|First appearance||Aquaman #35 (September 1967)|
|Created by||Bob Haney (writer) |
Nick Cardy (artist)
|Alter ego||David Hyde|
Black Manta (David Hyde) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, the character was introduced in Aquaman #35 (September 1967) as a ruthless and murderous underwater-based mercenary, and has since endured as the archenemy of the superhero Aquaman.
The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including several cartoon television series, animated movies, and video games. Black Manta made his live-action cinematic debut in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, portrayed by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
- 1 Fictional character biography
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Fictional character biography
Black Manta had no definitive origin story until #6 of the 1993 Aquaman series. In this origin, the African American kid who would become Black Manta grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and loved to play by the Chesapeake Bay. Throughout his youth he was kidnapped and forced to work on a ship for an unspecified amount of time, where he was physically abused by his captors. At one point, he saw Aquaman with his dolphin friends and tried to signal him for help but was not seen. Finally, he was forced to defend himself, killing one of his tormentors on the ship with a knife. Hating the emotionless sea and Aquaman, whom he saw as its representative, he was determined to become its master.
An alternative version was given in #8 of the 2003 Aquaman series. In this origin, the boy who would become Black Manta was an autistic orphan placed in Gotham City's Arkham Asylum. He felt comfortable in freezing cold water, but found cotton sheets excruciatingly painful. Because the attendants at Arkham did not know how to deal with autism, they would end up restraining him to the bed as he struggled and screamed whenever they tried putting him to bed. In this version, young Black Manta was also fascinated when he saw Aquaman on television.
The boy would end up being subjected to experimental treatments. One treatment seemed to clear the boy's head, but left him violent as a result; he killed the scientist who had administered the treatment and escaped from Arkham.
As an adult, the man who would become Black Manta designed a costume (primarily a black wetsuit with a bug-eyed helmet, that was able to shoot rays from its eyes) and fashioned a high-tech submersible inspired by manta rays. Taking the name Black Manta, he and his masked army became a formidable force, engaging in at least one unrecorded clash with Aquaman prior to his first appearance as a rival to the Ocean Master (and before joining the short-lived Injustice League in the retcon Silver Age third week event).
His first name, David, is revealed in the 2010 Brightest Day storyline, although his last name has not been revealed. Though he does use the alias of "David Kane," which features the same last name that his biological son, Kaldur'ahm aka Jackson Kane (the second Aqualad) has.
Black Manta and Aquaman battled repeatedly over the next several years. During one of these clashes, it is revealed that Black Manta is actually black, whose stated objective at one point was for black people to dominate the ocean after having been oppressed for so long on dry land (though this goal was revealed to be a ruse he used to trick Cal Durham into following him, and this objective was not at all evident in either his earlier or later appearances). During most of his appearances, his main goals are defeating Aquaman and gaining power for himself through the conquest of Atlantis. Finally, Manta kills Arthur Curry, Jr., Aquaman's son, which leaves Aquaman obsessed with revenge.
Black Manta is later transformed into a human/manta ray hybrid by the demon Neron in exchange for his soul, though after a while he returns to wearing his original outfit, which covers his new appearance. At one point he engages in drug smuggling from his new base in Star City, where he is opposed by a returning Green Arrow and Aquaman.
In a later confrontation, Aquaman, sporting the Lady of the Lake's Healing Hand, reverses Neron's alterations to Black Manta and rewires Manta's afflicted brain, making him normal for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, Manta remains a violent criminal, lulling Aquaman into a false sense of partnership and almost killing the Sea King in the process.
In later events, Black Manta is used as a genetic manipulation test subject to make water breathers. This succeeds; since then, Black Manta has returned to the oceans to face Aquaman once again.
Black Manta causes a disturbance in Sub Diego in which Captain Marley is severely injured. Aquaman summons various predatory sea-life to attack Black Manta and leaves him for dead. It is later revealed that Black Manta was able to survive by generating an electric charge with his suit.
