Quote1 You want to bring the land and sea together? You raise this building to your own vain ambition? You're deluded. The world is afraid of you...and it should be. You will never be whole, Arthur Curry. Never. I have come to end the fear. Quote2
-- Black Manta src

Black Manta is an enemy to Aquaman and The Others.

As a young adult, he lived with his father on a houseboat, earning some reputation as a diver and a treasure hunter. He was contracted by Doctor Stephen Shin to procure a sample of Arthur Curry's blood to prove that the young man was an Atlantean. During the encounter, Arthur's father, Thomas, came to his son's defense and suffered a heart attack. Thomas died three days later, and Arthur swore revenge. On the day of Thomas' funeral, Arthur stormed the boat belonging to the man he deemed responsible for his father's death. In the rain and darkness, Arthur murdered the diver's father, on the assumption that they were the killer. Out of vengeance, the diver crafted weapons and armor, and went hunting. When the Atlantean became a publicly-known hero as Aquaman, he became Black Manta.

Quest for the Black Pearl

Manta seeked out the Black Pearl, something his father always wanted, which would allow the user to possess Hydrokinetic abilities. He began his search in the Bermuda Triangle where he discovered the lost Atlantean kingdom of Xebel. There he seduced a woman who would adopt the name 'Lucia Hyde', wanting the map to the Pearl. However she smelt out his evil intention so made a proxy map. Because of this Manta was never able to find the Pearl... until much later.

The Others

Main article: Aquaman: The Others

Aquaman created a team known as the Others, each possessing one of six Atlantean relics from the Dead King's tomb, to catch Black Manta. The team failed at their first attempt in Siberia to apprehend him, and Black Manta escaped. The Others eventually disbanded as a team, but kept possession of their relics. Manta killed Kahina the Seer,[1] then went after the Prisoner.[2]

After a hunter-versus-hunter chase between Black Manta and Aquaman's team of Others, he kidnapped Stephen Shin and discovered the hidden relic, the Dead King's Scepter, before Aquaman and the Others could reach him. [3] In his escape, Manta killed Vostok-X, causing Aquaman to swear revenge. [4]

Black Manta delivered the relic scepter to a mysterious Atlantean but was ambushed by the Others in the process. Though the buyer managed to escape, Black Manta was defeated, and Aquaman, despite wanting to avenge his fallen comrade Vostok-X, spared Manta's life, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a respectable death. [5]

Manta was transported to Belle Reve Prison, where he was offered to join Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad but refused, saying he would only die by Aquaman's hand.[6].

Forever Evil

Main article: Forever Evil

When the Crime Syndicate came to Earth through Pandora's Box, all prison systems were opened allowing the criminals to escape.[7] Each criminal was given a silver coin and told to assemble at the crash site of the Justice League's Watchtower. There, the Crime Syndicate declared they had killed the Justice League, displaying proof in the form of their weapons, including Aquaman's Trident. Black Manta claimed the Trident, but left the gathering, going to the grave of his father. But when Ultraman moved the moon to block the sun, it cause a tidal wave that swept open his father's grave. This angered Black Manta who swore revenge on the Crime Syndicate.[8]

After retrieving Teth-Adam's body from the ocean after he fought Ultraman, Black Manta meets up with Lex Luthor, the Kryptonian clone Bizarro, and Captain Cold where he tells them what Ultraman's actions did to his father's grave. Lex Luthor realizes that with the help of his Kyptonian clone, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Captain Cold, he may be able to stop the Crime Syndicate.[9] During a battle with members of the Secret Society, Black Manta saved Captain Cold from Shadow Thief.[10] During the assault against the Crime Syndicate at the downed Watchtower, Black Manta killed The Outsider,[11] and then was part of the assault against Mazahs. With the Justice League freed and the Crime Syndicate defeated, Black Manta left Aquaman's Trident in the care of a sailor at Metropolis docks with a message: "I'm glad you're not dead."[12]

Suicide Squad

Despite having previously refused Waller's offer to join Task Force X, Black Manta eventually volunteered to become a member of the squad. After believing that Aquaman had died, Black Manta found that he had nothing to live for. Once Aquaman was revealed to not be dead, Black Manta realized that killing him would render his life meaningless. Therefore, he joined the squad and gained a way to repeatedly kill Aquaman through training sessions.[13]

Manta and the Squad

Manta and the Squad

Black Manta led the squad through several missions, including in Russia and China. During one mission against a League of Assassins spliter group simply known as "The League," which involved infiltrating the group undercover, Black Manta came to identify with their cause. He had been looking for order and purpose, and initially believed that Task Force X would give that to him. His new found sense of clarity was shattered by the group's leader and his plans, which Black Manta did not agree with. Upon return to Belle Reve, Black Manta was pulled from active duty.

