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DC Database

Quote1.png You respect the fight by never giving less than all you have. You finish what you start, and you finish strong. Quote2.png
Jesse Hyde src

Jesse Hyde was the father of Black Manta, and Aqualad's grandfather.

Jesse Hyde was a ship's captain and treasure hunter who partnered with his son David, the man who would eventually become Black Manta.

David's mother left the family when he was very young, and from then on Jesse would raise him alone on their boat "The Black Manta". Jesse tried to raise David to be tough, as he believed a Black man would need to be in order to succeed, but instead he became hard and cruel.[1] Jesse would teach David to be unsentimental and to not let mercy cloud his judgement, via demonstrations such as stealing coins from a fountain and admonishing his son for saying a winning football team should have allowed their opponents to score out of pity. His most important lesson to David was "You don't need anyone".[2]

Jesse initially worked for a legitimate salvage operation, but resented the rules they required him to follow. Once when he and David were on the trail of a sunken safe which would have provided them with enough money to live well for the rest of their lives, a hurricane pulled it a hundred yards into US territorial waters, making it property of the government rather than salvage. His bosses refused to let him retrieve it and threatened to report him to the authorities and Child Protective Services if he did.[3] The father and son eventually struck out on their own.

When David grew up he would take over diving duties from his father. One day, David was hired by Dr. Stephen Shin to steal a vial of blood from a young man named Arthur Curry, however, Arthur's own father Tom suffered a fatal heart attack in the ensuing struggle.[4] Seeking revenge for his father, Arthur tracked David back to the boat and murdered Jesse, who he believed to be David. Jesse's death at Arthur's hands began a decades-long blood feud between his son and Aquaman.[5]

Years later, Lex Luthor created an artificial intelligence designed to emulate Jesse's personality and thought patterns as a gift for Black Manta, which he named "Mecha Manta".[6]



  • The Black Manta (fishing boat)[2]