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So, About Mantis’s Big Reveal in ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’

Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

As one of the quieter Guardians of the Galaxy, and a character whose powers are based on empathy instead of combat, Mantis hasn’t has as much time to shine in the Guardians of the Galaxy series as other characters. That all changes in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, though! In the special, Mantis and Drax take a quick trip to Earth to kidnap Kevin Bacon so that they can give him to Peter as a Christmas present. Mainly they want to make Peter feel better since Yondu ruined Christmas for him as a kid, but Mantis has another reason for the gesture. She has a bombshell she needs to drop on Peter: it turns out the two of them are much closer than Peter thinks.

Here’s Mantis’s big reveal in the holiday special—and some other stuff we learn about her, too!

Mantis is leveling up

The holiday special lets us see more of Mantis’s personality, and it turns out that she’s got an aggressive streak.

While Mantis and Drax are hatching their plan, Mantis abruptly screams at Drax went he won’t shut up about how she ate the last of the zarg-nuts. Later, when he throws her over the fence at Bacon’s place, she yells at him again. When the cops show up, Mantis manages to take out a bunch of them with hand-to-hand combat. Sure, she uses her empathic powers to put them to sleep, but you can’t deny that she’s got some serious fighting skills.

A short temper? A mean kick? A penchant for human trafficking? Is this a hidden side of Mantis that’s only now coming out, or has she been picking up some new habits from the other Guardians?

We may never get the answer to that question, but her personality change isn’t even the biggest reveal in the special. It turns out Mantis and Peter are related.

Mantis is Peter’s WHAT?

At the beginning of the special, Mantis mentions a big secret to Drax. No, it’s not the zarg-nut thing.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Mantis tells the Guardians that Ego found her on her homeworld and raised her as his adopted daughter. It seems that she wasn’t telling the whole truth, though. As Mantis reveals to Peter at the end of the holiday special, Ego is actually her biological father. Presumably, he impregnated Mantis’s mother just as he did with Peter’s mother. That means that Mantis is Peter’s sister.

So what does this reveal mean for the Guardians going forward? It definitely raises a lot of questions (why didn’t Mantis tell Peter sooner? Why didn’t Ego make Mantis his protégée like he did with Peter?) which we may or may not ever get answers to.

In terms of Mantis’s relationship with her found family, though, it means she’s getting more comfortable revealing her true self around them. With Gamora and Yondu gone, Peter benefits from a newfound closeness to a family member, and after Mantis’s lonely life serving Ego, she finally gets to open up to her brother.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, coming out May 5, 2023, will explore even more family bonds among the Guardians. For instance, at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, James Gunn revealed that we’ll get to see Rocket Raccoon as a baby, and the way his early years influenced his relationship with Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy may be an irreverent space romp, but it also shows us that family is what you make it—whether that family is biological, found, or something else entirely.

(featured image: Marvel Studios)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at