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Geoff Johns Talks About The Importance Of Black Manta To Aquaman

For Superman there is Lex Luthor, the Flash has Captain Cold, Batman has the Joker and Wonder Woman has Cheetah. Every super hero has villains that bring out the best in them due to their opposing ideals and their encounters through the years. In the recent Warner Bros. Pictures’ film Aquaman, we got to meet one of the King of Atlantis’ greatest foes in Black Manta who was played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Given that Aquaman was going to center around the batter between Arthur, played by Jason Momoa and Orm, played by Patrick Wilson, it was unclear how much of Manta we were going to see in the film. But Wan and the creative team did a fantastic job at showcasing the villain just enough where we can see him as the main antagonist in a future Aquaman sequel. But as the script was being prepared for the film, Wan texted DC Comics’ writer Geoff Johns in a panic because he felt that Manta’s story was going to be too big for the film. Johns talks about this in an interview with Geeks of Color.

“There was a moment when the script was really going and James texted me or emailed me, and said Black Manta’s story may be too big for this movie. What do you think? And I didn’t reply, I just went to his office and I said, ‘Black Manta has to be in the movie.’ He was like, ‘I know!!!’” said Johns.

Johns goes on to talk about how important he feels that Manta is to the Aquaman film, saying that you couldn’t do a Aquaman film with the classic villain and his iconic costume. “It’s impossible. It’s like doing a Batman movie without the Batmobile. You just shouldn’t do it. Some people were like, you can’t do the big helmet. It’s like saying Joker without the smile!”


Black Manta is actually a more important DC Comics’ villain than most people give him credit, probably because of the fact that he goes toe to toe with a hero that has often been ridiculed. The notorious pirate and assassin first appeared in comics in DC Comics’ Aquaman #35 by Nick Cardy and Bob Haney in 1967. Just so we don’t have to go too far back in time for all his major appearances. He has been featured on many teams like N.E.M.O., Injustice League, the Secret Society, Suicide Squad and the Legion of Doom. Recently Black Manta played a big role in the Justice League/Aquaman event Drowned Earth that kicked off at the end of October.

Also let’s not forget that he has been featured in many animated television series and films. Manta is also featured in the Young Justice series and even had a cameo in Smallville. Given his many appearances throughout the history of DC Comics, it makes sense that Johns thinks that he should have own film, “There should be a Black Manta movie. That’d be a cool movie.”

Even though Black Manta is one of my favorite DC Comics’ characters, I don’t think a Black Manta film would do so well. But if you put him on a team like the one he has been on lately, the Legion of Doom, now that would be a great film. We have already seen three of the members of the evil group like Lex Luthor, who was played by Jesse Eisenberg, the Joker, who was played by Jared Leto and of course Black Manta. But there is a fourth member that will be making her DCEU debut next year in Wonder Woman 1984, Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. I know it’s just wishful thinking, but hey a DC fan can dream right?

What did you think about Black Manta in Aquaman? Let us know in the comment section below!

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Aquaman is playing in theaters everywhere.

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Source: Geeks of Color

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