Black Manta (David Kane) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, the character was introduced in Aquaman #35 (September 1967) as a ruthless and murderous underwater-based mercenary, and has since endured as the archenemy of the superhero Aquaman.
The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including several cartoon television series, animated movies, and video games. Black Manta made his live-action cinematic debut in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, portrayed by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
|First appearance||Aquaman #35 (September 1967)|
|Created by||Bob Haney (writer) |
Nick Cardy (artist)
|Alter ego||David Kane|
Black Manta had no definitive origin story until #6 of the 1993 Aquaman series. In this origin, the African American boy who would become Black Manta grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and loved to play by the Chesapeake Bay. Throughout his youth he was kidnapped and forced to work on a ship for an unspecified amount of time, where he was physically abused by his captors. At one point, he saw Aquaman with his dolphin friends and tried to signal him for help but was not seen. Finally, he was forced to defend himself, killing one of his tormentors on the ship with a knife. Hating the emotionless sea and Aquaman, whom he saw as its representative, the boy was determined to become its master.
An alternative version was given in #8 of the 2003 Aquaman series. In this origin, the boy who would become Black Manta was an autistic orphan placed in Gotham City's Arkham Asylum. He felt comfortable in freezing cold water, but found cotton sheets excruciatingly painful. Because the attendants at Arkham did not know how to deal with autism, they would end up restraining him to the bed as he struggled and screamed whenever they tried putting him to bed. In this version, young Black Manta was also fascinated when he saw Aquaman on television.
The boy would end up being subjected to experimental treatments. One treatment seemed to clear the boy's head, but left him violent as a result; he killed the scientist who had administered the treatment and escaped from Arkham.
As an adult, the man who would become Black Manta designed a costume (primarily a black wetsuit with a bug-eyed helmet, that was able to shoot rays from its eyes) and fashioned a high-tech submersible inspired by manta rays. Taking the name Black Manta, he and his masked army became a formidable force, engaging in at least one unrecorded clash with Aquaman prior to his first appearance as a rival to the Ocean Master (and before joining the short-lived Injustice League in the retcon Silver Age third week event).
His first name, David, is revealed in the 2010 Brightest Day storyline, although his last name has not been revealed. Though he does use the alias of "David Kane," which features the same last name that his biological son, Kaldur'ahm aka Jackson Kane (the second Aqualad) has.
Black Manta and Aquaman battled repeatedly over the next several years. During one of these clashes, it is revealed that Black Manta is actually black, whose stated objective at one point was for black people to dominate the ocean after having been oppressed for so long on dry land (though this goal was revealed to be a ruse he used to trick Cal Durham into following him, and this objective was not at all evident in either his earlier or later appearances). During most of his appearances, his main goals are defeating Aquaman and gaining power for himself through the conquest of Atlantis. Finally, Manta kills Arthur Curry, Jr., Aquaman's son, which leaves Aquaman obsessed with revenge.
Black Manta is later transformed into a human/manta ray hybrid by the demon Neron in exchange for his soul, though after a while he returns to wearing his original outfit, which covers his new appearance. At one point he engages in drug smuggling from his new base in Star City, where he is opposed by a returning Green Arrow and Aquaman.
In a later confrontation, Aquaman, sporting the Lady of the Lake's Healing Hand, reverses Neron's alterations to Black Manta and rewires Manta's afflicted brain, making him normal for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, Manta remains a violent criminal, lulling Aquaman into a false sense of partnership and almost killing the Sea King in the process.
In later events, Black Manta is used as a genetic manipulation test subject to make water breathers. This succeeds; since then, Black Manta has returned to the oceans to face Aquaman once again.
Black Manta causes a disturbance in Sub Diego in which Captain Marley is severely injured. Aquaman summons various predatory sea-life to attack Black Manta and leaves him for dead. It is later revealed that Black Manta was able to survive by generating an electric charge with his suit.
When Aquaman dies at the end of the 2003 series, Black Manta begins working for Libra as part of the Secret Society of Super Villains. However, after Libra betrays the group and helps Darkseid conquer the Earth, Black Manta quits.
