Since his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2015, Ant-Man has been a beloved character among fans for his humor, heart, and unique power set. However, with the upcoming release of “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” excitement is building as fans anticipate the character’s continued growth and evolution in the MCU. Despite starting out small, there is no doubt that Ant-Man has the potential to tower over the franchise with his ability to shrink, grow, and traverse the quantum realm.
Ant-Man’s Evolution in the MCU and His Role as a Storyteller
“Avengers: Endgame” set a standard for all comic book movies to come with its iconic moments. The Stark Snap, the arrival with “On your left,” and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lopping off Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) half-griddled grape noggin off his CGI shoulders were all absolutely awesome scenes, one after another. However, the hero known for shrinking down to very, very tiny sizes discreetly stole the scene by bringing humor to even the smallest moments.
Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), was consistently charmed as a super-crook who was a devoted listener to Thor’s stories and an open admirer of America’s…well, you know. But, more importantly, he stepped up to help save the day without inserting himself into a Mad Titan’s tush, even though far too many fans were hoping he would. Since then, though, the universe he helped save has changed dramatically, and younger heroes have taken over the mantle built by the MCU’s greatest and oldest heroes, who have either passed away or stepped down. In the meantime, as “Ms. Marvel” made clear, Ant-Man has become widely celebrated as the teller of the Avengers’ great tale, sharing all the behind-the-scenes details with the public at large.
Now, as the guard changes, a new threat emerges, and Scott Lang appears to be the first superhero (not counting Loki) to confront it. Keeping that in mind, there are many indicators that this little Ant-Man-that-could is preparing to transform into the Giant Man that we always knew he could be.
Scott Lang is Ready to Level Up
When we say that Scott Lang’s story was pretty inconsequential until “Avengers: Endgame,” we mean no disrespect. His standalone adventures were more like warm-up acts to the main event, with the first film leading into “Captain America: Civil War” (aka Avengers 2.5). At the same time, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” primarily drew him into the Quantum Zone so he could save the day in “Avengers: Endgame.”
In November 2022, director Peyton Reed assured Entertainment Weekly that Scott’s next adventure would be more than a “palate cleanser.” The glimpses we have seen of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” undoubtedly support that statement. Not only will the movie throw Scott, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and the rest of the ant-fam into a monumental adventure, but it will also properly introduce the next big threat to the Marvel fold at large — Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). This guy is going to threaten every person in the multiverse, far from the D-tier goons Ant-Man faced in prior films. He’s the kind of thorn you’d expect to see stuck in the side of Stephen Strange or the late Tony Stark, not a former Baskin-Robbins employee.
Why would Kang target Scott Lang, among all the heroes? Of course, an ant may not typically have any issue with a boot, especially one as formidable as Kang. But perhaps that’s precisely the point.
Ant-Man and Iron Man’s Differences Could Make for a Fun Contrast
Both superheroes, Scott Lang and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) used to tease each other when they met, but their paths are not much different when their suits are taken off (ignoring their bank accounts, of course). They are both men with pasts they would like to forget, and after being imprisoned, they utilized their high-level intellect to try and redeem themselves for their previous misdeeds. With Lang being in a similar lane to the late, great Stark, there is a strong argument that Ant-Man could take Iron Man’s place and become one of the new high-level members of the Avengers, particularly given the imminent danger and his familiarity with it after “Quantumania.”
After “Endgame,” it became clear that Scott can handle universe-ending events and could be on the frontline of another one when he confronts Kang in the newest movie. The upcoming threequel looks to depict a hero relishing in his recent glory while still battling inner insecurities from a previous “Avengers” outing, similar to “Iron Man 3.” Scott’s impending confrontation certifies him as a more prominent figure in the center of the MCU’s future, thanks to the foe who plans on conquering it.
Scott Lang Takes on Kang: The New Epic Battle of the MCU?
Since Tony was the one who flew through a hole in space to save New York and was the closest to catching a glimpse of the grinning purple threat on the other side, the Armoured Avenger was always on a crash course with Thanos. Their journey had to end with Stark making the ultimate sacrifice and good triumphing over evil. If Scott really does have a chance of being the MCU’s next Tony Stark, that means he’ll have to take the baggage that comes with it, including a sworn enemy with plans to break the universe.
Screenwriter Jeff Loveness has described Jonathan Majors’ Kang as an almost “infinite Thanos,” guaranteeing his arrival as an even more imposing threat. This will mark the first showdown between Lang and Kang before they both call for backup in “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” also written by Loveness. It’s likely that the Ant-Man we see then will be a more battered and shaken hero who may have to take charge in a way he never has before.
“Quantumania” could see Lang take the lead of the New Avengers.
Only three of the original Avengers remain since they first assembled in 2012. Now, 11 years on, Hailee Seinfeld’s Kate Bishop and Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters have taken on the mantle of Hawkeye and Hulk, respectively. The only hero left is Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and he hinted to Vanity Fair that he already thinks it’ll soon be time for him to hang up his red cape.
Given that the New Avengers will need someone to lead and keep them in line, Scott Lang is a prime candidate due to his experience as a superhero and his encounter with Kang in “Quantumania.” As the first round between Lang and Kang takes place in the upcoming film, and with the potential for unfinished business, Scott could emerge as a future frontman for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Carol Danvers and Sam Wilson have the necessary credentials, neither of them has faced off against Kang and survived. Therefore, Scott may be the ant who leads Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when the time comes.