When Marvel Studios introduced the world to the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, characters like Drax Star-Lord and Gamora were virtual unknowns. Now? They are household names. Which is why writer/director James Gunn felt comfortable beefing up his playing field by introducing even more inventive, unusual and memorable characters from the Marvel comics to his on-screen universe when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reaches theaters in May. We broke down how the core members of the Guardians would evolve in the sequel. Now, let's discuss a newcomer in Mantis.
First seen in the pages of the Marvel comics in 1973, Mantis is a half-Vietnamese and half-German woman with ties to the alien race known as the Kree. But James Gunn often makes changes when translating from page to screen, so we questioned Marvel President Kevin Feige on how Mantis will be portrayed in the sequel while visiting the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol .2 in Atlanta. He told us:
James was doing something very unique with Mantis, who has never really encountered other people and other humans before. She makes Drax look like the most world-savvy person there is. ... She comes into the story along with the Kurt Russell character, and doesn't know the other characters and doesn't know much of the world. But there is a -- talking about the bondings between characters -- she and Drax spend a lot of time together in this story, as well.
Marvel has asked us to sit on details about Kurt Russell's character, Ego the Living Planet, but I think I can tell you that Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff) travels with Ego -- we saw them together on his ship at the end of the latest Guardians trailer -- and that her powers are mainly of empathy. She can feel what others feel. As Klementieff explains it to us:
She can change emotions. ... There is not a lot of things to say about that. It's just, yeah, she feels things, you know, by touching people and so she can feel things and change emotions.
Knowing the full range of emotions that rage through the Guardians, I'm sure that Mantis' power is going to come in handy. I don't know if she is a fighter, though. Pom Klementieff said that her fighting style is "different" than what it might have been in the comics, but wouldn't elaborate on if it involved martial arts. She'd only say "different."
Yeah, some secrets stay on a set visit.
I will say that there have been rumors that Mantis eventually becomes a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy team, which was solidified in this group shot, from the Super Bowl trailer.
Watch the spot on the next page. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reaches theaters on May 5, when we expect to learn much more about Mantis, and her full role in the Marvel sequel.