"Mantis" is the kind of movie that can give an insect a bad name.
It airs at 8 tonight on Fox (Channels 11 and 6), introducing a comic (unintentionally, it appears) super-hero who wears a mantis-like gizmo on his head and moves through the air spritzing criminals with a paralyzing chemical while suspended by a chain from a high-tech flying car called a chrysalid.
The thankless job of playing this clunky lug has befallen Carl Lumbly. Gina Torres is police pathologist Amy Ellis, Bobby Hosea is a TV news reporter and Steve James is a youth center counselor. Well, it's work.
Mantis keeps his real identity secret. In his civvies, he's a biologist who advises the cops in Ocean City, a crime-ravaged community now existing under a tenuous gang truce. But someone wants to break the truce. Who? "Mantis" doesn't actually identify the top honcho, opening the door for "Mantis II," a chilling prospect.