Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will dive into the Quantum Realm, but could Scott and Hope’s latest adventure actually be a multiverse story?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania promises a journey into the Quantum Realm, yet the film could also be a multiverse story going by Kang’s role in the MCU. Similar to what Thor: Ragnarok did to the Thor franchise, Quantumania is taking the Ant-Man & Wasp series in a different direction as part of the Multiverse Saga. Instead of the previous relatively low-stakes adventures, Ant-Man and Wasp will now face Kang the Conqueror.
While the Quantum Realm has been an important part of the MCU since the first Ant-Man, the Ant-Man & Wasp franchise had yet to actually visit the mysterious sub-atomic world. Given how time works differently in the Quantum Realm, Quantumania is the perfect film to introduce Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror. Interestingly, time and the multiverse are intrinsically connected in the MCU.
Marvel’s Kang Changes Suggest That Ant-Man 3 Is A Multiverse Movie
In the comics, Kang the Conqueror is much more linked to time travel than to the multiverse. However, ever since Loki introduced the TVA and its rules for time travel, the line between alternate timelines and alternate universes has become blurrier in the MCU. He Who Remains, the MCU’s first Kang variant, was responsible for keeping one specific timeline separated from other alternate universes, which essentially made Kang into a multiverse villain. As such, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania featuring Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror as the villain, everything points to Ant-Man 3 also being a multiverse movie.
Another hint that Ant-Man 3 is a multiverse movie is how Janet van Dyne describes Kang’s powers. According to the original Wasp, Kang can “rewrite existence” and “shatter timelines.” The choice for “shatter” rather than “destroy” may have to do with the multiple Ant-Men that appeared in the latest Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer, almost as if Kang could literally shatter timelines in several pieces. Should that be the case, then perhaps every time Kang shatters a timeline, new realities are created. If that is one of Kang’s abilities in the MCU, then Ant-Man 3 is also a multiverse movie and not just a trip to the Quantum Realm.
Will The Multiverse Concept Lose Its Magic Before Avengers: Secret Wars?
The multiverse is to the MCU’s phases 4, 5, and 6 what the Infinity Stones were to the Infinity Saga – the overarching story linking all MCU movies and shows. Whereas the Infinity Saga builds toward a battle against Thanos for the Infinity Stones, the Multiverse Saga is building toward Avengers: Secret Wars, the MCU’s version of the famous Secret Wars comic book events. However, whereas the Infinity Stones were more like McGuffins that could be adjusted for each movie, the multiverse concept risks becoming a gimmick. Suddenly, all Marvel crossovers are possible, and any version of any character can appear – a promising yet tricky narrative tool.
Since the beginning of Phase 4, the MCU has seen several movies and shows in which the multiverse set the tone for the story – Loki, What If…?, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania could be the MCU’s next multiverse story, with the film setting up Kang’s role in The Kang Dynasty and perhaps even Secret Wars. While alternate realities have always been part of the Marvel comics, so many multiverse stories in a row can cause multiverse fatigue ahead of Secret Wars. That said, the possibilities offered by the multiverse make it a difficult concept to ignore.