The DC Pride anthology won’t be the end of the company’s LGBTQIA+ character initiative this year. A new comic starring Aqualad Jackson Hyde, a familiar face to Aquaman readers and viewers of Young Justice.
Aquaman: The Becoming is a six-issue miniseries by Brandon Thomas and Diego Olortegui with covers by David Talaski and it’s coming to shore this September. THR unveiled the cover this past week.
Also revealing the participation of artists Wade von Grawbadger and Jorge Lucas, the cover shows Hyde wading in tropical waters above the tag line “The Seven Seas Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”
Better known as Kaldur or Kaldur’ahm, Jackson Hyde first appeared in the Young Justice cartoon before making his comic debut in the 2010 event Brightest Day. He was a member of Teen Titans briefly and served as both Aqualad and Aquaman on separate occasions.
He was created by Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman, and Phil Bourassa for Young Justice where he became one of the most recent examples of a character being turned gay. At the point of the reveal in the third season episode “Quiet Conversations,” Hyde returned to Atlantis and shared a deep kiss with a mysterious male companion.
Hyde is preceded by several other gay characters by decades including Flash rogue Pied Piper, Hispanic hero Extraño, Batwoman, Legion of Superheroes supporting character Shvaughn Erin, Alpha Fight member Northstar at Marvel, and Doom Patrol’s Negative Man.
Alan Scott is a legacy character that has come out of the closet but that is a retcon first seen on Earth-2 and that ignores his womanizing and family life during the Golden Age.
DC senior editor Chris Conroy explains projects like The Becoming and DC Pride “honestly just came down to folks in the company standing up and saying ‘We want to do this, and we see a fun way to do this, here’s a plan.’”
Conroy is excited by that and the greater presence of LGBTQ at DC Comics. “It doesn’t hurt that we’ve got more LGBTQIA+ folks working here at DC than we’ve ever had before, which means more voices and more expertise,” he said. “I started at DC in 2005, and it’s been really, really gratifying to see this community grow here.”
The community has grown there over the years but the ranks of DC’s office have been slashed through massive cuts and layoffs in the last couple of years. And none of the initiatives the remaining creatives and staff came up with have boosted sales or interest much.
It’s more widely being predicted DC will either be sold or shut down in some capacity. All the while, the 80-page DC Pride is available digitally and on sale in stores.