Saturday, May 30, 2020

Kenner Super Powers Mantis


Mantis began his life as a member the humanoid insect people of New Genesis. Dissatisfied with his life on New Genesis, Mantis migrated to the planet Apokolips. Darkseid has granted Mantis immense powers, second only to his own, in return Mantis pledged his undying allegiance to Darkseid!

In addition to his own immense power, Mantis is an energy vampire with the ability to absorb energy from other sources. However, once all of his power has been depleted, Mantis must immediately retreat to his power pod in order to recharge. Spending the majority of his time in his power pod, Mantis only emerges when he has a task to perform. Unlike Darkseid's other lackeys, Mantis does not revel in plotting and violence, therefore serving as the perfect soldier for Darkseid. This makes him a particularly dangerous opponent to any who oppose him!

Mantis was released in 1985, along with Darkseid and his other evil henchmen, as part of Kenner's second wave of the Super Powers Collection. Mantis is one of the most detailed figures in the line and features a "power action pincer thrust," activated by squeezing his legs together. Mantis also features wrist articulation allowing his his pincers to be rotated.

Mantis was created by the great Jack Kirby, first appearing in Forever People #2 (vol. 1, June 1971). As with his other Fourth World characters who appeared as figures in the Super Powers collection, Kirby was allowed to redesign the character and thereby earn royalties on the figures created using the new design. Kirby's redesign of Mantis features a more insectoid appearance, differing greatly from the original, more humanoid, design.

Mantis is one of the more interesting of the villians created by Jack Kirby for the Fourth World, never seeming to be satisfied to be a mere lackey of Darkseid, his goals and ambitions appear to be his own, having allied with Darkseid merely for current strategic advantage! One speculates on what Mantis' plans would have wound up being had Kirby been allowed to continue his Fourth World saga as originally invisioned, perhaps eventually coming into conflict with Darkseid himself.

Lets take a closer look at the figure:

The Packaging:

Card Front Card Back

Here is a printable bio-card replacement! Just print these two images out on card stock and cut them out and glue them together to make your own replacement bio-card for Mantis!

Super Powers figures of the first two waves all included a free mini-comic illustrating a short adventure featuring the character.

Mantis was no exception, so here is the entire mini-comic for you to download and read as a CBR file, just follow the link to the left.

CBR files hold comic book pages as images in a compressed archive format enabling them to be viewed, sequentially, from within a comic book reader program or app such as CDisplayEx.

Did you enjoy today's adventure? What was your favorite Super Powers figure? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!


  1. i would have loved to have one of those baddies as a kid. Here in Brazil we only got a few of the Super Powers collection. Now as an adult, i´ve settled for a few of the Alex Ross´s Justice figures.

    1. I am really working on completing my Super Powers Collection at this time... I have all the figures from the first two waves and have been trying to complete the third wave. I just don't know if I want to try for the lame figures like Cyclotron or not... Stay 'tooned!

  2. This guy looks really cool.

    1. Not having read or being too familiar with Kirby's Fourth World, asside from the Super Powers cartoon show, I was unfamiliar with this character until I grew up. I actually like this design better than the original.


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