Marvel Cinematic Universe character
First appearanceGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Based on
Adapted byJames Gunn
Portrayed byPom Klementieff
In-universe information
Full nameMantis
NicknameChick with the Antenna
SpeciesInsectoidCelestial hybrid
AffiliationGuardians of the Galaxy
WeaponVarious alien firearms

Mantis is a fictional character portrayed by Pom Klementieff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. She is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy with empathic powers and is the paternal half-sister of its leader, Peter Quill. Introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), she is an alien ward of Ego with the power to control the emotions of people by touch. She is commonly depicted as having a naive and innocent personality.

As of 2023, the character has appeared in five films: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Fictional character biography

Joining the Guardians

Further information: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Mantis is raised by the living planet Ego (later revealed to also be her father) as a pet, due to her ability to use her powers to help him rest. Mantis and Ego's human-form projection later encounter the Guardians of the GalaxyPeter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Nebula—after the Guardians traveled to a nearby planet to escape the Sovereign, from whom Rocket had stolen Harbulary batteries during a battle. Ego's projection reveals that Ego is Quill's father, and they travel to the planet, Ego. Along the way, Mantis demonstrates her ability to detect people's emotions and feelings by touch. When Quill, Gamora, and Drax reach Ego, Mantis struggles with whether to tell Drax about Ego's evil plans, and ultimately joins the Guardians in their fight against Ego.

Infinity War and resurrection

Further information: Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame

In 2018, Mantis and the Guardians respond to a distress call and rescue Thor adrift in space. After the team splits up, she accompanies Quill, Gamora, and Drax to Knowhere to stop Thanos, but is neutralized by Thanos using the Reality Stone, enabling Thanos to take Gamora. Mantis then goes to Titan with Quill and Drax, where they team up with Tony Stark, Peter Parker, and Stephen Strange in another attempt to wrest the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. Although Mantis is able to temporarily control Thanos, he breaks free of her control when Quill learns from Nebula that Gamora died and strikes him. Shortly after, Mantis becomes the first hero on Titan to fall victim to The Blip.[2]

In 2023, Mantis is restored to life and is brought via portal to Earth in America, where she participates in a battle against an alternative universe version of Thanos. Later, Mantis and her reunited teammates attend Stark's funeral, who had sacrificed his life to stop Thanos. They then pick Thor up from Norway and return to space.[3]

New adventures

Further information: Thor: Love and Thunder and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

In 2025, Mantis and the Guardians, joined by Kraglin, embark on space adventures. They respond to a call in Indigarr and try to help the natives against the Booskans. She and Quill seek out Thor's help, who defeats the army quickly and is gifted two goats, who annoy her. After learning of several killings of gods by a god butcher, they split up from Thor to help out.

Few months later, the Guardians buy Knowhere from the Collector and gain a new member to the team, Cosmo. Mantis helps in refurbishing Knowhere following the attack it endured. Knowing how depressed Quill is due to losing his love, Mantis wants to give him a meaningful Christmas and makes plans with Drax to bring Kevin Bacon as a gift for Quill. Mantis pilots their new ship back to Earth and she and Drax land in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. They inadvertently make money as buskers posing for pictures on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and get drunk at a nightclub bar. A seller of star maps offers to tell them where to find Bacon's house, and Mantis uses her powers to take the map without paying and to take all the seller's money. They go to Bacon's house in Beverly Hills and capture him and steal Christmas decorations from a holiday store. Back on Knowhere, they hold a Christmas celebration and present Bacon to Quill. Later, Mantis reveals to Quill that Ego was also her father, making them half-siblings, which Quill says is the greatest Christmas gift ever.

Final mission

Further information: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

In 2026 after the Guardians rebuild Knowhere, they are attacked by Adam, and Rocket is seriously injured, leaving the Guardians unable to tend to his wounds due to a kill switch embedded in him. The team, including Mantis, resolve to travel to the Orgoscope, headquarters of the High Evolutionary's company Orgocorp, in the hopes of finding an override code. Mantis, Drax, and Nebula end up on the High Evolutionary's ship, where they discover hordes of imprisoned children being placed in a chamber with Abilisks. Mantis is able to persuade the Abilisks to side with them, and the three escape the chamber before reuniting with the Guardians and overpowering the High Evolutionary's army. After defeating the High Evolutionary, the Guardians, in their current form, decide to disband upon returning to Knowhere, and Mantis embarks on a journey of self-discovery with the Abilisks.

Alternative versions

Further information: What If...? (TV series) and What If... Thor Were an Only Child?

