Published May 11, 2020

Didja Know... The Miraculous Memoirs of Mantis

Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!

We’ve said before and we'll say it again until we’re green in the face: The corners of the Marvel Universe always deliver the kickiest, craziest characters! And we love ‘em, yes we do!

Hey, how about Mantis? She sprang out on an unsuspecting mob of Marvelites way back when and worked her way up into the hallowed ranks of the groovy Guardians of the Galaxy, true...

Avengers #123

...But her bashful backstory’s always bound to be a fertile field of fascination among the cognoscenti! Or is that the Cotati? Wait, what? Read on!

Didja Know… Mantis’ father was a vile super villain?

Sometimes it happens, heroes. You start off with bad blood running through your veins, but you work wonders to turn it around and make a difference in the world, or in the case of Mantis, the whole blamed galaxy!

Back in AVENGERS (1963) #112 when we met Mantis, no one knew her exact origins, though she appeared to be a master of the martial arts. It took some time before her papa-parent Libra—of the Zodiac, natch—came out of the woodwork and revealed his caustic connection to her.

Avengers (1963) #112

Avengers (1963) #112

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By that time she’d become her own powerful person, a student of the so-called “Priests of Pama” and took to tusslin’ with titans at the side of the swingin’ Swordsman, a recovering baddie—hey, wait. Maybe Mantis gravitated to the guy because she unconsciously realized she carried criminal corpuscles herself? Wow! That’s deep!

Didja Know… Mantis became a figure of cosmic-proportion coolness?

In the annals of space and time, an entity known as the “Celestial Madonna” was sung of in song and toasted as the one who’d bring about the similarly named “Celestial Messiah.” It was in all the papers in case you missed it, but if not, you know we’re talkin’ a Big Deal here in terms of, heh, universal appeal.

Anyway, in AVENGERS (1963) #129, Kang the Conqueror decided he wanted to get to the Madonna before anyone else—she was destined to make a match with one of the Cotati race to create the Messiah, see—and so he kidnapped three likely ladies for the role: Agatha Harkness, the Scarlet Witch, and, you guessed it, the marvelous Mantis. Turns out it was our martial arts mistress who’d become the Madonna, much to Kang’s righteous regret.

Avengers (1963) #129

Avengers (1963) #129

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Did we mention the Swordsman died during this debacle? Well, before you bring out your hankies, there’s a silver lining in this particular rain cloud. In GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS (1974) #4, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision were married and shared their big day with another kooky couple: Mantis...and a Cotati inhabiting the deceased form of the Swordsman! Who says it wasn’t the Marvel Age of Monstrously Maniacal Marriages? Huh, who?

Didja Know… Mantis had a tree for a kid?

Well…sort of. We learned in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #325 that the way-out wedding of Mantis and her Cotati hubby did result in a little sapling…see, the Cotati are plant people. What? Didn’t we mention that? Well, there ya go, Effendi! Never say we don’t give you your money’s worth here at Didja Know!

Fantastic Four (1961) #325

Fantastic Four (1961) #325

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The little sapling’s name was Sequoia—it’s a tree, get it?—and he became not exactly the apple of his mother’s eye; safe to say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Mother and offshoot lived for a year in, of all places, Connecticut until Mantis handed him off to his daddy’s forest and she herself hit the spaceways with the Silver Surfer…these things happen.

And Sequoia? Well, let’s just say the ol’ Celestial Messiah’s story isn’t over yet, and you can bet on that, bunky! Stay tuned!

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