Here’s another piece from my collection of original artwork, this one by Phil Jiminez. It’s page 9 of the Tempest mini-series published by DC in 1996.

To me—and I suspect most Gorilla Daze readers—Tempest will always be Aqualad, young sidekick of Aquaman. If his erstwhile team mates in the Teen Titans had all got new code names (Nightwing, Arsenal, Troia, Darkstar, er, Donna Troy…), then Garth deserved no less I guess. And, so it was that by the mid-90s many changes had occurred in the young Atlantean’s life: Aquaman had long hair, a beard, and a harpoon for a hand, and Aqualad had lost his girlfriend, been through periods of depression, and died a couple of times… Ah comics.

In this series, his latest return from the netherworld, Garth was given new powers, a new name, and a funky new costume. The former included rather nebulous abilities involving the temperature of water, and lightning from his eyes. The new costume was largely based upon the very short-lived number that Aquaman wore in a 1980s mini-series. That costume had been designed by Neal Pozner, and a variation of it was given to Garth in memory of the recently deceased writer-editor.

The Tempest mini-series is one of those series that makes little sense unless you’re familiar with the continuity that leads into it—and I must confess I’m not. I love the Silver Age Aquaman of Fradon and Cardy and Aparo stripe, but after that I lost track. I do like Phil Jiminez’s work, though. He brings a George Perez-influenced sheen to his comics, with detail to dazzle the eyes: as can be seen here. The series is notable, too, for the faux return of Tula—Aquagirl—and some rather nasty violence, with a disembowelment being particularly disturbing. Ramona Fradon this ain’t!

Apart from the costume and powers changes, the most interesting thing about Tempest is the editorial pages in the fourth and final issue. There, Jiminez essays an extremely moving tribute to Pozner, his first love.

Tempest art, Phil Jiminez

Tempest #1, Phil Jiminez

Tempest #1, Phil Jiminez

Artwork by Phil Jiminez and John Stokes. Stokes was an appropriate choice: he spent many years in British comics drawing the adventures of Fishboy!

Images ©2013 DC Comics