Before the teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 21, director James Gunn has given us our first look at the oddball team from Marvel's upcoming sequel. Time to bust out some celebratory dance moves and show those turd blossoms how it's done.
The new official concept art from Marvel Studios' artist Andy Park features the return of those adorable jackasses we all know and love, but there's a number of surprises in there too. While the appearance of Baby Groot was a given and Rocket looks badass with his new jetpack, Yondu and Nebula's inclusion in the line-up suggests that the two villains could end up working alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy to fight an even bigger threat — whoever that may be.
Gunn's already confirmed that Yondu will become a full-fledged member of the team, but while Nebula's loyalties are more questionable, there's one new character portrayed in the concept art who we know for a fact will join the team in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
So who's Mantis?
As she's the newest member of the team, Marvel's live action debut of Mantis has caused a great deal of speculation, but little has been revealed about her character's role to date, other than her bizarre social tendencies.
In a recent interview, executive producer Jonathan Schwartz revealed how Mantis will fit in perfectly with the rest of those intergalactic miscreants, explaining that;
“She has never really experienced social interaction. Everything she learns about dealing with people, she learns from the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a very weird group to learn your social intricacies from.”
It looks like French actress Pom Klementieff will have to ensure that her comedic timing is on top form when her character and Drax inevitably freak each other out with some bizarre banter.
What can Mantis actually do?
Trained by the Priests of Pama, Mantis became a master of martial arts, developing skills that enable her to take down even the most highly trained opponents, including the Star-Spangled Avenger himself, Captain America.
Later on, Mantis developed a number of additional abilities that increased her power tenfold, including psychic empathy, control over plant life and precognitive skills that enable her to predict the future.
What sets Mantis apart from other intergalactic heroes though is her unique mastery over her own body. Through various meditational disciplines, Mantis is able to control autonomic functions such as breathing and even bleeding, enabling her to heal from injuries far quicker than usual through sheer force of will.
But, could Mantis take down Thanos?
While all of these abilities are rather impressive, it's unclear whether Mantis will even possess this full range of skills when she makes her cinematic debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
However, none of that really matters, because Mantis has one power in particular that could turn the hero into a key player within the MCU, outshining her teammates and even the strongest of the Avengers.
As part of her martial arts training, Mantis discovered the ability to instinctively sense the weaknesses in her opponents, taking advantage of their pressure points to knock out even the likes of Thor, an actual God.
That's not all though. Mantis has even managed to take out Thor and Vision together at the same time, no easy feat for any Marvel comic book character.
While it hasn't been confirmed officially, it's almost guaranteed that Mantis and the other Guardians of the Galaxy will show up at some point in Avengers: Infinity War for the final showdown against Thanos. With the power of the infinity gems at his disposal, the Mad Titan will be almost impossible to beat, potentially taking out Earth's Mightiest Heroes for good, so Mantis could be the wildcard who ends up saving the day.
Regardless of how strong Thanos is, Mantis should be able to pinpoint the Mad Titan's weak spots and take him down, just as long as she can get close enough. Who needs a God of Thunder anyway, right?
First though, the latest addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy should probably brush up on her comic book history before May 5 rolls round, looking back at all the times that the Avengers have tangled with Thanos before.
Or, you know, Star-Lord could just break out some killer moves again and finish Thanos off, once and for all.