The same way that Guardians of the Galaxy followed up the more somber and serious Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we needed something lighter after Avengers: Infinity War. Well, I certainly needed it the first time I saw this in theaters. Remember theaters? Those were the days… Anyway, MCU March continues with Ant-Man and the Wasp, which I definitely rewatched before Captain Marvel because I’m not an idiot and forgot that I have a list of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in order, and that Disney+ also has them in order (more or less). Yup, definitely didn’t do that and then scrambled to get this post ready in time!
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang is under house arrest while Hank Pym and Hope are on the run from the law. The father-daughter duo believe that since Scott returned from the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man, that maybe they can bring Hope’s mom, Janet, back as well. Opening a quantum portal activates something in Scott’s brain, making him remember details that would help Hank and Hope. They quietly break him out of his house in order to apply the finishing details, but nothing is ever that easy. Hope had been getting black market tech from a guy named Sonny Burch (Mr. Walton Goggins, last seen here in Fatman), and he wants whatever tech he can steal from Pym. There’s also an ethereal assassin called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) trying to steal the same tech. Turns out her dad worked with Pym and later tried to recreate a quantum experiment, but ended up killing himself and unphasing his daughter. Ghost is getting help from Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), an old associate of Hank’s who is basically the guy keeping Ghost from murdering everyone. Everything comes together with Hank entering the Quantum Realm looking for Janet while Scott and Hope–now costumed and going by the Wasp–fight off Burch and Ghost. Turns out Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) is alive! Which would’ve been more of a surprise if the marketing for this movie didn’t plaster her in her quantum survival garb on promotional materials before I got a chance to see it! Burch is caught, Ghost gets helped by Janet’s new and mysterious quantum powers, and nothing can be pinned on Scott, so FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park, who has a slightly bigger role later in WandaVision) ends Scott’s house arrest.
The mid-credits scene has Scott entering the Quantum Realm to gather particles to help Ghost, but ends up stuck there when Hope, Hank, and Janet are all victims of Thanos’ snap from Avengers: Infinity War. Uh oh! The post-credits scene is the enlarged ant that had been wearing Scott’s ankle monitor (to simulate him being at home) playing the drums as the TV drones an emergency broadcast message. What happens next? Find out in Avengers: Endgame!
The Quantum Realm is such an interesting idea, something Marvel clearly wants to explore more since the third Ant-Man movie is going to be titled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Part of the mystery is how Janet survived for so long down there. Where did that survival outfit come from? And was that actually a tiny city we see for a brief moment when Hank and Janet leave the realm? In the comics the Quantum Realm is known as the Microverse, but that name can’t apply here since those rights are… complicated. Long story short, once upon a time Marvel and Japanese toy company Takara came together to make a Micronauts comic based on the toy line of the same name. Marvel kept the rights to anything they created specifically for the comics but the Micronauts themselves stayed with Takara (and now with Hasbro). Anyway, Paramount Pictures is supposedly planning on a Micronauts movie, part of their shared universe with… um… oh wow… Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins, GI Joe: Ever Vigilant, Furbies Unleashed, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, Rom: Spaceknight, and MASK: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. Yeah, good luck guys. Always a good sign to announce your cinematic universe before it actually happens. Worked so well with the Dark Universe and The Mummy.
Also I made up one of those titles. Have fun figuring out which one.
COMIC BOOK FUN FACT! Hope Van Dyne does not exist in the comics… sort of. Versions of her do exist in alternate realities, like the Avengers Assemble cartoon or the MC2 comic universe, where the kids of the heroes you know are the new heroes and Hope was a villain called Red Queen. The character that does exist in the comic universe is Nadia Van Dyne who first appeared in All-New, All-Different Avengers #9 (2016) because I don’t count Free Comic Book Day tie-ins. She is the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife, Maria Trovaya. Oh yeah, Hank’s been married twice! As recounted in Tales to Astonish #44 (1963), Maria was killed by Hungarian agents for daring to “escape from behind the Iron Curtain.” A much later retcon revealed that Maria was pregnant before she died, and her baby was raised in the Red Room, the same program that created Black Widow. When she discovered that her father was an Avenger, she used smuggled Pym Particles to escape the Red Room and join up with the Avengers. Too bad Hank was fused with Ultron and dead, so she took on Janet’s last name and codename. Also Nadezhda (Надежда) means “hope” in Russian with Nadia being the diminutive form used for names, so she’s basically Hope Van Dyne!
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