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In Marvel comics the character Mantis commonly refers to herself as "this one" and also "she." This is a very frequent occurrence but I have been unable to find any explanation of the particular reasons behind why she does this, so I acknowledge that there may be no reason for this, although it seems unlikely.

Is it ever explained (in or out of universe) why Mantis refers to herself as "this one"?

"This one is known as Mantis"

  • Also known as referring to oneself in the third person. – Joe L. Dec 28 '15 at 5:28
  • @Joe I was more interested in why it was specifically "this one", as many Marvel characters, particularly in the silver age, refer to themselves in third person, for example Thor and the Hulk. – Jack Graveney Dec 28 '15 at 9:50
  • Can anyone explain the downvote? – Jack Graveney Dec 29 '15 at 19:16
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Within the marvel universe I don't know.
It's called Illeism

Illeism /ˈɪli.ɪzəm/ (from Latin ille meaning "he, that") is the act of referring to oneself in the third person instead of first person.

Illeism is sometimes used in literature as a stylistic device. In real life usage, illeism can reflect a number of different stylistic intentions or involuntary circumstances.

As far as I know its' not revealed in canon, but we can surmise:

Mantis is of Asian ancestry (obviously):

The enigmatic Mantis traces her roots back to the family of Vietnamese crimelord Monsieur Khruul who, disapproving of his sister Lua's marriage to German mercenary Gustav Brandt, hunted the couple across Indochina¹.
¹Source

Created by Steve Englehart who also create the other martial arts expert Shang Chi indicating that he must have at least a cursory acquaintance with Asian customs.

Look at this question it's not unheard of as a speech mechanism.


Aside: Mantis will apparently feature in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In October 2015, del Toro was confirmed to return and Pom Klementieff was cast as Mantis.

Mantis

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