There's a new woman joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, and her name is The Mantis. Director James Gunn revealed Pom Klementieff will play The Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, adding another female member to the team. Klementieff, best known for her role in 2013's Oldboy, is the perfect fit to play the mercurial character whose one constant over the years has been her killer martial arts skills. To train for Oldboy, Klementieff took up boxing and taekwondo, so she has The Mantis' butt-kicking skills down.
Aside from her ability to hold her own in a fight, The Mantis is a character who has undergone a number of different transformations throughout her 40 plus years as a Marvel character (she was even briefly a DC character). From literal split personalities, a stint as the Celestial Madonna, and time spent as a prostitute, Avenger, and a Kree Prisoner, The Mantis has done it all, but what role will she play on the big screen?
There's one thing you can expect The Mantis not to be: human. As Screen Rant reminds us, Gunn has stated he wants Star-Lord to be the only human team member, so don't be surprised if The Mantis' backstory is tweaked to give her otherworldly origins. Also, she is green and has antennae, which is pretty cool. Here are nine more things you need to know about the latest member of the Guardians.
1. She Can Communicate With Plants
Groot may finally have a translator. The Mantis has a close relationship with plant life and can communicate with all types of vegetation — as well as control it, if she wants to. In the comics, she cared for Groot on occasion, and she could do the same in the movie, since the first teaser image revealed Groot will still be pint-sized.
2. Her Powers Include Astral Projection, Precognition, Accelerated Healing, & Empathy
The Mantis has all of the abilities, basically. As an empath, she can read other character's feelings, and in some comics her psychic abilities extend to seeing the future, as well as manipulating others to do her will on some occasions. Add in super strength, agility, those martial arts skills I mentioned earlier, and her special relationship with plants, and The Mantis' list of hero assets becomes insane. Expect Gunn to pick a few of her talents to focus in on; otherwise The Mantis could just be a one-woman team.
3. She Volunteered To Go On A Mission Led By Star-Lord
While The Mantis is from Earth in the comics — and wasn't always green — she teamed up with Star-Lord in the 2007 miniseries Annihilation Conquest. At the time, she was a Kree prisoner, but her involvement led to her becoming a key member of the Guardians. Since The Mantis is all about balance, she became a counselor of sorts for the volatile, rag-tag crew.
4. She Has Been A Villain
The Mantis is usually a hero, but at one point she did go on a mission to kill all the Avengers, her father, and the alien who impregnated her with her plant baby son — it should be noted this story was so controversial it was later thrown out completely when it was revealed there was someone else posing as The Mantis. Still, if she wants to go dark, she can.
5. She & Vision Have An Interesting History
When the Guardians and The Avengers eventually team up, there could be sparks flying between Vision and The Mantis. The longtime comic book buddies have some serious unrequited love that needs to be requited at some point.
6. The Kree Believe The Mantis Is The Celestial Madonna
The Mantis is saddled with a weird prophecy that involves her being the mother of the most important person in the entire universe. The Kree turn out to be right, but let's hope the rather weird story stays within the pages of the comic books.
7. The Mantis Was A Barmaid & A Prostitute In Her Early Years
Mindwiped by the Kree, The Mantis gained real world experience as a barmaid and prostitute. If Gunn uses elements of this story and transplants them to space, expect her to be acquainted with the womanizing Star-Lord.
8. Her Relationship With Star-Lord Is Complicated
Star-Lord and The Mantis have a somewhat uneasy alliance. Star-Lord once convinced The Mantis to use her powers to keep the Guardians together, and it was a deception none of the Guardians reacted kindly to. She has also saved Star-Lord on more than one occasion, but they don't always agree when it comes to Star-Lord's leadership skills.
9. She Was Once Split Into Multiple Versions Of Herself
While the storyline that led to The Mantis being split into multiple versions of herself hurts my head, her varying identities give major clues to her defining features. Her personality broke into: freak, mother, prostitute, mystic, and Avenger. In other words, get excited because The Mantis has lots of layers just waiting to be explored.
Sadly, you will have to wait until Summer 2017 to see The Mantis on the big screen, but she is totally going to be worth the wait.
Images: Marvel; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures