Updated on 16 October, 2021
Mantis is a fictional character first appearing in American comic book comics published by Marvel Comics in 1963. She was portrayed as a founding member of both the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. In later years, she was revealed to be an agent of the sinister Doctor Doom. In recent years, however, several characters have come into her image, most notably Hope van dam.
Mantis is the alter ego of former circus performer, Thanos. Thanos had been recruited by Dr. Curt Connor, who was working with the Avengers, to help them locate and recruit the new female member of the team, known as Silver Surfer. Mantis was assigned to the team under the codename "Midnight". She was described as having magical powers and abilities far above and beyond the norm for her job. Mantis could easily deflect bullets and energy blasts; she also used her knowledge in telekinesis to deflect bullets fired at her by various enemies.
Most of Mantis' appearance in the Marvel comic book world is represented in her appearances in various Marvel Comics related media. There are a few different versions of her, most notably her live-in lover, Nymphetamine, and her evil counterpart, Viper. Her most complete appearance is in the Marvel Super Hero Ultimate X-Men. In this particular version of her appearance, Mantis makes several cameo appearances throughout the series, first as a guest star, then as an ally to the X-Men. She appears as an opponent to Wolverine and Cyclops, and is featured as one of the supporting characters in the third season of the television show, X-Men: Evolution.
In the Marvel Comics continuity, Mantis is the daughter of a scientist named Dr. Noah Grey, and is the adopted biological mother of Night Nurse. Mantis was orphaned at birth, and was taken in by her foster family (a couple of hippies). She was raised as a girl named Sunset Seer, and learned that she had a strong psionic connection that allowed her to control her own body and actions. She was also repeatedly saved by Night Nurse, who claimed to have a reason for keeping Mantis alive because she was "maybe the most qualified female to be a surgeon". Mantis eventually went on to become the resident of New York City's sewers as well as a surfer who gained the respect of Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean Grey.
In the Ultimate X-Men series, Mantis once again finds herself in the role of an ally to Cyclops and Wolverine, along with several other X-Men. She is an aquatic empath, and uses telepathic communication with other sea creatures. Recently, she has developed a romance with a young woman named Ariel. During a battle with Magneto, Mantis' telepathy is stolen by the rogue Skrull, who intends to use it to absorb the powers of Magneto himself. Mantis is badly damaged in the process, but is able to repair herself with the assistance of a mysterious doctor. In the series, several years later, she returns to take part in a battle between Cyclops and Wolverine once again, but this time, she manages to escape from the battle unscathed.
Following several years of absence, Mantis resurfaces as an ally to Beast and Jean Grey in the X-Men: Endless War series. In this book, she is shown to still have the telepathic connections she shares with Night Nurse and Cyclops, but now she has a set of additional abilities, such as being able to shoot out wind blades from her wrists. She no longer relies on telepathy to communicate with people, and is instead able to use her various abilities to help other X-Men. The artwork drawn in the series shows a younger version of Mantis, with long silken windhounds on her back.
During the Secret Invasion storyline in the Ultimate universe, several versions of Mantis are seen, including the young X-Men protagonist Rogue and Jean Grey's identical look. She was also mentioned in the mainstream comics Secret Invasion: Ultimate Doom by writer Kurt Busiek and illustrated by Edmond Rieger. This time, Mantis was depicted as a powerful telepath capable of manipulating others easily. She was featured in a number of adventure comics, including the Fantastic Four series, New Avengers series, Secret Invasion: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and New Ultimates series. In the latter, she was given a starring role, which made her a popular choice for future X-Men characters, like Mantis. She appeared in the movie X-Men: The New recruits, which did not focus on her relationship with Cyclops, but featured her younger self, where she teamed up with Rogue and Storm to form the Future Foundation.
In the late 1980s, writer Frank Miller took Mantis a different direction, creating her starring role in the acclaimed miniseries Black and White. Following the departure of Cyclops, she went solo, following the death of her son Scott. Although Black and White didn't introduce much new information about her character, it was a critical step in revitalizing the character, paving the way for future appearances by Mantis in numerous other Marvel comic book series.