- Complete Monster:
- Post-Crisis: Black Manta, real name David, makes his living as a brutal pirate, often in the employ of others, and is obsessed with destroying Aquaman at all costs. To this end, Manta killed Aquaman's infant son by trapping him in a chamber that suffocated the boy, despite Arthur's best efforts to save him. Manta continues to torment his nemesis by targeting and murdering those he can. Not even Manta's own family is exempt from his cruelty: his own son, the new Aqualad, was the target of Manta's wrath when Manta attempted to murder him with zealous hatred, for no other reason than rejecting the path Manta wanted for him. In Brightest Day, Manta tries to go straight, opening up a fish market, but when the customers rejoice that Aquaman is alive, Manta murders them with a knife, before burning down his own house and resuming his quest for vengeance. Manta is a vicious, hateful murderer who would poison the entire ocean just for the chance to hurt his nemesis.
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: Black Manta readily assists Orm with his plan to start a war between Atlantis and the rest of the world, by slaughtering Atlantean civilians in sea craft that is disguised to look like a US military sub. Near the end of the film, Black Manta revealed he has been manipulating Orm into starting a genocidal war with the surface world, claiming that the war was his idea. Black Manta ultimately plans to kill Orm and take the riches of Atlantis for himself.
- Crosses the Line Twice:
- Manta murdered Aquaman's young son, Arthur, Jr. This is awful. But then subsequent writers had Manta bring it up constantly like some kind of gallows Running Gag which probably peaked with this◊ infamous scene from 1993's Aquaman #6.
- Manta once captured Aquaman, and revealed to him that he was going to blow up all of Atlantis. When Aquaman asked why he would do that, Manta's response was simply, "To be perfectly Frank—I'm doing it out of simple spite... I really hate your guts, you know..."
- After cutting off Aquaman's hand, Manta quipped, "What are you crying about, Aquaman? You should be used to that."
- Manta only joined the Suicide Squad after they altered his helmet so that it would make all enemy combatants look like Aquaman.
- Evil Is Cool: Black Manta is well-liked due to his cool design, technology and fighting ability. All of which allows him to take on Aquaman despite being just a Badass Normal.
- Love to Hate: Black Manta rivals Professor Zoom in terms of dickery but is loved for both this as well as his coolness.
- Memetic Badass: Black Manta, a Scary Black Man whose dickery rivals that of Professor Zoom. The kicker? He is just a Badass Normal with Powered Armor who is enemies with the ruler of Atlantis, who is naturally more powerful than him.
YMMV / Black Manta