Biography

Biography

A Violent Beginning

Mantis can trace her roots back to the family of Vietnamese crime lord Monsieur Khruul. She was the daughter of Khruul’s sister, Lua, who married the German mercenary Gustav Brandt. Khruul did not approve of the nuptials and pursued the couple before killing Lua, blinding Gustav, and burning down their house. However, Lua had born a daughter, and the now visually-impaired Gustav fled with her, the last remnant of his wife.

Gustav and his infant daughter found sanctuary in the temple of the Priests of Pama, renegade pacifist members of the alien Kree race who were caretakers of the Cotati, a telepathic race of sentient plants. The Priests granted Brandt psychic sight, but removed his daughter from his side, afraid she’d be influenced by his violent nature as she grew. Gustav ended up leaving the Temple and joining the crime cartel Zodiac as Libra. Believing Mantis might grow to be the Celestial Madonna and mother the genetically perfect Celestial Messiah, the Priests of Pama trained her in martial arts, which she mastered, and gave her the name “Mantis” in recognition of her skill in defeating male opponents. They also taught her telepathic communication with the Cotati which gave her empathic abilities.

The Shao-Lom monks of Saturn’s moon Titan, whose teachings also stemmed from the pacifist Kree’s beliefs, mentored another possible Celestial Madonna: Earth-born orphan Heather Douglas, later known as Moondragon. But her sheltered life denied her insight into human existence and made her a less-rounded candidate. Moondragon would eventually return to Earth, becoming involved with the Avengers after losing in battle to Mantis, thus confirming that she is not the Celestial Madonna.

On her 18th birthday, the Priests removed Mantis’s memories, implanted false memories of an orphaned, impoverished life in Ho Chi Minh City, and sent her to experience life among normal humans.

One Powerful Mind

When it comes to her full range of powers, Mantis has complete control over her body. This gives her peak human agility, the ability to accelerate healing through force of will, and an empathic nature enabling her to communicate telepathically with the Cotati and sense the emotions of others as psychic vibrations. She can also control her heart and respiratory rate as well as blood flow. Her mastery of the Priests’ martial arts, which focuses on the manipulation of nerve endings and pressure points, has enabled her to knock out beings as powerful as Thor. Mantis has two slim antennae growing from her head that amplify her telepathic and empathic abilities.

Mantis also gained abilities when she merged with the Cotati, such as being able to communicate with both plants and animals, something she calls “biopathy.” She can also survive in space in a physically solid “energy” or astral form and transfer herself (and her son) from plant-life-to-plant-life across interstellar distances or dimensions, creating new bodies from the plant life of where she arrives.

Her mind itself is a human/planet hybrid, which is largely immune to mental or metaphysical assault, and her physical durability is greatly enhanced. It can also transmit and receive telepathic impressions that can affect all of the receiver’s senses. Mantis’ mind has also been known to have precognitive powers and has received flashes of future events. Combined with her meditative nature, this allows her to view and plan for unpleasant events with an impassivity and ruthlessness that others find unnerving. Unpredicted deaths can overwhelm her empathic nature, and it is in moments of peace after unexpected disasters that her emotions are often released.

Since her rebirth, she can fire powerful pyrokinetic energy blasts, form energy fields, communicate directly with cosmic beings such as Eternity and Death, and completely control her personal energies as well as her physical form.

Sensing Trouble

While not an outright enemy, Scarlet Witch becomes an adversary of Mantis when Mantis discovers she has romantic feelings for Vision, whom Scarlet Witch ends up marrying. The love triangle is so bad that Mantis leaves the planet the day of the wedding.

Over the course of her life, Mantis gains enemies in Loki, Dormammu, the Collector, Klaw, Ultron, and the Mad Titan Thanos. In particular, Thanos tries to destroy Mantis and her son Sequoia, a dangerous move that leads directly to his own defeat.

Kindred Spirits

Mantis is well-known for her membership in the Guardians of the Galaxy, but she starts out as a one- or two-person act in the beginning of her hero career, particularly when she helps reform the villain known as Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne). This is enough to grant her entry into the Avengers on Earth.

Upon leaving Earth in the form of pure energy, she travels the stars and finds a romantic ally in Norrin Radd. Together, they fight the Elders and Gardener. Mantis becomes a member of the Guardians following the defeat of the Phalanx techno-organic transmode virus. Peter Quill (Star-Lord) becomes a “frenemy” when he uses her to manipulate the rest of the team.

 

height

5'6"

weight

115 lbs.

gender

Female

eyes

Green

hair

Black

  • Universe
  • Other Aliases
  • Education
  • Place of Origin
  • Identity
  • Known Relatives
  • Powers
  • Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

Telepathic Travels

Mantis became a member of the Avengers after helping the ex-villain called Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) turn his life around. Duquesne had been a mercenary working for her uncle, Monsieur Khruul, who had unwittingly hired Mantis as a bar girl, not knowing she was his niece. Sensing a spark of nobility in the Swordsman and seeking a better life, Mantis romanced and rehabilitated Duquesne, convincing him to return to America and rejoin the Avengers.

