Before taking up the Black Manta mantel David Hyde was originally Aquaman. He protected the oceans and Atlantis, David was tasked with finding Arthur Curry for the Queen of Atlantis. He was able to find Arthur and bring him back to his mother. Once in Atlantis, Arthur and David became great friends which resulted in David training Arthur. A few years after Arthur’s arrival his mother was mysteriously murdered and to find her killers David and Arthur devised a plan. David will be accused of turning traitor and murdering the queen, this would be his cover as he would search for the killer on this path as Arthur would become king and search on his path. Through this David relinquished the Aquaman title to Arthur and became Black Manta. During this time Aquaman and Black Manta would “clash as rivals” as it appeared that Manta was trying to destroy Atlantis. However in reality these were planned attacks which would allow them to share information. David had a young son at this time. He was very much involved in his son’s life since the mother died giving birth to him. David did his best to love his son and be present in his life. When he was getting ready to leave on this mission he told his son “remember no matter what, I love you and things may looking shaky at times but remember I love you” Kaldur didn’t understand at first. While he decided to take up this mission he left Kaldur in his best friends care. Arthur understanding what kind of father David was to Kaldur, told Kaldur to under no circumstances believe anything negative he hears about his father. No matter who it comes from. Under his care, Arthur made sure to keep two things constant for Kaldur, his training and stories of his father. In the 3rd year of being undercover as Black Manta, David finally found the information he was looking for. He found the killer, yet he wasn’t expecting it to be an exiled son that nobody knew about. Orm was his name and his father was king of Atlantis up until his death was faked in part because he was becoming a disillusioned king and his wife forced him out before he could do any harm to the people. Orm went by Ocean Master and killed the queen as part of revenge for leaving his father. He had been living in another city where he gained notoriety being ruthless and willing to fight with anyone he saw fit to.
David returned to Atlantis and brought this information to Arthur, they both agreed Ocean Master had to be stopped. It was to be revealed once Orm was captured that he not David was the murderer of the Queen and David’s undercover mission was to no longer be a secret. However during this battle David died and Arthur was mortally wounded. After the battle Arthur made sure to tell the people of David’s sacrifice and he became a great hero in their eyes.