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Aquagirl I

Alias: Tula

Titans Honorary Member
Related Links: Tempest (Garth) • Aquagirl II (Lorena Marquez)

Aquagirl Quick Bio: The young orphan Tula was adopted by one the royal families of Atlantis and raised as a princess of Poseidonis. Tula later became Aquagirl when she became romantically involved with Aqualad. Their romance ended tragically when Aquagirl perished during the Crisis of Infinite Earths.

Teen Titans File Photo:

Archived File Photos (in chronological order):

 

History


Princess of Poseidonis

Orphaned soon after birth when her parents mysteriously died, Tula was adopted by one of the royal families of Atlantis and raised as a princess of Poseidonis. Little is known about Tula’s early years, save that she was schooled in the traditional Atlantean ways and remained secluded in the royal palace. Tula was 15 when she met Garth, a young hero who went by the name Aqualad. They soon fell in love.

Aquagirl

Much of Tula’s teenage life was without incident, although she would occasionally join Garth on missions above the surface world with the original Teen Titans. Tula even adopted the codename Aquagirl, as a tribute to Garth and Aquaman.

Garth meets Aquachick… er, Aquagirl in the  pages of AQUAMAN #33 [1967].

When Aquaman left his throne to search for his then-missing wife Mera, Tula’s life changed drastically. Atlantis was ruled by Nakran in Aquaman’s absence. Nakran ruled Atlantis as a dictatorship, which fell only when Tula led a rebellion against him. Tula continued her life after this, resuming her life with Garth when he returned to Atlantis. She continued to be an ally to Garth and the Teen Titans. She and Garth aided the Titans in bringing down the H.I.V.E. once and for all.

Aquagirl joined all of earth’s heroes during the so-called Crisis On Infinite Earths. Tula drowned in a body of water poisoned by the toxic waste of the mindless villain, Chemo. Garth mourned her death for some time after that.

Aquagirl dies in the pages of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #9 [1985];
She is pronounced dead in CRISIS #10.

Coming To Terms

Years later, after Garth trained with the ancient mage Atlan and received augmented powers, a woman claiming to be Tula entered his life. In truth, it was a doppelganger created by the villainous Slizzath, part of an elaborate plan to siphon Garth’s mystical energies for his own dark purposes. Garth saw through the ruse and was able to defeat Slizzath, and once and for all gain a sense of closure about Tula’s death. It was also at this time that Garth adopted a new identity as Tempest.

ABOVE: Is she back? Tula seemingly returns in the TEMPEST mini series [1996].
BELOW: Garth finally says goodbye in TEMPEST mini series#4 [1996].

Powers & Abilities


Aquagirl possesses the skills of all Atlanteans: increased strength and swimming speeds and the ability to breathe underwater.


Essential Reading


Aquaman (first series) #33 [1967]: Aquagirl is introduced in a Bob Haney/Nick Cardy story in Aquaman #33, in which she and Aqualad are hypnotized into aiding the evil Dr. Dorsal. First appearance of Aquagirl.
Teen Titans #30 [1970]:
Aqualad and Aquagirl come ashore to enjoy part of an outdoor rock concert in a small coastal town. Meanwhile, a hospital patient becomes a berserk marauder due to an injection of an experimental synthetic hormone, escapes the hospital, and menaces the audience at the nearby concert. Aqualad overcomes him, but not before Aquagirl is injured and wanders inland in a daze. Aqualad barely manages to find her and return both of them to the sea before they die, having been on land beyond their one-hour time limit.
Tales of the Teen Titans #45-47 [1984]: After Aqualad and Aquagirl run afoul of the H.I.V.E. and their underwater base, the pair – desperately in need of water – arrives at an empty Titans’ Tower.
Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10 [1985]: Aquagirl joins all of earth’s heroes during the so-called Crisis On Infinite Earths. Tula drowns in a body of water poisoned by the toxic waste of the mindless villain, Chemo. The Atlantean doctors try to save her life but fail. Death of Tula [she is pronounced dead] in issue #10.
Tempest #1-4 [November 1996 to February 1997]: Aqualad emerges from his training with the mage Atlan and assumes the identity of Tempest. Soon after, Garth encounters his uncle, who had transformed himself using dark magic and has become Slizzath. Slizzath was King Thar’s brother, who was forbidden the throne for practicing dark magics. Thar imprisoned his brother in a mystical binding prison. Slizzath wanted to siphon Garth’s mystical energies for his own dark purposes. Slizzath creates a mystical a doppelganger of Tula, who is created to dupe Garth. Garth sees through the plan and is able to defeat Slizzath, and once and for all maintain a sense of closure about Tula’s death.

