheroes carry swords…No? Barracuda then?

    • Astro Dinosaurus on

      Its a guilty pleasure, the wordplay that is and not vaguely racist nicknames…*Sigh* I’m done ;)

    • Meh, I’m black and I’m cool with the the term “Blaqualad”, not that my personal sensibilities is the arbiter PC.

      If it was up to me, “Blaqualad” would be used in a cannon comic book to demonstrate the DC characters grappling with a dawning awareness of a superpowered population more diverse than they initially realized. Especially relevant now that Dakota is in the DCU proper.

      Just like the real world, there could be varying levels of comfort among heroes with the concept of powerful beings that are non white…and some like Blue Beatle II, Mr. Miracle II, Mr. Terrific II and Aqualad II replacing the more “familiar” skin tone. Does the the hero community at large think about that? How great would it be to read iconic heroes from the Silver and Golden ages challenging their own assumptions of color blind nobility. Imagine Alan Scott, Ted Grant and Jay Garrick discussing how they managed to avoid teaming up with all but a handful of minority heroes over the years, pondering what’s the lesser evil: patronization, indifference, or outright bias?

      In the hands of the right pen, someone blurting out “Blaqualad” in a story would be enlightening. Imagine someone like Damien Wayne, Guy Gardner or Lobo saying what the more polite characters (and readers) think but are too mature to say out loud:

      “What’s up Blaqualad? I thought those people don’t care much for swimming, especially after that one-way cruise about 400 years ago? Everyone glares.

      “What? Dude over there calls himself Black Lightning, what’s the difference? It’s my first time meeting a “brother” from new Mexico. How’d you learn to swim?”

      The enlightening part would not be Aqualad’s reaction. It’s what the other characters REALLY think as the discussion unfolds. As long as the scene demonstrates that color blindness as not a goal, all is cool with me. The heroes ought to be fighting for a color neutral society (and by extension, the readers too). In that context, I would not find the use of the term Blaqualad offensive or derogatory.

      It would be a totally different vibe if Aqualad II was written like a Jakeem Thunder/BA Baracus/Luke Cage stereotype, and was introduced to the DCU by saying something like “Yo, call me Blaqualad, homey”. Aside from the obvious, the Black people I’ve met who were raised in New Mexico don’t speak like that (yes they exist, go meet some).

      • Astro Dinosaurus on

        First of that’s brilliant, secondly this is why I like characters like Damian and Deadpool they provide options…And then get a bad rep for it. Bad people can be good characters. Never thought of using them like that though. But yeah back to your idea, context is everything and the humour in a name like Blaqualad makes it perfect for that kind of use. And I can’t believe writers wouldn’t have something to say regarding race and superheroes. But I’m afraid a good deal don’t want to sound preachy and those that don’t care about being preachy normally don’t get any message that well across. Its a shame though…

        I just noticed something about the new Aqualad though..Is that a lightning sparking from his hand, cause that’s just a whole other discussion.

        • As far as Aqualad’s power signature…

          Option 1- Static got a new gig.

          Option 2 – Jefferson Pierce and Mera got drunk at a JLA Christmas Party long ago…

          Option 3 – DC is going to shock the world by revealing that Garth is among many dead heroes who came back to life as as black people (off panel) during Blackest Night. See what they did there with the title? Blackest Night. Next they will reveal that Ralph Dibny is coming back, but he doesn’t need Gingold anymore (stop…now think about it).

  3. Also, I’m betting the sales on the Aqualad limited series from the mid 90s will support the opinion that the Garth Aqualad was not a very popular DC character. I think the fact that the first thing the other readers (including myself) seemingly noticed about the new one is his ethnicity coupled with the Shaft reference at the top of the post is testament that comics do need more diversity and a character that is more often than not in limbo (which is rare for a silver age character who once was the costar of a cartoon) isn’t too much of a sacrifice.

  4. brainypirate on

    This is so odd, given that DC has been widely accused in recent months of re-whitening the DCU by killing off all the ethnic legacy characters. And plenty of folks have noted that the way to establish more diversity in the DCU is to give new characters their own schtick and not to simply hand down an established power/name to a non-white character.

    So what does DC do? Restart the whole cycle by creating a new legacy character out of a minority?

    I suppose the new Aqualad was already in the works when the Ryan Choi scandal erupted a few weeks back, but still, it seems odd that DC would fall back into the same bad pattern, even as it is otherwise bleaching its cast lists….

    The idea of a black kid in the desert with water powers is cool (if you ignore that blacks make up less than 1% of Silver City residents–couldn’t they have gone with a Native American here?), but skip the Aqualad label and give him a name that’s more independent of the Aquaman family.

    • brainypirate on

      Possible, but that’d be much more likely in the Southeast–Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.–or in the Caribbean. There were some blacks in the Spanish Southwest, but New Mexico is by and large a mix of Anglo, Hispano and Native. I realize that Silver City is probably useful given that the White Lantern is in New Mexico, and I can see why they wouldn’t want another SW Latino character, given that Jaime Reyes is already in the neighborhood. But it seems a bit odd that they wouldn’t go for someone a bit more indigenous to the area. But maybe his dad is a professor at WNMU.

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