Marvel is gearing up to officially kick off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. With a premiere date of February 17, the film has already released its final trailer and given viewers the most in-depth look at the quantum realm so far. It also excited fans by quietly revealing M.O.D.O.K.’s appearance in the film and showing the true power and nature of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
However, it also shocked viewers by seemingly hinting at the death of Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Historically, Lang hasn’t been portrayed as the type of character who might receive a big hero’s death at the end of his trilogy. Aside from the first two (rather light-hearted) Ant-Man films, he has largely been a background character in the MCU. He’s funny, relatable, and an unlikely Avenger who managed to play a role in Thanos’ defeat. Ultimately, Lang’s arc as an improbable hero and relatable guy work well for the character. But Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania seems to be changing his direction in a major way.
Kang the Conqueror is an enormous threat, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quatumania is only just beginning to touch on his power. The MCU is pitting arguably one of the weakest Avengers against a Thanos-level threat all by his lonesome. Plus, the goofy magician persona seems to have been tossed to the wind. In the trailer, Lang displayed grit and determination unlike anything he’s shown before. Do these noticeable changes mean the unlikely hero will die a hero’s death after all?
Does Ant-Man die in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania?
Ultimately, it is impossible to know if Ant-Man really does die in the film until we see it. However, it can’t be denied that Marvel definitely wants to make it seem as though he dies. The trailer unveiled a surprising plot detail of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: Lang seemingly makes a deal with Kang the Conqueror in an attempt to get back the five years he lost with his daughter during the blip. Of course, it is a terrible idea to trust someone like Kang, and viewers aren’t surprised when the trailer shows Kang going back on his deal.
It seems Lang made a terrible decision that aided Kang in some nefarious plan. To make it right, Lang must stop Kang, which is easier said than done. The trailer shows how outmatched Lang is in comparison to Kang when the villain brutally pummels Lang and stomps on his mask. During a particularly painful-looking fight scene, Lang says, “I don’t have to win. We both just have to lose.” It is pretty clear that Lang isn’t strong enough to defeat Kang, but he might be able to temporarily take him out by going down with him.
Would the MCU actually kill Ant-Man?
Lang’s death would be a very tragic way to end the Ant-Man series. However, there are two major reasons it might be in the MCU’s best interests to kill Ant-Man. For one, it would further establish Kang as the major villain of Marvel’s next phase. Not much is currently known about Kang, but taking down an Avenger is a good way for him to attract attention and to get on the rest of the world’s radar. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is expected to set the stage for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and a very dramatic event may be necessary to adequately lay that groundwork.
Second, Ant-Man’s death would allow Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) to follow in his footsteps as Stinger. With its time jump, the MCU has been setting the stage to debut Lang’s Stinger for a while now. In the comics, it is her father’s death that motivates Cassie to become Stinger. If Lang dies at the hands of Kang, it would motivate the younger Lang to both become Stinger and potentially join the Young Avengers (which the MCU also seems to be setting up) to fight the new mega-villain.
If it really does happen, Ant-Man’s death would be unbearably tragic: He’d be leaving his daughter alone because he wanted more time with her. But Marvel could capitalize on the potential of his death to be a catalyst for major events in the MCU’s Phase 5. Only time will tell, though, what the MCU has in store for Lang.
(featured image: Marvel Studios)
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