Did Marvel’s MCU Guardian of the Galaxy Ever Reconcile With Her Celestial Messiah?

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Today, we look at what kind of connection that Mantis had to her son while he tried to destroy all human life on Earth in the Marvel crossover, Empyre.

In Comic Book Questions Answered, I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

In a recent feature, I wrote about how the alien Cotati that merged with the body of the Swordsman was eventually driven mad and manipulated his son, Sequoia (the Celestial Messiah) into trying to destroy all human life on Earth. A number of you wanted to know where Mantis was in all of that and whether she tried to stop him. Well, let’s take a look!

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The famous “Celestial Madonna” storyline involved Kang the Conqueror showing up in our present to try to find the Celestial Madonna. You see, he had determined that one of the Avengers was the Celestial Madonna and was going to give birth to a powerful child and Kang wanted in on that as the child’s father (hilariously, along with Scarlet Witch and Mantis as possible options to be the Celestial Madonna, Kang also included Agatha Harkness as an option. I don’t think that that really old lady is about to pop out a baby any time soon, buddy).

Over time (the storyline was LONG, especially because Marvel had started doing a new approach where it would release quarterly Giant-Size editions of its comic books. Steve Englehart, writer of the Avengers, decide to work the Giant-Size Avengers issues into the Celestial Madonna storyline and those extra-sized issues just made the whole thing even MORE complicated), the Avengers learned that the Celestial Madonna was meant to be the child of the perfect human (Mantis) and the perfect plant life (the peaceful Cotati)…

As part of making this, you know, feasible, the Cotati elder resurrected Swordsman’s body, especially since it knew Mantis loved Swordsman…

Eventually, Mantis was convinced that this was a good idea and so she and the Cotati-resurrected Sworsdman got married in Giant-Size Avengers #4 (by Englehart, Don Heck and John Tartaglione)…

Once married, Mantis and the Cotati-Swordsman went off to become energy or something like that…

In West Coast Avengers #39 (by Englehart and Al Milgrom), after Mantis had returned to physical form in the pages of Silver Surfer, the Cotati Swordsman returned to let Mantis know that she had done her duty and that she was now free to return to her normal human life and that the Cotati would raise her kid from that point forward

She ultimately did not like that idea and so in Fantastic Four #325 (by Englehart, Keith Pollard and Romeo Tanghal), she seeks the help of the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer to get her son back from the Cotati…

However, since the Cotati exist on a plane beyond the need for even bodies, Mantis had to basically give up her body to try to join the Cotati and raise her son with them…

In Avengers: Celestial Quest #2 (by Englehart, Jorge Santamaria and Scott Hanna), we see that Mantis eventually got her son back and raised him in anonymity for a time before she gave him back to the Cotati, who raised him on a new planet…

Thanos was tying to hunt her son (named Sequoia after the most noble tree on Earth, but called Quoi for short) so Mantis and the Avengers headed to the Cotati world to protect him. When we meet him, we see that he was now an angsty teen…

In the end, though, Quoi grew up and chose to pursue a noble mission with a reformed space pirate, Raptra…

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Well, during Empyre, Quoi is convinced by his father (who has been driven crazy from the human side of himself) to destroy all human life on Earth.

First, though, his mother contacts him in Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah #1 (by Alex Paknadel, Alex Lins and Matt Yackey) and tries to reason with him…

His first instinct is to attack her, all part of his father’s plan…

However, she is able to withstand his attacks and she begins to reason with him, explaining some of the history of his father both as a Cotati-merger with Swordsman and also Swordsman himself. Things seem to be working better, as he is calmer and more reasonable…

The problem, though, with merging their thoughts like this is that Quoi gained access to memories that Mantis probably wouldn’t want him to see and he discovered that she had used her mental abilities to manipulate the various cosmic heroes that Star-Lord had met fighting against the Phalanx (in Annihilation: Conquest) into forming the Guardians of the Galaxy. That was it for any chance to reason with Quoi, as now he doesn’t trust anything his mother says to him and just turns her plant body that she was projecting her mind into into flowers…

Mantis and Quoi don’t have a reunion until the finale of Empyre in Empyre #6 (by writers AL Ewing and Dan Slott and artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia), where Cotati-Swordsman and Quoi’s plans have been foiled by Earth’s heroes. Mantis arrives and tries to reason with her son once more…

But it is too late. While he has lost this battle, this has only inspired him to be more dedicated to his path of either conquering human life on Earth or destroying it…

Hopefully, though, Mantis can once again get through to her son and maybe get him to think otherwise about wanting to kill all of human life on Earth. That’s a bit of a buzzkill.

Thanks for the question, folks! If anyone else has a comic book question, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

KEEP READING: Doctor Doom vs. Lex Luthor: Which Supervillain Origin Debuted First?

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