Black Manta is Aquaman's most well-known nemesis, and he just got a big-time power boost in the latest issue of the Atlantean hero's book. Aquaman #51 sees the villain have a very tense exchange with Lex Luthor that will pose trouble for both Arthur and Aqualad in the coming issues. This all comes from Luthor's role as a huge player in DC's ongoing "Year of the Villain." Superman's arch-nemesis has been going around the universe making various bad guys offers that they can't refuse and the heroes are going to have to deal with the fallout.
Luthor's conversation with Black Manta begins with him needling the undersea villain about the death of his father. That goes over about as well as you would imagine and Manta is in no mood to humor these slights. One joke too many, and the villain tries to stab the small robot that has been facilitating the whole conversation. That might have been a bad idea though because a substantial electric shock and a warning show that Lex isn't playing any games here.
It turns out that Luthor's snark about Black Manta's father had a purpose all this time. The offer on the table has a ton to do with Manta's dear old dad. In an effort to stop Aquaman, the villain has gifted Black Manta a new mech to crush Atlantis with. If that wasn't enough, the brand new toy comes equipped with an A.I. copy of Manta's father inside. All his battle strategies, experience, and attitude are wrapped up in a sleek black package to help his son conquer Arthur's kingdom once and for all.
All the while, Aquaman is showing Aqualad the ropes and trying to get the young hero used to their new "arrangement." A short moving job will have to wait for now as a large monster has attacked the island they were helping. It's time for a trial by fire in the next issue and readers will get to see how the new duo works alongside each other against an imposing monster.
Kaldur faces threats like these all the time on Young Justice and now a version of the hero will get to battle alongside the Titans in Season 2. The sophomore season is still on the way, but fans have already gotten a first look at the hero, played by Drew Van Acker, along with the big bad for this season, Deathstroke (Esai Morales). This season, Dick Grayson's ongoing adventures with the entire team will continue from the moment that Season 1 ended.
Some of the other favorites will be making their debuts like Superboy (Joshua Orpin), Jericho (Chella Man), Ravager (Chelsea Zhang), and Mercy Graves (Natalie Gumede). Jason Todd (Curran Walters), Donna Troy (Connor Leslie), Hawk (Alan Ritchson), and Dove (Minka Kelly) will also be returning.
Titans Season 2 will debut on September 6th on DC Universe.