Nemesis: Martian Manhunter
Other Major Foes: None
Appearances: 1 comic story
Powers: Super strength, speed, breath, intangibility, and invisibility
The yellow-skinned Martian thug B'rett hitched a ride aboard a rocket that misfired to land on Earth. After a rampage of robbery and destruction, B'rett was confronted by the Martian Manhunter, whom he exposed to a gas that robbed J'onn J'onzz of his ability to use any of his powers while invisible. The Manhunter was forced to expose his existence to the world in order to stop B'rett from murdering innocent policemen, employing their mutual weakness against fire.
Win: Kanto (9-5,) B'enn B'urnzz (12-7,) Tybalt Bak'sar (+1,) King Zeus (12-5,) The Martian Criminal (10-6,) The Bloodworms of Mars (12-2)
Lose: Mongul (4-7,) Commander Blanx (2-11)
Other Major Foes: None
Appearances: 200+ comics, as well as cartoons & video games
Powers: Armor provides enhanced strength & durability, ocular energy beams, sealed underwater system, and wrist mounted mini-harpoon
Black Manta has had several origins, arriving late in his life and shifting often. What is consistent is that Manta is a total murderous nutjob who suffered abuse growing up. Tragedies associated with the sea or Aquaman himself made him the best known foe of the ocean's heroes. Getting away with murdering Aquaman's son as a toddler elevated his evil, but even before that he was Aquaman villain #1. He's been transformed into a were-stingray, returned to normal, allowed to breathe underwater and so on, but it pretty much always comes back to a crazy black dude with a laser cannon on his head.
I feel guilty over this match, as it is rather lopsided. Black Manta is the Aquaman villain, and a reasonably big name because of it. However, he's just a good fighter with some nasty gadgets and augmented strength. B'rett is basically the Martian version of a Phantom Zone Criminal. That means a power set near comparable to Superman's throttling a dude out of his weight class. I want to get name villains in these matches, among which Manta qualifies. Ideally, the Vile Menagerie would beat some of these names to elevate their own. Lacking aquatic foes, it seemed to me that B'rett was one of the most compatible Manhunter for Black Manta, and the xanthic bandit's raw power had the best hope of taking Manta down. Not to pick on Aquaman villains, but Manta is way out of his league in this match. While popularity may sustain him, Manta is simply outclassed by B'rett. His best hope is to use fire in the fight, but B'rett is plenty capable of taking the row into the depths, as needed. As I said, I feel a little bit bad, because Manta came into this match doomed.