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Black Manta (DC)
Real Name: David
Search for 'Black Manta (DC)' on Amazon

The boy who would become Black Manta screamed uncontrollably in his orphanage whenever he was put to bed. No one knew the feel of the cotton sheets was agonizing to him, nor that icy cold water had the opposite effect. The boy was severely autistic, and as a result was subjected to various experimental treatments. One of these treatments seemd to bring the boy to a normal level of cognizance, but also brought out a streak of rage and violence.

The boy saw images of Aquaman on television, and was drawn to the sight of a man completely submerged in his beloved water. As an adult, the orphan designed a costume (primarily a black wetsuit with bug-eyed helmet) and fashioned a high-tech submersible inspired by black manta fish. Taking the name Black Manta, he and his masked army became a force to be reckoned with, engaging in several as-yet-unrecorded clashes with Aquaman before joining the short-lived Injustice League and later Orm the Ocean Master.

Manta and Aquaman battled repeatedly over the next several years, until the day Manta killed Arthur III, Aquaman's son. Prior to Arthur III's death, it was revealed that Black Manta was actually an African-American man (and that this is why he called himself Black Manta), whose objective was for the Black people to be dominant in the ocean after having been oppressed for so long on dry land. Most of Black Manta's henchmen were also black.

Black Manta later sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for more power, and transformed into a Manta/Man hybrid. He took to wearing a new costume that completely covered his appearance, and inexplicably stopped tormenting Aquaman and instead indulged in drug smuggling from his new base in Star City. Here, he was opposed by Green Arrow and Aquaman.

In a later confrontation, Aquaman, sporting the Lady of the Lake's Healing Hand, reversed Neron's alterations to Black Manta, and rewired Manta's afflicted brain, making him normal for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, Manta remained a violent criminal, lulling Aquaman into a false sense of partnership and almost killing the Sea King in the process.

This entry uses information derived, either in whole or in part, from


First Appearance: Aquaman (1962) #35

Favorite Characters:
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Action Comics (1938)
Adventure Comics (1938)
Adventures of Superman (1987)
All-Star Section Eight (2015)
Aquaman (1962)
Aquaman (1986)
Aquaman (1991)
Aquaman (1994)
Aquaman (2003)
Aquaman Secret Files (1998)
Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years (2016)
Aquaman: Death Of A Prince (2011)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis (2006)
Avengers/JLA (2003)
Batman: The Widening Gyre (2009)
Booster Gold (2007)
Brightest Day (2010)
Captain Atom (1987)
Convergence Suicide Squad (2015)
Convergence: Zero Hour (2015)
Countdown (2007)
Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985)
DC Super Stars (1976)
DC Universe: Origins (2009)
DC's Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special (2018)
DCU Halloween Special '09 (2009)
DCU: Legacies (2010)
Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge (2008)
Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons (2011)
Flashpoint: Grodd of War (2011)
Flashpoint: The Legion of Doom (2011)
Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring The Flash (2012)
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies (2011)
General Mills Presents: Justice League (2011)
Green Arrow (2001)
Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Kilowog (2011)
Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Tomar-Re (2011)
Infinite Crisis (2005)
JLA (1997)
JLA: Classified (2005)
JSA: Classified (2005)
Justice (2005)
Justice League Unlimited (2004)
Justice League Wedding Special (2007)
Justice League: Cry for Justice (2009)
Manhunter (2004)
Silver Age (2000)
Silver Age 80-Page Giant (2000)
Silver Age Secret Files (2000)
Silver Age: Doom Patrol (2000)
Silver Age: Green Lantern (2000)
Silver Age: Justice League of America (2000)
Silver Age: Showcase (2000)
Silver Age: Teen Titans (2000)
Sins of Youth Secret Files (2000)
Sins of Youth: Aquaboy & Lagoon Man (2000)
Sins of Youth: The Secret & Deadboy (2000)
Superboy (1994)
Superman/Batman (2003)
Tales of the Unexpected (2006)
Tangent: Superman's Reign (2008)
Teen Titans Spotlight (1986)
The All New Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2011)
The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
Villains United (2005)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985)
Wonder Woman (1987)
Young Justice: Sins of Youth (2000)

Group Affiliation(s):
Injustice League (DC)(01 - Silver Age)
Secret Society of Super-Villains (03-Current)

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