Before the Guardians of the Galaxy joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014, the characters included in the James Gunn flick were about as unknown as they come. Millions of dollars later, the likes of Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Drax, and Groot suddenly became instant household names. Then, all but a few years later, Gunn reached even deeper into the Marvel mythos to pull out a few other D-list characters for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, like Ego the Living Planet and the martial arts master Mantis.
While Mantis looked very much like a bug in the comics — green skin, antennae, and all — her live-action form (played by Pom Klementieff) was certainly more human than her comic book counterpart. That didn't seem to always be the case, however, as Marvel Studios visual development artist Andy Park shared a previously unseen look at some of the character's earliest concept work.
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This closeup was of what Mantis almost looked like. I did this design for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. But like Gamora (see my last post) James Gunn (director) decided to simplify their looks. Even though I would’ve loved to see both Gamora & Mantis in these ways I think he ultimately made the right decision. And like my last post, this was done before they cast Pom so I painted up a non- descript Asian face. #mantis #guardiansofthegalaxy #conceptart #costumedesign #digitalpainting #그림 #그림스타그램 #일러스트레이션 #marvel #portrait #marvel #marvelstudios #alien
In the new piece Park shared Saturday morning, Manti's look keeps her skin the yellow-green tone we came to know from the comics. Furthermore, Mantis' antennae in the artwork are much rough as; the character also includes various skin markings here whereas the final result ended up with smooth skin.
Klementieff now has three appearances as the character under her belt and if Gunns gets his way, there could be a Drax and Mantis spinoff or storyline in the works at some point. According to Dave Bautista, the actor behind Drax, everyone was on board for the project, Marvel Studios just didn't want to put it on the schedule.
"What I would like to do is honestly, and this is not my idea, I'm stealing this idea, James Gunn had the idea to do a Drax/Mantis movie, and that's what I'd be up for because there's just too much fun there," the actor said earlier this year. "Well, he wanted to do it, he had an idea for it. It's just Marvel has their slot for the next five years and they know how their story is going to go. It's hard for them just to have an idea for a film and say 'Yeah, we want to fit that into here.' It just didn't fit into their schedule."
Mantis can be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Endgame, both of which are now streaming on Disney+ and Avengers: Infinity War, which is streaming on Netflix.
What other cosmic characters would you like to see join the MCU at a future time? Think it over and let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by joining the conversation on Twitter by hitting me up at @AdamBarnhardt!