Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has resonated with audiences, to the tune of more than $600 million worldwide, but one person left the theater a little less than thrilled with the Marvel Studios sequel: Mantis co-creator Steve Englehart.
The writer, who with artist Don Heck introduced Mantis in 1973, explained to Polygon that he's not pleased with the way the character was depicted in the film. "Well, I was not happy with Mantis’ portrayal. That character has nothing to do with Mantis," he said. "I will say that I liked the film quite a bit overall, they’re doing good stuff and I enjoyed my night at the movies so long as I turned my brain off to the fact that that’s not Mantis up there. 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. That I do not know.”
Debuting in The Avengers #112, Mantis is a human woman of German and Vietnamese heritage who only later dealt with extraterrestrials when she was raised by the Kree. That's a drastic difference from the empathic alien portrayed by actress Pom Klementieff in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Englehart added that while he's not pleased with the adaptation of Mantis, he did end up connecting with Klementieff's character. “I wasn’t impressed with what they did with Mantis, but the Mantis on the screen was entertaining," he said. "I liked her, but that’s not Mantis.”
In theaters now, director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Glenn Close as Irani Rael and Kurt Russell as Ego.