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Aqualad from the Young Justice cartoon - portrait

Aqualad

(Kaldur'ahm)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Young Justice was an animated television series. It ran for 2 seasons (2011-2013). Young Justice wasn’t based on the prior comic book series. Instead, it took place in a series-specific version of the DC Universe (“Earth-16”) and with a different roster.

On Earth-16, super-heroes have been around for less than a decade, but the Justice League already has sidekicks. Yearning to be considered as real heroes, these teenagers form “the Team”. The Team specializes in covert missions and reconnaissance.

The show’s tone was a healthy blend of teen angst, humour, and action. Throughout the series, the plot remained fresh while respecting the source material.

At this stage, our Young Justice profiles cover the first 10 episodes of Season 1.


Background

  • Real Name: Kaldur’ahm
  • Other Aliases: Kaldur, Designation B02
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Black Manta (father), Unnamed Atlantean Mother (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: Young Justice
  • Base Of Operations: Mount Justice, Happy Harbour, Rhode Island
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 160 lbs
  • Eyes: Light Azure Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

As an Atlantean/Human hybrid, Aqualad has the physiology of a being adapted to living under the crushing depths of the earth’s oceans. These adaptions grant him superhuman strength, speed and durability that are most effective in the ocean but diminished somewhat on dry land.

He has proven to be quite strong and durable. He is capable of holding his own against physical powerhouses like Superboy (with extreme effort) for moments and has been able to weather heavy blows from similar sources with little harm.

He has also proven to be quite resistant to drugs and toxins due a certain amount of toxins (much like those found in jellyfish) that can be found flowing through his system.

Aqualad’s hybrid nature also grants him the ability to live and breathe comfortably both on land and in the sea. He can breathe water (through the gills located on his neck) as easily as he can air, and can swim and maneuver through the water in a manner that would make sharks and other sea life envious.

Aqualad using his weapons

Unfortunately, his genetic enhancements make him exceptionally vulnerable to dehydration from sources of extreme heat.

Aqualad has had at least a full year of military training in the Atlantean military, and as such is a skilled melee fighter and strategist.

Electricity is magic

Outside of physical enhancements he possesses due to his hybrid nature, Aqualad has two “mystical” abilities that he gained after a semester of study at the Atlantean Conservatory of Sorcery. The source of these abilities are mystically linked to the unique tattoos that cover the length of his arms, shoulders and upper back.

The first of these abilities is the generation of high levels of raw electricity. With concentration Aqualad can channel this electricity through his body and into any target that he is physically touching (much like an electric eel) to great effect.

Despite its mystic origins, the electricity that he generates retains the same behaviour and properties of mundane or natural electricity and is capable of travelling through any form of conductive medium.

Water mastery

Secondly, by channeling a portion of his mystically might through a specially crafted pair of “Water-Bearers,” Aqualad gains the ability to manipulate and shape water into a variety of shapes, sizes and consistencies.

With concentration he can use water from any nearby source (like a fire hydrant, a lake or the pack of water on his back) and use them to form whips, shields, hammers, blades, waves, water spouts, blasts of water or even an animated dragon.

His water constructs have a varying level of consistency but at their hardest, he has used them to either shear through metal or to simply shatter concrete. He seems to be limited by his imagination and the amount of available water he as at hand.

One of the more creative uses he has come up with for his water constructs is to use them as a conductive medium for his electrical power, allowing him to strike at a distance with his most potent weapon.


History

[This is an abridged version of the history that can be found in the Young Justice (Main Article) profile. See said article for a more detailed description of the Team’s History]

Among what little has been revealed about Kaldur’ahm’s past, 2 facts stand out. The first is that he has played the role of loyal servant and protégé to the world renowned hero Aquaman (in the guise of Aqualad) for several years before the formation of Young Justice.

The second fact has slightly more ominous undertones. While Kaldur’ahm (Kaldur for short) is an Atlantean, his father is the human villain known as Black Manta.

Kaldur’ahm was born and raised in Shayeris – one of the many cities in the diverse underwater kingdom of Atlantis. At the age of 12, he completed his education and began to serve with the Atlantean military (which is mandatory for all at that age).

After a year of service, he was transferred to the prestigious Conservatory of Sorcery in the Atlantean capital of Poseidonis. It was there where he first met Queen Mera, his King Aquaman, and made lifelong friends out of two fellow students that he met there; Garth and Tula.

