WARNING: If you haven’t seen the MCU’s official curtain raiser for Phase 5, this Top 10 list about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be a colossal spoiler. So, bookmark the page, go away, see it, and come back soon. We thank you for your patronage to GVN.
Kevin Feige had a tall task ahead of him with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. First, Marvel had to concoct this sub-universe that only Grateful Dead and Phish fans would understand after a fantastic buffet spread of edibles. Then, we are introduced to an enigmatic baddie whose backstory is like a nerd labyrinth–the guy controls time.
Our illustrious Tia Fabi calls the trip to the Quantum Realm a “psychedelic roller coaster ride.” And that’s an understatement. Watching a Pink Floyd concert in slow motion through a kaleidoscope is tame compared to this movie. It’s sensory overload. There is so much going on. So, as the Hank Pym clan shrunk and swam through that intergalactic soup, you may have missed a few Easter Eggs floating out there.
Let’s open our cardboard carton or holiday basket without further ado and start collecting the choice Cadburys left behind in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
We have heard about “He Who Remains” and now we have seen the fearless–and feared–conqueror. And now, we have seen his home Chronopolis. Jack Kirby was a fanatic about the details, like naming the hometown of a time master using the Greek stem Khronos meaning “time.” Although the movie doesn’t mention Kang’s fifedom by name, the town with the circular shields is clearly Chronopolis. Shout out to all our comic book enthusiasts out there.
9. Jimmy Woo
One of the MCU’s favorite bit characters shows up again. It was only for a moment, but Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is breaking bread with his buddy, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). He first appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but we saw him return in Wandavision for the Westview ballyhoo. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it’s just lunch.
Many fans don’t realize how significant Agent Jimmy Woo is in the body of Marvel Comics. Many consider The Mandarin as the first Asian character in comics history. That was 1964 with Tales of Suspense #50. Some believe it was Shang-Chi in the early 1970s. Did you know Woo’s character outdated Marvel Comics? He first appeared in Atlas Comics in 1956! Let’s put some “respeck” on his name.
The tease happens within the first act–Cassie (Kathryn Newton) has a super suit. It’s not because she is so intelligent and wants to fit in with Dad and Stepmom (Evangeline Lilly). Her suit is comic book canon. And when Cassie puts on that suit, combined with her zeal to defend others and fight for justice, she becomes Stinger. As a CBM fan, you better learn to appreciate the youth in comics. From The Marvels to Ironheart and now Stinger, Phase 5 is a new generation, literally.
7. Flag Smashers
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we met Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) who led a group of socioeconomic terrorists called “The Flag Smashers.” We learned about their cry for a “world without borders,” one that was deemed better before the Blip. Cassie is a young soul determined to help others, even to the point where she’s part of a peaceful demonstration about homelessness caused by the snap of some dude’s fingers. And so, Scott and Hope bail Cassie out of jail.
In canon, this is a group Cassie’s personality takes on. Only not. It seems Marvel can’t agree what this group is supposed to be because their intent is good and their journey is valiant. But in the comics, they weren’t “smashers.” There was one. It was not a group but a name. There was no good in this person. And lastly, the “Flag Smasher” was not Karli, but Karl. Stay tuned. We should see more flag waving.
6. Kurt Meets Veb
David Dastmalchian is the best character actor since (North Texas’ own) Stephen Tobolowsky. He’s everywhere, specifically among the nerds. From a Joker’s Thug in The Dark Knight to Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad or Piter de Vries in Dune, he’s a nerd charm. In Ant-Man, we meet Kurt, one of Scott’s ex-con cronies. He showed up in the sequel, but there’s no way Kurt was going to be in Quantum Realm.
Well, yes and no. Kurt wasn’t, but Veb was in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Some walking Jello mold created just for this movie–and David Dastmaclchian. He had to be in the film, so we get Veb, this ooze obsessed with holes. Hey, it worked. We smiled and started looking for Veb merch. At the end of the movie, fans and Marvel win.