As part of Vic Sage's plot to bring down Amanda Waller, he releases Black Manta with the intention of using him to leak information on Task Force X to the public. Manta fights several of his former teammates, but is shot through the wrist by Deadshot and taken back into custody.[14]

Black Manta was present in Belle Reve when Deathstroke assaulted the facility believing that his daughter, Rose was held captive there. Manta attacked Deathstroke in retaliation for betraying the squad in Russia. Dragging him underwater,[15] Manta initially had the upper hand before Deathstroke managed to force the fight back on dry land. Before the fight could be decided, Belle Reve security forces arrived.[16]

The Drowning

Main article: Aquaman: The Drowning

Now free of Belle Reve, Black Manta plans to destroy Aquaman once and for all, starting with his beloved, Mera, and Spindrift Station, an embassy for peace between Atlantis and the surface world.[17]

Black Manta terrorizing Aquaman

Black Manta terrorizing Aquaman

Posing as a reporter, Black Manta infiltrates Spindrift Station. Claiming to be sick after sampling Atlantean food, he sneaks off and begins to plant explosives around the station.[18] He is discovered in the act by a guard, forcing Black Manta to kill him and reveal his presence. He triggers the charges, damaging Spindrift Station and flooding areas.[19] As Aquaman searches for the saboteur, Black Manta uses the distraction to sneak up on Mera and shoot her with an electrified harpoon. Aquaman arrives and the pair fight; Aquaman implores Black Manta to give up on their feud, but Black Manta refuses as he wants to destroy everything Aquaman stands for. Eventually, Aquaman gains the upper hand, but unexpectedly turns his Trident on himself and offers Black Manta the chance to kill him. However, Aquaman tells Black Manta that killing him will never satisfy him. Black Manta sees the truth and surrenders. Aquaman uses the moment to apologize for killing his father.[20]

While being transported to prison, the convoy carrying Black Manta is attacked by a group called N.E.M.O. who seek to recruit him. Impressed by Black Manta's assault on Spindrift Station, Black Jack explains that the group also hates Aquaman and Atlanteans.[21] Taken to meet N.E.M.O.'s leader, the Fisher King, Black Manta listens to their plans and offer.[22] Believing that the group is thinking too small, and not content to be a servant, Black Manta kills the Fisher King and asserts himself as the new leader of N.E.M.O.[23]


Roy Harper Cry for Justice
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Discovering Aqualad

The Teen Titans attempt to stop Manta

The Teen Titans attempt to stop Manta

After his assumed death Manta resurfaces when his subordinate King Shark is defeated by the Teen Titans. Shark tells him of an unknown teen who defeated him with Hydrokinetic abilities. Manta investigated this boy and deduced him to be his son. The boy named Jackson Hyde was birthed from Lucia Hyde and he had the real map to the Black Pearl that he so desperately craved.

Discovering the location of Lucia, Manta assaulted her hoping to draw Jackson out, when Jackson sprung to her defense Manta kidnapped Jackson. He used the map in his son's possession to find the location of the Black Pearl. When there Manta and Jackson fought off the creatures guarding it and claimed the Pearl. However the other members of the Teen Titans showed up and attempted to defeat Manta, with his new hydrokinetic abilities Manta easily crushed the Titans but was defeated by Jackson when he electrocuted Manta to near death.


  • Leadership: Manta proves to be an adept strategist and directional coordinator having a cunning, tactical mind on par with a great many of DC's greatest intellects. Having been able to effectively assume the reigns of the global interest spanning and commanding organization of N.E.M.O after dispatching its Fisher King.[25]
  • Tactical Analysis
  • Swimming: Black Manta is highly skilled at swimming. Deathstroke stated that he "cuts through water like a torpedo".[26]
  • Weaponry: Black Manta has a large arsenal of both underwater and above water weaponry. He's even used Aquaman's trident with proficiency, choosing it over his own helm. He could cut a man's throat with a coin.
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Gadgetry


  • Black Manta's Armor: Black Manta wears a diving suit that enables him to survive underwater to unknown depths; it insulates him against the cold and protects him from pressure changes. It is completely waterproof and bulletproof, and is so completely sealed that it cannot be entered even at the atomic level. It also grants him a level of superhuman strength and durability, allowing him to survive major traumatic injuries. It greatly increases his underwater mobility, primarily through the use of some sort of diver propulsion vehicle, and allows him to leap great heights when shooting out of water. It is also effective as a means of camouflage in dark water. He wears a distinctive manta-shaped helmet with two large eyes that allow for infrared and scope vision, as well as powerful optic blasts capable of hurting or killing metahumans. His helmet connects to an oxygen system that allows him to breathe underwater indefinitely. It also protects his head from trauma.


  • Black Pearl (formerly): Described as a Thalassokinetic weapon of mass destruction. The Black Pearl gave its wearer the ability to weaponize planetary bodies of water through powerful magic locked within its jewel.
  • Trident of Neptune (formerly)
  • Yellow Power Ring (formerly)
  • Black Manta has three long scars across his face made by Aquaman's trident.[citation needed]



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