MANTIS imposter

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Limbo) mutate (Space Phantom)

Occupation: Agent of Immortus

Group Membership: Space Phantoms

AffiliationsAnachronauts ("greenshirts"), Immortus (posing as Kang), Iron Man (Stark), Luna imposter, Malachi, Neut, Tobias, everyone else serving Immortus during the Crossing

Enemies: Avengers (Black Widow (Romanova), Crystal, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Hercules, Iron Man (Teen Tony) of Earth-96020, Quicksilver, Vision, Wasp), Century, Iron Man (Stark), Luna imposter, Masque, Moonraker, Elder Cotati/Swordsman imposter

Known Relatives: Space Phantoms

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Limbo

First Appearance: Avengers I#392 (November, 1995)

Powers/Abilities: Like all Space Phantoms it possessed the power to assume the appearance and powers of virtually any single mortal being. At the point that it assumed a being's likeness, the model was automatically shunted to Limbo until such time as the Phantom assumed its own form or that of someone else. The person dispatched to Limbo had no recollection of being in Limbo and materialized exactly where he or she was when "shunted". With Immortus help the Phantom could also assume appearance and powers of not existent beings. Through Immortus it also gained a full set of memories for each personality so that it couldn't be unveiled by telepaths because it really believed its own lies.

  As Mantis the Phantom was very athletic and possessed immense fighting skills.


(Avengers Forever#8 (fb) ) - A Space Phantom was transformed into Mantis by Immortus to pose as his wife while he posed as Kang.

(Avengers I#392) - Malachi, Tobias and Luna brought Swordsman (a Space Phantom posing as the Elder Cotati) to Limbo. Malachi and Tobias presented him to their mother Mantis, who mocked him immediately.

(Iron Man I#323) - Mantis stood atop the towers of Kang's fortress. Shortly after Iron Man was revealed to be the traitor among the Avengers she laughed softly because she knew that the Avengers were finally broken.

(Avengers I#393) - Neut talked to Mantis about the security of their border's while she waited for the return of Kang. She welcomed her husband at the door of his flagship and they began to quarrel about Mantis' recent actions including the retrieval of Swordsman.

(Force Works#19) - Iron Man arrived in Limbo in front of Kang and his allies including Mantis. Kang was angry at Mantis because she had used Stark as an instrument of vengeance and therefore she was responsible that Stark was revealed as a spy for Kang.

(Iron Man I#324) - Century teleported himself Crystal, Vision and Moonraker back from Stark's arctic bunker to Southampton, but Moonraker was snatched from the teleportation corridor by Luna and brought to Limbo. Soon afterwards Mantis and Kang watched Moonraker's (a Space Phantom posing as Mantis' father Gustav Brandt) torture. She left him after she had explained to him the plans of herself and Kang and Moonraker couldn't understand why she did it.

(Avengers I#394) - Mantis listened with Kang to the screams of Moonraker, who was tortured by machines. Suddenly the security alarm went off when Luna escaped with Moonraker. Mantis screamed when they got away.

(Iron Man I#325) - In Kang's fortress Mantis and Malachi watched Kang and Tobias practice against some Anachronauts. During this Mantis told Malachi how she had met Kang for the first time when he fought the Avengers. Afterwards she got lost in her thoughts about the plan of herself and Kang and scratched Malachi's face. After that she left and went through a portal to Tony Stark in his arctic bunker because she had sensed how lonely he was.

  After Iron Man had defeated his teenage version, Mantis returned to the arctic bunker with Kang, Malachi, Tobias and an army of Anachronauts to face the Avengers in one final fight.

(Avengers I#395) - In the Crossing's big endfight Mantis fought Captain America until Vision knocked out Captain America to fight Mantis, who was angry at him for breaking her heart, on his own. During this fight the Cotati Swordsman entangled Mantis and tried to unite with her once again, but she attacked him. Then she joined Kang again and they waited until the transposer was fully energized. Iron Man, the traitor amongst the Avengers, stopped the transposer and sacrificed his life. Kang's plan was ruined and he teleported away with Mantis.

Comments: Created by Bob Harras, Terry Kavanagh, M.C. Wyman & Tom Palmer.

Yes, this character was originally meant to be the real Mantis, but like many other characters during the Crossing she acted like a total different version of herself which made it so much easier for Busiek to retcon this Mantis into Space Phantom.

Two other Space Phantoms had to suffer because Immortus made her think she was Mantis. Cruel! Especially if you know that they were supposed to be her father (Moonraker) and ex-husband (Elder Cotati/Swordsman imposter).

Profile by Markus Raymond.

Mantis should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
Avengers I#392, p23, pan4 (main image)
Avengers Forever#8, p21, pan6 (transformation)

Avengers I#392 (November, 1995) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (writers), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#323 (December, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh & Dan Abnett (writers), Hector Oliveira, Jimmy Cheung & Yancey Labat (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#393 (December, 1995) - Bob Harras, Terry Kavanagh & Ben Raab (writers), Mike Deodato (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Force Works#19 (January, 1996) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Hector Oliveira (pencils), Glass Hous Graphic & Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I#324 (January, 1996) - Terry Kavanaugh & Dan Abnett (writers), Jim Caliafore & M.D. Bright (pencils), P.L. Palmiotti, Steve Moncuse, Cariello, Sam DeLarosa (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#394 (January, 1996) - Bob Harras, Terry Kavanaugh & Ben Raab (writers), Mike Deodato (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#325 (February, 1996) - Terry Kavanagh & Dan Abnett (writers), Jimmy Cheung, Jim Calafiore & Hector Collazo (pencils), Mark McKenna, P.L. Palmiotti, Ralph Cabrera & Hector Collazo (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#395 (February, 1996) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (writers), Mike Deodato (pencils), Emir Ribeiro (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Forever#8 (July, 1999) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Carlos Pacheco (penciler), Jesus Merino (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 04/15/2007
Last updated: 10/17/2013

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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