SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Ant-Man And The Wasp. If you have not yet seen the film, please bookmark this page, and come back after your screening!
Peyton Reed's Ant-Man And The Wasp is not only a wonderful, fun, action-packed blockbuster, but it's also filled with terrific references back to the Marvel Comics source material. For example, Ghost's father is revealed to be Elihas Starr, a.k.a. the classic Avengers villain Egghead, and important characters like Janet van Dyne and Bill Foster are brought to life the first time in fantastic fashion. Both it and its series predecessor are fantastic tributes to the decades of work on the page - but there is still plenty left to explore in future features.
Looking back at the long history of Ant-Man in Marvel Comics, we've put together this list featuring some fantastic material from the original canon - material that has never before been adapted in live-action. Read through our selections, ponder how they could be factored into a trilogy-capper for Ant-Man and Ant-Man And The Wasp, and hits the comments section with your own thoughts.
The Big House
To date, we haven't really seen many of Marvel's famous prisons depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Raft made its debut as the underwater facility used to house the Sokovia Accords fugitives in Captain America: Civil War, and Seagate Prison has been featured in a One Shot and in the Marvel Netflix show, but for the most part baddies either wind up dead or brought to locations unknown. One benefit of this is that any narrative set in a prison remains untouched material within the franchise, and the next Ant-Man And The Wasp story could capitalize in a big way with the introduction of The Big House.
If you haven't pieced it together already, The Big House is a nifty prison in the Marvel Universe that is used to contain supervillains... after they've been reduced to insect size. The idea for the clever clink was devised by Hank Pym in the comics, and it could be a cool idea to explore on the big screen. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe it perhaps can be an idea devised and designed by Scott Lang and his X-Con crew - but things go wrong with Ant-Man and Wasp are stuck inside during a jail break. Given Scott's time behind bars it would certainly fit to have the character explore it thematically, and it would be a cool way to adapt some of Marvel's weirder small-scale villains.
A few years back, the presence of Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a minor controversy among Marvel fans. The movie Avengers: Age of Ultron established in the canon that the murderous robot was the invention of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (mostly Tony), when in the comics that's not the case at all. Instead, Ultron is actually an original creation of Hank Pym's, and his mind was actually designed based on Pym's own brain patterns. At this point it's pretty much a non-issue, as the events of the blockbuster wound up being extremely important for the development of Tony as a character - but with some creativity the connection between the destructive A.I. and Ant-Man could be introduced.
Few comic book villains ever really permanently die, and Ultron happens to be one that is very easy to resurrect. From a story perspective, all it takes is somebody plugging the wrong thumb drive into a computer, and all of a sudden the monster is reborn. That's an easy, bland approach, but it wouldn't even be that hard to weave a narrative into material we already know. Keeping in mind Hank Pym's personal hatred for the Starks, not to mention his arrogance, it wouldn't be a stretch to see him believing that he can bring Ultron back and prevent him from being evil (perhaps by re-working the software with his own brain patterns). Perhaps most importantly, this story could easily be made to be very different from Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially if the action is contained in the aforementioned Big House idea.
The introduction of Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was special because it was first first legacy hero established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hank Pym donned the Ant-Man suit back in the 1980s when he was running covert missions for S.H.I.E.L.D., and Peyton Reed's 2015 movie saw the mantle passed on to Scott Lang in hopes that he would assist in stopping the malevolent doings of Darren Cross a.k.a. Yellowjacket. It was a cool thing to see, but another passing of the torch could still be on the table should the franchise choose to introduce Eric O'Grady.
Introduced in 2006 and created by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester, Eric O'Grady was the third character to become Ant-Man in Marvel Comics - and he is also far and away the biggest asshole of the trio. A low-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he gets his start by stealing Hank Pym's most updated version of his suit, and immediately begins an irredeemable streak by spying on women and planning heists. Eventually, however, he is convinced to go the straight and narrow and earns the title. As you might have guessed, O'Grady probably isn't a character that the Marvel Cinematic Universe should introduce immediately, as the run with Paul Rudd is still going pretty strong, but he makes for an interesting potential choice if a casting change is needed in the future.
On the subject of legacies, there also exists a lot of potential in the future of Cassie Lang, the adorable daughter of Scott Lang played by Abby Ryder Fortson. In Ant-Man And The Wasp she notably discusses wanting to be a part of her dad's superhero life, urging to be his crime-fighting partner, and admits at the very end that saving people is what she wants to do when she grows up. As it happens, that particular wording may be a key hint towards the character's potential future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as comic book readers will be quick to point out that Cassie does indeed eventually become a costumed vigilante.
Cassie Lang has been a character in Marvel Comics going back to the last 1970s, but everything changed for her in the 2005 issue Young Avengers #2. In that issue, Cassie learns that she is much more than just the daughter of a superhero: her exposure to small doses of Pym Particles throughout her life has resulted in her getting superpowers, able to grow to enormous heights. She eventually joins the New Avengers team with the name Stature - and it would be wonderful to see this story idea explored on the big screen. And while this might not happen for a while, it would be particular great to actually see Abby Ryder Fortson grow up to play the character herself, rather than be recast.
Classic Ant-Man And Wasp Teaming Up
To date, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown us some of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne in action together - but there's a strong emphasis on the "some" there. The first Ant-Man features the characters working together to stop a deadly missile - the mission that leaves Janet stranded in the Quantum Realm - and because Peyton Reed decided to trim material, Ant-Man And The Wasp's opening is little more than a recreation of that same sequence. We haven't yet really seen the perfect platform for the original Ant-Man and Wasp to team up, and hopefully the Marvel schedule will find a way to explore more of it in the future.
For starters, the de-aging technology employed in Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man And The Wasp is leagues better than the days of Tron Legacy, and it's only a matter of time before a big franchise blockbuster uses it extensively for a period story (Martin Scorsese is already breaking a lot of new ground with his upcoming Netflix crime movie, The Irishman). Not only would it be amazing to see more of Hank and Janet together, but they could even be included on an adventure with Bill Foster's Goliath, given their established past together. It would make for a fascinating big screen experiment, and it would be amazing to see Marvel Studios be the company willing to invest in the idea.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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