Created by: Lawrenz Lano
First appearance: Novel Grey Legacy
Art by John Becaro
Art by Gilbert Monsanto
|Real Name: Daiyu Ren |
Height: 5 foot 7 inches
Occupation: Private security
Base of operations: Tokyo, Japan
Ethical alliance: Good
10-year-old Daiyu had been accompanying her mother to a conference in Japan, when their plane crashed on Mount Haku. Their pilot died instantly but Daiyu and her mother survived the crash, though not unscathed. Both were critical, but Daiyu was worse off. A metal rod had been driven into her heart.
Her mother was a doctor, but her skills centred mainly around the traditional form of Chinese remedies, like acupuncture and Qigong healing, and when she saw her daughter's wounds, she knew that her skills may not be enough, but without help her daughter had only moments to live.
She told her daughter that she would do what she could for her.
She found her medical kit and pulled out her acupuncture needles. She inserted the needles in her child's body in precise areas and within minutes, Daiyu's vitals slowed so much that her heart pumped a few times per minutes. During these pauses, Daiyu's mom performed her Qigong healing.
After a few hours of healing, the bleeding had stopped and her mother removed the rod from her daughter's heart. She removed the acupuncture needles in a precise order and Daiyu regained consciousness just in time to see her mother die. She had sacrificed her life for her daughter. But Daiyu was still too weak to travel. All she could do was cry for her mother and when she was spent, she fell asleep.
When she awoke, she became disoriented. She was not in the forest anymore but in a temple. She later learned that she had been found by the Black Lotus Ninja Clan. They had been thought disbanded a few hundred years ago, but the Clan still thrived, hidden in Mount Haku's shadows.
Even though she was Chinese, the Black Lotus Clan raised her as one of them and taught her the Ninja way. Daiyu was a natural but on one occasion she displayed a rare talent. As she attacked one of her targets, her sword took on a glow and as she struck it, the target was decimated. She had managed to channel her Chi into her strike.
On her sixteenth birthday, Daiyu joined the Clan on her first raid in the city. The Black Lotus had waged a war on the city's crime lord, Haruo Hagushi. Haruo was a Yakuza whose ancestors had been at war with the Black Lotus and the feud continued to this day.
Daiyu eventually moved to the city and continued her war on the Yakuza under the name Mantis.
A few years later, her Clan leader returned and asked her to join them for one last battle against Haruo. They had decided to end this feud once and for all.
But as the Black Lotus engaged the Yakuza, things turned sour when it was revealed that Haruo was not human. He and his inner circle were shape shifting aliens. They had killed the real Haruo years earlier and had taken his place.
The Lotus Clan fought valiantly and many aliens were cut down, but the majority fell to the aliens' weapons. Daiyu managed to channel her Chi a few times and struck down a few herself, then she saw one trying to escape. She went in pursuit of him but when she turned the corner, an army had joined him. Daiyu knew she was no match for so many and retreated. As she did she came face to face with a woman dressed in a red and black suit, the picture of a spider on her breast.
"Get down!" She told her as she released a net of webbing out from her fingertips.
The aliens were struggling to get out of the tangled netting, but a green skinned woman climbed effortlessly through the webbing and touched each in turn. The aliens screamed at her touch and collapsed.
Daiyu recognized the two women, they were Black Sting and Vipera, two members of the team Prime Force and soon the rest of the team joined them. In no time, the alien nest was purged.
"That was impressive work", Warbot, the leader of the team told her. Then he turned to the woman who was kneeling beside the dead aliens. "What do you think, Caregiver? We could use someone like her."
Caregiver came to meet her. She stared at her a few seconds and said, "We could use her, but not for very long. This girl is dying."
When Daiyu heard that, she asked Caregiver to explain what she meant by it. Caregiver told her that her heart had never truly healed and that it was a miracle it had lasted this long. But its struggle had reached its limit and soon, it would stop beating.
Caregiver told her that she could heal her wounds, and make her whole again, but only if she agreed to join Prime Force and fight to protect Gaia.
Daiyu looked at the snake woman and the spider woman. "Does that mean you turn me into something like them?"
Caregiver chuckled. "Afraid that I might turn you into a little praying mantis? No need to worry, your skills will do quite well as they are. I will simply heal you."
Daiyu knew Caregiver had been right about her heart. She had felt the ache many times, and it was getting worse. Would joining Prime Force be a bad thing? She had heard of them. They had become heroes and the media liked them even more than they did Gaia Force.
Daiyu agreed to join their team and the moment she did, Caregiver touched her heart and let her power flow through her. Daiyu felt the tightness in her chest disappear, but then she felt something else, an energy.
"What have you done to me? You promised not to change me." She asked accusingly.
"I have simply healed your wound. What you feel is your Chi flowing through. The wound was blocking its flow, it is now free. I told you that your skills would be sufficient as they are, and I meant it. You are what you yourself have achieved, and what you have become is quite remarkable."
Enhanced vitals: Even though her heart was weak, through intense training, Mantis has managed to augment her endurance, stamina, reflexes, stealth.
Super jump: By releasing her Chi, her Ninja skills are enhanced and, like Chinese folk lore heroes, she can perform super jumps and seemingly "walk" on air.
Air walking: While jumping and quickly changing direction, she can hop on virtually any surface giving her the seeming ability to walk on air. In reality, she needs some form of solid object beneath her feet to perform the manoeuvre, but the object can be as fragile as a simple flower.
Martial arts: She is a martial arts expert in kung-fu (especially Praying Mantis style), ninjitsu and samurai combat.
Power boost: By channelling her Chi into her attacks, Mantis can increase the power of her strikes.
Physical perfection: Mantis seems to be super powered, but her skills are all natural. She is one of the most remarkable example of human perfection.
Paraphernalia: Mantis drives a Ninja motorcycle. When on duty, the motorcycle can be equiped with various parts, altering its original look and colour. In short, it wears a costume.
Her bike is also protected from theft, as one of its handles is in actuality one of Mantis's short swords, a wakizashi, which she removes when she parks. Without it, the bike can't be started.
Mantis carries a katana as well as her wakizashi. She also carries two ring-blades.