Black Manta, played by the talented Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, is making waves as the villain in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. If you thought he was tough in the first movie, get ready – he’s back with a vengeance, and this time, he’s the main threat.
In the comics and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Black Manta has a history as deep as the ocean itself. He’s been a thorn in Aquaman’s side for decades, and now he’s stepping into the spotlight as the central antagonist of the sequel.
In 2018’s Aquaman, Black Manta emerged as a fierce rival to Arthur Curry. Sure, he might not have Aquaman’s aquatic communication skills, but don’t let that fool you – he’s a force to be reckoned with. Despite being on the losing side in their first encounter, Black Manta is back for round two, and he’s not messing around. He’s ready to take his revenge.
What makes Black Manta truly formidable this time? Well, he’s got his hands on a powerful weapon straight from the pages of the comics. This isn’t your average villain seeking revenge – Black Manta is stepping up his game to become Aquaman’s most dangerous adversary yet.
The dynamic between Aquaman and Black Manta goes beyond the big screen. Their history in the comics is a rollercoaster of clashes, with the villain constantly trying to sink Aquaman’s heroic efforts. It’s a classic tale of hero versus nemesis, and it’s about to reach new heights in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
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Black Manta’s Origin in DC Comics
Black Manta, also known as David Kane, splashed onto the pages of DC Comics back in 1967 in Aquaman #35. Back then, he was a formidable enemy with a high-powered suit, giving Aquaman a run for his money. For more than 2 decades, Manta was nothing more than a character dressed up in an armor.
It wasn’t until Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #452 that the mystery behind the menacing helmet started to unravel. Behind the cold, mechanical exterior was a Black American named David Kane, whose mission went beyond being a mere enemy to Aquaman. Kane wanted Black people to rule the sea, a retaliation against the oppression he faced on land.
The comic not only shed light on his motivations but also unveiled his darkest act – the murder of Aquaman’s infant son. Black Manta wasn’t just a powerful foe; he became a symbol of vengeance, driven by a personal mission to reshape the underwater world.
Fast forward to 1992 in Aquaman #6, and finally Black Manta’s origin story was revealed. Born in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, Manta’s childhood took a dark turn when he was kidnapped by pirates while playing by the ocean. Forced into servitude, his life changed when he witnessed Aquaman swimming with dolphins near the ship.
Desperation led him to beg Aquaman for help, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Fueled by anger and a thirst for revenge, Manta eventually escaped his captors, eliminating them in the process. But the bitterness remained, rooted in the belief that Aquaman had abandoned him.
And so, Black Manta was born. Driven by a burning desire to defeat Aquaman and seize control of the seas, Manta transformed into the iconic villain we know today. His journey from a kidnapped child to a vengeful master of the ocean adds layers to the character, making him more than just a foe – he’s a man on a mission, shaped by the depths of betrayal and the fires of revenge.
What happened to Black Manta in Aquaman 1?
2018 was when DCEU introduced Black Manta in “Aquaman,” played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. He is initially David Kane, a high-tech pirate and mercenary. He becomes one of the main antagonists in the movie. Here’s a brief overview of what happens to Black Manta in “Aquaman”:
In the first movie, Manta starts as a pirate seeking revenge against Aquaman (Arthur Curry) after a confrontation with Aquaman results in the death of David Kane’s father. This incident sparks a deep-seated hatred and desire for vengeance.
Black Manta forms an alliance with Aquaman’s half-brother, King Orm, who is the main antagonist of the film. In exchange for advanced Atlantean technology, he agrees to help Orm in his quest to wage war against the surface world. Manta engages in an underwater battle with Aquaman, utilizing advanced weaponry and his high-tech suit. Despite a formidable fight, Aquaman emerges victorious, and Black Manta is left defeated and injured.
However, in a post-credits scene, it’s revealed that Black Manta survived the battle and is rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a character with a fascination for Atlantean artifacts.
Black Manta Powers
Black Manta isn’t born with superpowers like his archenemy Aquaman. He’s a regular human named David Kane. But don’t be fooled – this DC villain is a force to be reckoned with, both in and out of the water. Here are his powers:
1 – Combat Mastery
From a young age, Black Manta honed his combat skills to become a threat on both land and sea. His prowess as a fighter and assassin places him among the deadliest in the DC universe. Trained in strategy, he’s not just a brawler – he’s a thinking adversary.
2 – Aquatic Expertise
Despite being born on land, Black Manta has an innate understanding of the sea. His expertise as an undersea scavenger and skilled diver adds a layer of unpredictability to his tactics.
3 – Black Manta’s Suit
But what truly tips the scales in Black Manta’s favor is his iconic suit. Its construction remains a mystery, but its nearly impenetrable design sets him apart even from the most powerful metahumans. The suit is armed to the teeth with an array of deadly weapons – long daggers, harpoons, and a double-bladed gun. Each weapon is a testament to Manta’s commitment to being a relentless adversary.
His suit has a helmet which isn’t just for show. It allows Black Manta to breathe underwater and boasts two massive eyes that grant him infrared and scope vision. But that’s not all – these eyes can emit powerful beams capable of injuring or even taking down metahumans like Aquaman.
Equipped with a jetpack, Black Manta can navigate underwater with unparalleled speed. This jetpack, combined with his suit’s technology, makes him a swift and deadly opponent. Manta’s suit also enhances Black Manta’s physical strength to superhuman levels. With just one punch, he can inflict dramatic damage, making him a true powerhouse.
But apart from the suit, Black Manta will carry the “Black Trident” which is the source of his evil powers in Aquaman 2.
Black Manta’s Black Trident
Black Manta’s Black Trident is at the centre of this movie. This dominating weapon has piqued curiosity of fans, and the teaser hints at its dark past and mystical powers.
Orm, also known as Ocean Master, spills the underwater beans, revealing that during Atlan’s reign, the seven kingdoms were haunted by the curse of the Black Trident. It’s shrouded in mystery as to who originally wielded this powerful weapon, but one thing’s for sure – it’s got some seriously cursed vibes.
So, how does Black Manta get his hands on this ominous trident? The trailer doesn’t spill all the sea beans, but it’s safe to say Manta’s involved in some trident-related drama. Could it be a nod to the comics? In the comics, Triton, the shadowy son of Poseidon and Amphitrite owned trident. Could Manta be on a quest to snag Triton’s trident?
There’s speculation that David might tap into his Atlantean tech know-how to track down the trident’s location. After all, his suit is a marvel of Atlantean engineering, so restoring a corrupted trident might just be within his aquatic skill set.
But the trailer does reveal that Manta wants the Dead King’s powers. For that the Dead King asks him to free him from his prison. It requires sacrificing Black Manta’s son. In the comics, the wielder of Black Trident can cause earthquake and thus global meltdown.
Hence, Black Manta must be stopped.
Although, the future of Aquaman isn’t bright, it shouldn’t stop you from watching this movie in the theatres.