In an alternative 2011, Mantis was among the numerous alien attendees of Thor's parties on Earth, until she and the attendees panicked when they were informed that Frigga was coming, and worked to clean up the mess on Earth.[4]

Creation and characterization

Klementieff in 2019

In May 2014, director James Gunn said that he had planned to introduce two major new characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, Mantis and Adam Warlock.[5][6] Talks had begun with an actor Gunn had in mind to portray Mantis,[7] while he had decided to remove Warlock due to the film "getting too busy".[6] Gunn added that Warlock was "one character too many and I didn't want to lose Mantis and Mantis was more organically part of the movie anyway."[5] Klementieff was cast in October 2015.[8]

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Mantis is portrayed as a new member of the Guardians with empathic powers who lives with Ego.[9][10] Executive producer Jonathan Schwartz said the character "has never really experienced social interaction", and learns about "social intricacies" from the other Guardians.[11] Klementieff added, "She was really lonely and by herself, so it's a completely new thing to meet these people and to discover new things", comparing this to a child making awkward mistakes in social situations. Mantis and Drax have an "interesting" relationship in the film due to both being "complete odd balls".[9] Steve Englehart, Mantis' co-creator, was disappointed with the character's portrayal, saying, "That character has nothing to do with Mantis ... I really don't know why you would take a character who is as distinctive as Mantis is and do a completely different character and still call her Mantis."[12]

Dave Bautista indicated that at one point Gunn wanted to do "a Drax and Mantis film" as a spinoff, but that the concept was not pursued by Marvel.[13] In September 2021, Gunn noted that for both Klementieff's Mantis and Karen Gillan's Nebula "their roles are both pretty huge" in the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.[14] Mantis and Drax also play a major role in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, of which Klementieff said, "I get to be the weirdest I've ever been as Mantis".[15] Mantis also had a fight scene in the special,[16] which revealed that she had superhuman strength and fighting abilities not previously portrayed in the MCU.

Powers and abilities

Mantis has the power to sense the feelings and emotions of others whom she touches, and to influence their thoughts or cause them to fall asleep, essentially mind controlling them. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 she was introduced as being powerful enough to put the celestial Ego to sleep. In Avengers: Infinity War, she was able to lull Thanos into a stupor, although she struggled to maintain this state. In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, she was able to instantly cause Kevin Bacon to cease resisting and voluntarily accompany herself and Drax to Knowhere, keeping him in that state for an extended period of time. Her powers also extend to controlling memories of others, as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, where she was able to make Drax forget what he saw.

Mantis is also shown to have superhuman physical abilities, such as superhuman strength, durability, agility, and stamina, as she withstood damage that would otherwise be fatal to regular humans, such as being hit in the head by a meteor, surviving a huge fall effortlessly, and receiving a headbutt from Thanos. Her physical skills were later expanded upon in the Holiday Special, as she fights and defeats multiple police officers at once, armed with only a giant holiday candy cane decoration, using a combination of martial arts and her ability to put people to sleep.

See also


  1. ^ a b Anderton, Joe (November 24, 2022). "Guardians of the Galaxy episode removed from Disney+ after it spoils Holiday Special". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  2. ^ Dockterman, Eliana (April 27, 2018). "A Complete List of Who Lives and Dies in 'Avengers: Infinity War'". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  3. ^ "Every Marvel Character At The Funeral In Avengers: Endgame". Screen Rant. 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  4. ^ Elvy, Craig (September 22, 2021). "Every MCU Easter Egg In What If? Episode 7". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Sciretta, Peter (April 20, 2017). "Exclusive: Adam Warlock Was Originally a Major Character in 'Guardians Vol. 2'; Will Be in 'Guardians 3'". /Film. Archived from the original on April 21, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Keyes, Rob (June 3, 2015). "'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Has Fewer Characters, One New". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ Keyes, Rob (May 20, 2015). "James Gunn Has Already Begun Casting For 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2'". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on February 12, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (2015-10-28). "'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2': Newcomer Pom Klementieff Cast in Mystery Role". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  9. ^ a b Nemiroff, Perri (February 6, 2017). "'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2': 40 Things We Learned from Our Set Visit". Collider. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  10. ^ White, Brett (February 17, 2016). "James Gunn Confirms Mantis For "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 28, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Collis, Clark (July 15, 2016). "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Meet new alien Mantis in sequel concept art". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  12. ^ Shiac, Kieran (May 17, 2017). "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 got Mantis all wrong, says character creator". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  13. ^ Prosser, Keegan (May 7, 2021). "Guardians of the Galaxy's Bautista Confirms There Were Talks of a Drax/Mantis Film". Comic Book Resources.
  14. ^ Oddo, Marco Vito (September 20, 2021). "'Guardians of the Galaxy 3': James Gunn Says Mantis and Nebula Are Getting Bigger Roles in Sequel". Collider.
  15. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (November 17, 2022). "Guardians of the Galaxy Vet: Disney+ Holiday Special Is Both 'Goofy' and 'Heartfelt' (and Has a Big Reveal)". TVLine.
  16. ^ Aslanian, Emily (November 22, 2022). "Pom Klementieff Teases Mantis' Big Fight in 'The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special'". TV Insider.