Black Manta #6
Written by Chuck Brown
Art by Matthew Dow Smith
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Clayton Cowles
The Rundown: Black Manta and Devil Ray engage in a deadly confrontation.
In the Mythical Realm of Kor, Belphegor and Dr. Mist battle an enemy as they work to save Gallous. Meanwhile, At Devil Ray’s Hideout, he uses Black Manta to assist him in creating a weapon. The two then discuss Devil Ray’s future plans. Afterwards, Black Manta’s companions join him at the Hideout. When Torrid attack Devil Ray, he uses his weapon in an unexpected manner, and causes chaos. Later, on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Devil Ray and Black Manta engage in battle. Finally, Black Manta departs from his friends and makes a powerful decision. In the Epilogue, Arthur Curry does something unexpected.
The Story: Brown crafts a well written series finale that includes a lead in to the upcoming Aquamen series. The overall theme of this work is liberation and self-discovery. In this chapter, each of the main characters reaches a turning point and must decide how to proceed. I was particularly struck by Black Manta’s final decision regarding Devil Ray. In it, he shows a maturity and thoughtfulness that is both timely and unexpected. It will be interesting to see more of his character transformation in later stories. I enjoyed the world building this series provided, as well as the introduction to new characters. I was also appreciative of how the work treated oppression and the difficulties faced by diasporic Atlanteans in a manner that resonates with the issues faced by Black people in the current times. I look forward to future works written by Chuck Brown.
The Art: The artwork in this issue is done in a traditional styling. It features muted colorwork that changes with the tone and location of the scene. Overall, I found the illustrations to be transportive and emotionally connective.