For Kings too can die

During his tenure with the Conservatory, the villain known as the Ocean Master attacked Atlantis. The Master eventually engaged Aquaman in single combat. Kaldur’ahm watched in horror and fascination as his liege battled the usurper, entranced by the fierceness of the battle. The two powerful undersea warriors struggled back and forth, until the Ocean Master gained the upper hand.

Kaldur’ahm was shocked as a single fortunate blow from the Ocean Master rendered Aquaman senseless. It was at that moment that the Kaldur’ahm morphed from a spectator to an active participant in the struggle.

With a single look to his friend Garth, Kaldur’ahm surged forward, launching himself at the villainous invader before he could land the finishing blow upon his stunned foe. Even as he struggled desperately with his much larger foe, Kaldur’ahm noticed that Garth had entered the fray as well.

The two impetuous youths fought vainly against their far more capable foe, desperately hoping to make a difference. To their credit, they did. The two youths managed to hold Ocean Masters attention just long enough for the stunned Aquaman to regain his wits. With his sea legs back underneath him, the reinvigorated hero re-entered the battle eventually managed to defeat the villain.

Aqualad wrestles Superboy

The experience shook the aquatic hero to his core. For the first time he realized that even a man as powerful as he was couldn’t continue to shoulder the responsibilities he had to both the surface world and Atlantis on his own. He knew that it was possible that one day, he would fall and that someone would need to take his place.

He decided in that moment that he needed help; he needed a protégé. The two youths bravery and mettle in battle impressed the aquatic lord, and without a second thought or moment of doubt Aquaman offered the boys the opportunity to become his protégés.

Squire

The ever adventuresome Kaldur’ahm jumped at the chance to serve his king as his protégé, but Garth declined the offer in favour of returning to his studies. In his stead, Kaldur’ahm became the young hero who the world would come to know as Aqualad.

Kaldur’ahm (Kaldur for short) participated in many adventures; both beside his liege as well as beside the sidekicks of Aquaman’s allies in the Justice League. Out of the assembled protégés, Kaldur was one of the first to be offered membership to the Justice League.

When the invitation was extended to him, he remained composed and hid his own excitement over the prospect of joining the prestigious league. As a group, the League decided that the protégés would officially join the League on the 4th of July.

Even though it seemed as if an eternity had passed, the 4th of July finally arrived. The day started out relatively routinely for the aquatic duo, and before long they had faced and easily defeated the ice wielding villainess, Killer Frost, at Pearl Harbour.

Aqualad himself landed the decisive blow that ended the battle. Aqualad remained completely focused during the battle, refusing to allow the coming events of the day to affect his concentration on the task at hand. It was only when Kill Frost lay unconscious at his hands that he allowed a hint of his eagerness to show.

With that, both he and Aquaman assembled alongside his friends and their mentors in front of the Hall of Justice, in Washington DC.

Sidekicks

He and the other sidekicks were given an abridged tour of the facility. Then it became apparent that despite their new status that they would still be treated as children and not as equals. Though he was clearly disappointed by the adults’ treatment, Aqualad reluctantly accepted their decision.

At least he did until Robin convinced him that they could show the adults up at their own game.

Aqualad and Aquaman (Young Justice animated version)

As a result, Aqualad joined Robin and Kid Flash in aiding the local authorities to curtail a fire that had broken out at Cadmus Labs. In the course of their actions, the heroic trio unintentionally uncovered the secret Genomorph Project, deep within the bowels of Project Cadmus, and freed the slumbering Superboy.

Aqualad was instrumental in convincing the confused and angry young man to join the side of the heroes and freeing him from captivity.

The 4 young heroes escaped the facility. Yet they soon found themselves confronted by the adult members of the League, and reprimanded for their actions. Aqualad accepted the criticism without comment, until the four were told that they were forbidden to take part in any action such as they had that very night again.

At that moment, Aqualad spoke up and refuted not only Batman’s words, but those of his King and mentor Aquaman as well.

The Team

He spoke passionately about doing right and the group’s effectiveness, and inspired the others around him to do the same. Perhaps it was his words, or the determined looks that the 4 levelled at their mentors that convinced the adults. But in the end, it really didn’t matter. Batman decided that he could find a use for such youthful passion.

Four days later, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin and Superboy were officially inducted into the Justice Leagues covert operations group (operating out of Mount Justice) and introduced to their fifth member, Miss Martian.

