"Guardians of the Galaxy" was Marvel's most surprising smash hit. By taking five of the weirdest space-faring heroes, Marvel Studios managed to create a team of plucky oddballs on the run, matching the tone of the cult-favorite comic series. The Guardians of the comics is a huge team with a deep roster, and the second film looks ready to place the spotlight on Mantis.
In the comics, Mantis is probably as responsible for bringing the Guardians together as Peter Quill. A founding member, she used her immense mental powers to psychically encourage the rest of the team to join up. In the trailers thus far, Mantis has been a scene stealer, revealing Star-Lord's deepest secrets (to the amusement of Drax) and more recently getting clocked in the head by some flaming debris.
In an interview with Mashable, Mantis actress Pom Klementieff revealed more about her character. She's indeed an alien (her comics origin is a bit more complicated) and "she's spent her life with Kurt Russell's character," Ego the Living Planet. Taking cues from the comics, her powers are mental, specifically that she "can feel things and change emotions."
Klementieff was actually told by director James Gunn not to read the comics, as the movie interpretation of the character is very different. Although the years of convoluted continuity won't be dictating Klementieff's performance, you can see how different phases of the character influence her portrayal. Mantis spent years as the "Celestial Madonna," and without trying to parse what exactly that means, it seems to be the origin of her flower child optimism. Still, there's a darkness in the character's past; it seems like she got up to some edgy stuff in her time with Ego.
The interview leaves a lot of mystery. Klementieff avoided talking about her relationship with the other Guardians, including whether or not she strikes up a romantic relationship with Drax. She avoids talking about her action scenes and her character's family. It seems certain, though, that Mantis will get to do a fair bit of alien fighting, and that she is intricately tied to the movie's conflict.
Written and directed by James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2″ stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Kurt Russell.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” arrives in theaters May 5.