Marvel’s initial foray in cosmic action-adventure, 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, proved to be a major critical and financial success despite being super weird. So we can probably expect writer-director James Gunn to push the boundaries of acceptable oddness even further in its sequel next spring. And we’re getting the first hints of how that oddness might manifest itself, via this concept art tweeted out by illustrator Andy Park:
Let’s see what we’ve got here. Blue lady, blue guy, walking tree, green lady, anthropomorphic raccoon, other blue guy, dude from Parks & Rec. Regular summer blockbuster stuff. Wait a second! Who’s that lady with the antennae there behind the dude from Parks & Rec?
That would be a Marvel character named Mantis, who made her first comic book appearance in The Avengers back in 1973. She’s traditionally a half-Vietnamese/half-German former prostitute with powers of telepathy, astral projection and plant control. Oh, and she has antennae, obviously. It’s unknown exactly how she’ll be portrayed by Pom Klementieff (Spike Lee’s Oldboy) in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, but it’s a safe bet that she’ll be quirky.
“She has never really experienced social interaction,” executive producer Jonathan Schwartz explained to Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Speaking of “very weird,” did you happen to take note of the design for Groot? He’s right there on Drax The Destroyer’s shoulder:
Looks like he’s still recovering from that whole dying-and-being-regrown-from-a-cutting thing he went through in the last film. That is, assuming he’s still himself in the first place. “He doesn’t have the wisdom and experience of that Groot,” Schwartz told EW. “He’s a younger Groot and a more rambunctious Groot. The question is, is he the same Groot, just smaller? Or is he a different Groot that’s sprung up from the seed of the first Groot?”
Ugh! Can’t we have one comic book movie that doesn’t traffic in the phenomenological musings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty?