Black Manta
Aquaman Vol 7 12 Textless

Full Name



Black Manta


To kill Aquaman and rule the oceans


Defeated by Aquaman

The only thing I want is the death of Aquaman.
~ Black Manta

Black Manta is a major antagonist in the Aquaman comics and is the archenemy of Aquaman. A dangerous sea pirate and mercenary, Black Manta is a feared super-villain, and seeks to rule the oceans and exact vengeance upon Aquaman. He is also the father of Jackson Hyde, the new Aqualad.


Once a young boy held captive on a ship, Black Manta grew up to hold a grudge against Aquaman, who he blamed for not saving him. As an adult, Black Manta donned a costume and a high-tech submersible inspired by manta rays. Black Manta engaged in multiple battles with his foe Aquaman.

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Black Manta's murder of Aquababy

On one occasion, Black Manta launched an assault on Atalntis' agricultural system, attempting to destroy the city's dome, though his plan was thwarted. In a later battle, during which Black Manta abducted Aquaman's wife and infant son, he revealed himself to be African American, and claimed that his objective was for black people to rule the oceans. However, this was later revealed as a ruse. During this confrontation, Black Manta killed Aquaman's son.

Black Manta was temporarily transformed into a human-manta hybrid by the demon Neron, and engaged in drug smuggling. He was later reverted back to his human form by Aquaman, who also rewired Manta's afflicted brain. Despite this, Manta remained a murderous criminal. After becoming a test subject for genetic manipulation to make humans able to breath underwater, Manta returned to the oceans to do battle with Aquaman once more.

Black Manta became a recurring threat in Sub Diego, but fled after being injured by King Shark. He later joined Libra's super-villain group, but quit after Libra allied himself with Darkseid to take over the world.

After Aquaman's apparent death, Black Manta briefly retired from villainy and opened up a fish market. After Aquaman's return was announced on the news, Black Manta murdered his customers and returned to a life of crime. He forms a partnership with Siren and her Death Squad to find his son, Jackson Hyde. They track him down and attempt to kill his foster father, but Aquaman arrives and rescues them from Manta's clutches. Jackson took on the alias of Aqualad and helped Aquaman fight his criminal father. During a battle on the beach, Manta severed Aquaman's hand. While Black Manta and Aqualad fought, the latter accused his father of siding with the people who killed his wife. Manta declared that both Jackson and his wife meant nothing to him, and prepared to kill his son. However, Aquagirl arrived and saved Aqualad. 

Black Manta, along with Siren and the Death Squad, were sealed in the Bermuda Triangle, with Black Manta vowing to return and find Jackson.

New 52

In the rebooted series, Black Manta is seeking vengeance against Aquaman for the murder of his father, whom Aquaman killed in retaliation for the death of his own father. Manta begins stealing Atlantian relics from the Others, and tries to locate the seventh relic in the Dead King's tomb. He is attacked by Aquaman and the Others, but escapes, killing Vostok-X in the process. He delivers the relic to Nuidis Vulko, who hired him, but Aquaman and the Others follow him. Manta is defeated and taken into custody. While imprisoned, Amanda Waller offers him a chance to join the Suicide Squad, but he refuses.

Powers and abilities

Black Manta is skilled in hand-to-hand combat, an ability he's mastered through his encounters with Aquaman. His armor further enhances his strength, allowing him to perform superhuman feats of strength. His battle-suit also allows him to breath underwater, and gives him a wide arsenal of weapons. Black Manta is also highly intelligent, and is an expert in technological manufacturing, having designed his suit and weaponry.