Issue(s): Avengers #114
A strange barefoot lady with (fake?) antennae shows up and helps her out using martial arts.
She's called Mantis, and the Scarlet Witch takes her back to Avengers Mansion. Somehow, letting her into the Mansion (over Captain America's prissy objections)...
...causes the Swordsman to show up as well.
We've seen the pair in the past two issues, always in shadows, talking about their plans, and in this issue Swordsman announces that he'd like to rejoin the Avengers. Mantis isn't interested in formally joining the team, but she asks and receives permission to hang around anyway.
Over Cap's objections, everyone agrees to let the Swordsman back on the team. Poor Cap, who was nearly killed by this guy a bunch of times. This is in the days before Henry Gyrich and the security clearance, of course, when anyone could join the Avengers.
We're shown two quick panels of some Avengers missions, with Thor and the Swordsman hanging out and fighting monsters and robots.
But then things get more suspicious, and Mantis summons the ridiculous Lion God that recently went after the Black Panther.
The Swordsman and Mantis start off on the Lion God's side (with Mantis even disabling Thor with her martial arts). Then they switch sides again, and the Swordsman generates some hypnotic lights while Mantis dances seductively, mesmerizing the Lion God so Iron Man can trap him in a cylinder of impenetrable adamantium that he just happened to have laying around.
The Swordsman and the Mantis claim they were on the Avengers side the whole time, but they sensed the Lion God and needed to go forward with the ruse for a while to trick him.
The whole thing is incredibly tenuous. And the dialogue is just awful, with everyone just shouting everything that's on their mind. The art is equally unsubtle.
Mantis is not yet talking in her "this one" dialect yet (e.g., "This one humbly wishes that she could help."). She uses the proper pronoun "I" throughout this issue.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Avengers catch a news bulletin of Hawkeye and the Hulk fighting Zzzax, so this takes place concurrently or soon after Hulk #166.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlack Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, Lion God, Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Swordsman, Thor, Vision
Mantis' antennae never got used for anything, so I think they're just weird hair.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 15, 2011 12:18 AM
What, you don't have cylinders of impenetrable adamantium just conveniently laying around? Weirdo.
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 1:27 AM
I hate it that Hawkeye has left the team, and that the Swordsman has taken his place. I wish Black Widow had stayed, but instead we have Mantis thrust upon us.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 4, 2013 10:27 PM
Don't know if I'm the only one here, but I've always loved Mantis. I kind of like "weird" characters... and sexy Asian women ! :)
Posted by: JeaF | May 28, 2014 4:55 PM
According to Steve Englehart, the costume & visual look for Mantis that are first seen in this issue were designed by John Romita.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 20, 2016 10:48 AM
Maybe Mantis is sporting a double ahoge?
Posted by: D09 | June 7, 2016 7:59 PM
I like the movie version of Mantis more than this one.
Posted by: Steven | May 2, 2018 12:21 PM
Comments are now closed.
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