Aqualad with paired water swords

It wasn’t long before the group participated in its first mission. Due to his calm demeanour and ability to take clear decisive action, the young Atlantean soon found himself the official field leader of the group. Kaldur reluctantly accepted the responsibility, but only after confirming that he would only hold the position until Robin was ready for the role.

On the 27th of August, after a failed training session, Aqualad returned home to Poseidonis. He sought to clear his mind and silence a longing that had grown over the several months he had been absent from home.

Despite his love for adventure, and for his new friends, he truly considered rejoining the Conservatory of Sorcery. He wanted to be close to the woman he had come to realized that he loved, Tula.

Unfortunately for Kaldur, when he professed his affection for the beautiful young Atlantean she revealed that she and Garth had become a couple in Kaldur’s absence. To make matter even worse, Poseidonis came under siege by the undersea conqueror Black Manta, who planned on stealing a recently discovered frozen giant echinoderm.

Despite his own distress, Aqualad once more joined his own strength with that of his dear friend Garth, and thwarted Black Manta’s plans. With the threat dispatched, and his love life in tatters, Aqualad returned to the surface world with rejuvenated drive.


Description

Aqualad is a handsome young man with African-American features and deep brown skin. His short blond hair is shaved close to his scalp, and while his muscular development is obvious, he possesses a long lean swimmer’s build.

Unless he has taken measures to hide them, Aqualad’s distinct features prominently display his hybrid nature. He has large visible webbing between the fingers of his hands (and presumably his feet as well) and possesses a set of gills on either side of his neck that are clearly functional.

If his unusual looks were not enough, Aqualad has one other characteristic that makes him stand out. A set of long sinuous black tattoos run from the back of his neck, across his shoulders and eventually wrap down and circle his arms. The tattoos closely resemble dark eel-like creatures that light up with an internal illumination when he is actively using his powers.

Aqualad’s costume is a skin tight full body red and black swimsuit that exposes both his arms and feet. Like other Atlanteans (including Aquaman) Aqualad goes barefoot at nearly all times. Aqualad also wears a streamlined black backpack that holds a reservoir of water that he can manipulate with his powers at any time.

His Water-Bearers, which are shaped like the hilts of two swords, poke out of the top of the backpack within reach of his hands for easy access when needed.


Personality

Aqualad is as calm, level-headed and responsible as one can expect a 16 year old to be. In situations that require decisive action, he radiates professionalism and confidence much like that of a soldier.

Despite this though, as a leader, he is still quite reactive to danger and obstacles in the team’s way. He has yet to develop the savvy and forward thinking that many of the more experienced leaders in the League possess.

Despite being a natural leader, Aqualad has no desire to be one. At the moment, he has only accepted the role because none of his teammates are capable of doing it at this moment.

On an instinctive level, Aqualad knows that eventually Robin will be a better leader than he could ever be, but his current lack of maturity prevents him from accepting the mantle of leadership. So until Robin has grown into his capabilities, Aqualad has accepted that the burden of leadership will be his to bear.

Aqualad using hydrokinesis

On a personal level, Aqualad is charismatic speaker and has a very amiable countenance. His soft spoken and respectful manner makes those around him trust him almost instantly and he is able to forge strong bonds of friendship in a very short period of time.

Unlike most people, he seems to try to see the good in all people and will most often act as a voice of reason with his teammates. He is cautious with his words, and will often offer his council to his more impetuous teammates if they need it.

Even though Aqualad holds all in equal regard, he reserves a higher amount of respect for Aquaman that is apparent to all that observe the two of them together. Aqualad will always refer to Aquaman as his “Liege” or “my King.”

In battle, Aqualad is a fierce and competent fighter. He strikes without doubt and always answers his enemies attacks with the suitable amount of force.

He will often wade into the fray utilizing his inhuman strength first, graduating to his water bearers if the situation warrants it, and should the opponent prove to be too much for them, he will unleash his electricity in the attempts to down his foes.

Quite often, he will combine his powers, using the water from his water-bearers as a conductive medium for his electricity, thereby eliminating his lack of long distance weaponry.


Quotes

(While pursuing Killer Frost) Aquaman: “Don’t tell me you’re not excited.”
Aqualad: “Right now my king, I’m more focused on the task at hand.”

(Regarding disobeying the Batman’s order to stay put) “Solve their case before they do. It would be poetic justice.”

