Mantis, portrayed on screen by Pom Klementieff, was a new character introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Much different in personality and abilities than her green-skinned combat-ready comics counterpart, Mantis is a sweet, naive alien with a delicate appearance to match. Aside from her tufted antennae, enormous pupils, and green tint to her hair, she looks pretty much like an attractive female human – which makes it all the more outlandish when Drax (Dave Bautista) repeatedly insists that he finds her “horrifying to look at.”
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That running joke might not have worked so well if Mantis’s appearance hadn’t changed from the concept art created by Marvel Studios Director of Visual Development Andy Park, which he posted on Twitter when asked to show off a favorite unused piece. In it, Mantis is much more otherworldly, with textured, bright yellow skin and decidedly roach-like antennae, although Klementieff’s lovely face is still recognizable beneath it all.
I got called out by @osiristheory to show one of my favorite UNUSED concept art pieces… hmm, tough one. This was actually the APPROVED design of Mantis for #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Vol.2 but as it happens sometimes it changed during the practical FX stage. So thus, UNUSED ? pic.twitter.com/2aHIPqKUol
— Andy Park (@andyparkart) September 15, 2018
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Mantis’s outfit also changed drastically before reaching the version shown on screen: in this version, she’s clad in a configuration of straps and spikes that resemble a carapace, rather than the modest green garment she sports throughout Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.
Park explained that his concept art for Mantis was actually approved as her character design, “but as it happens sometimes it changed during the practical FX stage.”
Written and directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is out now on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes and on DVD and Blu-ray. The movie stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell