MANTIS: THE CELESTIAL MADONNA SAGA

MantisWith the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 last week and its introduction of the character Mantis to the Marvel Cinematic Universe I dove in for some research.

Luckily with the countless superhero web sites and the ready availability of archived collections of comic books from the 1970s and earlier it only took me til today to decide to take an extensive look at Mantis as she was originally presented in the pages of The Avengers – NOT the Guardians of the Galaxy – during what came to be called The Celestial Madonna Saga.

REASON ONE: I still have a soft spot for comic books because reading them as a kid served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera.

REASON TWO: I’m intrigued by the fact that so many of the stories brought to the screen by the Marvel Cinematic Universe and their related properties trace their original appearance to the 1970s like Mantis.

Mantis 2Hell, Gwen Stacy was killed by the Green Goblin around 1973. Magneto was ret-conned into his present personality in the 1970s. Adam Warlock got his Soul Gem, later ret-conned into one of the Infinity Stones. The Defenders debuted in that decade. Wolverine was also introduced in the 70s. Same with Luke Cage, Blade the Vampire Slayer, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Thanos, the Punisher. Even Howard the Duck. (Well, you can’t win them all.)  

REASON THREE: I’m genuinely impressed with the way Marvel’s writers in the 1970s anticipated today’s slew of serialized sci-fi and horror series’ with their expert handling of prolonged narratives. Sometimes over YEARS! Seriously.

I have no idea if screen-writing classes offer specialized attention to the burgeoning superhero genre but the instructors could do worse than use a few archived Marvel comics stories from the 1970s to showcase proper pacing all the way from the early hints of a mystery through the final revelations and the resolution of the entire storyline.   

REASON FOUR: Perhaps the ultimate example of those serialized storylines was Marvel’s ORIGINAL handling of Mantis, from her earliest appearances when she was simply a mysterious new Avenger on up to the Celestial Madonna storyline which ended with her leaving the scene for decades. I will not be covering any ret-cons to her character SINCE then, just her 1970s run.

REASON FIVE: That run for Mantis – and the slow revelation of facts about her – featured many of the characters and situations that are now prominent in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

Okay, in the next installment I will begin an issue by issue look at Mantis in the style of my examinations of neglected Epic Myths. Marvel’s figures are virtually pop culture deities now, and with the warm weather months always bringing a lot of superhero films, it’s a fitting time of year.

FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE

FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE

FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK  HERE

FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE:  Superheroes

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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60 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

60 responses to “MANTIS: THE CELESTIAL MADONNA SAGA

  1. Pingback: MANTIS: NIGHT OF THE SWORDSMAN | Balladeer's Blog

  2. Pingback: MANTIS 3: BELOW US THE BATTLE | Balladeer's Blog

  3. Pingback: MANTIS 4: THE AVENGERS VS THE DEFENDERS | Balladeer's Blog

  4. Pingback: MANTIS 4: THE AVENGERS VS THE DEFENDERS | Balladeer's Blog

  5. Pingback: MANTIS 5: THE AVENGERS/ DEFENDERS WAR CONTINUES | Balladeer's Blog

  6. Pingback: MANTIS 6: HOLOCAUST | Balladeer's Blog

  7. Pingback: MANTIS 7: BREAKTHROUGH! | Balladeer's Blog

  8. Pingback: MANTIS 8: TO THE DEATH | Balladeer's Blog

  9. Pingback: MANTIS 9: THE COLLECTOR | Balladeer's Blog

  10. Pingback: MANTIS 10: ZODIAC RETURNS | Balladeer's Blog

  11. Pingback: MANTIS 11: AVENGERS VS ZODIAC CONTINUES | Balladeer's Blog

  12. Pingback: MANTIS 12: SHOCKING REVELATIONS IN THE SHOWDOWN WITH ZODIAC | Balladeer's Blog

  13. Mantis in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie looked nothing like her.

  14. I can’t stand comic books but you make these old stories interesting with the way you look at them as mythology.

  15. Pingback: MANTIS 13: AN ORIGIN FOR MANTIS | Balladeer's Blog

  16. Pingback: MANTIS 14: THE STAR STALKER | Balladeer's Blog

  17. Pingback: MANTIS 15: THANOS | Balladeer's Blog

  18. Pingback: MANTIS 16: THE THANOS WAR CONCLUDES | Balladeer's Blog

  19. Pingback: MANTIS 17: KLAW AND SOLARR TEAM UP | Balladeer's Blog

  20. Pingback: MANTIS 18: THE SCARLET WITCH FINDS A FATHER | Balladeer's Blog

  21. Pingback: MANTIS 19: THE WEDDING OF QUICKSILVER AND THE INHUMAN CRYSTAL | Balladeer's Blog

  22. Pingback: MANTIS 20: ULTRON VS THE AVENGERS, THE FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE INHUMANS | Balladeer's Blog

  23. Pingback: MANTIS 21: NECRODAMUS ATTACKS | Balladeer's Blog

  24. Celestial Madonna sounds like a cool concept all buy itself!

  25. Pingback: MANTIS 22: KANG THE CONQUEROR WANTS THE CELESTIAL MADONNA | Balladeer's Blog

  26. Pingback: MANTIS 23: KANG, THE CELESTIAL MADONNA AND THE DEATH OF AN AVENGER | Balladeer's Blog

  27. Nice post! You seem to appreciate the themes in the story that Englehart and Roy Thomas were including.

  28. Pingback: MANTIS 24: THE SWORDSMAN’S FUNERAL AND THE MYSTERIES OF MANTIS’ PAST | Balladeer's Blog

  29. For superhero stuff this is a pretty good story they came up with.

  30. Pingback: MANTIS 25: KANG ASSEMBLES A LEGION | Balladeer's Blog

  31. Pingback: MANTIS 26: KANG WAR TWO | Balladeer's Blog

  32. Pingback: MANTIS 27: THE CAUSE OF THE VISION’S PROBLEMS AND THE SHOWDOWN WITH KANG’S LEGION | Balladeer's Blog

  33. Pingback: MANTIS 28: CELESTIAL MADONNA EXPLANATIONS AND THE HOODED ONE’s IDENTITY | Balladeer's Blog

  34. Pingback: MANTIS 29: THE REAL STORY OF THE PRIESTS OF PAMA | Balladeer's Blog

  35. Pingback: MANTIS 30: THE NEXT-TO-LAST CHAPTER | Balladeer's Blog

  36. Pingback: MANTIS 31: THE FINALE, INCLUDING KANG’s FINAL GAMBIT | Balladeer's Blog

  37. Pingback: THE MANTIS SAGA: CHAPTER LINKS | Balladeer's Blog

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