When Aquaman dies at the end of the 2003 series, Black Manta begins working for Libra as part of the Secret Society of Super Villains. However, after Libra betrays the group and helps Darkseid conquer the Earth, Black Manta quits.
In a 2011 Brightest Day storyline called "Aquawar", Black Manta has retired from his criminal ways. He has opened a fish market to earn an honest living. When he discovers that Aquaman has been resurrected following the end of the Blackest Night, Black Manta murders the customers in the store and burns down his shorefront house as he resumes his criminal career and vendetta against Aquaman. Black Manta is seen later at the grave of Thomas Curry, Aquaman's father, where he is approached by Siren and her Death Squad after demolishing the tombstone. The Death Squad battles Black Manta, but before the fight continues too long, Siren stops them. She informs Black Manta that they need to work together to find his son, showing him a hard water image of Jackson Hyde.
Black Manta and Siren locate Jackson and attempt to kill his foster father. Jackson (using his ability to create hard water constructs) fights back but is unable to stop Black Manta from shooting a trident-shaped dart at his foster father. At the last moment, Aquaman intervenes, blocking the fatal shot. Black Manta then faces his old nemesis again. During the battle, Aquaman pulls Jackson and his foster father to safety.
In a flashback, it is revealed that Black Manta was once a treasure hunter who, along with his wife, was captured while exploring the Bermuda Triangle. Their captors were the other-dimensional residents of Xebel, and the two were tortured mercilessly. The captors experimented on Black Manta's pregnant wife which gave the unborn child powers similar to those of the residents of Xebel. Fearing the child (Jackson) would be used as a pawn in an invasion of Earth, Xebel princess Mera kidnapped the child and took him to Earth, where she arranged him to be adopted and raised far away from water in order to keep him from her people. Black Manta ultimately escaped from Xebel, though his wife ultimately died.
After Jackson learns the truth behind his origin, Aquaman and Jackson (now calling himself Aqualad) are ambushed by Siren and the Xebel soldiers on a California beach, where innocent citizens become caught in the crossfire. As Aquaman is about to strike back at Siren, Black Manta springs from the water and severs Aquaman's right hand. Jackson attacks his father, berating him for siding with the people who killed his own wife, only for Black Manta to throw Jackson to the ground and coldly state that both he and his mother meant nothing to him. As Black Manta prepares to impale his son with one of his blades, Mera arrives with Aquagirl, who saves Jackson by striking Black Manta in the face. Jackson and Mera work together to seal Black Manta, Siren, and the rest of the invaders away in the Bermuda Triangle. Black Manta vows from within the prison to get his son, Jackson.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Black Manta kills a woman named Kahina the Seer, a former teammate of Aquaman, and steals her Atlantean relic. He then vows to kill her entire family before getting his revenge on Aquaman. A flashback shows that Aquaman created a team known as the Others (forged of six Atlantean relics from the Dead King's tomb) who are trying to catch Black Manta, but they fail and Black Manta escapes. Black Manta goes after Aquaman's former teammate Prisoner-of-War in Heidelberg.
It is then revealed that Aquaman killed Black Manta's father by accident in retaliation for attacking Aquaman's father. Seeking revenge, Black Manta attempted to kill all of Aquaman's family and friends. When Black Manta chased Prisoner-of-War, he was confronted by Aquaman in a battle. During the attack, Black Manta stole one of Ya'Wara's Atlantean relics and teleported to Stephen Shin, Aquaman's former friend. Black Manta then tasered Mera and pulled Shin to him in order to teleport away.
