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An Aqualad Graphic Novel

by Alex Sanchez ; illustrated by Julie Maroh

Pub Date: June 9th, 2020
ISBN: 978-14012-9081-8
Publisher: DC

Finding yourself is difficult enough, but it’s more complicated when you have magical powers.

Jake Hyde already has enough to worry about—fretting over being accepted to his dream university to study oceanography; wondering if he’ll ever leave Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, his small town in the middle of the desert; and finding the courage to come out. In the midst of all that, he connects with Kenny—a jock and the only openly gay kid in school—and finds out that the “birthmarks” on his body that he self-consciously keeps covered grant him the power to control water. Jake is keeping secrets from his helicopter mom and best friend, Maria, who’s in love with him, and in living his truth he learns more about the father he believes drowned 17 years ago. In a universe with superheroes and supervillains, Jake must decide who he’s going to be. Sanchez’s text lends authenticity to Jake’s conflicted emotions surrounding his identity and future; he doesn’t shy away from showing the hostile bullying that Kenny and Jake face for daring to be openly gay. Maroh’s realistic sketches in muted tones are infused with bursts of color with generally pale scenery. The illustrations and text work in concert, each amplifying and complementing the other. Jake is African American, Maria is Latinx, and Kenny is Chinese American.

A worthy, diverse addition to the DC Universe.

(Graphic romance. 12-18)