A member of the super-hero team the Avengers published by Marvel Comics.

The real name of the woman called Mantis is unknown. She was the daughter of Gustav Brandt, a mercenary fighting in Indochina and Lua, the sister of a criminal overlord in the area, Monsieur Khrull. Khrull was infuriated by the marriage of his sister to a westerner and sought to kill them both. The two fled and soon after the birth of their daughter, were attacked by Khrull's men. Lua died and Brandt was burned and blinded by the attack. Taking his uninjured daughter, Brandt fled into the jungle, where he eventually came upon a temple of the Priests of Pama. A peaceful order, the priests were originally from the alien world of Kree.

The priests trained both Brandt and his daughter. They were able to teach Brandt to "see" again, despite the loss of his eyes. Brandt eventually left the temple and became the part of the criminal organization, the Zodiac where he served as Libra. Brandt's daughter was trained by the Priests until she had complete control over her body, enabling her to perform super-human feats. She was also trained in Kree pacifist martial arts. Because she was able to easily defeat male opponents, Brandt's daughter took for herself the name Mantis, for the insect who devours its partners after mating.

Once her training was complete, Mantis was taken to Ho Chi Minh City by the priests to live with with humans. Having wiped her memories of the temple and replaced them with false ones of being an orphan, Mantis was soon in the employ of her uncle, Monsuier Khrull, working as a waitress and prostitute.

Mantis soon met the Swordsman, a costumed mercenary who worked for Khrull. The Swordsman was an alcholoic, who Mantis saw as capable of being much more. Only after he was severely wounded did the Swordsman take her advice, seeking to join the Avengers. Mantis accompanied the Swordsman to the Avengers headquarters and was allowed to stain at the Swordsman's request.

The Avengers fought the Zodiac, reuniting Mantis with her father who revealed the circumstances of her birth and upbringing. During this time, one of the Avengers foes, Kang the Conquerer revealed to them that one of the women involved with the Avengers was the Celestial Madonna, a woman whose child would be the Celestial Messiah. Kang sought to be the father of that child though his plans were ultimately thwarted. Kang discovered and revealed to the Avengers during this time that Mantis was the Celestial Madonna.

During their battle with Kang, the Avengers lost one of their own. The Swordsman was struck by a beam from one of Kang's weapons killing him. He was buried in the garden of the temple of the Priests of Pama. Soon afterward, the Swordsman's body was reanimated by the Cotati, sentient plant beings who lived in the garden. It was revealed to Mantis, that she and the Coati could then marry and mate, creating a child who would be a new life form. The Avengers elected Mantis to full membership. She and the Cotati were married by Immortus, the master of time. The two then were transformed to pure energy and left Earth.

Regardless of towering beasts flanking it, Mantis is still a roller coaster that holds its own at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Opened in May of 1996, this Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up roller coaster instantly drew excessive attention. The gigantic first vertical loop inversion stepped up into the record books with its massive 119’ jaw-dropping height. Ushering riders through four inversions, all of different forms, after the 145’ lift hill, Mantis’s twelve million dollar price tag was considered simple to meet after Cedar Fair saw what they had built.

The biggest controversy regarding Mantis is remembered by another name: Banshee. Originally in October of 1995 Cedar Point (Cedar Fair) marketed the up-coming ride as “Banshee”. Over the years rumors have been flung over the reason for the name change. The closest “official” reasoning revolved around Cedar Fair not liking the connotation of the name. This is hard to believe by most coaster enthusiasts due to the marketing that had already been employed and the simple fact that this would imply Cedar Fair does not do research before naming a coaster. Other rumors include complaints from women, parents, activists, and even the Irish. Either way you look at it, the concept was retooled to Mantis and Cedar Fair/Point seems to want this swept under the rug and forgotten.

As an avid coaster rider I love Mantis and hate it in the same breath. My problem is closely related to my knee. I have a very bad right knee and standing under these g-forces causes me intense pain. But to testify to the coaster’s value: I ride it anyway. If you have a fear of stand-ups this is definitely not the place to start. Go back and try Iron Wolf (or King Kobra back in its day). Overall this is a staple to any extreme coaster-riding trip to the coaster capital of the world.

Mantis
Steel Stand-Up
Opened May 11th, 1996
  • Height: 145'
  • Drop: 137'
  • Max Speed: 60 mph
  • Drop Angle: 52-degrees
  • Inversions: 4
  • Length: 3900'
  • Duration: 2:40
Resources include: roller coaster database, rec.roller-coasters, and many painstaking dives into that massive loop.

Man"tis (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. a prophet.] Zool.

Any one of numerous species of voracious orthopterous insects of the genus Mantis, and allied genera. They are remarkable for their slender grotesque forms, and for holding their stout anterior legs in a manner suggesting hands folded in prayer. The common American species is M. Carolina.

Mantis shrimp. Zool. See Sguilla.

 

© Webster 1913.

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