Aquaman's brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) may be the DC Extended Universe film's main villain, but there's no denying fans have been eager to get the first glimpse of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta. Today, that wait is over -- mostly.
Though he's not actually pictured in his costume, Aquaman co-star Abdul-Mateen is seen looking at his character's signature helmet in the Entertainment Weekly-debuting image. The expression on the underwater supervillain's face indicates that just like us, he's seeing the Black Manta gear for the first time. And, we suspect, he's likely just as impressed as we are.
Though it's not a surprise to see the helmet brought to life -- Aquaman director James Wan did promise earlier this year that it would be part of the character's wardrobe -- it is reassuring to finally see just how faithful to the comics it appears to be. And while it might be a bit of a disappointment to fans that he's not in his full gear here, with rumors swirling that the film's first trailer is mere days away, it may not be much longer until we see Black Manta in all his glory.
"He’s part mercenary but full-time pirate who in his suit will look like some crazy alien from outer space," Wan told EW as part of the photo's debut. "Black Manta is a really interesting character who is somehow factored into this story but our main story is about Jason [Momoa] and Patrick [Wilson]."
In every depiction of the DC Comics villain to date, be it in comics, animation or video games, he’s been depicted as wearing a large helmet that evokes the image of a manta ray. Black Manta, whose real name David Hyde, has long held a grudge against Aquaman for failing to rescue him as a child from his kidnappers. In addition to allowing him to breathe underwater, the helmet fires eye beams that make the character deadly, even from a distance.
Arriving Dec. 21, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry and Dolph Lundgren as Nereus.