'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3': Does Marvel's 'Empyre' set Mantis up to play a bigger role in the film?

Mantis has been underused in both the comics and in the films. Is Marvel starting to realize that it's time to bring her into the spotlight?

                            'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3': Does Marvel's 'Empyre' set Mantis up to play a bigger role in the film?
Mantis in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2' and 'Empyre' #4 (Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics)

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' has a long way to go before we see a release date. While James Gunn has recently confirmed that the date to start filming has not been delayed due to the pandemic yet, the fact that filming has not yet begun means that it's unlikely that we're going to be seeing the film before 2023 at least. With no hints as to what the third film will even be about, it's worth taking a look at Marvel comics for clues. With the current 'Empyre' event that is underway, it's safe to consider that Mantis (Pom Klementieff) may play a much bigger role in the films than she has so far.

Marvel's 'Empyre' follows up on a story from the 1970s, 'The Celestial Madonna' arc, which placed Mantis up front and center. Long story short, Mantis became a pawn in a cosmic scheme due to a prophecy which foretold she would mother a Celestial Messiah — someone meant to bring across peace in the universe. It ended with her marriage to a member of a plant-like species known as the Cotati who took the form, life and memories of her deceased lover and fellow Avenger, the Swordsman. Cut to the present day, and her son, Sequoia — known as "Quoi" to his allies — is bringing about his destiny of universal peace...by destroying all non-plant-based life in the universe, starting with Earth.

It's a series that puts Mantis at the heart of current Marvel comics in a way that she has not been for decades. We've already talked about how 'Empyre' might be the crossover event we've been waiting for to bring a new generation of Avengers to the big screen, and 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' might be an important part of setting that up.

It should be noted that the Marvel movies roughly follow a "real world" time analogue — meaning that even in-universe, the Avengers first appeared in 2012, four years after Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) first announced he was Iron Man. This implies that when we next see the Guardians of the Galaxy, at least four years will have passed since their last appearance in 2019 — more than enough time for Mantis to have met a member of the Cotati and settle down with a child. 

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' franchise has always been about family and with the main characters having largely dealt with their family issues in the first two movies, this leaves a lot more room for Mantis to develop hers. It allows her room to grow as a character in a way she wasn't allowed to in both the second film and in the original comic, which saw her used as a pawn for celestial forces instead of as a character in her own right. Mantis' role as a mother to a prophesied universal messiah could see her take on a role not unlike that of Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) in the 'Terminator' series — a badass warrior doing everything she can to keep her family safe.

Given how fast we've seen plant people grow in the Marvel Universe — Groot (Vin Diesel) went from plant baby to adolescent in a few short years - it's not a stretch to imagine Mantis' child growing up fast enough to play a pivotal role in a potential Young Avengers 'Empyre' crossover, making Mantis an important figure in stopping his universal rampage. Mantis is already taking on a bigger role in the Marvel universe as far as the comics are concerned, and it's just early enough to possibly influence the story of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' film down the line. 'Empyre' may only be the start of Mantis' rise to prominence as a character, and it is worth keeping an eye on her in the years to come.

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' has no release date yet set. 

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.