- This one may legitimately call herself a mistress of the martial arts...
- -- Mantis src
She excelled in her martial arts studies, but when she reached adulthood, she was mindwiped and sent into the world to gain life experience. She became a prostitute in a Vietnamese bar, where she met the Swordsman. She helped him regain his self-respect, and followed him when the former villain attempted to rejoin the Avengers.
There, she became taken with the Vision, and - though rejected by the android - neglected the Swordsman until his death at the hands of Kang the Conqueror, only proclaiming her love for him as he died. Shortly afterward, she was revealed to be, indeed, the Celestial Madonna and married a Cotati in the reanimated body of the Swordsman, leaving the Avengers to mate with him.
After she bore her child, Sequoia, she took the name "Mandy Celestine" and lived with him for a year in the suburbs of Connecticut before handing him to his father's people and going into space with the Silver Surfer. The two flirted with each other with Silver Surfer finding himself falling in love with Mantis. But Mantis (whose body was now green and had begun to manifest new powers of invulnerability that allowed her to survive in space due to side affects of her pregnancy) was growing much more bitter with her life and the way she was forced to abandon her child. This came to a head when Mantis was caught in an explosion and was presumed dead by Silver Surfer. In truth, she had survived but the strain of the previous years caused her to literally split into multiple versions of herself, each representing conflicting aspects of her mind that could no longer co-exist inside her mind.
The fragments arrived on Earth and one version of Mantis rejoined the West Coast Avengers team, with portions of her memories missing. Steve Englehart intended the storyline involving Mantis and her amnesia to be his next major plotline but editorial problems caused him to quit the series, with the plotline resolved hastily through Mantis discovering, through the temporarily resurrected corpse of the Swordsman, that her psyche had shattered and that she needed to find her counterparts in order to restore her memories.
Aside from mentions by Silver Surfer, Mantis did not reappear until 1995's controversial Avengers crossover story "The Crossing". In "The Crossing", Mantis returned as the villainous bride of Kang the Conqueror with the intentions of bringing death to the Avengers, her father Libra (who by now was going by the name "Moonraker" as part of Force Works), and the Cotati alien who had possessed the Swordsman's body and married/impregnated her. Her anger at her father (whom she had vivisected) and the Cotati centered around their "defilement" of her and that she hated the Avengers for believing their manipulative lies.
Eventually, Mantis reappeared in the Steve Englehart written "Avengers: Celestial Quest" mini-series. She returns to Earth and merges with her remaining fragmented portions of her personality (which we learn represent "freak, mother, prostitute, mystic and Avenger") after the first four are killed by Thanos (later retroactively declared to be a clone of the real Thanos). The final Mantis was merged with them to become a "complete" Mantis for the first time since her dispersion. Thus reformed, she and a group of the Avengers went into space to stop "Thanos" from killing her son, who by this time was a rebellious teenager desperate to leave the isolation of the Coati homeworld and travel the stars. Mantis flirted with Vision (with it implied that she had sex with him) during the adventure but ultimately ended the flirting when she realized that Vision had feelings for his estranged wife Scarlet Witch, who was jealous of Mantis and Vision's friendship. She was one of many Avengers who opposed an insane Scarlet Witch before the team disbanded.
Mantis later went to space where she foresaw a vision about the Annihilation Wave. She let herself be imprisoned so she could wait for the arrival of Star-Lord Peter Quill and help him on his mission. She played a big role in a waging guerrilla warfare against the Phalanx often saving Quill and their teammates from danger and even accepted that she would likely die in the process. She was severely injured by an Ultron-formed Phalanx, but barely survived and was carried to safety by Star-Lord and their remaining teammates Bug and Rocket Raccoon.
