(Warning: This story contains spoilers for “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”)
Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp” definitely answers one question that has been on fans’ minds since 2016: What has Scott Lang been up to since the events of “Captain America: Civil War”?
Opening in theaters Friday, just months after “Avengers: Infinity War” wiped out many beloved inhabitants of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” takes viewers a few beats back to show how Scott (Paul Rudd) has been spending his days after lending Cap a hand in “Civil War.”
Mostly he’s been trying to stay out of trouble and be the best father he can be while under house arrest.
Superhero no more, Scott has even been estranged from Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Although the events in the film lead to the team coming back together, it’s hard to imagine just how “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will connect “directly to ‘Avengers 4’” as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has promised.
That is, until the credits start to roll. In grand MCU fashion, mid- and post-credits scenes help connect some of the dots. But the scenes leave even more questions unanswered.
The mid-credits scene
After escaping the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) has dived right back into her scientific endeavors with Hank and Hope. The family has miniaturized the quantum tunnel so it now fits in the back of a van.
The rooftop scene shows Scott heading back into the Quantum Realm in order to harvest some Quantum Energy, which Janet had used earlier to help Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) with her phasing problem.
Everything seems to be going as planned until Scott is suddenly unable to hear Hope’s countdown as they are preparing for his return.
Cut back to the rooftop and viewers are greeted with the familiar dust from “Infinity War.” It turns out this scene is taking place just when Thanos snapped his fingers in the previous film.
The scene ends with Scott still in the Quantum Realm, calling out through his comms back to Hope and her parents, unaware that they are in no position to hear him, and possibly with no way to escape.
The Quantum Realm
As Hank has explained, the Quantum Realm is a reality where all concepts of time and space are irrelevant. As such, it is possible that Thanos’ snap had no effect there. But it’s also possible that Scott just happened to be part of the half of all living things that survived.
But as Feige teased during a news conference, director Peyton Reed has hidden clues to the future possibilities of the Quantum Realm in the movie. Feige was referring to clues hidden in frames of the film, but perhaps there were some more obvious clues.
In the mid-credits scene, Janet specifically warns Scott not to get stuck in a time vortex before he makes his trip to the Quantum Realm. Could this reverse the damage Thanos has caused to the universe?
On top of that, Janet’s time in the Quantum Realm has led to her being able to manipulate Quantum Energy, which she used to heal people. Will Scott gain a similar ability from his time there?
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” also includes a post-credits scene, which at first glance seems to be a continuation of a gag from the movie in which Hope used a gigantic ant to cover for Scott when she broke him out of his house.
The scene takes place back at Scott’s house with a gigantic ant playing the drums, much like Scott would have in his daily routine. But things are a bit off.
Things like a TV showing an emergency alert hint that this is a glimpse into a post-Thanos world where the infrastructure has not yet recovered from the sudden elimination of half of all living things.
There’s no way to tell exactly how long after Thanos’ snap the post-credits scene takes place, but the abandoned state of Scott’s house does lead to further questions.
Presuming that Scott is still in the Quantum Realm, have neither Luis (Michael Peña) nor Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) stopped by? Both were shown to be regular visitors to the house. Did either of them survive Thanos’ apocalypse?
Cassie made it pretty clear during the movie that, much like her comic book counterpart, she aspires to be a hero like her dad. Reed reportedly stated that “it was fun to plant maybe some of the seeds for that.” Is becoming a superhero in Cassie’s near future?
Will Ghost be back?
One figure physically absent from both scenes was the film’s antagonist, Ava Starr, aka Ghost.
But in the mid-credits scene it was explicitly mentioned that the team was harvesting more Quantum Energy in order to help Ghost. Does this mean she will return in a future film? And in what capacity?
While it is unknown whether Ghost is one of the survivors, Reed has said the potential of having Ghost return as a wild card is “an interesting thought.”