In a 2011 Brightest Day storyline called "Aquawar", Black Manta has retired from his criminal ways. He has opened a fish market to earn an honest living. When he discovers that Aquaman has been resurrected following the end of the Blackest Night, Black Manta murders the customers in the store and burns down his shorefront house as he resumes his criminal career and vendetta against Aquaman. Black Manta is seen later at the grave of Thomas Curry, Aquaman's father, where he is approached by Siren and her Death Squad after demolishing the tombstone. The Death Squad battles Black Manta, but before the fight continues too long, Siren stops them. She informs Black Manta that they need to work together to find his son, showing him a hard water image of Jackson Hyde.
Black Manta and Siren locate Jackson and attempt to kill his foster father. Jackson (using his ability to create hard water constructs) fights back but is unable to stop Black Manta from shooting a trident-shaped dart at his foster father. At the last moment, Aquaman intervenes, blocking the fatal shot. Black Manta then faces his old nemesis again. During the battle, Aquaman pulls Jackson and his foster father to safety.
In a flashback, it is revealed that Black Manta was once a treasure hunter who, along with his wife, was captured while exploring the Bermuda Triangle. Their captors were the other-dimensional residents of Xebel, and the two were tortured mercilessly. The captors experimented on Black Manta's pregnant wife which gave the unborn child powers similar to those of the residents of Xebel. Fearing the child (Jackson) would be used as a pawn in an invasion of Earth, Xebel princess Mera kidnapped the child and took him to Earth, where she arranged him to be adopted and raised far away from water in order to keep him from her people. Black Manta ultimately escaped from Xebel, though his wife ultimately died.
After Jackson learns the truth behind his origin, Aquaman and Jackson (now calling himself Aqualad) are ambushed by Siren and the Xebel soldiers on a California beach, where innocent citizens become caught in the crossfire. As Aquaman is about to strike back at Siren, Black Manta springs from the water and severs Aquaman's right hand. Jackson attacks his father, berating him for siding with the people who killed his own wife, only for Black Manta to throw Jackson to the ground and coldly state that both he and his mother meant nothing to him. As Black Manta prepares to impale his son with one of his blades, Mera arrives with Aquagirl, who saves Jackson by striking Black Manta in the face. Jackson and Mera work together to seal Black Manta, Siren, and the rest of the invaders away in the Bermuda Triangle. Black Manta vows from within the prison to get his son, Jackson.
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Black Manta kills a woman named Kahina the Seer, a former teammate of Aquaman, and steals her Atlantean relic. He then vows to kill her entire family before getting his revenge on Aquaman. A flashback shows that Aquaman created a team known as the Others (forged of six Atlantean relics from the Dead King's tomb) who are trying to catch Black Manta, but they fail and Black Manta escapes. Black Manta goes after Aquaman's former teammate Prisoner-of-War in Heidelberg.
It is then revealed that Aquaman killed Black Manta's father by accident in retaliation for attacking Aquaman's father. Seeking revenge, Black Manta attempted to kill all of Aquaman's family and friends. When Black Manta chased Prisoner-of-War, he was confronted by Aquaman in a battle. During the attack, Black Manta stole one of Ya'Wara's Atlantean relics and teleported to Stephen Shin, Aquaman's former friend. Black Manta then tasered Mera and pulled Shin to him in order to teleport away.
Meanwhile, the Others were reunited and discovered that there was a seventh Atlantean relic in the Dead King's tomb. Manta took Shin captive in the Dead King's tomb in order to find the seventh relic and located in the Dead King's throne. Manta prepared to kill Shin, but was thwarted when Aquaman and the Others attacked his henchmen. Black Manta killed Vostok-X and escaped with the relic scepter. After Vostok-X's death, Aquaman, through tears, swore that he would kill Manta in revenge. Black Manta delivered the relic scepter to a mysterious Atlantean, who was revealed to be his employer, but the Others ambushed them and attacked. The mysterious Atlantean managed to grab the relic scepter and escape while Black Manta was forced to battle the Others, resulting in Manta and his henchmen being taken away by the authorities. While in Belle Reve Prison, Black Manta refused to join Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad.
During the Forever Evil storyline, Amanda Waller approached Black Manta again to join the Suicide Squad. Black Manta declined again at the same time as Deathstorm and Power Ring invade Belle Reve. After hearing Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad, Black Manta retrieved his equipment during Belle Reve's prison break and accepted the Secret Society's coin. At the Justice League's Watchtower, after claiming Aquaman's trident, Black Manta tossed the coin in the ocean. Black Manta took the trident to his father's grave stating his quest to kill Aquaman was over. Looking up, he witnessed Ultraman moving the moon in front of the sun resulting in the creation of massive tidal waves. The waves washed the grave of Black Manta's father away which gave him a new purpose: to destroy the Crime Syndicate. After retrieving Black Adam's body from the ocean, Black Manta met up with Lex Luthor, the Kryptonian clone that Lex Luthor created, and Captain Cold, where he informed them of what Ultraman's actions did to his father's grave. Lex Luthor realizes that with the help of his Kryptonian clone, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Captain Cold, he might be able to stop the Crime Syndicate.