Mantis - This One

Both were accepted to the team and proved to be valuable members, though Mantis was mistrusted at first. This was because she pretended to side with their enemy the Lion God, single-handedly taking down both Thor Odinson and Captain America (Steve Rogers) as part of her successful plan to help the Avengers defeat him. Still, her abilities served the Avengers well; she aided the team during the Avengers-Defenders War masterminded by Loki Laufeyson and Dormammu, and against other foes such as the Collector (Taneleer Tivan), Klaw, and Ultron. Her empathic abilities helped save the universe when she deduced how Captain Mar-Vell could defeat the Cosmic Cube-empowered Thanos, Death’s would-be paramour.

Once she was a part of the Avengers, Mantis developed feelings for the Vision, which caused friction between Mantis and Scarlet Witch, the latter of whom would marry Vision. Mantis only admitted her feelings about him when Swordsman sacrificed himself to Kang to save the team. The two later hooked up after Vision became separated from Wanda, but he ended up breaking off the relationship, deciding his mechanical nature made him ill-suited for a relationship with the maternal Mantis because their union could not produce children.

Mantis ended up marrying a Cotati who took the form of the dead Swordsman. After their wedding, she left Earth in the form of pure energy, the same day of Vision and Scarlet Witch’s wedding in 1974’s Giant-Size Avengers #14. Merged with the Cotati’s essence, Mantis gained Cotati physical and mental abilities in addition to her own, and began to evolve into “the essence of life,” a change that physically manifested as a greenish hue in her skin.

Mantis Dies

Together, she and the member of the Cotati had a son named Sequoia (or Quoi for short). When the fast-growing child reached an age where the Cotati race asked to parent him alone, Mantis again took to the stars, where she uncovered a plot by the Elders of the Universe to acquire the six known Infinity Gems and destroy Galactus.

In a search for enlightenment, Mantis traveled the galaxy, but only found violence and madness, which was often caused by the Mad Titan Thanos. She joined up with the Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd) and traveled with him as he fought the Elders, bonding romantically with him. When the Gardener (Ord Zyonz) attacked her using the Soul Gem, she barely escaped and transferred her essence across space to Shalla-Bal, the Surfer’s former lover on his home world of Zenn-La. The Elders subsequently captured both women and tried to destroy them, but Mantis sacrificed herself, allowing the Surfer to rescue Shalla-Bal.

The power of the Elders’ Infinity Gems proved too much for Mantis, who could not fully reconstruct herself, and fragments of her essence formed several “shadow” Mantises, each unaware of the others and believing themselves to be the true Mantis. Some faded out of existence while others helped save the world—like an amnesiac green-skinned Mantis who awoke on Earth and aided the Avengers against the Voice (Jason Cragg) and the High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham). The one true Mantis began to recover as her scattered essence coalesced on Earth into five forms, each reflecting an aspect of her personality: mother, lover, freak, mystic, and Avenger.

Mantis Comes Back to Life

Fearing Mantis (the Celestial Madonna) and her son (the Celestial Messiah) were a threat to him, Thanos pursued her “fragments” and Sequoia across time and space. He succeeded in destroying several of Mantis’s fragments, unknowingly hastening the reformation of the true Mantis, who was reborn as “the goddess of life.” Once regenerated, Mantis’ will proved stronger than that of Thanos and she prevailed.

Mantis returned to Earth, where her powers enabled her to sense the impending threat of the Annihilation Wave. She voyaged into space and allowed herself to be captured by the Kree as part of her plan to join Peter Quill’s Guardians of the Galaxy following the defeat of the Phalanx’s transmode virus.

Mantis was recruited by Quill (Star-Lord) to join the first iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy. She served as an informal counselor to the group, whose members were Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Quasar, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, and a budding Groot. Mantis later joined an offshoot group founded by Rocket when the team discovered that Peter asked her to use her mental powers to brainwash them into joining.

Mantis & Star-Lord

The Guardians and various others, including uneasy ally Thanos (unwillingly resurrected by Warlock), later joined forces to save Reality-616 from invasion by the forces of an alternate universe (Reality-10011) dubbed the “Cancerverse,” in which death had been eliminated and that universe’s undying inhabitants had transformed into often-monstrous servants of their dark gods, the Many Angled Ones. Over the course of this conflict, Magus, Drax, Star-Lord, and various other allies were all apparently slain, and the demoralized remaining Guardians disbanded after this costly victory. Apparently seeking a quieter life, Mantis returned to Earth and applied unsuccessfully to work as a nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones at Avengers Mansion.

She settled into a serene civilian life on the planet Rigel-7. Mantis was not interested in rejoining the Guardians when Star-Lord resurfaced and reorganized the group. But, she did help Quill escape pursuing Spartaxian troops when he came to Rigel-7 seeking her counsel, as he was mentally disoriented by his growing awareness of recent space-time disruptions caused by the repeated abuse of time travel by Earth’s heroes. Mantis reluctantly advised Quill to consult Thanos, who confirmed the space-time disruptions sensed by Quill and Mantis.

 
7
durability
3
energy
6
fighting skills
3
intelligence
7
speed
3
strength