- "Kick names, take ass!"
Mantis was a young empathic woman raised by the Celestial Ego and recruited as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Since she was a child, Mantis helped ease Ego's neurotic behavior with her powers until the Guardians of the Galaxy came to his planet. After bonding with Drax the Destroyer, she came to care for the Guardians and then allied with them to help prevent Ego from conquering the Galaxy. With her own servitude to Ego ended, she became a full-fledged member of the Guardians and accompanied them on further adventures. She has the ability to sense other people's feelings, and rarely alter them.
When the Guardians were called to action to stop Thanos from collecting the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the universe, Mantis accompanied some of her group to Knowhere where they failed to stop the warlord from gaining the Aether. After, they followed Thanos to Titan where they teamed up with the Avengers to fight him head-on. The fight once again ended in failure, and Mantis and her fellow Guardians, except Nebula and Rocket Raccoon, were killed when Thanos unleashed the stones' power.
- "Ego found me in a larva state. Orphaned on my home world. He raised me by hand and kept me as his own."
Mantis came from a race of empathic insectoid beings who developed from a larval stage into a humanoid form. When she was still a larvae, Mantis lived as an orphan until she was was taken by the Celestial known as Ego and brought to his planet. There, she lived alone with Ego all the way into adulthood, and as such is naive, and does not know much about social interaction. Ego's took use of Mantis' empathic abilities to ease his mind during his long, galaxy-scouring search for his long-lost son, Peter Quill, helping him sleep whenever it was needed. Mantis was well aware of Ego's Expansion plot, as well as the deaths of the various children who failed to help him finish it, but nonetheless remained in his services as she had nowhere else to go.
Meeting the Guardians
Father and Son Reunion
- "I am Mantis."
"What are you doing?"
"Smiling. I heard it is the thing to do to make people like you."
- ―Mantis and Drax the Destroyer
Ego eventually got wind on his son's whereabouts and, accompanied by Mantis, tracked him and the Guardians of the Galaxy to the planet Berhert. There, Mantis was introduced to the Guardians as a friend and ally to Ego. That night the group sat around a fire and the Guardians talked with Ego and Mantis stayed quite for most of the conversation. Mantis then attempted to introduce herself to Drax by smiling at him which he thought was hideous. When Mantis asked if she could pat Rocket Raccoon believing him to be a puppy, Drax said she could resulting in Rocket trying to bite her which was all apart of Drax's practical joke which both of them found funny.
After convincing Quill to return back to they planet, Quill who was accompanied by Gamora and Drax joined Mantis and Ego onboard their ship as they prepared to leave Berhert. Onboard, Mantis tended to Ego separate to the others, using her empathic powers to induce a state of sleep upon Ego.
With Ego unconscious, Mantis took the time to converse with the Guardians of the Galaxy. As Mantis joined them, Drax the Destroyer and Peter Quill questioned her about her antennas and their purpose which Drax believed they were for protecting her from low levelled doors. Mantis explained that she is an Empath and can read peoples feelings. She used her powers on Quill to reveal his attraction to Gamora, due to not be aware of the value of his privacy. This caused Drax to burst out in laughter which Mantis then adhered to Drax, and as a result, she shared in his amusement of the situation. Once the laughter had died down, Mantis tried to move onto Gamora, but was threatened with a broken jaw if she tried.
Mantis also informed the three that she is also able to alter emotions which she mostly uses to help Ego sleep. Drax asked for her to do it to him which she complied, putting him to sleep instantly. The group eventually made it to Ego's planet after their trip where Mantis found herself bonding with the three.
Bonding with Drax
As Peter Quill reunited with Ego, Mantis and Drax the Destroyer continued to bond with each other as Drax was drawn to her innocence. Drax asked how Mantis ended up on Ego's planet, which she informed him that Ego had found her during her larva state and had kept her as his own from then on, which Drax believed made her his pet. Drax then stated that he thought Mantis was hideous, but it meant it was a good thing as Ego loved her for who she was on the inside, making Mantis proud to be ugly.
Drax then told Mantis about his daughter and how he used to take her to the forgotten lakes of his home world and her and Mantis shared similarities with their innocence. Mantis, bonding with Drax, used her powers on him making her feel his sadness. Getting to know Drax caused Mantis to care for him and the team, so she decided to inform him of Ego's true intentions, when Gamora interrupted her causing her to keep quiet.
Gamora, believing something to be wrong, then asked for Mantis to show them to their quarters where they would be staying. As they made their way, Gamora asked about the lack of population on Ego's planet, which Mantis states she is only there to assist Ego. When Gamora brought up what she was going to tell Drax earlier, Mantis chose to continue lying to them.
