Before Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, I questioned whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) could afford to go small after re-defining big with Avengers: Infinity War. Turns out, a decent downsize was the perfect supply of counter-programming as the sequel is a breezy and hilarious good time. But for fans still hung up on Infinity War and how things will play out in next year’s untitled Avengers 4, Ant-Man and the Wasp offers what we think might be a few select clues to the future of the MCU.
*Warning: Spoiler Alert for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War and potentially Avengers 4.*
As you all know, Infinity War ends with Thanos snapping his fingers and erasing half of the universe’s population. That includes major heroes such as Spider-Man and Black Panther (who we know will be back). Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place directly after Captain America: Civil War and before Infinity War (the MCU has a lot of wars, huh?), right up until the mid-credits scene that is.
In that post-movie tease, Scott Lang enters the Quantum Realm in order to collect healing particles to help Ghost, but gets stranded down there after Hank Pym, Hope van Dyne and Janet van Dyne are blinked out of existence. Here’s how we think that might have a major baring on Avengers 4.
After having spent 30 years in the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne warns Scott not to get trapped in a time vortex before he heads in there. Marvel doesn’t just toss away key lines like that for nothing; studio head Kevin Feige meticulously maps out every facet of this shared cinematic universe, leading us to believe that these time vortexes will play a role later on.
According to leaked set photos from Avengers 4 and popular theories, it’s possible that there will be some time-trickery going on in the highly anticipated sequel. Specifically, the Battle of New York from 2012’s original Avengers film has been mentioned as a set piece for Avengers 4. Isn’t it possible that Scott somehow managed to go back in time in an attempt to escape the Quantum Realm? Or maybe he even learns about Thanos and attempts to warn the Avengers of his presence early on in the MCU’s running timeline?
This could also link Ant-Man and the Wasp to the upcoming Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s as a psuedo-prequel to the existing MCU. Jude Law will be portraying Mar-Vell, an alien with special abilities and a member of the Kree empire, which we’ve previously glimpsed in the MCU (Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy). Mar-vell has a history with Thanos in the comics, so his connection to Carol Danvers should prove important. It is widely expected that the events of Captain Marvel will tie directly into Avengers 4 and, thanks to the Infinity War post-credits tease, we know the super heroine is on her way.
While any temporal journeying could be the result of the Time Stone currently in possession of Thanos, it could also come from Ant-Man’s inter-dimensional travels in the Quantum Realm that leads into a time vortex.
Speaking of different dimensions…
The Quantum Realm was originally described by Hank Pym as “a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.” Evangeline Lilly has even noted that the new territory “does open a whole entire new multi-verse to enter into and play around in.” It has drawn comparisons to the Dark Dimension seen in Doctor Strange as separate realms in the Multiverse, different chapters of the same book. It’s possible we might even see it again in Captain Marvel.
As such, the MCU has sufficiently established that an endless amount of different planes of existence are present at any given time and can conceivably flow into one another.
One of those realms could also be housed within the Soul Stone, currently wreaking havoc at the hands of Thanos. As another popular theory hypothesizes, the soul stone traps the souls of its victims, keeping them alive in a manner of speaking. That’s why many believe that Gamora isn’t really dead. Further supporting this theory is what happens after Thanos erases half of the universe, when he finds himself within the orange-filtered Soul Realm speaking with a young version of Gamora.
If true, it’s possible that there could be a doorway between the Quantum Realm and the Soul Realm. Perhaps Ant-Man can travel to that mysterious dimension and find all of the disappeared heroes. There’s precedent for such a move in the comics, though it remains to be seen if the big screen version will follow suit.