Mantis first appeared last issue, but it was in this one where she really starts to shine. She was an interesting character. Writer Steve Engleheart won the Eagle Award and was a psychology major; his work tended to be thoughtful. I think of him as a less “out there” version of Steve Gerber. She was the daughter of Libra (part of the Zodiac gang–a bunch of bad guys who repeatedly fought The Avengers), and as far as I know she was the first Vietnamese superhero. Right about this time, Jim Starlin was hanging out at the Marvel offices quite a bit and talking about his experiences during the Vietnam war.
Also, she’s a sex object.