Turning Against Ego
After eavesdropping on a conversation between Ego and Peter Quill, Mantis could not let the people she had bonded with suffer from Ego's plans. She headed to Drax's quarters to inform him of the danger about to commence, but Drax thought she wanted to be intimate with him, which made him gag. Mantis reassured him that is not how she feels and then proceed to inform him of Ego's plan.
After informing Drax, Gamora and Nebula bursted in and Gamora attacked Mantis wanting to know what was happening on the planet. She then used her powers to altar Gamora's emotions to make her scared, resulting in her to let Mantis go. Mantis informed them that the dead bodies in the caverns were Ego's children. Gamora made it clear that they had to get off go the planet, but Mantis told her that Ego would have manipulated Quill to his side. Mantis, along with Drax, Gamora and Nebula rushed to save Quill from Ego as he started his Expansion until Rocket, Yondu Udonta and Groot crashed down in a ship, temporarily defeating Ego.
Mantis along with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy, entered the Laser Drill and proceeded to fly down to Ego's core to destroy it. Mantis informed the group they have to hurry when destroying the core as Ego would find them. When the Sovereign began to attack, Mantis, Drax the Destroyer and Gamora fell out of the ship. Mantis managed to land safely on the ground and they witnessed Ego reforming in front of them. Drax then asked Mantis to use her powers to put Ego to sleep, but she doubted herself due to Ego's power. Drax then reassured that she didn't have to believe in herself as he believed in her. Mantis then touched the surface and used her powers to put Ego to sleep as he was about to attack them.
When Yondu Udonta used the Laser Drills's weapons to destroy the Sovereign fleet, one of the lasers nearly hit Mantis and Drax, but she was still able to maintain control over Ego. The rest of the Guardians then regrouped while Mantis continued to control Ego, until she was knocked out causing Ego to regain control. Drax picked her up and flew her up to the surface where Kraglin Obfonteri was waiting to pick up the Guardians in the Quadrantl As Drax made his way, Ego began to attack each member which caused Drax to sink into the ground but still managed to lift Mantis above the ground. When Drax was freed by Quill, he continued to the ship and put Mantis inside.
Guardian of the Galaxy
Joining the Team
- "It's beautiful."
"It is. And so are you... on the inside."
- ―Mantis and Drax the Destroyer
As the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy made their way up to the Quadrant, Groot detonated the bomb on Ego's core causing Ego to perish, and Mantis, no longer bound to him. The Guardians then flew away with Peter Quill and Yondu Udonta still on the collapsing surface. The Guardians eventually retrieved Quill and a lifeless Udonta from space and then held a funeral for their fallen ally. After the funeral, the Guardians watched as the Ravagers arrived and gave Udonta a Ravagers Farewell. As Mantis watched, she stated he she thought it was beautiful, which Drax the Destroyer added by calling Mantis beautiful, admitting to his true thoughts on Mantis. Mantis was then welcomed as a new member of the Guardians.
Responding to a distress call from the Statesman, the Guardians of the Galaxy discovered a field of wreckage and a single survivor – Thor. Bringing him aboard, Mantis read his emotions and found that he was in great pain and mourning. She also used her powers to wake the Asgardian king. Thor told them about Thanos' plan to unite the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of the life in the universe. While Rocket Raccoon and Groot accompanied Thor to Nidavellir to forge a weapon to kill Thanos, Mantis joined Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax on a mission to Knowhere in an effort to keep the Reality Stone safe from Thanos.
Ambush on Knowhere
On Knowhere, the Guardians of the Galaxy found Thanos interrogating the Collector, demanding the Reality Stone. Mantis was forced to use her powers to send Drax the Destroyer to sleep to stop him from charging in and attacking Thanos before they were ready. As Star-Lord tried to organize an assault, Gamora attacked Thanos and seemingly killed him. It was all a ruse, however; Thanos had already obtained the Reality Stone and used its power to make Gamora believe she had killed him. Taking Gamora captive, Mantis tried to help but her body was turned into living strips by the Reality Stone. Thanos then teleported away from Knowhere, and Mantis went back to her normal form.
- "What it is exactly that they're doing?"
"Kick names, take ass!"
- ―Spider-Man and Mantis
Mantis was contacted by Nebula and told to head for the planet Titan. Upon arrival, Mantis, Star-Lord, and Drax encountered Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange and attacked them, believing that they were allied with Thanos. Once they all realized that they were on the same side, the heroes formed an alliance to stop Thanos from getting the Time Stone from Doctor Strange.
Thanos arrived on Titan, and the heroes attacked him in unison. Restraining Thanos, Doctor Strange used his powers to teleport Mantis directly above the Mad Titan. Landing on his shoulders, she used her powers to subdue him, hoping to pacify him long enough for the others to remove the Infinity Gauntlet. The plan was foiled by Star-Lord after he learned that Thanos had killed Gamora. Attacking the Mad Titan, Star-Lord broke Thanos out of his stupor and Mantis lost her hold over him. Thanos eventually won and claimed the Time Stone, teleporting to Earth.
