Does Black Manta Die in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’? Explained

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Introduced as one of the villains in the first ‘Aquaman’ movie, Black Manta returned in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ in another important role as a villain to the titular character. Of course, this time, he is much more dangerous than he was in the first movie due to the new powers that he acquired. Using these powers, he was hellbent on killing Aquaman and the rest of his family, only for him to fail in his quest. So, does Black Manta die in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Black Manta was looking to get his hands on orichalcum so that he could use the substance to heat the planet’s surface and release Necrus from its icy prison. 
  • He was possessed by the spirit of Kordax, the ruler of Necrus, and that was why he wanted to release Necrus and use Kordax’s power to kill Aquaman.
  • In the end, Kordax abandoned Black Manta as the destruction of Necrus caused him to fall to his death when he rejected Aquaman’s help.

What were Black Manta’s goals?

Ever since the first movie, it was clear that David “Black Manta’ Kane’s only purpose in life was to kill Aquaman because Arthur Curry was indirectly responsible for the death of his father. As such, Black Manta dedicated his life to finding a way to kill Aquaman. In the first movie, he acquired a power suit that was capable of giving Arthur a tough fight, only for him to end up losing to the heroic Atlantean.

The destruction of the power suit forced Kane into an expedition in Antarctica so that he could search for ancient Atlantean civilizations that could have the technology that would allow him to fix his suit. However, instead of finding a way to fix his suit, he found a black trident that gave him powers similar to that of a strong Atlantean. He also used the technology he found in that ancient civilization to his advantage.

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The black trident, however, was a medium that an entity used to speak to Kane. This entity gave Black Manta the power he needed to exact his revenge on Aquaman in exchange for freeing him from his prison. As such, the entity possessed Kane throughout the earlier part and guided his actions.

Kane used the ancient technology he found to steal orichalcum from Atlantean vaults so that he could use this volatile substance to warm the earth’s surface. The increasing atmospheric heat and pollutants in the atmosphere caused a plague in Atlantis. But this was only part and parcel of Black Manta’s goal.

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Instead, the bigger goal was to melt the ice of Antarctica so that he could release the Lost Kingdom of Necrus from the icy prison that sealed it. As such, his goal was bigger than just poisoning the people of Atlantis; he was looking to unleash a dark kingdom that had the power to actually go up against the Atlantean army.

What happens to Black Manta?

David Kane’s actions were all fueled by his desire to kill Aquaman. Kordax, the entity speaking to him through the black trident, used this to his advantage by manipulating and possessing Black Manta. Kane’s actions were so extreme that he decided to kidnap Aquaman’s son, Arthur Jr., because he needed the blood of Atlan’s descendants to release Kordax from his imprisonment.

Centuries ago, King Atlan sealed Kordax using his own blood after defeating him. This was necessary because Kordax used the power of the black trident to transform himself and the people of Necrus into mindless monsters. Kordax believed that Atlan was jealous of Necrus’ glory and its use of orichalcum.

As such, Kane needed Arthur Jr.’s blood to release Kordax. He destroyed the remaining ice that was covering Necrus so that he could reach Kordax’s throne room. However, Dr. Shin, who realized that Kane had become too unhinged, betrayed his employer and decided to take Arthur Jr.

Black Manta was able to get his hands on the baby once more and was about to kill him before Aquaman arrived and intervened. Kane’s powers were great enough that he had the upper hand against Aquaman before Mera arrived to even the odds.

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Mera had to flee the premises with Arthur Jr. in her hands. But Black Manta threw the black trident at her to prevent her from escaping. 

Orm heroically caught the black trident before it could reach Mera. However, Kordax decided to possess Orm and use his “hatred” for Arthur to his advantage. Basically, Kordax moved on from David Kane and simply abandoned him so that he could take over a stronger host—an Atlantean prince.

A powerless Kane was easily defeated by Arthur, who proceeded to focus on his possessed brother so that he could end this nightmare once and for all. 

Does Black Manta die?

In the end, Arthur was successful in convincing Orm to let go of the trident, allowing him to regain his senses. The duo defeated Kordax once and for all. Kordax’s death caused the entire kingdom of Necrus to crumble down, as Black Manta fell into a hole that opened up due to the destruction of the Lost Kingdom.

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He was hanging on to dear life before Aquaman decided to offer his help. However, Kane’s hatred for Arthur is so great that he would rather die than accept help from the man who killed his father. Black Manta willingly allowed himself to fall.

It is likely that this was the last of Black Manta as there was no way that he would have survived the fall and the subsequent destruction of Necrus, especially now that he no longer had powers after Kordax abandoned him. In the end, his desire to take revenge was what led to his demise.

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