Ravingnerd Reviews: Black Manta #1

In a week that saw the sensational Riddler #1 come out, I thought we wouldn’t see another comic come out that could match it. Turns out I was wrong. Tony Bedard brings us a great tale about what Black Manta does when his greatest nemesis is gone. There is so much going right with this issue, but I’ll start with the absolute best.

1. It starts where Forever Evil left off.
2. The great silent scene as Ocean Master and Black Manta get their gear together.
3. Him getting Aquaman’s trident.
4. The final scene.

Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 9

This issue is dripping with awesome, not only is it the villainous story I wanted to see, but it was further proof as to why Black Manta is a bad ass (he killed a guy with a coin). We also get to see a fantastic scene between himself and Waller that asks “what will you do when you kill Aquaman? What will you hate then?” That question becomes the theme of the book. With the Crime Syndicate claiming to have killed all the heroes Black Manta has nothing left to hate. Or does he? In Forever Evil, Ultraman blots out the sun by pushing the moon in its way. We don’t get to see the ramifications of this, but in Black Manta we see the devastation caused by moving the moon. Black Manta watches in horror as the waves sweep away and destroy the skeletal remains of his father. Upon saving himself from the situation, he’s clearly pissed. Though he doesn’t speak, we see Waller’s speech bubble ask “what will you do when the object of your hatred is gone?”. Kill the Crime Syndicate.

Through villains month I have been looking for the villains that will join Lex in his quest to reclaim the Earth, and this issue proves that Manta will be a formidable ally. The motivation and timing is all right for this villain to stop greater threats to the planet. My one real complaint about this issue is the art of Claude St. Aubin. Though he delivers wonderful visuals through most of the book, there are scenes that just look off and awkward. These minor flaws become major ones, as tends to happen in a book with so few mistakes.

I am glad that the second week of villains month ended on such a stellar note, and content for villains month week three starts tomorrow.

Until the next time,



3 thoughts on “Ravingnerd Reviews: Black Manta #1

  1. I think this was quite possibly the best Villain’s Month issue yet. It was certainly the most connected to Forever Evil, which I loved. They didn’t need to tell an origin, instead we saw the greatest form of what you could call a character study in Black Manta. It was so much more than that though, as we saw why he is the way he his, and what he thinks of the Crime Syndicate. This issue has made me more excited for the upcoming issues of Forever Evil than any of the others.

    And, of course, his gear is kept right next to Ocean Master’s. I really hope we get to see the other side of that scene in his issue.

    • I agree this was an absolute pleasure to read, the art mishaps in certain panels prevented it from landing a ten, but it was probably as close as a villains month issue will get to 10.

  2. Pingback: The Best of Villains Month | Ravingnerd

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