Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is coming in less than a year, so it’s about time for the Hype Machine to really kick it into high gear. Ahead of what’s sure to be a information-packed session at San Diego Comic-Con later this week, a new piece of concept art shows off the team in action, along with a new player.
Newly released concept art published in Entertainment Weekly depicts the team from the original surrounded by explosions, including returning frenemies Yondu and Nebula, played by Michael Rooker and Karen Gillen, respectively. The art also portrays a new character – a young, vaguely alien-looking woman with insect-like antennae. That’s Mantis, a longtime character with associations to the Guardians going back nearly a decade, played by Pom Klementieff in the film. Check it out:
“She has never really experienced social interaction,” executive producer Jonathan Schwartz tells EW. “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.”
Created by Steve Englehart and Don Heck, Mantis first appeared in Avengers #112 in June 1973. Her history is long, complicated and spans several comic book companies, but the gist is that she’s a martial arts expert who has empathic and telepathic abilities. Her time with the Guardians first began in 2007 in the Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord mini-series, where she joins up with a ragtag team of proto-Guardians to battle a robotic menace threatening to wipe out the galaxy. She was later a major character in the Guardians of the Galaxy series that spun out of the event (and on which the first film largely draws inspiration). She was with that team for its duration and has been bouncing around the Marvel Universe ever since.
Directed by James Gunn and also starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5, 2017.