Meanwhile, the Others were reunited and discovered that there was a seventh Atlantean relic in the Dead King's tomb. Manta took Shin captive in the Dead King's tomb in order to find the seventh relic and located in the Dead King's throne. Manta prepared to kill Shin, but was thwarted when Aquaman and the Others attacked his henchmen. Black Manta killed Vostok-X and escaped with the relic scepter. After Vostok-X's death, Aquaman, through tears, swore that he would kill Manta in revenge. Black Manta delivered the relic scepter to a mysterious Atlantean, who was revealed to be his employer, but the Others ambushed them and attacked. The mysterious Atlantean managed to grab the relic scepter and escape while Black Manta was forced to battle the Others, resulting in Manta and his henchmen being taken away by the authorities. While in Belle Reve Prison, Black Manta refused to join Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad.
During the Forever Evil storyline, Amanda Waller approached Black Manta again to join the Suicide Squad. Black Manta declined again at the same time as Deathstorm and Power Ring invade Belle Reve. After hearing Amanda Waller's offer to join the Suicide Squad, Black Manta retrieved his equipment during Belle Reve's prison break and accepted the Secret Society's coin. At the Justice League's Watchtower, after claiming Aquaman's trident, Black Manta tossed the coin in the ocean. Black Manta took the trident to his father's grave stating his quest to kill Aquaman was over. Looking up, he witnessed Ultraman moving the moon in front of the sun resulting in the creation of massive tidal waves. The waves washed the grave of Black Manta's father away which gave him a new purpose: to destroy the Crime Syndicate. After retrieving Black Adam's body from the ocean, Black Manta met up with Lex Luthor, the Kryptonian clone that Lex Luthor created, and Captain Cold, where he informed them of what Ultraman's actions did to his father's grave. Lex Luthor realizes that with the help of his Kryptonian clone, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Captain Cold, he might be able to stop the Crime Syndicate.
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Black Manta's first Rebirth appearance was in the one-shot Aquaman: Rebirth #1, acting as the narrator until he reveals himself at the very end. Manta later appeared in Aquaman vol. 8, #1, in which he attacks Spindrift Station, an Atlantean embassy built by Aquaman near his hometown of Amnesty Bay to promote relations between Atlantis and the surface. Black Manta fights with Aquaman, and even wounds him, but the fight is ended with words about how hollow and empty Black Manta's purpose in life truly is. He's eventually taken into custody by the U.S. military, but the vehicle transporting him is attacked by N.E.M.O forces. A woman named Blackjack takes him to the organization's base in Antarctica, where he meets the Fisher King. N.E.M.O plans to discredit Aquaman in the eyes of the world by manipulating conflicts with the United States and other surface nations, and Black Manta decides to continue this mission after killing the Fisher King and claiming the title for himself. In Aquaman #7, Manta appears at a meeting of the N.E.M.O board in Venice, Italy, where he kills those who oppose his rule as the Fisher King and commands the Shaggy Man to attack Atlantis. Later, Manta oversees N.E.M.O's usage of Atlantean pretender forces against the U.S, which prompts the nation to declare war on Atlantis. After a team of American Aquamarines, super soldiers who can take on the form of sharks and other aquatic creatures, fails to assassinate Aquaman, the Atlantean king attacks Black Manta on his ship in the Azores in issue #15. Rather than surrender, Black Manta blows up the ship and all aboard, but Aquaman and Blackjack escape.
Rise of Aqualad/Blood of Manta
It is revealed that Manta survived the explosion, perhaps with the help of Blackjack, and has become obsessed with finding his illegitimate son Jackson Hyde, who has joined the Teen Titans. Manta's desire to find him stems from his remembrance of a lost relic with power over the sea itself, The Black Pearl, a weapon which can bend the very oceans to the user's whim, which once belonged to a notorious Atlantean pirate who died in Xebel. Knowing only a denizen of Xebel had the map to its keep and only Xebelian hands could unseal it, he nearly murdered Hyde's mother in order to get to him. With his son in tow, Manta and Jackson set out to find his prize, needing his son to unlock the trove that the pearl was sealed in. Eventually a clash broke out between him and the Teen Titans after achieving his goal and with it, power to dominate the world. He was finally bested by Aqualad, who near fatally electrocuted him before taking the pearl ring from his hand.
