"A paralyzed African-American scientist builds a powerful exo-skeleton in order to walk again, and uses his new abilities to fight crime." OK, for starters; this intro rocks!
I loved that dreamy concept. Can you see the brilliant metaphor here? That paralyzed man is just you and me in front of many ugly crimes in our worlds. And now, this show just gives him, and us, the opportunity to get up, leave the chair, and be the hero who saves the city from its evils.
It managed to be peculiar. From the main character as paralyzed, to being an African-American, all wasn't familiar. For a disabled superhero, I can't remember but (Dare Devil). And for a black superhero, in the American TV, I can't remember any!
Further, unlike other shows, and naturally after the generation's hit; (The X-Files), this show was stylish and dark. It differs than many of the action shows where usual is all the style you can get. And it had such a dark sense that lead actor (Carl Lumbly)'s sullen performance got matched with perfectly.
(Lumbly), as Dr. (Miles Hawkins), owned the screen. He was charismatic and unforgettable. I thought he saw the character as someone who has great pain and bitterness, yet conceals that whenever he's the staid Dr. (Hawkins), but when he gets to be the hero, that inner suppressed rage comes out. So sorry that he couldn't be a lead of an action show again, just a supporting role in (Alias) years later.
I won't forget the moment in which the title character answers the question of "Who are you?" for the first time. He said in the most macho, cool and serious ways ever: "You can call me.. The Mantis." WAW. It's real inspiring, because when I wrote my own superhero comic series, back in 2012; I put in the very first episode a similar line, but it went like this: "You can call me.. Bakir 1.".
At one of the 1990s years, I don't remember which, I used to watch it everyday at 8: PM, on the second channel of our national TV. Then one day, it vanished from the screen, and I didn't get to watch it again. Well, sure it got canceled pretty early. I don't know the reason yet (they didn't like its title?!). But I do feel rage when, at the same year, another show begin to never stop.. entitled (Friends). You can guess who were the persons that I wished for the mantis to destroy for years and years later!
Anyhow, you have to love (M.A.N.T.I.S.), and be sad for it too. It is one of 1994 most ambitious, entertaining, and unfortunate TV shows.