Black Manta's first Rebirth appearance was in the one-shot Aquaman: Rebirth #1, acting as the narrator until he reveals himself at the very end. Manta later appeared in Aquaman vol. 8, #1, in which he attacks Spindrift Station, an Atlantean embassy built by Aquaman near his hometown of Amnesty Bay to promote relations between Atlantis and the surface. Black Manta fights with Aquaman, and even wounds him, but the fight is ended with words about how hollow and empty Black Manta's purpose in life truly is. He's eventually taken into custody by the U.S. military, but the vehicle transporting him is attacked by N.E.M.O forces. A woman named Blackjack takes him to the organization's base in Antarctica, where he meets the Fisher King. N.E.M.O plans to discredit Aquaman in the eyes of the world by manipulating conflicts with the United States and other surface nations, and Black Manta decides to continue this mission after killing the Fisher King and claiming the title for himself. In Aquaman #7, Manta appears at a meeting of the N.E.M.O board in Venice, Italy, where he kills those who oppose his rule as the Fisher King and commands the Shaggy Man to attack Atlantis. Later, Manta oversees N.E.M.O's usage of Atlantean pretender forces against the U.S, which prompts the nation to declare war on Atlantis. After a team of American Aquamarines, super soldiers who can take on the form of sharks and other aquatic creatures, fails to assassinate Aquaman, the Atlantean king attacks Black Manta on his ship in the Azores in issue #15. Rather than surrender, Black Manta blows up the ship and all aboard, but Aquaman and Blackjack escape.
It is revealed that Manta survived the explosion, perhaps with the help of Blackjack, and has become obsessed with finding his illegitimate son Jackson Hyde, who has joined the Teen Titans. Manta's desire to find him stems from his remembrance of a lost relic with power over the sea itself, The Black Pearl. A weapon which can bend the very oceans to the user's whim, which once belonged to a notorious Atlantean pirate who died in Xebel. Knowing only a denizen of Xebel had the map to its keep and only Xebelian hands could unseal it, he nearly murdered Hyde's mother in order to get to him. With his son in tow, Manta and Jackson set out to find his prize, needing his son to unlock the trove that the pearl was sealed in. Eventually a clash broke out between him and the Teen Titans after achieving his goal and with it, power to dominate the world. He was finally bested by Aqualad, who near fatally electrocuted him before taking the pearl ring from his hand.
Black Manta possesses a keen scientific mind and is an expert in mechanical engineering and military tactics. Despite being a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, he generally relies more on technology and strategic planning than direct physical confrontations.
As a result of the serum that cured him of his autism, Black Manta possesses some degree of advanced stamina and endurance. He utilizes a nigh-invulnerable battle suit that further enhances his physical strength and durability to superhuman levels, allowing him to lift and throw cars with ease. This armor is adapted to an oceanic environment, providing complete resistance to deep sea pressures and granting Black Manta the ability to breathe underwater. The suit also includes a jet pack propulsion system that functions in or out of water, a telepathic scrambler, and a wide array of different weapons and gadgets including twin swords, a hand trident, a wrist-mounted speargun on the right arm, a harpoon, deployable miniaturized torpedoes, and a diving helmet that can discharge powerful optic blasts from the eye lenses. Black Manta often uses unique vehicles, such as a modified manta ray-shaped submarine, for traveling underwater.
At one point, Black Manta was transformed by the demon Neron into a human-manta ray hybrid in exchange for his soul, which allowed him to breathe underwater without the use of his suit. This transformation has since been undone by Aquaman. For a brief time, Black Manta possessed a powerful mystical relic named "The Black Pearl", a powerful Atlantean artifact that allowed him to control the oceans at will.
Black Manta appeared as one of the major villains in the 2005-2006 Justice miniseries by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger as part of the Legion of Doom. This version appears to be based on the time period when Black Manta fought for African Americans as shown by all of his henchmen being black and his city being completely populated by African Americans. He is first seen luring Aquaman into an ambush and controlling Aquaman's sharks into attacking him before taking Aquaman to Brainiac. When Lex Luthor makes his speech to the world to join him in saving it, Black Manta is one of the villains alongside him.