Powers and abilities
Black Manta possesses a keen scientific mind and is an expert in mechanical engineering and military tactics. Despite being a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, he generally relies more on technology and strategic planning than direct physical confrontations.
As a result of the serum that cured him of his autism, Black Manta possesses some degree of advanced stamina and endurance. He utilizes a nigh-invulnerable battle suit that further enhances his physical strength and durability to superhuman levels, allowing him to lift and throw cars with ease. This armor is adapted to an oceanic environment, providing complete resistance to deep sea pressures and granting Black Manta the ability to breathe underwater. The suit also includes a jet pack propulsion system that functions in or out of water, a telepathic scrambler, and a wide array of different weapons and gadgets including twin swords, a hand trident, a wrist-mounted speargun on the right arm, a harpoon, deployable miniaturized torpedoes, and a diving helmet that can discharge powerful optic blasts from the eye lenses. Black Manta often uses unique vehicles, such as a modified manta ray-shaped submarine, for traveling underwater.
At one point, Black Manta was transformed by the demon Neron into a human-manta ray hybrid in exchange for his soul, which allowed him to breathe underwater without the use of his suit. This transformation has since been undone by Aquaman. For a brief time, Black Manta possessed a powerful mystical relic named "The Black Pearl", a powerful Atlantean artifact that allowed him to control the oceans at will.
Black Manta appeared as one of the major villains in the 2005-2006 Justice miniseries by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger as part of the Legion of Doom. This version appears to be based on the time period when Black Manta fought for African Americans as shown by all of his henchmen being black and his city being completely populated by African Americans. He is first seen luring Aquaman into an ambush and controlling Aquaman's sharks into attacking him before taking Aquaman to Brainiac. When Lex Luthor makes his speech to the world to join him in saving it, Black Manta is one of the villains alongside him.
As the Legion begins kidnapping the people close to the heroes, Black Manta takes control of Garth and forces him to assault Mera and kidnap Aquaman's son. During the Justice League's attack on the Hall of Doom, Black Manta faces off against Aquaman for the entire battle. Black Manta is one of the few villains to escape the Justice League and teleport to his city along with Aquaman's son, who follows behind him. Aquaman eventually finds Black Manta's hideout, but Black Manta's men savagely beat him in front of his son, comparing it to the treatment of his own people. Aquaman counters Black Manta is doing the same by using Doctor Sivana's technology to control his men, smashing the pack on Black Manta's suit to free his henchmen from Black Manta's control. Black Manta realizes that Aquaman was right, but makes one last effort to kill him in desperation. He is quickly struck down by Aquaman, saying that Black Manta never really had a chance to begin with.
In other media
- Black Manta appeared in the Aquaman cartoon in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, voiced by Ted Knight.
- Black Manta (simply referred to as "Manta") appeared in The All-New Super Friends Hour, voiced again by Ted Knight.
- Black Manta appeared as a member of the Legion of Doom in Challenge of the Super Friends, voiced by Ted Cassidy.
- Black Manta was originally set to appear in the Justice League animated series as the mercenary that Orm hires to assassinate Aquaman; this role is ultimately given to Deadshot as it was considered "inappropriate" for his character.
- A character named Devil Ray is featured in Justice League: Unlimited, voiced by Michael Beach. According to writer Dwayne McDuffie, Black Manta's name was changed because the rights to Aquaman characters were not available at the time; they were being used for the Aquaman TV pilot. He's one of the primary members of Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society. In "To Another Shore", Devil Ray is sent by Grodd to retrieve a Viking Prince's preserved corpse to unlock the secret of immortality. In "Dead Reckoning", Devil Ray leads a group of villains to Nanda Parbat to steal a mystical orb and kills several monks and their master in the process. During the final battle in Gorilla City, Devil Ray is killed by Deadman.
