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You Brought Me The Ocean (Aqualad) (2020)

by Alex Sanchez, Julie Maroh (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aqualad

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Showing 4 of 4
This is, in some ways, a simple super-hero origin story. But it is so much more than that - a coming of age story, a queer first romance, an exhortation to honesty and communication. It was a lovely read.

content notes: [spoilers]
- past domestic violence/current fear of violence if the main family are found by the missing family member.
- Homophobic behaviour/bullying.
  fred_mouse | Sep 3, 2020 |
An angsty but heartwarming gay romance that just happens to involve some super powers. Jake Hyde has a lot of secrets for a high school kid in a small desert town in New Mexico: his college plans, his attraction to classmate Kenny Liu, and what happens when he comes into contact with water. Over the course of a few days, the secrets start coming out, rocking Jake, his friends and his family.

A nicely drawn and written character study.

Unlike some of the more Elseworlds sort of DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults, this one seems like it could fit in regular DCU continuity, and I hope the powers that be at DC make regular use of the Jake Hyde character, perhaps in Young Justice. But first I would love to see a follow-up volume by this same creative team.

(p.s., Oh, ha ha, apparently there is already a Jackson Hyde/Aqualad character that I missed in the DC Brightest Day and Rebirth events, and this story is a spin on his existing origin.) ( )
  villemezbrown | Aug 4, 2020 |
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review.
This was a heartfelt origin story that tackles identity and sexuality.

Prior to reading this, I had no idea who Jake Hyde (aka Aqualad) was so I had no expectations going in about his origin story. I was pleasantly surprised. The superhero element was a lot more subtle than I thought it would be. Jake trying to figure out the mystery behind his powers and coming to terms with his sexuality were both given equal weight. I liked that the book didn’t go too overboard with the superhero aspect because that could have easily overshadowed the coming-out story.

The plot is very basic (it’s not the most exciting superhero comic you will read), but it works well for what the story was trying to accomplish. Sometimes less is more, and this book proves that.

As for the characters, I loved Kenny. He was hands down my favorite character. I also loved the diversity in the characters. Jake is black. His best friend, Maria, is Latina. Kenny is Asian. The teacher, Mrs. Archer, is Native American.

At first I wasn’t a fan of the artwork. I saw a sneak peek of this in another DC Comic and I was a little hesitant. The artwork seemed a little incomplete. But as I started the book and kept reading, I grew to love and appreciate it. There was actually a lot of detail in the sketches. I loved that at the end of the book there was sketches from the illustrator explaining the thought process behind them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beautiful superhero comic and its coming-out storyline! #RepresentationMatters ( )
1 vote oddandbookish | Jun 18, 2020 |
Jake Hyde is in his junior year of high school and wants to study the ocean. He's never even seen the ocean, living in Truth or Consequences, NM, but he's always felt drawn there. His best friend Maria wants to study closer to home, and Jake's overprotective mother would agree. After his father drowned when he was a baby, his mother has all but forbid him to go near open water. There are other complications, like the weird birth marks Jake has up and down his arms and legs that glow when wet, and his growing crush on Kenny Liu, captain of the swim team.

The story moves at a nice pace, allowing plenty of time for the characters to show who they are and Julie Maroh ('Blue is the Warmest Color') provides a dreamy landscape that doesn't dilute the sharper aspects of the story. I'd forgotten this was a DC Comics graphic novel when Jake and Maria spot Superman flying high in the sky towards the West coast while hiking.

This novel succeeds as a coming-of-age story, complete with first romance, tears and drama as well as an origin story for Aqualad. There is an astonishing amount of LGBTQIA books coming out now (yay!), and this one hits all the marks. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | May 9, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sanchez, AlexAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maroh, JulieIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennett, DeronLetterer.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For as long as I can remember, I've dreamed of another world.
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