One of the notable absences during Dawn of DC has been Aquaman. Outside of two different one-shots later this year, one tying into The Lost Kingdom movie and another a tie-in to Beast World event, there is no sign of Aquaman’s presence in the DC Universe right now. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see some building blocks being established for Aquaman or Atlantis. The developments in the first three issues have quietly teased the possible future direction for the Aquaman franchise. Specifically when it comes to Tempest being the one that will launch the new direction based on recent issues of Titans.
For those not caught up, in the first three issues of the new Titans series established that the new Brother Blood has converted Tempest to his new cult. In Titans #3 it appears that Brother Blood is using his own form of mysticism to get Tempest on his side. We see done through some worm like creatures Brother Blood transfers to Tempest mouth-to-mouth, though not showing an on screen kiss. This particular move is done to “help” Tempest infiltrate the Titans as Brother Blood’s spy.
While Tempest is obviously being used there are indications that this is happening due to what’s going on with Atlantis and deeper insecurities that Garth has. On the Atlantis side of things, in Titans #1 one of the reasons Tempest turned down Nightwing and Donna Troy’s membership offer with the current state of Atlantis. While not directly named Tempest shows clear worry that the oceans are dying every day with whatever is going on underwater.
Then there is Tempest himself with how he says all this. While recognized as one of the founders of the Teen Titans Tempest is often forgotten about. Both in the Titans and Aquaman comic books. Even when he does appear in either franchise, he is largely a supporting player at best. It’s the weird limbo Tempest is caught in that many generational heroes find themselves in when they get too old in age. That is likely why it was so easy for the new Brother Blood to convert Tempest to his side in the first place.
Which leads into the upcoming Atlantis tie-in to the Beast World event later this year. In the solicitation for Beast World: Atlantis it teases a battle between Aquaman and Tempest. With this teased fight it could be that Tempest is being set up to be an antagonist against Aquaman.
What would be interesting about this is if Tempest fully breaks away from not only Aquaman but also Atlantis as a whole. We know DC Comics has tried to establish the bigger underwater world for the Aquaman franchise in the past. Tempest going off to lead his own kingdom as he finds his own place in the world could help with that.
Not only that but it would give Tempest a bigger role within the DC Universe. It’s something that would finally give Tempest a direction so he moves up from being a background character. This would in turn help the Aquaman franchise so it isn’t just reliant on Arthur Curry. Building key roles for Tempest, Mera, Aqualad, Andrina Curry, Tula, and Lorena Marquez would strengthen the Aquaman franchise.