- In the aforementioned Aquaman pilot, Ving Rhames was cast as McCaffery; a lighthouse keeper and Arthur's Atlantean mentor. Upon the announcement of Rhames' casting, it was rumored/speculated his character would be connected to Black Manta. As the series was never picked up, this was neither proven nor disproven. 
- Black Manta appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. In the episode "Evil Under the Sea!", he is hired by Ocean Master to kill Aquaman only to betray and imprison his employer before attempting to destroy Atlantis with a tremor-inducing machine. Black Manta is then defeated by Batman. In "Enter the Outsiders!", Black Manta robs an armored vehicle only to be apprehended by Batman and B'wana Beast. In "Game Over for Owlman", Black Manta joins Owlman's team of villains to kill their respective hero archenemies, but they are all ultimately stopped by Batman's parallel universe counterparts. In "Night of the Huntress", Black Manta is seen imprisoned in Blackgate Penitentiary. In "Mayhem of the Music Meister", Black Manta, Gorilla Grodd and Clock King are mind-controlled by the Music Meister and subsequently arrested. He is later seen in Iron Heights prison, where he is imprisoned in a giant fish bowl. In "Bold Beginnings", a flashback reveals that Batman first met Aquaman during a confrontation with Black Manta. Additionally, Black Manta's heroic parallel universe counterpart is seen in "Deep Cover for Batman".
- Black Manta (addressed only as Manta) appears in the live-action series Smallville. In the episode "Prophecy", he is assigned by Toyman to kill Aquaman.
- Black Manta appears in the Young Justice animated series, voiced by Khary Payton. In season one's "Downtime", he and his Manta-men attempted to steal a large starfish creature frozen in ice in Atlantis' Science Center led by Prince Orm. He is revealed to be reporting to The Light (Project Cadmus' Board of Directors) when he mentions a sample of a starfish creature, which L-5 states they will obtain. In season two's "Alienated", Black Manta takes Ocean Master's place on the Light's ruling council. It is also shown that Aqualad had sided with his father upon learning his true heritage. In the episode "Depths", Black Manta sends Aqualad and the Manta-Men to disrupt the satellite launch at Ferris Aircraft, leading to Lagoon Boy's capture and Artemis' supposed murder. In the episode "Darkest", Black Manta finds that Aqualad has not delivered Lagoon Boy to the Partner and has him tranquilized. He then sends Aqualad with Tigress, the Terror Twins, and Icicle Jr. to destroy Mount Justice, taking Impulse and Blue Beetle as prizes. Afterwards, Black Manta has him meet with the other Light members. In the episode "True Colors", after Kaldur is rendered catatonic by Miss Martian, Black Manta was present at a meeting where Sportsmaster demands Kaldur's death for killing his daughter, though Vandal Savage and Black Manta refuse, forcing Sportsmaster to flee when Deathstroke appears. On his submarine, Vandal Savage offers Black Manta Psimon from Queen Bee in order to restore Aqualad's mind. In the episode "The Fix", Psimon is sedated by Tigress, who covers up by suggesting Miss Martian might have booby-trapped Aqualad's mind. Tigress and Deathstroke successfully capture Miss Martian, and Black Manta forces her to restore his son's mind or else Deathstroke will make Miss Martian's inhibitor collar explode, though he also says to Tigress he will kill her regardless if she succeeds or not. In the episode "Complications", Miss Martian escaped during an attack by Sportsmaster and Cheshire, though by this time Aqualad has recovered. In the penultimate episode "Summit", Black Manta joins the Light in a meeting with the Reach in the caves of Santa Prisca. Black Manta is heartbroken by his son's treachery after he betrays him, and is defeated the Team (along with the Brain, Monsieur Mallah, and Deathstroke). Black Manta returns in the second saga for Young Justice: Outsiders in which he extends to settle the personal score with Tigress for fabricating her demise at the hands of his son Aqualad, two years previously. He is also a current member of the Suicide Squad.
- Black Manta appears in the DC Nation short "Animal Man".
