Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Ending Explained And Why It Could Have Major Repercussions For The MCU
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's ending starts the MCU's Phase 5 in a big way.
The following contains major spoilers for the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania marks the official beginning of Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while it may have been initially a bit confusing why Marvel Studios decided to end Phase 4 with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever we now have a very clear understanding of why that was done, as the Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania ending has potentially significant repercussions for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it launches the new phase in a big way.
While Quantumania is largely a self-contained story dealing with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and his own journey of heroism, the movie does set up the core story that's to be told over the next two phases. Here’s a look at what happened and what it could mean for the future.
How Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Ends
It wouldn’t be a Marvel Studios movie if it didn’t end with a big punch-up between a superhero and a supervillain, and that is ultimately how Ant-Man: and the Wasp: Quantumania comes to a close. After getting some help from the natives of the Quantum Realm, and Hank Pym’s ants, to rise up against Jonathan Majors' Kang and his army, our heroes use Kang’s multiversal engine to power a portal back home, but Kang has a bit of fight left in him.
After Hank, Janet, and Hope go through the portal, Scott Lang pushes his daughter Cassie through before she gets blasted by Kang. A fistfight between the two ensues, and Kang easily gets the upper hand. But, the goals of the two fighters are not the same. Kang is trying to win in order to use the portal and get out of the Quantum Realm. Scott, finally understanding the value of heroism and sacrifice that has been a theme of the entire film, isn’t trying to save himself, he’s simply trying to stop Kang from winning.
In the end, with a little help from a returning Hope, Kang is defeated, getting absorbed by his own multiversal engine. This destroys the gateway back home, leaving both Scott and Hope on the wrong side of it. Luckily, Cassie is able to rebuild the same quantum device that drew them into the quantum realm originally and she uses it to reopen a gateway from her side, allowing both to go home.
It seems like a happy ending. Scott and everybody else are back, and Kang has been defeated. In the final moments of Quantumania, however, Scott considers what Kang had said, that there are many more of him on the way. Kang’s plan, while it would have killed trillions, might have stopped them, but now that Kang is seemingly dead, does that mean that the world is now under a greater threat?
Why It All Matters To The Future Of The MCU
Even outside of the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania post-credits scenes, which we’ll discuss elsewhere, we know that Kang’s words to Scott Lang are quite important. Even if we didn’t know that the larger arc of the MCU would be coming to a close with a movie called Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, anybody who has watched the rest of the MCU knows that there are more of Kang out there, as the warning that he gave to Ant-Man is the same one that a different Kang gave to Loki.
In both the DIsney+ series and this movie we have a situation where a multiverse variant of Kang has attempted to stop the destruction caused by the others by managing the timeline. However, in both cases, this largely meant destroying universes and ending many lives. This Kang from Quantumania really didn't have a problem with that. He might have even been successful at stopping a bigger threat had he survived, but since he did not, we can guess that we’ll see more variants of Kang, and they might all end up being quite dangerous.
The Quantum Realm ended up being key to the success of the Avengers in the Infinity Saga, and while it's far too early to tell how earth's mightiest heroes will deal with this threat, it may have all been born in the Quantum Realm. While we've now seen several MCU stories that have used the multiverse concept in the plot, this is the first instance of one of the Avengers learning of the potential threat that the multiverse could be bringing with it. One hopes that Ant-Man has a chance to mention his Quantum Realm experience to some other heroes.
A New Avenger?
There is another reason why the ramifications of Quantumania might end up being quite important to the future MCU. A large part of Phase Four of the MCU was dedicated to various heroes “passing the torch” either formally or otherwise. We have a new Captain America in Sam Wilson. Florence Pugh seems to be taking on the role of a new Black Widow. We have a new Black Panther and Wakanda Forever also introduced us to Riri Williams, who will soon become Ironheart. Finally, there's Kate Bishop, the protege of Hawkeye, and now we even have She-Hulk. The list is not yet done, because Quantmania gives us a new Ant-Man, or an Ant-Woman, in Cassie Lang, as played by Kathryn Newton.
Officially, Ant-Man and the Wasp aren’t going anywhere. There was nothing at the end of the tale that indicates their stories will end here. However, it seems unlikely that we’ve seen the last of Cassie Lang the superhero either. With all of the other young heroes, so many of whom are also women, it feels like something is being built up here very intentionally, as well.
While it will likely require hindsight to know for sure, it certainly feels like Ant-Man: and the Wasp: Quantumania is a big step forward in the larger Multiverse Saga that we are inside. Which upcoming Marvel movies will advance this along, and which will just be excellent movies to enjoy along the way? We’ll have to wait and see to find out, but almost certainly Quantumania is going to be one of the required films to get the whole story.
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