As the Legion begins kidnapping the people close to the heroes, Black Manta takes control of Garth and forces him to assault Mera and kidnap Aquaman's son. During the Justice League's attack on the Hall of Doom, Black Manta faces off against Aquaman for the entire battle. Black Manta is one of the few villains to escape the Justice League and teleport to his city along with Aquaman's son, who follows behind him. Aquaman eventually finds Black Manta's hideout, but Black Manta's men savagely beat him in front of his son, comparing it to the treatment of his own people. Aquaman counters Black Manta is doing the same by using Doctor Sivana's technology to control his men, smashing the pack on Black Manta's suit to free his henchmen from Black Manta's control. Black Manta realizes that Aquaman was right, but makes one last effort to kill him in desperation. He is quickly struck down by Aquaman, saying that Black Manta never really had a chance to begin with.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portrays Black Manta in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, and is set to reprise the role in multiple upcoming DCEU installments. This version of the character, whose real name is David Kane as opposed to David Hyde from the comics, is depicted as an unscrupulous treasure-hunting pirate and ruthless high-seas mercenary with a flair for creating deadly technological innovations. It is revealed that his grandfather served as a Underwater Demolition Team"frogman" in World War II and was nicknamed "Manta" by his teammates, carrying a fighting knife with the image of a manta ray engraved on the blade. David and his father Jesse Kane (played by Michael Beach) are hired by King Orm Marius of Atlantis to hijack a nuclear submarine, only for Arthur Curry to intervene. In the ensuing battle, Jesse is subdued as a unlaunched torpedo crushes his leg. While David is distracted trying to free Jesse, Jesse commits suicide by detonating a grenade to keep David from going down with the ship. When David meets with Orm, he dismisses payment in the form of gold and instead asks Orm to locate Arthur. Orm later provides David with a high-tech prototype Atlantean battle suit, which David plans to use to exact revenge on his father's killer. David modifies the suit, rechristens himself as "Black Manta" in honor of his grandfather and late father, and confronts Arthur and Mera in Sicily, Italy with a group of Atlantean mercenaries. Mera fights and ultimately kills the mercenaries, and Arthur uses a pair of rocks that are connected by a chain to ensnare David and throw him off of a cliff to his apparent death. In a mid-credits scene, David is found wounded but rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin. David agrees to lead the marine biologist to Atlantean technology in exchange for his help in hunting down Aquaman.
Aqualad is the name of two fictional comic book superheroes appearing in books published by DC Comics. The first Aqualad, Garth, debuted in February 1960 in Adventure Comics #269 and was created by writer Robert Bernstein and artist Ramona Fradon. This Aqualad also appeared in animated form on television in 1967 and 1968.
The second Aqualad, Jackson Hyde, was based on the version originally created for the Young Justice 2010 animated TV series by Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti and Phil Bourassa. Several months prior to the launch of the cartoon, an altered version of the character was brought into the comic books by writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis in September 2010.Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm)
Kaldur'ahm is one of two fictional superheroes codenamed Aqualad in stories published by DC Comics. The character was created by Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman and Phil Bourassa for the television series Young Justice, and voiced by Khary Payton. His name is a reference to the character Calvin "Cal" Durham, formerly a henchman of the supervillain Black Manta who was sent to infiltrate Atlantis, but defected to the Atlanteans.
Kaldur'ahm was subsequently adapted for the DC mainstream continuity by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, debuting under the name Jackson Hyde in Brightest Day #4 (August 2010).Aquaman (film)
Aquaman is a 2018 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Aquaman and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It is directed by James Wan, with a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, and is based on a story by Geoff Johns, Wan and Beall. It stars Jason Momoa as the title character, with Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles. It is the third live-action theatrical film featuring Aquaman, following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and the first full-length feature film centered around the character. In this film, the titular character learns he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and must step forward to lead his people against his half-brother, Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.