War of Kings
She eventually recovered from her injuries and agreed to help Quill in forming the Guardians of the Galaxy by psychically influencing Drax, Phyla-Vell, Gamora, and a newly resurrected Adam Warlock to join their struggling attempts to reestablish the galaxy's balance and order after the events of the Annihilation waves. Mantis recorded all of the team's actions and achievements and attempted to help a discovered, reality-displaced Vance Astro in his amnesia but has so far been unsuccessful in doing so. She and Astro were assaulted by a alternate-reality traveling Starhawk and were left with the mystery to why he attacked them in the first place. When the team was threatened by paranoia and superstition after discovering a potential infiltration by the skrulls, Mantis opposed Star-Lord in their mental violations against their teammates. Although they managed to eventually incapacitate Starhawk, she and Quill were acquainted with new problems. Once their teammates discovered Mantis's and Star-Lord's actions against their minds, they left in opposition leaving the future operations of the Guardians of the Galaxy unknown.
At the conclusion of War of Kings, Magus killed several members of the Guardians of Galaxy, included Mantis. However, it was soon revealed that this was all a trick and that the Magus hadn't actually killed anyone. Rather, he kidnapped the supposedly dead Guardians in an elaborate escape plan. Mantis and her teammates were eventually rescued by the other Guardians of the Galaxy and joined them to fight the Cancerverse.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Telepathy: Mantis has repeatively demonstrated telepathy as well as a variety of other mental powers. She has performed feats as sophistocated as constructing a small telesensual schematic of a Phalanx spire for all of her teammates to see.
Empathy This enables her to sense the emotions of others, which she feels as psychic "vibrations" which she also uses to communicate with the plant-like Cotati.
Astral Projection: To travel in space, Mantis projects her astral form from her body, allowing her to travel interplanetary distances. She'd then recreate a body for herself out of the destination planet’s local vegetation. Her fighting skills remain intact, and her empathic abilities' heightened to a superhuman degree and extended to the planet’s flora and biosphere.
Chlorokinesis: She also possesses the ability to control the vegetation within her vicinity. Mantis was able to accelerate her teammate Groot's cellular growth rate and even alter his sap to make it flammable.
Pyrokinesis: Mantis is also a pyrokinetic of the many things she is. This was proven when she burned her teammate Groot's internal tree sap with her mental powers, immediately lighting him on fire from the inside.
Precognition: Throughout the Annihilation Conquest series she proved to possess precognition. She was able to forsee almost all the events that would occur during her mission with Star-Lord (Peter Quill) and their teammates. She eventually explained that if she had told him that she knew that some of their teammates would perish on their mission, he would never have embarked on it and taken them with him and she was even accepting that she would perish as well.
Enhanced Durability: Mantis has physically enhanced durability as well as immunity to mental and metaphysical assaults. This is proven when an Ultron controlled Adam Warlock teleports to her location with her teammates and strikes her in the head. She barely survives it and is left comatose.
Self-Healing: Mantis can will herself to heal.
|Power Grid |
|* Can travel through space to new plant bodies. If killed, she can rebirth herself in a new plant body.|
Master Martial Artist: Mantis has extraordinary ability in the martial arts that have been developed and perfected over thousands of years. These fighting methods place particular emphasis on the manipulation of pressure points and nerve endings on the bodies of one's opponents. So, by knowing the right areas of the body to strike, Mantis can stun even a being as powerful as Thor even though she herself has no superhuman strength.Nervous System Control: Thanks to her training , Mantis has "complete control" over her body. With her sheer force of will, she's capable of willing herself to recuperate quickly after being injured.
Mantis possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise
- After the Celestial Madonna storyline concluded and Steve Englehart started working on DC's Justice League of America title. He brought Mantis into the JLA's storyline, calling her by the alias Willow. Despite the name change, her dialogue made it as clear as copyright would allow that she was 616's Mantis, living on DC's Earth as a way of keeping her infant child out of the reach of his enemies. Mantis later turned up in Eclipse Comics' Scorpio Rose, again written by Englehart, and this time calling herself Lorelei. Both aliases are included in Mantis' entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Avengers 2005.
- Mantis was one of the characters featured in the series of Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- 150 Appearances of Mantis (Earth-616)
- 34 Images featuring Mantis (Earth-616)
- 8 Quotations by or about Mantis (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Mantis (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Mantis (Earth-616)
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