This post will contain spoilers to both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers Infinity War. Read at your own risk please and thank you.
I’m the type of person who literally stops everything in life for a new Marvel Studios film. This is not an exaggeration. Well, it sort of is. I still go to work, eat food, and talk to loved ones but I’m distracted the whole time. When it’s time for a new Marvel film I’m all in. Opening night, to avoid spoilers, and back later that weekend for the more relaxed viewing. I analyze trailers when they’re first released and then stop watching them entirely a month before the movie comes out because I don’t want to be over spoiled. I don’t expect this to make sense for you but it works for me. Yet, with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp, I didn’t have my Marvel life stoppage at full tilt. Which was strange for me, and I blame Infinity War for that.
Here me out, in no way do I think Infinity War was bad, I actually think it’s one of the best things to come out of the MCU…ever. That’s a discussion for another day but it’s important that you know that. It’s also important for you to know that when I say blame, I don’t really mean that in a negative context. I’m talking more as the selfish fanboy who needs to know what happens next so he can stop choking up every time he thinks of Peter Parker saying “I don’t want to go…”… damn it! There I go again. I need Avengers 4 like yesterday. Like three months ago. Like now. I need to know how this wraps up, what comes next, where do we go from here and going into Ant-Man and the Wasp I knew we weren’t going to get that. I don’t want to say I was disappointed, but in some ways, it took the wind out of that sail… a little. There was still the Marvel movie excitement but it was handcuffed by knowing that any real progression for Infinity War would not be coming.
I guess that’s where I was wrong though. Going into Ant-Man I had a number of talks, with anyone who was willing to listen, on just how the movie would eventually connect to Infinity War and for the most part, I nailed it. I figured Ant-Man would be a stand-alone film that took place after Civil War and would play the role of the much-needed levity in our post Infinity War world. I also believed that come the post-credits we would get characters turning to dust in order to bring the timelines current. It just made sense from a storytelling perspective, and like I said, I nailed it. Even though I wouldn’t have guessed that Hope would be one of the characters to get the dust treatment. That one took me by surprise.
The one thing I didn’t nail though was how important Ant-Man would actually be to Infinity War. That post-credit scene was more than just bringing the timelines current, in fact, I think it set up a way for Ant-Man to be the savior of the MCU. Yes, Ant-Man. Hear me out.
In no way do I want to take away from the ending of Infinity War because it was incredibly heavy and impactful, but we’re pretty knowledgeable people at this point. If I was willing to bet money I would say that the deaths in Infinity War wouldn’t exactly be of the permanent variety. A part of that is knowing about sequels and the other part being comic book knowledge. Outside of Uncle Ben, who really stays dead in comic books? Even with that knowledge, it in no way takes away the impact of that ending. We still see Spider-Man not feel so good and watch Groot die, for the second time, which is twice too many for my heart. I think part of the fun going into Avengers 4 is trying to figure out how they’re going to reverse this. Just how can our remaining heroes, made up of the original Avengers and a talking raccoon, save our friends.
It looks like that answer is in time vortexes. Hear me out, during the post-credit scene in Ant-Man, we see Scott Lang about to jump into the Quantum Realm in order to harvest some things to prevent Ghost from fading out on the regular. Before he makes his jump Janet Van Dyne tells him to be on the lookout for time vortexes as they can be tricky to navigate. Seems like an interesting thing to say, no? Don’t get me wrong, having never been to the Quantum Realm I don’t know what else to be on the lookout for, but being someone who reads a lot of comics, watches a lot of movies, and knows his science fiction kind of okay, it would seem that time vortexes could be a gateway to…(drum roll please)… time travel!
I suspect half of you cheered while the other half of you groaned, and I get it. Time travel is a gamble in any story as it adds a lot of complications and paradoxes and can often be used as a tool to undo a wrong whether it be a story point or a writers mistake. With that being said though, the possibility of time travel in the MCU might not play out the way you think it does.
Okay, after a while one has to believe that Scott is going to figure that something has gone terribly wrong (duh) and come to the understanding that in order to get out of the Quantum Realm he’s going to have to do it himself. We’ve seen him do this before in the first Ant-Man film so we know he’s more than capable. Yet, for some reason, I’ve got a feeling that it’s not going to work the same way. Mostly because of the way he traveled into the Realm this time. It was all very exact science as opposed to his gambling on the suit. Scott’s initial panic leads me to believe that he’s not going to be able to pull himself out like last time which means he’s all types of stuck. Kind of scary when you think about it. Half the population in the galaxy has been wiped out because Thanos got his snap on and here is Ant-Man stuck in the Quantum Realm not knowing any better but knowing something terrible has happened to his loved ones. Why else would they not bring him out?
After some time, Scott is going to need to gamble on one of these time vortexes, not only to save himself but the MCU. Not at first though. I’m sure there will be a number of whacky/funny attempts to understand just what a time vortex is that will lead Scott to some earlier timelines in the MCU. Once he masters how they work though, I fully expect him to travel back in time and seek out either Falcon or… Captain America. Two characters that he has strong ties with and trusts. I would imagine that Scott will be up against the clock, I can’t imagine the vortex stranding him in a different timeline because it’s just too many story threads, but he’ll have enough time to tell Cap that on such and such a date he’s going to get stuck in the Quantum Realm at such and such a location, and could he be a pal and come save him.
Of course, this won’t be at the forefront of Steve Rogers mind with events like Civil War, having to go underground, and Thanos’s invasion occupying a lot of his time. But, after the dust has settled (sorry, bad pun) from the Snap, our heroes are going to have to figure out what their next move is. That’s when they discover what date it is and take a trip to free Ant-Man from the Quantum Realm. Yay for small victories.
That’s not all though. Once they realize the power of the time vortexes within the Quantum Realm, and with the help of one super scientist Bruce Banner, one has to believe that the time vortexes will come into play again. Maybe the Avengers will travel back to destroy one of the Infinity Stones, maybe they’ll travel back so Thor can aim a little better, or maybe they’ll travel back even further in order to take preventative measures against the impending invasion. Either way, these time vortexes look like they might be one of the most important players going into Avengers 4.
Now, I’m sure some of you are wondering why Ant-Man just doesn’t use the time vortex for himself in order to stop the Snap, and that seems like an easy answer. There was nothing within Ant-Man and the Wasp that implied that Scott and company even know what’s going on in New York and Wakanada concerning Thanos. Scott’s main goal is getting himself freed from the Quantum Realm, and that could possibly lead to the saving of the MCU… almost by accident. Think about it for a second, the smallest hero within this universe, the everyman, is poised to be the savior of all these major heroes. Think of the fall out from that. What happens to Scott’s world after he saves the likes of Iron Man and Captain America? Does he become super famous? Does he become an Avenger? Does he become the world’s biggest hero? It definitely opens up a number of different story possibilities once Avengers 4 concludes.
What do you think Geeklings? Am I on to something here or do you disagree? What’s your working theory for how the MCU can be saved? Sound off in the comments or you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. Is Ant-Man on the cusp of being the biggest hero in MCU history or is there another answer out there? I want to hear from you.
Images from Disney/Marvel Studios