5. A New Hope
Male and female nerds alike, did you see Evangeline Lilly? She is an attractive human being, but did you see her hair? That do rocked! Why? It’s a small fashion tip from canon! Yes, there you are clutching your popcorn during Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and then you notice that you’re thrust into the middle of a Pantene commercial.
Lately, Hope Van Dyne’s look is a certain vibe. This image is from Avengers: Disassembled #502 where she stands 65′ feet tall sporting a trendy, spikey bob. Yet, if you look at the original Wasp from decades past, you’ll find Janet Van Dyne rocking those same locks. Don’t let those small men tell you how to look, girl. Be the best version of you! You go, Hope.
Yes, this was not a hidden Easter Egg, so this is just a reference. However, it requires some attention because there was foresahdowning in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that may have been missed. Do you remember when Scott was talking to Cassie about having a normal life? She noted when she was six some dude dressed like a bee tried to kill her. Of course, that was Yellowjacket, aka. Darren Cross.
He was great. Corey Stoll brought some humor and angst to that role. Wouldn’t it be nice if he was in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? And then we find out he was! Finally, Marvel was able to create a decent version of MODOK, and he didn’t have to be a d*ck. (That was greatness motivational speaking.)
3. Thanos Will Return
Now that Marvel has invented and patented a foolproof way to force fans to sit through the credits, we know whenever watching a solo venture of an Avenger, we are told “[fill in the blank with your particular hero] will return.” Since 2007, Marvel Studios has made 31 films. In all but one, we are told the hero will return.
As the “snap” (or now “the Blip” as we know it) dusts the competition, we are told at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, “Thanos Will Return.” Did you notice the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? “Kang Will Return.” Feige is up to something good here!
2. Don’t Be Negative
If you’re not as familiar with Marvel Comics and Kirby’s work with Ant-Man, you may not know that the enigmatic Quantum Realm back from Phase 4, is made up–imagination from Kevin Feige’s minions. However, it was inspired by the comics in something known as “The Microverse” or a more popular moniker, “The Negative Zone.”
See those rings? They should look familiar (namely in the top Easter Egg of the article). Floating in the middle of space throughout Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
And they were magical, because it brought up a major reason to be thrilled about MCU’s Phase 5.
You see? The Quantum Realm, er…The Negative Zone is not native stomping grounds to Hank Pym and friends. Those would connected to the first family of Marvel Comics, The Fantastic Four!
Note the floating remnants from a mountain (or some destroyed planet)? Those were everywhere in a Quantum Realm and came from the comics. But this may be a cryptic Easter Egg. If you don’t know about Annihilus, learn! This is one of the most deadly and powerful baddies in Marvel!
Maybe, just maybe, Kang will lead us to this insect from hell. Why? Back in the comics, Kang forms a triad of death with this guy and this other Dr. Doom guy. See how nerd stuff comes full circle?! You heard it here first.
1. With This Ring…
This is the Cadbury for all comic book movies conspiracy theorists. Have you noticed a trend in a few of the recent MCU offerings? Take a look back at Quantumania. Here’s a nice shot of Kang’s chateau in the sky. Something looked familiar, didn’t it? Think back…
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Ms. Marvel
- Heart of Forever
If we know anything about Feige, he does nothing coincidentally. Rings have nothing to do with jewelry. In the MCU, they represent power–cosmic power, creation power, time-traveling power. There is something within this phase that literally links them together. Whether they walk through them, manipulate them, or see a multiverse through them (so said He Who Remains), mark this down.
Feige is putting a ring on it, and it’s going to be amazing!
Since he saw ‘Dune’ in the $1 movie theater as a kid, this guy has been a lover of geek culture. It wasn’t until he became a professional copywriter, ghostwriter, and speechwriter that he began to write about it (a lot).
From the gravitas of the Sith, the genius of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or the gluttony of today’s comic fan, SPW digs intelligent debate about entertainment. He’s also addicted to listicles, storytelling, useless trivia, and the Oxford comma. And, he prefers his puns intended.