Marvel has altered the look of Mantis, a classic Guardians of the Galaxy character whose look has changed a number over the times over the years, to mirror the character’s MCU version.
Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 is an upcoming anthology honoring May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The issue features four different stories crafted by Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) talent set within the Marvel Universe, one of which focuses on Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mantis. In the preview for “The Primeval Paradox” and cover for Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1, Mantis has ditched her green skin.
Mantis first appeared in 1973’s The Avengers #112 by Don Heck and Steve Englehart. At that time, the character had non-green skin, but Mantis’ appearance has changed several times over the years. Recent Guardians of the Galaxy runs — such as 2021’s series by writer Al Ewing — have mostly seen the character don the jade-skinned look. In the comics, Mantis was raised by the Priests of Pama, a sect of the Kree who believed the character could become the Celestial Madonna — a being who either gives birth or is tied to a Celestial in a significant way. Her powers range from telepathy, empathy, pyrokinesis and more. While Mantis spent many of her early years serving others, she eventually became a key player in “The Thanos Wars” and went on to become an Avenger before joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Mantis’ first appearance in the MCU was in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Played by Pom Klementieff, the character has two large antennas coming out of her forehead, but no green skin. Mantis also appears in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. She was also appear in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
In Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1, writer Jeremy Holt and artist Kei Zama will dive into Mantis’ past and set the stages for the character’s next steps in the Marvel Universe. “When my editor asked me to write a story focusing on Mantis, I was excited for the opportunity to reintroduce an original Avenger to the fans,” Holt said. “Forget what you know of her from the films, artist superstar Kei Zama and I are going to show you exactly how extraordinary this Guardian of the Galaxy truly is.” Zama added, “Usually I don’t have the opportunity to draw stories filled with nature, so I enjoyed drawing it with my favorite character Mantis. And collaborating with Jeremy, who is a non-binary Asian creator like me, was a very cool experience.”
Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 additionally comes from Pornsack Pichetshote, Sabir Pirzada, Emily Kim, Creees Lee, Eric Koda, Rickie Yagawa, Bryan Valenza, Brian Reber, Irma Kniivila and Sebastian Cheng, with an introduction by Isabel Hsu. Cover art is done by Lee and Romulo Fajardo Jr., with variant covers by Jeehyung Lee, Stan Sakai, Emi Fuji and Wooh Nayoung. The issue releases on May 25 from Marvel.
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