When it comes to DC villains, this one tends to stand out.
Black Manta may stick out to comic fans but when it comes to what they know of him, it is limited at best.
In terms of villains, he does have the upper hand on other Aquaman foes, like Ocean Master, but that is not a hard task. For the purpose of this discussion, we are going to focus on the comic version, not the one from the recent Aquaman movie.
Black Manta was created by Nick Cardy and Bob Haney and first appeared in 1967 in Aquaman #15. At the time, not much was known about the mercenary let alone his origins.
It wasn’t until the Modern Age of comics where David Hyde received an origin story where he was kidnapped at a young age and forced to work on a ship. He grew to loathe the sea and Aquaman after the hero failed to see his signals for help.
Over the years we have seen the origins change to where we are now until where we are now when Hyde is seeking vengeance for the death of his father.
The best story arc we have come across for the villain is The Drowning. Here we see Hyde face the truth and pass on the chance to kill Aquaman. We see Manta take over the organization N.E.M.O. by the end.
There is no denying the presence of the Black Manta suit. The suit comes equipped with a pair of blade weapons and harpoon wires. However it is the optic blasts and the appearance of the helmet that sets the tone for this villain.
The biggest negative we see with Hyde is the lack of consistency and no real origin. He started with nothing then the background stories were anything but compelling. It was not until the recent incarnations when you get a better sense of the character.
There was little choice here outside of Aquaman. Sure he had history with a few other heroes but none like the King of Atlantis. There is no doubt this two were made for each other.
Black Manta is an interesting villain. W love the technical aspect of him and how he has turned out in recent versions. This is impressive considering how he started out.