- Black Manta appears in Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered, voiced again by Kevin Michael Richardson.
- Black Manta appears in the Teen Titans Go animated series. In the episode "Super Robin", Black Manta is seen in a photograph having been defeated by the Teen Titans who had tied him on a fishing rod.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portrays Black Manta in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, and is set to reprise the role in multiple upcoming DCEU installments. This version of the character, whose real name is David Kane as opposed to David Hyde from the comics, is depicted as an unscrupulous treasure-hunting pirate and ruthless high-seas mercenary with a flair for creating deadly technological innovations. It is revealed that his grandfather served as a Underwater Demolition Team "frogman" in World War II and was nicknamed "Manta" by his teammates, carrying a fighting knife with the image of a manta ray engraved on the blade. David and his father Jesse Kane (played by Michael Beach) are hired by King Orm Marius of Atlantis to hijack a nuclear submarine, only for Arthur Curry to intervene. In the ensuing battle, Jesse is subdued as a unlaunched torpedo crushes his leg. While David is distracted trying to free Jesse, Jesse commits suicide by detonating a grenade to keep David from going down with the ship. When David meets with Orm, he dismisses payment in the form of gold and instead asks Orm to locate Arthur. Orm later provides David with a high-tech prototype Atlantean battle suit, which David plans to use to exact revenge on his father's killer. David modifies the suit, rechristens himself as "Black Manta" in honor of his grandfather and late father, and confronts Arthur and Mera in Sicily, Italy with a group of Atlantean mercenaries. Mera fights and ultimately kills the mercenaries, and Arthur uses a pair of rocks that are connected by a chain to ensnare David and throw him off of a cliff to his apparent death. In a mid-credits scene, David is found wounded but rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin. David agrees to tell the marine biologist how he got the Atlantean technology if he tells him how to find Aquaman.
- Black Manta makes a cameo appearance in Justice League: The New Frontier during John F. Kennedy's speech.
- Black Manta makes a cameo appearance in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies as one of the many supervillains trying to collect Lex Luthor's bounty on Superman and Batman.
- Black Manta has a non-voiced appearance in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. In the altered reality, Black Manta serves as Aquaman's enforcer during the war between the Atlantean army and Wonder Woman's Amazons. He first appears killing Deathstroke aboard the ship The Ravager. Black Manta is later seen effortlessly dispatching hoards of Amazons during the final battle. Batman and Grifter ultimately use a grenade to breach Black Manta's armor before gunning him down.
- Kevin Michael Richardson reprises his role as Black Manta in JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time.
- Black Manta appears in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, voiced by Harry Lennix. In the new reality, he uses missiles loaded into his submarine to attack Atlantis and frame the surface world. Black Manta subsequently coaxes Prince Orm into starting a war by killing Queen Atlanna, and usurping the throne. As the Atlantean army wages war with the surface and the Justice League, Black Manta faces off against Arthur Curry. Before Black Manta can kill, Curry summons a megalodon from the harbor to bring the villain into the ocean. Producer James Tucker has confirmed that Black Manta had survived after the events of Throne of Atlantis and will return scarred.
- Black Manta appears in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, voiced again by Kevin Michael Richardson. He, Lex Luthor, and Sinestro work to form the Legion of Doom.
- Black Manta makes a brief appearance in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Dave Fennoy. He pilots Task Force X's transport for the mission Amanda Waller sent them for. Black Manta is first seen partaking in the mission to recover a flash drive containing leaked information from Tobias Whale.
- Black Manta appears in the video game Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis for Xbox and GameCube. He is also an unlockable character in the game.
- Black Manta appears as a boss in Young Justice: Legacy, voiced by Khary Payton.
- The MMORPG DC Universe Online introduced a PvE suit inspired by Black Manta, available for players in the Villain faction. In 2018, with the introduction of the “Deluge” and “Atlantis” episodes, Blank Manta now officially appears in game as a boss in two separate raids.
