Mantis became a member of Guardians of the Galaxy a bit later in the MCU, specifically in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie, while the comics suggest that Mantis became a member of the superhero group after the Annihilation: Conquest storyline, after which she helped Star-Lord from Guardians once again. If we look into Mantis’ origins in comics and MCU, she has quite different lore in comparison, with the Earth-616 version being a so-called Celestial Madonna and a powerful warrior with telepathic powers, while Earth-199999 sees Mantis as a less powerful being who can read other people’s feelings. Despite Mantis’ relatively known origins, we are still wondering how old she is in both universes, which we will explain as best as possible.
In MCU, Mantis is probably a bit younger than Peter Quill, who was born in the late 1980s. The reason why Mantis is around 40 years old because Ego took her in when she was an orphan in her larva state. Ego raised her and used her for her powers to ease his feelings, and the general speculation is that Ego felt guilty killing Meredith Quill and couldn’t sleep, hence why Mantis was useful to him. In the comics, we know that Mantis was born in Vietnam before the Vietnam War, got mind-wiped on her 18th birthday, and reunited with her son Sequoia, who was then 18 years old. Since we know that Guardians formed again in the 2000s, I would speculate Mantis is around 40-50 years old since she is a human with superhuman powers in the comics.
Mantis’ age is still a mystery in Marvel Comics, while her MCU counterpart’s age might be easier to speculate and pinpoint since her origin story is more concrete. Earth-616 Mantis’ was part of very complicated stories in the last few decades, and we will try our best to explain the reasoning behind our answer.
How old is Mantis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Let’s start with the easier part of this article. Mantis first appeared in the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie, where Peter Quill discovers that a Celestial God Ego is his real father.
With Ego, we meet a strange being that calls itself Mantis, and from the beginning, we see that her character is nothing like in comics – MCU Mantis isn’t even human. According to Mantis in the movie, once upon a time, she was orphaned on her homeworld, from where Ego took her in, in her larva state and raised her as his own.
She is part of the species, specifically insectoid beings with emphatic abilities, who eventually develop from larval stat into humanoid beings. Of course, Ego being Ego, he traveled the galaxies to spread his “seed” to remake the whole universe by his rules. The event was called Ego’s Expansion, and one of the “victims” of his doings was Meredith Quill, Peter Quill’s mother, with whom he conceived a child and eventually killed to stop himself from feeling things for the woman.
He kills Meredith and leaves the Earth to continue his quest, ordering Yondu to bring Peter, his son, to him. Yondu refuses, realizing that Ego killed thousands of young children who failed to meet his “standards.” This is where Mantis “comes into play” since between Meredith’s death and his Quest for the Orb (Avengers: Infinity War), Ego takes in his biological daughter from her planet and raises her as his servant.
One of Mantis’s “jobs” was to use her empath powers to ease Ego’s mind, who probably felt guilty after killing Meredith. This puts Mantis’ age close to Peter Quill’s, born in late 1980. Since Peter Quill was 34 years old in 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2), and we know that in the MCU timeline (post-Snap), GotG 3 is set in 2026, putting Quill around 40 years old.
Since both Quill and Mantis were “snapped” and absent for five years, both characters are currently around 40 years old, and Quill is older. Basically, Meredith gave birth to Quill in late 1980, Ego “gave” Meredith a brain tumor that killed her in 1988, and in the meantime, Mantis was taken in by her father.
Now, Mantis is a different species in the MCU, which makes her biology different from humans, and her aging is most likely different. Nevertheless, if we really look into Mantis’ lore in the MCU, her age could be speculated much easier than her comic book counterpart. However, we will try, so bear with us in the next section.
How old is Mantis in the Marvel Comics?
As we said, Mantis is a different character in the comics, and it seems that she was part of many big events of Earth-616, making her a prominent member of Guardians of the Galaxy.
What makes her different from Earth-199999 Mantis is her being a human. In the comics, Mantis is the daughter of Gustav Brandt, also known as the villain Libra, and Lua Nguyen, a Vietnamese woman.
Since she was a child, Mantis was trained by an alien Priests of Pama, a Kree religious cult who believed that Mantis could be a Celestial Madonna, a mother to their savior of the world. At 18, the Priests erase Mantis’ memory to propel her “destiny,” and we know that in her adulthood (in her 20s), she worked in a Vietnamese bar as a prostitute when she met the Swordsman, her lover.
The story gets more complicated with each comic book volume and issue. Let’s say she was in her mid-twenties when she was part of the Avengers and gave birth to her son, Sequoia, who gets taken from her by Cotati. She then went to space, fought against the Elders of the Universe, and got her spirit scattered in fragments that lived on Earth. Eventually, she reunited with Avengers, and in the storyline, Avengers: Celestial Quest from 2002, Mantis indicates that “half a decade had passed” since she left the Avengers, just before she conceived her son with Cotati Swordsman.
This seems really complicated (and it is), but let’s say that Mantis is thirty by the time she meets Avengers again. The Annihilation: Conquest storyline sees Guardians of the Galaxy being assembled, and it seems that since her reunion with Avengers, at least a few years have passed, making her mid-thirties at that point.
She meets Celestial Messiah, her son, in the Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah storyline from 2020, when Cotati attempts to conquer Earth, where Quoi is now an adult. By my own logic (which doesn’t have to be right), Mantis is in her mid-forties, maybe older.
Mantis’ storyline in the comics was extremely complicated, and we know that comic book timeline doesn’t overlap with real life. Twenty years have passed from meeting Swordsman and joining Avengers for the first time to protecting Earth from her son Quoi (a few years, more or less).
This is purely by some logic and information we gathered from Mantis’ lore, where the comic books mention some indicators of years passed. Hopefully, we got something right, but it wouldn’t be farfetched to think Mantis is around 40 to 50 years of age. Marvel Comics didn’t reset characters’ origins like DC had multiple times, which clarified this explanation.
Nevertheless, Mantis is a great character in both universes, and hopefully, we see more interesting storylines with her in focus.