The last episode of DC Universe’s Young Justice: Outsiders (“Quiet Conversations”) saw the reveal that one member of the team happens to be gay. Spoiler warning from here for those who haven’t watched it yet. Regardless, if interested, read on.
Aqualad, aka Kaldur’ahm of Atlantis, confirmed his sexual orientation at the end when he locked lips with an anonymous male companion he brought home to his Kingdom.
This appears to have been the plan all along. Greg Weisman, the creator of Young Justice, teased the existence of LGBT characters on the team long before the show was revived. In 2017, he tweeted very bluntly there were:
There are already LGBT characters in #YoungJustice
— Greg Weisman (@Greg_Weisman) January 6, 2017
Even before that, he singled out Aqualad and his hidden sexuality in the Flashpoint Paradox animated adaptation. See below:
— Greg Weisman (@Greg_Weisman) August 15, 2013
Kaldur first appeared in Young Justice, but made the transition to comics in Brightest Day #4 (2010). His print counterpart was named Jackson Hyde and created by Blackest Night author Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Back in the cartoon, he has led quite an eventful life — inheriting the trident and title of Aquaman as well as becoming the Justice League’s new leader.
Young Justice’s big twist this season is surprising, but follows current comic book canon, so we’re not seeing anything new. Rebirth made Kaldur an out-of-the-closet teen with a boyfriend. Moreover, the show’s new season has made it a point to add more representation to its cast and the DC Animated Universe. Halo is declared gender fluid and shared a same-sex kiss before Aqualad did, with Harper Row in Episode 18.
DC’s push for greater diversity has already touched The CW’s Arrowverse in Supergirl, Black Lightning and the introduction of Batwoman. And the initiative is growing. The Extended Universe won’t be an exception much longer to the trend. Once Birds of Prey is in theaters we will be introduced to Ewan McGregor’s reportedly flamboyantly gay Black Mask. He is said to have flirtations with Zsasz and hunts Cassie Cain to retrieve a diamond and some incriminatingly explicit photos.
Birds of Prey will be out in February of 2020. Young Justice: Outsiders airs through the summer on DC Universe.
What do you think of Aqualad’s character development? Leave a comment.