NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Black Manta from the DC Extended Universe film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Black Manta.

I'll show you the same mercy you showed my father. And gut you like the fish you are!
~ Black Manta expressing his hatred to Aquaman.

David Kane, also better known as Black Manta, is the secondary antagonist of the 2018 epic superhero film Aquaman. He could possibly appear as the main antagonist of the 2022 sequel film Aquaman 2. He is a ruthless treasure hunter and a high-seas mercenary with a flair for creating deadly technological innovations who came into conflict with Aquaman.

He was portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who also played Doctor Manhattan in the Watchmen HBO series.


David Kane was a pirate just like his father, Jesse Kane, who helped him steal a military stealth sub. At some point, they were hired by King Orm Marius to take over a Russian nuclear submarine to help unite the kingdoms of Atlantis and declare war on the surface world, but they are foiled by Aquaman. After a brief battle, Aquaman deflects a rocket from Jesse, which caused a torpedo to topple over, trapping him as the submarine became flooded. David begged Aquaman for help but was told that they kill innocents and should not expect mercy from the ocean. David was forced to flee and started to bear a deep grudge against Aquaman.

David later targets Atlantis at the behest of Orm, who uses the attack as an excuse to declare war on the surface, which he was eventually paid for, but David instead wants weapons to kill Aquaman. Orm later provides David with a high-tech prototype suit of Atlantean armor and plasma rifle, which David uses and modifies them into a high-tech suit. He also gains a squad of elite Men-of-War soldiers.

Now calling himself "Black Manta", Manta confronts Arthur and Mera in Sicily, Italy, with Murk and elite Men-of-War soldiers. Manta mostly manages to match and even dominate Arthur as Arthur not only has to contend with his new-found Atlantean weapons and superhuman armor but also has to protect the civilians. However, in the end, Manta was ultimately overpowered by Arthur's combat prowess and own tremendous superhuman physical abilities, as he has slammed away several feet with enough force to damage his jetpack after just having been stabbed by Black Manta's Atlantean blades and Aquaman proceeded to throw a pair of chained balls at him, successfully heavily damaging his armor by the reflection of his blast and the subsequent fall. Manta is rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a scientist obsessed with finding Atlantis, and agrees to lead Shin there in exchange for his help in his revenge on Aquaman.


Being a pirate, David Kane is a cruel and ruthless individual who doesn't hesitate to kill those who stand in his way. Initially obsessed with treasure, David was willing to conspire with King Orm and help him declare war with the surface as long as he was paid. Despite his cold nature, however, David greatly values his family lineage, as he immediately treasured his grandfather's knife after learning about it and had a very close relationship with his father. When Jesse Kane was in danger, David desperately begged his enemy Aquaman to save him and initially refused to leave his father behind. David's vendetta against Aquaman is purely based around avenging his father's death.

After Aquaman caused Jesse's death, David developed an intense hatred towards all Atlanteans and vowed to kill Aquaman and other Atlanteans. David is pragmatic, willing to continue working with Orm despite his sheer hatred towards Atlanteans as he knew he would obtain powerful weaponry from them. Later, he agreed to work with Doctor Stephen Shin knowing that he would help him track down Aquaman.

Upon becoming Black Manta, David became bloodthirsty, ruthless, and heartless. Being completely devoted to murdering Aquaman at all costs and not caring if other humans die in the process. Black Manta never holds back, as observed when he continuously attacked Aquaman until a hit was landed, leaving the Atlantean-hybrid on the defense through most of their battle and relentlessly attacking Arthur ignoring the damage his suit had taken during the battle. When having the upper-hand on Aquaman, Black Manta often taunted his mortal enemy.




  • Ocean Master - Employer and Benefactor
  • Men-of-War
  • Stephen Shin - Savior and Right-Hand Man


  • Russian Captain † - Victim
  • Aquaman - Archnemesis, Attempted Killer, and Attempted Victim
  • Mera


I'll make you a deal. I don't tell you how to captain and you don't tell me how to pirate.
~ Black Manta killing the Russian Captain.
I waited a long time for this.
~ Black Manta first meeting Aquaman.
His death shall be my reward.
~ Black Manta sets his sight on Aquaman.
You can't run. You owe me blood!
~ Black Manta to Aquaman





  • In the comics, Black Manta was the primary archenemy to Aquaman and a member of Lex Luthor's supervillain teams. Unlike this version, however, he has no redeeming traits at all; being a Pure Evil sadist who even killed Aquaman's infant son.
  • Michael Jai White and Michael K. Williams were both considered for the role before Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was cast.


            DC-logo.png Extended Universe Villains

Man of Steel
Sword of Rao: Zod | Faora-Ul | Nam-Ek | Jax-Ur | Tor-An | Car-Vex | Nadira | Dev-Em II

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh
Others: Joe Chill | Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad: Deadshot | Harley Quinn | Captain Boomerang | El Diablo | Killer Croc | Slipknot | Amanda Waller
Eyes of the Adversary: Enchantress | Incubus
Joker's Gang: Joker | Jonny Frost | Panda Man | Monster T
Others: Hunter Griggs

Wonder Woman
Ares | Erich Ludendorff | Dr. Poison

Justice League
Steppenwolf | Parademons
Black Clad: Black Clad Alpha
Others: Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Ares | Darkseid

Ocean Master | Black Manta | Murk | Jesse Kane | The Trench | Orvax Marius

Thaddeus Sivana | Seven Deadly Sins | Mr. Sivana | Sid Sivana | Brett and Burke Breyer | Robbers | Mister Mind

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Harley Quinn | Huntress | Black Mask | Victor Zsasz | Carlo Rossi | Happy
Others: Stefano Galante | Joker

See Also
Aquaman Villains | Batman Villains | Birds of Prey Villains | Justice League Villains | SHAZAM Villains | Superman Villains | Wonder Woman Villains

           Aquaman (2015) logo.png Villains

Awesome Threesome | Barbatos | Black Jack | Black Manta | Captain Demo | Creature King | Dark Knights | Dead Water | Fisherman | General Brak | Jaffar | King Iqula | King Shark | Krusivax | Kurin | Land-Masters | Leron | Marine Marauder | Nereus | NKVDemon | Nuliajuk | Ocean Master | OGRE | Quisp | Rhombus | Scavenger | Thanatos | The Drowned | The Thirst | The Trench | Typhoon

Ocean Master | Black Manta | Jesse Kane | Murk | The Trench | Orvax Marius

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