With the massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy this past year, and the gargantuan hype leading up to Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s been endless talk about a possible crossover between the two Marvel franchises. Most of us expect them to come together in some capacity eventually, despite James Gunn’s protestations that Guardians does not exist solely to serve the Avengers world, but that ball might get rolling sooner than we thought. Like maybe this May, when Ultron drops.
Possible spoilers below.
According to Schmoes Know, who claim they have sources with intimate working knowledge of Marvel’s upcoming plans, Age of Ultron will introduce Mantis, a mysterious female character with a link to the Guardians crew and who could serve as a bridge between the two. A badass martial artist, she has ties to Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver, as well as to Thanos, and has figured prominently into both Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy stories in the comics. Mantis also has a beef with Ulysses Klaw (who we now know is Andy Serkis’ character), who is key villain in Black Panther, which is coming along, and which seems like it will figure into Ultron.
This is all speculation at this point, but their source seems to think Mantis could lead to something more. Given that the direction of the Marvel Universe out into space, with Thanos supposedly being a big looming evil in the future, she could provide a connection between the two groups. Especially as they move towards The Infinity Wars movies, such a collision seems increasingly likely.
Then again, there are tons of other characters from the comics that could provide such a tie, including many that already exist in the MCU and that audiences are familiar with. Drax, Nebula, Iron Man, and others all figure prominently in The Infinity Gauntlet in the comics, and you can six-degrees-of-separation just about any two characters in the Marvel universe if you really want to.
So, while it’s possible Mantis shows up in Age of Ultron (though doesn’t it seem strange we haven’t heard anything about this previously?), that doesn’t necessarily mean she is going to connect the Avengers with the Guardians. It’s certainly one option, but her presence doesn’t automatically guarantee that, and it is just as likely that she doesn’t serve this purpose.
Many expected, and still expect until it’s proven otherwise, that if anyone is going to link the two franchises, it will likely be Captain Marvel. She’s a more prominent character, not to mention that she already has her own movie in the works. But Marvel has shown that they’re willing to take risks and go in unexpected directions, so it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility. We’ll have to wait and see. Again, this is all speculation, take it with a grain of salt.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 drops May 5, 2017, and Avengers: Infinity Wars—Part 1 hits theaters May 4, 2018.