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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
previously known as "Aqualad"
of the Teen Titans
Aqualad (whose real name is "Garth") was a founding member of the original Teen Titans. In recent years, Garth's powers were increased as he obtained impressive magical capabilities. Garth's training by the powerful mage Atlan and his magical abilities have become important aspects of the character. Garth also changed his codename to "Tempest."
As with most Atlanteans, Garth's religion is an Atlantean form of Greco-Roman classical religion which focuses on the worship of Neptune/Poseidon. Aqualad was portrayed as a fairly typical adherent of Atlantean religion. He was neither more nor less religious than the average Atlantean.
The addition of his status as a powerful magic-user is also an important part of Garth's overall religious and spiritual nature. Tempest was even a member of the "Sentinels of Magic," a group of magic-based DC heroes.
From: "Tempest" page on "Titans Tower" website (http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/tempest.html; viewed 28 June 2007):
Tempest Quick Bio: Young Garth was abandoned by his own people because of a superstition concerning his unique purple eyes. Befriended by Aquaman, the underwater orphan became his sidekick as Aqualad! Years later, Garth discovered his secret mystic birthright and emerged as the powerful aquatic hero known as Tempest.
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.
Miraculously, Garth survived in the ocean depths on his own. As the infant grew into boyhood, he eventually met Atlantis' greatest hero, Aquaman. Befriended by Aquaman, the youth was cured of his fear and became Aqualad, the Sea King's junior partner in crime-fighting...
After roaming the ocean depths with Aquaman (while attending school in Scotland by special arrangement), Aqualad returned to Atlantis as a permanent resident when Aquaman married Mera... and became the new king of Atlantis.
A few years later, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad joined together to stop the menace of Mr. Twister. It was the first time the sidekicks joined forces.
The second meeting of the teen sidekicks was more eventful: Robin,Kid Flash, Aqualad, now joined by Wonder Girl and Speedy, fought against their mentors, who had been possessed by the evil Antithesis. At this second meeting, the five youngsters decided to become a team and the Teen Titans were born! The sidekicks would continue to operate with their mentors, as well as spending time with their peers in the Teen Titans...
After a falling-out with Aquaman, Garth decided to search for the truths behind his family roots... The Idylist recorded history made no mention of Slizzath's dark magics; When Garth investigated, the Idylist archives only made mention of King Thar's insanity and the Idlysist's subsequent revolt. Garth also believed he was left to die because the superstitious Atlanteans thought his purple eyes were a sign of inferiority. Garth left believing his mother was dead and his father was indeed insane. He would later discover that this information was false...
The next incarnation of the Teen Titans was gathered by Raven, which Aqualad was not to be a part of, although he did assist the team on various cases - including the shattering Crisis on Infinite Earths. During the Crisis, Garth's longtime love Tula was killed. Garth was devastated.
Aqualad remained in Atlantis, and grieved for a long time after the death of Tula... Garth began to team up more regularly with Aquaman... 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... Garth also adopted a new identity as Tempest...
Shortly after this, Garth began a relationship with Dolphin... 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... Cerdian...
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.
Tempest has enhanced strength and enhanced senses, due to his time spent in the ocean depths. As Aqualad, he had the ability to telepathically communicate with marine life, although that ability has been lost to him. As Tempest, he has the ability to control the temperature of water, from freezing ice to boiling hot. He also have mystical energy force beams which he channels from his eyes. Having spent years under Atlan's tutelage, Garth may possess other mystical mage-like abilities that have not been revealed.
Sources for this entry: DC Who's Who Series, DC Who's Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com
From: "Superheroes/villains and their religions" forum discussion, started 16 March 2006 on "Animation Insider" website (http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/archive/index.php?t-17835.html; viewed 28 June 2008):
03-16-2006, 05:16 AM
Someone pointed this out at another forum. I found it to be quite amusing that someone would actually have enough time on their hands to ponder about this.
03-17-2006, 06:22 AM
Huh. The Power Pack are presumed to be Latter Day Saints? ...I love the Power Pack! Especially the new ones! The only TT [Teen Titans] member the mentioned that I saw was Aqualad. And of course he's Atlantean.
Webpage created 28 June 2007. Last modified 28 June 2007.
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