The long-awaited trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom answered a lot of lingering questions that sprouted in the five years since its predecessor hit theaters in 2018. It also raised just as many more.
In addition to speculation about the extent to which Amber Heard will appear as Mera in the sequel, there’s now added curiosity about how DC will handle the storyline of Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) biggest arch-nemesis from the comics, Black Manta, played by Emmy Award-winning actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Black Manta was but a mild addition to the first Aquaman movie, and in no way showcased the full extent of his powers or how much of a thorn he is in Aquaman’s side. This time around, the (sea) floor is his and his alone, and he’s come with a few added powerups to further his conquest in destroying Aquaman and annihilating everything he holds dear, including his family and his kingdom.
Black Manta uses the Black Trident, a weapon resembling the Trident of Neptune, to further his conquest. But what exactly is this glowingly green dark artifact and does it originate from in the DC comic books?
What is the Black Trident and does it appear in the DC comics?
Only an impending catastrophe could cause Arthur Curry to seek the help of his exiled brother Orm Marius. When Black Manta returns to avenge his father’s death, this time with the mystical Black Trident in his grasp, Arthur has no other option than to seek Orm’s aid, for if the Black Trident’s power is unleashed upon Atlantis, death and destruction will reach all corners of the globe. As Orm says, Black Manta intends to use the Black Trident to “end the bloodline.”
“In King Atlan’s time there were seven kingdoms, and that trident was a curse upon them all,”
Because the Black Trident isn’t explored in the comics, its origin and power can only be speculated. As evidenced by its name and look, the Black Trident is a twin of Aquaman’s Trident of Neptune, but with dark magic that spreads like a disease.
It’s possible that the weapon was inspired by the lost relics of Atlan such as Atlan’s Scepter or the Manacles of Force. Although it’s been speculated that it could have been created by Black Manta himself — he did use Atlantean technology to make his suit in the first movie, after all — the possibility has been rendered moot after the trailer revealed the Black Trident has been around since King Atlan’s time.
So while this weapon is a relatively new force on the battlefield, its origin is rooted in the history of Atlantis. When Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom premieres in theaters on Dec. 20 we’ll have a better idea of the extent of its power.