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Queen Berra & King Thar

Related Links: Tempest (Garth) • Slizzath

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History


A Monarch and Queen

The Idylists were a group of pacifists living in self-exile from Atlantis in the Hidden Valley for over 4,000 years. They knew no violence; Peace and serenity were their way of life. King Thar came into power and ruled from Shayeris, the capital city. Thar had inherited much of his ancestor’s mythic power, and practiced sorcery alongside his brother, Zath. The history of Atlantis is fraught with a recurring them of brother against brother. Thar and Zath proved no exception to that rule.

Zath thought power should be his and resented his brother for “taking” it from him. In truth, Zath was denied his birthright because he dabbled in the black arts by practicing necromancy, the evocation of the dead. He was banished from the Hidden Valley but returned 20 years later with an army of undead soldiers. When King Thar assembled weapons to destroy his brother Zath’s invading armies, his palace guards mistakenly believed he was going insane, and murdered him.

Fearing the monarchy was tainted by foul violence, Thar’s pregnant wife Berra was exiled to Atlantis, where she gave birth to Garth. Believing his purple eyes to be a bad omen, the Atlanteans seized the infant and left him to die, abandoned to the sea.

Before Thar died, he was able to use his magics to trap Zath in an other-dimensional prison. It was, however, an imperfect spell. Zath would be able to manipulate particular spells as a means of escape. Such a spell was Garth’s birthright ritual spell used to seal his mystical powers.

Garth discovers the truth behind his parents in
ADVENTURE COMICS #453-455 [1977].

Truths Buried

The infant Garth was found by Aquaman, who took the boy in. Garth became Aqualad, and began an illustrious career as an adventurer working alongside Aquaman and the Teen Titans.

After a falling-out with Aquaman, Aqualad decided to search for the truths behind his own mysterious origins. Barging into a meeting of the Idylist ruling council, Aqualad demanded information on his parents. The council refused, and secretly kept all records sealed.

Aqualad broke through council security and accessed the ancient files to learn his parents were King Thar and Queen Berra, who ruled peacefully until King Thar went mad and was killed by his own guards. Aqualad also believed he was left to die because his purple eyes were a sign of inferiority. Unknown to Aqualad, the ancient files were missing pieces of information which would later inform his true destiny as Tempest.

Thar and Berra’s history is detailed in TEMPEST #1 [1996].


Truths Revealed

Berra was eventually welcomed back by the Idylists, as they kept themselves hidden from the rest of the sentient ocean-dwellers. Recurring attacks from Slizzath’s undead army plagued the pacifist nation.

Years later, Garth was whisked away by Atlan, a powerful Atlantean wizard. He informed Garth of his true destiny as a powerful mage and protector of oceanic life. Atlan trained Garth and taught him how to greatly augment his powers.

Upon his return, Garth learned that his power-mad Uncle Zath had been planning his own return as well. Zath – now transformed into the demon necromancer Slizzath – sought to escape his mystical prison by exploiting Garth’s newfound magics. Slizzath created a mystical a doppelganger of Tula, who was created to trap Garth and siphon his new powers.

Garbed in the flag of his people, Garth confronted Slizzath in is new identity as Tempest. Eventually seeing through this ruse, Tempest was able to defeat Slizzath, trapping the necromancer once again.

During this encounter, Garth also experienced a tense reunion with his mother Berra. Garth still dealt with feelings of abandonment, while Berra took tentative steps toward rebuilding their fractured relationship.

Garth has a tense reunion with his mother,
Berra, in TEMPEST #3 [1997].


Essential Reading


Adventure Comics #453-455 [1977-1878]:Aqualad Back-up Story. Aqualad barges into a meeting of the Idylist ruling council, demanding information about his parents. The council refuses to give Aqualad any information as they fear he may learn the truth. Soon after, Aqualad finds a banished Idylist hermit who admits to killing King Thar. Upon seeing a picture, Aqualad immediately recognizes Thar as his father. Aqualad breaks through security and accesses the ancient files to learn the truth: His parents were King Thar and Queen Berra, who ruled peacefully until King Thar went mad and became hungry for war. Thar’s peace loving people revolted, killing their once-beloved king and banished his now-pregnant wife. The Idylists, ashamed of the sins of this dark day, buried this information. Garth leaves knowing the truth and searches for Aquaman, who he had rebuffed earlier. First appearances (in flashback) of King Thar and Queen Berra.
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 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. First appearance of Slizzath in #1. Berra resurfaces alive. Garth’s true origins revealed.

 


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