“Superboy… You live. That gives you the right to follow your own path. A weapon or a person. The choice is yours. Ask yourself, What would Superman do ?”

Batman: “You will not be doing this again.”
Aqualad: “I’m sorry, but we will.”
Aquaman: “Aqualad, stand down !”
Aqualad: “Apologies my king, but no. We did good work here tonight, the work you trained us to do. Together, on our own. We forged something powerful, something important.”

“We’re off duty, call me Kaldur’ahm. Actually my friends call me Kaldur.”

“I may not have psychic powers, but I can guess what you are thinking. You overreacted and don’t know how to apologize. Just say sorry.”

(Chastising Robin for disappearing during a fight) “Fighting alongside Batman, your roles are defined. You don’t need to talk. But this team is new, and a leader must clear, explicit. He cannot vanish and expect others to play parts in an unknown plan.”

(To Robin after debating who should lead the team) “Then I accept the burden, until you are ready to lift it from my shoulders. You were born to lead this team. Maybe not now, but soon.”


DC Universe History

The events of Young Justice are canonical and take place on Earth-16 within the DC Universe. Any travel through the DC Multiverse could potentially bring the player characters into contact with this version of Aqualad.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Aqualad (Earth-16)

Dex: 05 Str: 07 Bod: 07 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Soldier/Superhero
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 40

Powers:
Cold Immunity: 02, Jumping: 01, Electric Being (ML): 09, Swimming: 07, Systemic Antidote: 03, Ultra Vision: 07, Water Freedom: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Jumping: only for leaps out of of water (-1), requires use of Swimming at full APs the previous phase

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Charisma (Persuasion): 06, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques): 06, Occultist (Occult Knowledge): 03, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry (Melee): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Occultist: Limited to knowledge pertaining to Atlantean Sorcery

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Atlantis), Language (Atlantean), Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Paired Weapons (Water-Bearers)

Connections:
Aquaman (High), Atlantis (Low), Justice League (Low), Red Arrow (High), Red Tornado (Low), Young Justice (High)

Drawbacks:
Age (Young: 16), Gradual Loss Vulnerability (Dehydration attacks, Extreme Heat; Affects Physical Attributes and Powers), Creepy Appearance (Webbed hands, Visible Gills, Tattoos)

Genre:
Action

Equipment:

  • See the Young Justice (Main Article) writeup for more general team equipment.
  • Waterpack [BODY 07, Notes: Backpack that holds water to fuel Aqualad’s Water-Bearers. It also acts as a sheath for his Water-Bearers]
  • Water-Bearers (x2) [BODY 08, Force Manipulation (ML): 08, Water Animation (ML): 08, Water Blast (ML): 08, Water Control (ML): 08, R#01, Bonuses & Limitations: Force Manipulation, Water Blast & Water Control are all Elementally linked (-1), Force Manipulation formed objects are made of water rather than energy (+0), the wielder of the water bearers must be capable of generating enough Bio-Electricity to power them (+0)]

Design notes

Aqualad’s precise STR is hard to pinpoint due to lack of decisive evidence. Even though he has demonstrated some measure of superhuman strength in the series when it came done to dishing out damage, he resorts to using his hydro-kinesis and hard-water constructs to shatter things like concrete and to fight with Superboy.

Moreover, when he was attacked by the Guardian the struggle seemed nearly even until Aqualad unleashed his electric attack and stunned Guardian into unconsciousness. Finally, he was unable to break the steel shackles that held him immobile, where Superboy shattered them with little to no effort.

If we assume Guardian is the peak of human strength and that the shackles had a BOD of at least 08, these could be fairly good indicators of Aqualad’s level of physical STR.

Debated greatly over a DEX of 06 for Aqualad. It is clear that he has superhuman strength and heightened agility, but I saw no real evidence that his DEX was greater than Robin’s or even Kid Flash’s.

Extrapolated Atlantean suite of powers from Aquaman, Aquagirl and Submariner write-ups

Moved the actual Water Control powers to his Water-Bearers themselves, as he has never actively demonstrated the ability to control/animate water without them at this point in time.

By Bryan Gittens

Source of Character: Young Justice (Television series & Comics), S1E01 – S1E10 (voiced by Khary Payton).

Helper(s): Young Justice Wiki, Adam, Azrael, Darci, Eric Langendorff. Fan art by Winter (detoured version of the original).

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