Development of an Aquaman film began in 2004, with several plans falling through over the years. In August 2014, Beall and Kurt Johnstad were hired to write two competing scripts and the film was officially announced in October 2014. Wan signed on as director in April 2015 and in July 2016 it was announced that the film would move forward with Beall's screenplay, although Wan, Johnstad, Johns and Johnson-McGoldrick all performed various rewrites. The main cast was confirmed through 2016 and early 2017. Principal photography began in Australia on May 2, 2017. Most of the film was shot at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, Queensland (with lighthouse scenes shot at the New South Wales coastal village of Hastings Point), with production also held in Canada, Italy and Morocco. Filming ended on October 21, 2017.
Aquaman had its world premiere in London on November 26, 2018, and was released in the United States in Real D 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX and IMAX 3D formats on December 21, 2018. The film grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing DCEU film as well as the highest-grossing film based on a DC Comics character, surpassing The Dark Knight Rises; it was also the fifth highest-grossing film of 2018 and 20th highest of all-time. It received praise from critics for its adventurous tone, performances and Wan's direction, but received criticism for its dialogue, runtime and convoluted plot. An untitled sequel is set for release on December 16, 2022 and a spin-off, The Trench, is also in development.Black triangle (UFO)
Black triangles are a class of unidentified flying object (UFO), with certain common features which have reportedly been observed during the 20th and 21st centuries. Media reports of black triangles originally came from the United States and United Kingdom.Reports generally describe this class of UFOs as large, silent, black triangular objects hovering or slowly cruising at low altitudes over cities and highways. Sightings usually take place at night. These objects are often described as having pulsing colored lights that appear at each corner of the triangle.Black triangle UFOs have been found to be visible to radar, as was the case with the famous Belgian UFO wave. During these incidents, two Belgian Air Force F-16s attempted to intercept the objects only to be outmaneuvered; a key conclusion of the Project Condign report was that no attempt should be made on the part of civilian or RAF Air Defence aircraft to outmaneuver these objects except to place them astern to mitigate the risk of collision. This entire Belgian UFO wave, however, has been disputed by skeptics.Injustice League
The Injustice League is the name of two fictional supervillain teams appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.Justice (DC Comics)
Justice is a twelve-issue American comic book limited series published bimonthly by DC Comics from August 2005 through June 2007, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, with art also by Ross and Doug Braithwaite. Its story involves the superhero team known as the Justice League of America confronting the supervillain team the Legion of Doom after every supervillain is motivated by a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the planet's destruction, which they intend to avoid.Legion of Doom
The Legion of Doom is a group of supervillains that originated in Challenge of the Super Friends, an animated series from Hanna-Barbera based on DC Comics' Justice League. The Legion of Doom has since been incorporated into the main DC Universe, appearing in comics, as well as further animated and live-action adaptations.List of Aquaman enemies
This page lists the known enemies of Aquaman.Mera (comics)
Mera () is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy, the character first appeared in Aquaman #11 (September 1963) as a queen of the sea.
Originally portrayed as a supporting character to her husband, the superhero Aquaman, modern writers have traditionally emphasised Mera's own superhuman physical strength and magical power to control water, portraying her as a powerful superhero in her own right. In recent years, Mera has even featured as a member of DC Comics' flagship superhero team, the Justice League. Mera's storylines have also portrayed mental breakdown faced with crippling loss and explored her attempts at coping with lasting anger and rage.
In the feature films of the DC Extended Universe, actress Amber Heard portrayed Mera in Justice League, and reprised the role in Aquaman.Siren (DC Comics)
Siren is the name of two fictional supervillains, both appearing in books published by DC Comics.Stephen Shin
Stephen Shin is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is a supporting character of Aquaman who debuted during "The New 52" reboot. Stephen Shin first appeared in Aquaman #2 (December 2011) and was created by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.
Shin made his live-action cinematic debut in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, portrayed by Randall Park.The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure
The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure is a Filmation animated series that aired on CBS from 1967 to 1968. Premiering on September 9, 1967, this 60-minute program included a series of six-minute adventures featuring various DC Comics superheroes.Wrath of the Black Manta
Wrath of the Black Manta is a side-scrolling action game published by Taito for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1990 and in the PAL region in 1991. It is a localized version of Ninja Cop Saizou (忍者COPサイゾウ, Ninja Koppu Saizō), a Family Computer game published by Kyugo in 1989, but with drastic changes to the game's graphics, soundtrack and level designs.Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (born July 15, 1986) is an American architect and actor. He played Cadillac in the television series The Get Down. He also starred in Baywatch, The Greatest Showman (both 2017), and portrayed the villain Black Manta in DC's Aquaman (2018).
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|Notable former members|