- "Something is happening."
- ―Mantis' last words
Recovering in the aftermath of the battle, Thanos claimed victory on Earth and obtained the Mind Stone. With the Infinity Stones assembled, he snapped his fingers and killed half of the universe. On Titan, Mantis was the first to disintegrate into dust as she sensed the coming danger.
- "You are horrifying to look at. But that's a good thing."
"When you're ugly and someone loves you, you know they love you for who you are. Beautiful people never know how to trust."
"Well, then I am certainly grateful to be ugly!"
- ―Drax and Mantis
Mantis is somewhat naïve, showing no offence when Drax the Destroyer refers to her as Ego's pet and not understanding what a practical joke is or that she embarrassed Peter Quill by revealing his attraction to Gamora. This is probably due to her being isolated with Ego for most of her life. Despite this, her use of higher level vocabulary shows she bears intelligence. She holds a passive demeanour, always bowing her head in Ego's presence and being hesitant to attack anyone. This inevitably resulted in her having low self-confidence needing Drax to goad her on in using her powers against Ego. In spite of her loyalty to Ego, she was unable to condone him slaughtering his own children eventually telling the Guardians of Ego's true plan and working with them to thwart him.
Even years later, her naïveté persisted as shown by her practicing a "mean face" after Quill sarcastically told the Guardians to do so as they neared the wreckage of the Statesman. Much like Drax, she was blunt to the point of open honesty telling Iron Man that Drax was unlikely to survive his Repulsor Cannons. Mantis was almost entirely non-malicious instead approaching Spider-Man out of curiosity. Despite her lack of weapons and fighting skills, she was a brave individual openly jumping at Thanos in spite of the Titan possessing three Infinity Stones and later using her powers to subdue him. Though maturing, her child-like mind-state still persisted as, in spite of Thanos's imminent arrival, she took advantage of Titan's fluctuating gravitational fields to mimic the effects of a trampoline.
- "When I touch someone, I can feel their feelings."
- ―Mantis to Guardians of the Galaxy
- Empathy: Mantis can sense and experience a person's emotions and feelings through mere touch, making her antennas light-up. She was able to feel that Star-Lord was attracted to Gamora just by touching his hand. In addition, she can also experience a person's feelings rather than simply sensing them, allowing her to feel the grief and sadness of Drax, which caused her to weep, even while he remained emotionless on the outside. Mantis can also do this at a small distance to some degree.
- "I can also alter emotions to some extent."
"Yeah, like what?"
"If I touch someone who is sad, I can ease them into contentment for a short while. I can make a stubborn person compliant. But mostly, I use my powers to help my master sleep."
- ―Mantis and Peter Quill
- Empathic Manipulation: Mantis is also able to manipulate emotions to some degree using her touch. For example, she can make a sad person happy, or calm down an angry one. She was able to cause Gamora to become scared when attacking her. She has even shown herself to be able to make people more docile, to the point of unconsciousness.
- Sleep Inducement: Mantis can, also through touch, cause a person to fall asleep almost instantly, using her powers to manipulate a person into becoming docile. This technique can even incapacitate an enraged Celestial and the Titan Thanos, but doing so requires a lot of willpower and Thanos was ultimately able to overcome her power once her hands were off.
- Awakened Inducement: Conversely, Mantis can awaken people as she used this command after the Guardians rescue Thor when finding him adrift in space.
- Enhanced Durability: Though outwardly she appears weak and does not demonstrate having great physical strength, Mantis has shown herself to be quite resilient to injury, further than that of humans and similar to that of Gamora or Drax the Destroyer. She was therefore able to effortlessly land on her feet, completely unharmed after falling from several stories with Drax and Gamora and was merely knocked unconscious when a piece of debris struck her at full force.
|Appearances for Mantis|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Mantis was a human of Vietnamese and German descent whose father left her in the care of a sect of the Kree Empire called the Priests of Pama, who raised her with the intent of eventually mating her with the Cotati to produce a Celestial Messiah, as part of their religious prophecies. Later, she had her memory wiped and was sent to live alongside mankind to gain life experience, and has been a member of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, and the Inhumans on various occasions.
- A member of Mantis' species can be seen among the numerous former lovers of Ego.
Behind the Scenes
- In an interview, executive producer Jonathan Schwartz said “She has never really experienced social interaction, everything she learns about dealing with people, she learns from the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a very weird group to learn your social intricacies from.”
- Boni Yanagisawa, Kelly Bellini and Tamiko Brownlee were stunt doubles for Pom Klementieff in the role of Mantis.
- Grace Marie Williams was a stand-in for Pom Klementieff in the role of Mantis.