The Black Manta costume from Aquaman is on display at this year's New York Comic Con. Photos from NYCC now give viewers their best look yet at the tremendous outfit worn by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the upcoming DC movie, and it's truly a menacing and dangerous design.
Although Black Manta isn't the main villain in Aquaman, he's still an important character. One of Arthur Curry's deadliest foes in the comics, Black Manta's origin story has been rewritten to give him an intense personal vendetta against the would-be king of Atlantis. Suited up in a fantastical costume that incorporates devastating energy weapons, Black Manta is set to be a formidable threat.
Black Manta featured prominently in the first Aquaman trailer, but - aside from a close-up on the actor's face - there were few shots that really allowed viewers to get a true sense of the intricacy of the costume design. Perhaps in recognition of that, Warner Bros. has brought the Black Manta costume to this year's New York Comic Con to allow fans a closer look. Fortunately, Screen Rant's own Ben Kendrick is on hand, and he's shared some stunning photos on Twitter.
While scenes in the first trailer focused on Manta's powerful eye-beams - searing blasts of heat that can incinerate a target with ease - these photos are a reminder that he's an up-close-and-personal threat as well. Black Manta's costume incorporates retractable arm-blades that are particularly useful in a scrap; they're long and cruel-looking, perfect for gutting Aquaman like a fish.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the design, though, is just how carefully Warner Bros. has created something that's both dangerously imposing - and tremendously functional. This costume really looks like an atmospheric unit, with a complex weave of pipes that lead to the air tanks. The helmet may be imposing and ominous, but it's also reminiscent of real designs used by deep-sea divers. And the jet pack is tremendous, clearly designed to propel Black Manta through the water at phenomenal speed. Every aspect of the outfit stands as testament to the hard work the production team has put in, which is presumably why Warner Bros. brought it along to NYCC in the first place.
It's easy to understand why Warner Bros. has invested so much time in this particular character. According to the actor, this particular Aquaman foe is expected to return; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II views this as little more than an introduction to Black Manta. "I think we try to talk about him as a guy who has the potential to be a pretty big force within the world," Abdul-Mateen explained, hinting that the villain could return to plague Aquaman in sequels or even team-up films. He's often associated with the Legion of Doom, after all, and the end of Justice League definitely set that up. Although it's reported that the studio has pushed these plans back, they'll definitely want to reuse Black Manta as an enemy at a later date.