 

Tula’s Chronology


Courtesy of Amazing Heroes CRISIS issue

First appearance: Aquaman. #33 (May-June, 1967)
Death: Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 (Dec., 1985)

Aqualad’s romantic interest is an Atlantean girl named Tula, who also came to be known as Aquagirl. Aquagirl has been named an honorary Teen Titan, although her adventures with the original team remain among the many unpublished tales in the Titans’ history.

Tula’s splashy debut in Aquaman#33.

Aquagirl – known at first only as Tula, teenage Atlantean – was Aqualad’s girlfriend. She was introduced in a Bob Haney/Nick Cardy story in Aquaman#33, in which she and Aqualad were hypnotized into aiding the evil Dr. Dorsal. In later stories (Aquaman #42-49), Tula acquired the name Aquagirl and helped Aquaman prevent the overthrow of Atlantis by Aquaman’s deputy ruler Narkran, who had taken over the underwater city while Aquaman was busy searching for a kidnapped Mera. Afterwards, Aquagirl was a regular supporting cast member in the Aquaman strip for several years. though generally doing little more than babysitting Aquaman’s son. Tula dropped out of sight in the mid-1970s.

Seven years later (Tales of the Teen Titans #45, Aug. 1984) Aqualad and Aquagirl turned up on the doorstep of Titans Tower, near death after having attempted to stop the invasion of Atlantis by the criminal organization H.I.V.E. Accompanied by the Teen Titans, the youths infiltrated H.I.V.E. and destroyed their operation.

Garth & Tula in Tales of the Teen Titans #45 [1984].

Aquagirl was part of the group of super-heroes who traveled to Earth-Four to battle Brainiac’s battalion of super-villains. There, she found herself in the wake of Chemo’s acid pollution of the ocean as she battled the Shark, and died a slow death as the poison infiltrated her system.

Years later, after Garth trained with the ancient mage Atlan and received augmented powers, a woman claiming to be Tula entered his life. In truth, it was a doppelganger created by the villainous Slizzath – part of an elaborate plan to siphon Garth’s mystical energies for his own dark purposes. Garth saw through the ruse and was able to defeat Slizzath, and once and for all gain a sense of closure about Tula’s death. It was also at this time that Garth adopted a new identity as Tempest. It all happened in Tempest #1-4 (1996).

A 2006 Aquagirl and Aqualad commission by 1960’s Aquaman artist, Ramona Fradon.

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 Titans In Love: Aqualad & Aquagirl


The cover of Aquaman #33 [1967] described young Aquagirl as “wild, wet and whacky.” And it wasn’t long before the extroverted Aquachick caught the eye of a more reserved Aqualad. In that same issue, the pair were  hypnotized into aiding the evil Dr. Dorsal before realizing the error of their wild ways. But the Atlantean teens continued to make waves, as Tula adopted the name Aquagirl  and helped overthrow the evil Narkran (Aquaman #42-49).

Teen Titans and Aquaman  artist Nick Cardy recalled the introduction of Aquagirl: “I think it stemmed from the idea that the Aquaman character had Mera, while Aqualad was sort of left out. So George and Bob wrote in a young girl character, Tula. Like with Mera, I designed Tula’s outfit and overall look. She was Aqualad’s companion, being of the same age, they could relate to one another, or oppose the elders. We played up the fact that she was this wild, hip 1960’s modern girl and Aqualad was more reserved and introverted.”

ABOVE: Tula meets Garth in AQUAMAN #33 [1967].
BELOW:  A romantic moment at Donna Troy’s wedding,
in TALES OF TEEN TITANS #50 [1984].

Garth and Tula’s love grew, as they became a long-standing couple through the remainder of Aquaman’s first series and in Adventure Comics. Aqualad and Aquagirl made a bigger splash in the pages of Tales of the Teen Titans #45-48, where the Titans aided them in taking down the H.I.V.E.’s underwater base. The pair attended Donna Troy’s wedding in Tales of the Teen Titans #50, briefly stealing away to enjoy a romantic skinny-dip in Steve Dayton’s pool.

Sadly, their long-standing love was cut short in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10 [1985], as Aquagirl gave her life defending Atlantis from the evil Chemo. A devastated Garth mourned her death for years, before finally laying their love to rest in the poignant pages of Tempest #4 [1996].

Romantic Reads:
Aquaman [1967] #33
Tales of the Teen Titans [1984] #45-48, 50
Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10 [1985],
Tempest #4 [1996]

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Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published byICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], supplemented by titanstower.com


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