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Black Manta (Prime Earth)

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Quote1 Because if that's the only thing driving you... what happens when you do kill Aquaman? Where do you direct all of this hate then? Quote2
-- Amanda Waller 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 Merman became a publicly-known hero as Aquaman, he became Black Manta.

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.[1]

Six years later, Black Manta believed that there was a seventh relic in the Dead King's tomb, and began hunting the Others. He cornered and killed Kahina the Seer,[2] then went after the Prisoner.[3]

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. [4] In his escape, Manta killed Vostok-X, causing Aquaman to swear revenge. [5]

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. [6]

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.[7].

Forever Evil

When the Crime Syndicate came to Earth through Pandora's Box, all prison systems were opened allowing the criminals to escape.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] During a battle with members of the Secret Society, Black Manta saved Captain Cold from Shadow Thief.[11] During the assault against the Crime Syndicate at the downed Watchtower, Black Manta killed The Outsider,[12] 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."[13]

Suicide Squad

Despite having previously refused Waller's offer to join Task Force X, Black Manta eventually volunteers 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.[14]

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.[15]

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,[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

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. 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. 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.

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 hate Aquaman and Atlanteans. Taken to meet N.E.M.O.'s leader, the Fisher King, Black Manta listens to their plans and offer. 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.


Abilities

  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Black Manta was trained to fight by his father from an early age. He's honed his skill over the years fighting Aquaman.
  • 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.
  • Swimming: Black Manta is highly skilled at swimming. Deathstroke stated that he "cuts through water like a torpedo".[19]
  • Firearms[20]
  • Intimidation


Weapons

  • Black Manta has three long scars across his face.

Related


Footnotes


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