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The Manta Men were a group of individuals led by David Kane, who took on the moniker Black Manta in honor of his grandfather during his vendetta against Aquaman and Atlantis. Originally a group of pirates for hire consisting of mercenaries and ex-soldiers, they were led by David and his father Jesse Kane until they encountered Aquaman, which claimed the life of Jesse, forcing his son to step up and commit to fulfilling the rest of the contract with Orm Marius.


Post World War II[]

After World War II ended, the United States Government decided to forget what Manta and his fellow "frogmen" had done during the war; and thus, he returned to the seas and survived by scavenging and using his wits.[1][2] In the following decades, his son Jesse Kane followed a life of piracy and led a group of ocean hijackers, with his own son, David Kane, following in his father's footsteps to carry on his family's legacy.

Theft of a Stealth Submarine[]

The pirates were suspected to have been connected with the disappearance of a highly-classified prototype for a stealth submarine that the U.S. Navy had built.[1]

Attack on the Stalnoivolk[]

In 2018, Jesse, David, and their band of pirates hijacked a French submarine, but they were defeated by Aquaman. After the sailors were evacuated, a drowning Jesse used an explosive to sink the submarine, killing himself in the process, while David escaped. Afterwards, David was left as the sole survivor of the group.[1]

Reconstruction under Black Manta's Leadership[]

After being rescued and healed by Doctor Stephen Shin, David Kane began to rebuild his crew, now dubbed the "Manta Men", he started by infiltrating the Spirit of the Claw, a ship with a paramilitary piratical crew in competition with the similar crew composed of mercenaries and ex-soldiers led by his late father, Jesse Kane, who had a personal rivalry with its Captain, Brill, who stole many spoils, plunder, and treasures from each other over the years. After stealthily assassinating the captain and besting his first mate, Stingray, Kane secured the crew and thus a nucleus of personnel for the newly rebuilt Manta Men organization. Using Shin's research they began scouring Ancient Atlantean sites across the globe looking for new technology that would help him rebuild his broken suit.

Finding the Black Trident and Beginning Black Manta's Campaign[]

One such expedition using Shin's research led the team to the frozen tundra of Antarctica where sensor anomalies indicated something hidden beneath the surface. David was frustrated at the lack of progress and that his quest for vengeance could not be fulfilled. While scanning the area, Shin and a colleague fell into a crevasse and were subsequently attacked by an undead creature which had been previously frozen in the ice. Only Shin survived and sent a transmission which David and his crew responded to. He sarcastically mocked Shin by asking him what happened. Him and his team then suited up to dive into the deep waters beneath them where he suspected the Atlantean Ruin to be. On their way down it was noted that these were much larger ruins than they ever had discovered before, unbeknownst to the crew they had infiltrated the Lost Kingdom of Necrus, frozen for millennia beneath the ice using a blood spell.

They were soon attacked by the same creature, killing many of them. David attempted to fight it off using his blade but it swiped him away and he fell to the bottom of the ocean floor. There upon awakening he discovered the broken pieces of the Black Trident lying on the seabed. Suddenly, a disembodied voice began communicating with him. Promising him power and a way to finally enact his vengeance upon Aquaman and his family. David took the two halves and reforged the Trident, the disembodied voice then began to possess him. Granting him a vision of the future he seeks and the figure communicating with him frozen in the ice. David soon blacked out. He woke up back in the icy cave having been rescued by Shin and his men. David woke and immediately swiped at the air with his father's knife. Only to realize there was nothing there. It was then he saw the two halves of the Trident at his feet, proving his vision to be real. Shin questioned him on his discovery to which David prompted that this will give him what he seeks. Black Manta was reborn and now possessed by the spirit of the undead Kordax, allowing him to rebuild his armor.

Orichalcum Heists[]

Over the next five months, David and his crew would scour depositories of Orichalcum, an ancient mineral used by Necrus, in order to power a furnace located inside his base on the South Pacific Island of Devil's Deep all the while using the knowledge granted to him by Kordax. To that end he and his crew commandeered an ancient Atlantean Submarine and a fleet of Octobots capable of transporting the mineral. Their next target was inside the stronghold of Atlantis itself. Stingray and Stephen Shin remained onboard the Submarine while David and two crewmen took the Octobots inside the ancient refinery where the mineral was stored.

The heist was successful, but attracted the attention of Mera, Atlanna and the Atlantean guards, who pursued David and the other Octobots. The Submarine itself would come under the attention of the Atlantean Hydrocannons, but the Hydrocannons were taken out by the Submarine's sonic cannon, causing civilian casualties. The remaining Octobots loaded the Orichalcum into the Submarine after losing Atlanna, but David's Octobot was taken down by Mera, who managed to break open the windshield. But not five seconds later did David fire his suit's lasers at Mera, sending her into a rock column and severely burning her. Stephen then radioed David that the Orichalcum is secured on the Submarine, and that they should go, but David decided to kill Mera, but before he could do so, Aquaman arrived to protect his wife. David then shamed Aquaman for first taking his brother's throne, then Mera. The two then fought each other, until Stephen radioed again, warning David of the Atlantean army approaching. David then swam to the Submarine, but Aquaman followed close behind, until David ordered Stingray to fire the sonic cannon, causing Aquaman to be blasted back, as David made his escape with the Orichalcum.

Attack on Devil's Deep, Near-Destruction and Escape[]

Kidnapping of Arthur Curry, Jr.[]

Battle at Necrus and Final destruction of surviving remnants[]


First Incarnation[]

The first incarnation of the Manta Men used high-tech surface dweller equipment and technology, this included a prototype stealth submarine stolen from the United States Navy, advanced diving gear with integrated rebreathers and electronic devices, and high powered weapons such as assault rifles with underslung rocket propelled grenade launchers and hand grenades.

  • Protective suit: The Manta Men uses a protective suit when on missions.
  • Glock 17 pistol: One of the pirates is armed with a Glock 17 and points his at Aquaman.
  • Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" shotgun: An Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" short-barreled shotgun is used by one of David Kane's pirates.
  • Colt Model 933 carbine: Several of the Manta Men used these assault rifles during the submarine invasion. Jesse also used one with a M203 grenade launcher attachment to it in attacking Aquaman, though to no avail.
  • Hand-held explosive: Jesse used a hand held explosive activated by a dead man's switch to get his son away and to destroy the submarine, along with himself.
  • F-88A1C Austeyr carbine: David used this assault rifle during his submarine invasion. He used it against Aquaman during their first encounter, but to no avail.

Second Incarnation[]

The second incarnation of the Manta men initially used the the same advanced surface dweller equipment and technology that the original Manta men used, but, after acquiring the ancient Atlantean technology of the kingdom of Necrus, began to outfit their line soldiers with the gear of and vehicles of the Necrusian military.

  • Necrusian Soldier Armor: both the soldiers of the Manta men and previously the Necrusian army wore yellow armor, while also sporting jetpacks. They wore diver-like helmets with transparent glass. Finally, underneath their armor, they use black bodysuits with gold accents and ski masks.
  • Necrusian Plasma Rifles: Necrusian Soldiers and later the manta men wielded these plasma rifles, which they used in the Attack on Devil's Deep against Aquaman and Orm Marius
  • Octobots:
  • Black Manta’s NecrusIan submarine:



External Links[]