published by DC Comics
. Black Manta
in Aquaman #35
Little is known of the villain Black Manta, including his real
name. It is known that he has spent years plundering the deep
of its treasures. Over the years, Black Manta has gathered many
loyal followers who act as henchmen in his various schemes. Most
of these followers are black as Black Manta himself is. He has
said that he is seeking to balance the fact that blacks have been
oppressed above the waves by making them the rulers below the waves.
Black Manta dresses in a costume that allows him nearly an unlimited
air supply as well as protects him from the crushing pressure of
deep sea diving. His costume's center piece is the large oval shaped
helmet that he wears, which is dominated by two large red eye pieces.
The eyes pieces allow Black Manta to shoot beams that can melt
steel. Black Manta also uses a number of underwater vehicles, most
believed to be of his own design.
Black Manta's exploits have often placed him at odds against the
king of Atlantis, Aquaman. The two have implacable foes for many
years, but their emnity was sealed when Black Manta kidnapped
Aquaman's son and his sidekick, Aqualad, and forced Aquaman
to fight his friend for the life of his son. The battle cost
Aquaman the life of his son, whom Black Manta killed and
caused a rift between Aquaman and Aqualad that lasted many years.