Mister Manta

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Mister Manta
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Retired
Real Name: Martin Mantel
Earliest (in world) Appearance: 1980s

Personal Data

Hair: currently gray from age.


Appearances (in Publication Order): Astro City #42

Event Timeline


Three decades ago he was a master criminal terrorizing the seas. He disappeared after an encounter with Mermaid. What happened to him?



For many years, Mister Manta was the bane of seagoing commerce. He plundered ships for technology and valuables, or sank them in order to salvage what he wanted at his leisure. Few spoke his name without fear, and many respected him for the riches that he could bring them under his command. He was noted as a pioneer in aquatic crime. Eventually, he vanished after a battle with Mermaid, his battle suit's wing-servos and control system ruined and uncontrollable. He was presumed dead until recently.

When the Scandinavian Star was attacked by Skinner Bones and the Plunder Squad, Mister Manta arrived, wearing a suit which was primitive, apparently improvised from plants, but was no less effective - as the Plunder Squad discovered, much to their dismay. He was only recognized because of Mermaid, who arrived with a rescue team of Oceanians. While she was willing to offer him aid in returning to society, since the statutes of limitations on most of his crimes had expired, he fled when she was distracted, for reasons unknown. There are no large islands in the region where he was last seen; it is presumed that he is based on a small island in the region, or possibly an uncharted one.


Mister Manta can breathe underwater and has preternatural strength.


  • He is a cutting-edge engineer who created his own arsenal of weaponry.
  • His original set of wings, used for propelling himself in air and water, were powered and controlled using miniaturized servos.
  • The set of wings he was wearing during the Scandinavian Star incident would seem to be constructed from plant materials.
  • His timely arrival at the Scandinavian Star makes it likely that he has a radio receiver of some sort.

Speculations, Theories

  • His new suit should not have been able to withstand the stresses of flight or combat without chemical sealants and strengthening, which suggests that the time between his disappearance and reappearance has in part been spent becoming a self-trained materials scientist and chemist. This speculation is supported by his use of a fast-acting paralytic gas.