When Jason Momoa‘s Arthur Curry returns to Atlantis later this year in Aquaman, he’ll be challenged by two opponents: his half-brother Orm, better known as Ocean Master, and David Kane (his last name is Hyde in the comics), a.k.a. Black Manta. Of those two, Black Manta is definitely more visually distinct, and ever since it was announced the villain would appear in Aquaman, fans have been waiting to see how his look would be translated for the big screen. Well, we finally have our first look at the character in the upcoming movie, and sure enough, he’s kept his trademark, wide-eyed helmet that he’s worn for decades in the comics.
It looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to see a fully-suited Black Manta in Aquaman, but in the above picture, we see The Greatest Showman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane studying his Black Manta helmet in what looks like a workshop. Which, given Black Manta’s comic book history, is presumably located on a ship or submarine. Every now and then we get a comic book movie costume that looks like it was ripped straight from the printed page, and this Black Manta helmet definitely fits that bill. And this is just the prototype! Just imagine how the finalized costume is going to look.
James Wan also clarified that while Black Manta does play an important role in Aquaman, he’s not the main antagonist. That honor belongs to Patrick Wilson’s Orm, with the main story focused on Orm’s adversarial relationship with Arthur Curry, his half-brother. Nevertheless, between being a ruthless pirate and wearing a suit that allows him to shoot plasma beams out of his eyes, Black Manta is not to be underestimated. If he’s anything like his comic book counterpart, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta could come dangerously close to killing Aquaman. Of course, we know that the hero will ultimately emerge victorious, but since Black Manta has facial scars in the comics, I wouldn’t be surprised if this iteration of the baddie also walked with a similar battle wound.
Aquaman dives into theaters on December 21, though fans in the United Kingdom will get to watch it a week earlier. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates about the underwater blockbuster, and don’t forget to look through our DC movies guide to learn what other DC Extended Universe projects are on the way.