When Ant-Man came out in 2015, it was presented as a smaller, heist-driven movie that followed the game-changing events of Avengers: Age of Ultron from a few months earlier. Overall, Ant-Man certainly was all that, but it also introduced alternate dimensions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the Quantum Realm, where Janet van Dyne, the first Wasp, has been trapped for decades. This Friday, we'll be revisiting the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but before the sequel hits the silver screen, we're going over what we know about this mysterious reality so far.

Starting off, let's look at the Marvel Comics version of the Quantum Realm, which is known as the Microverse. The Microverse can only be accessed if an individual shrinks themselves to a small enough size, usually through the use of Pym particles. However, rather than the Microverse itself being incredibly tiny, it's only the gateways into the Mircroverse that one needs to be small to enter. The Microverse was created by Prince Wayfinder, a time traveler from an alternate future who used the Sword in the Star to transport him and the survivors of his people, the Ithacons, millions of years into the past following their war with the Haaman. Once there, the Sword shrunk Wayfinder and the Ithacons to subatomic size so they could build a new home in the Microverse. In the modern era, various superheroes have traveled to the Microverse, and when they were part of Marvel Comics, this is where the Micronauts superhero team operated.

Just like the Microverse, the Quantum Realm in the MCU is primarily accessible by people shrinking themselves to the subatomic level. However, in Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange was briefly transported to the Quantum Realm by The Ancient One, showing that someone skilled in the mystic arts is also capable of traveling to this other reality. Hank Pym discovered the Quantum Realm's existence when he started using the Pym particles, but unfortunately his wife, Janet, disappeared into the Quantum Realm in 1987 when she shrunk down smaller than ever to disarm a Soviet nuclear missile. Hank subsequently tried to learn as much as he could the Quantum Realm, but couldn't come up with any concrete information.

Years later in Ant-Man, Scott Lang disappeared the Quantum Realm when he sabotaged Darren Cross' Yellowjacket suit, and as he continued shrinking, Scott saw millions of mirror images of himself and eventually ended up in a dark void with little lighting. Fortunately, Scott still had an enlargement disc with him, and upon inserting that into the Ant-Man suit's regulator, he returned to normal size. Since Scott escaped the Quantum Realm, that gave Hank hope that Janet could still be saved.

Which brings us to Ant-Man and the Wasp, where the Quantum Realm will play a more important role. Two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Hank and Hope van Dyne are working to enter this other dimension to rescue Janet van Dyne, and to that end they've built a special pod allowing them to travel there. It remains to be seen how this mission will unfold, though given that we've seen a poster of Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet as she's aged now, presumably Hank and Janet will at least find her, if not bring her back to our reality. It was also alluded in early 2017 that Captain Marvel might make use of the Quantum Realm, and some folks have speculated that the alternate dimension will somehow factor into Avengers 4 as well. Will Ant-Man and the Wasp answer all our questions about the Quantum Realm? Not necessarily, but it's becoming clearer that this particular location is growing increasingly important.

Check out Ant-Man and the Wasp for yourself when it hits theaters this weekend, but in the meantime, feel free to read CinemaBlend's review of the movie and learn what other critics thought of it. You can also look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out later this year.

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