- Black Manta appears as a playable character in DC Unchained.
- Black Manta appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes.
- Black Manta appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- Black Manta is a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. He appears alongside King Shark in a chapter of the story helping Poison Ivy battle Sea King to save the Hall of Doom. A second version of him is available via Aquaman DLC.
- Black Manta is mentioned by Aquaman in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- Black Manta appears in Injustice 2, voiced by Kane Jungbluth-Murry as both a part of transition on the Atlantis stage and a playable character for downloadable content. In his single player ending, he destroys the miniaturized Atlantis on Brainiac's ship as vengeance against Aquaman for killing his father.
- Black Manta appeared in animated style in Justice League Unlimited #26. He is aided by Felix Faust in an attempt to conquer Atlantis.
- A parody of Black Manta, called Black Eel, appeared in the Duck Dodgers episode "Till Doom Do Us Part", voiced by Jim Cummings. He was one of the villains assembled by Agent Roboto to form the Legion of Duck Doom in order to defeat Duck Dodgers (despite the fact he was the only villain in the episode who had never met him before and had no idea who he was). He had also been the enemy of Seaman.
- Popular Venture Bros. antagonist The Monarch is said to have been partially based on Black Manta. Black Manta was also mentioned in the episode "Fallen Arches" where Jefferson Twilight talks with Doctor Byron Orpheus about what it is that Aquaman actually does, wherein Doctor Orpheus states, "I thought he fought Black Manta".
- Black Manta appears in the Robot Chicken episode "But Not In That Way", voiced by Tom Kane. In a segment that parodies Arkham Asylum in the style of The Shawshank Redemption, Black Manta narrates about the Joker's life in Arkham and how he became friends with him. His voice and role parody is that of Morgan Freeman's character from that film.
- SpongeBob SquarePants features a spoof villain called "Man Ray", who appears to be inspired by Black Manta, including a similar appearance and many of the same powers. In the episode "Mermaidman and Barnacleboy III", he's even named (next to the "Dirty Bubble") as the all-time greatest nemesis of the Aquaman spoof ("Mermaid Man").
- In one episode of the Super Friends, an undersea villain named "The Sculpin" wears an outfit identical to Black Manta with the exception that it was colored green.
- In the Family Guy episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One", Lois convinced the town in a press conference that the Legion of Doom is conspiring with Adolf Hitler to assassinate Jesus. The scene then jumps to the Hall of Doom where Lex Luthor shouts "How did she discover our plan?!". Solomon Grundy admits he "kind of dropped the ball on that one." Almost all of the original Legion is portrayed, except for the Riddler. Black Manta was attending the meeting although he did not have any speaking lines.
- In the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Peanut Puberty", the headquarters for the Legion of Doom was used for a club called the "Legion of Dance". Black Manta makes an appearance as a background character.
- The Legion of Doom was referenced in the animated series South Park episode "Krazy Kripples", which featured Superman actor Christopher Reeve forming his own version of the Legion of Doom, including Black Manta.
- A Cartoon Network bumper featured The Powerpuff Girls saving Aquaman and Wonder Woman from the Legion of Doom's clutches, including Black Manta.
- In 2003, Cartoon Network Latin America aired the spoof series The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour that starred Aquaman as a children's television show host and the Legion of Doom as his bankrupt villains. Black Manta is also a present member of the Legion of Doom.
- Several Batman: The Brave and the Bold Black Manta action figures have been released due to his recurring appearance in the television series.
- A Lego minifigure of Black Manta was included in set No. 76027.
- DC Collectibles has released three Black Manta action figures: a DC Comics Super-Villains version and a DC Essentials version both based on his design in The New 52, and a Justice League: Throne of Atlantis version based on his appearance in the animated movie.
- Several collectibles of Black Manta were released in 2018 based on his appearance in the Aquaman film, including a 6' DC Multiverse figure by Mattel and a Pop! Vinyl statue by Funko.
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