Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Ending Explained
Did Scott Lang (and Hope Van Dyne and Cassie Lang and Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne) save the universe again at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Or does the threat of Kang the Conquerer still remain? We'll break it down for you!
This article contains heavy spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
“Without the me, without the TVA… everything burns.” With those chilling words from the finale of Loki season one, He Who Remains set the new stakes of the MCU. The multiverse was held in tenuous balance by He Who Remains, and when a vengeful Sylvie killed him, she exposed the multiverse to its greatest threat: his own Variant, Kang the Conquerer.
Given He Who Remain’s grandiloquence, it’s more than a little surprising that the first line of defense against Kang’s incursion would be Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, aka Ant-Man and the Wasp. The duo have fought off weapons dealers and phase-shifting thieves, but a guy who can destroy several realities seems a little out of their league, even with the help of Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. And it’s even more surprising that they succeed, thanks in large part to a team of mutated super-ants.
Does this mean that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ends by revealing Kang to be a paper tiger and He Who Remains a worried blowhard? Well, not exactly.
How Does Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania End?
After Hank and Scott’s daughter launch a probe into the Quantum Realm, they and their family members are pulled into a fantastic world by Kang. While she was trapped in the Quantum Realm, Janet befriended Kang and worked with him to build a vehicle to escape. However, upon learning who Kang really was, Janet decided it would be better to never again see Hank and Hope than to allow the Conquerer back into the multiverse. Using Pym Particles, she grew the engine of Kang’s machine to giant-sized, leaving them both stranded.
As a result of Janet’s decision, Kang turned his attention to ravaging the Quantum Realm, making her persona non grata. So when she comes back to the Quantum Realm with Hank, Scott, Hope, and Cassie, she finds herself hunted not only by Kang, but also by freedom fighters battling against him, namely warrior Jentorra (Katy O’Brian) and Quaz (William Jackson Harper).
But by the end of the movie, Cassie reveals her own size-changing powers and helps Jentorra attack the center of Kang’s citadel, Janet atones for her culpability in Kang’s rise by exploiting his weakness, and Hank leads an army of mutant ants against Kang. In the final moments of the climax, most of Scott’s family escapes through a portal to their reality, but he and Kang are locked in a fistfight. Although physically outmatched, Scott is determined to keep Kang from getting through the portal. Together, he and Hope blast Kang into his dimensional engine, seemingly disintegrating him.
Will We See the Quantum Realm Again?
Introduced at the end of the first Ant-Man, the Quantum Realm has played a surprisingly major role in the MCU. Not only is it the home of Kang the Conqueror, but it also allowed the Avengers to travel through time and assemble the destroyed infinity stones in Avengers: Endgame. Furthermore, both Doctor Strange and members of the Agents of SHIELD have visited the Quantum Realm.
But Quantumania was really the first time that we saw the people inside the Realm, and we really leave them in a good place. Thanks to the help of the Ant-Men and Wasps, Jentorra and Quaz have won their freedom. They still have much to do, especially if Bill Murray’s Lord Krylar wasn’t the only Kang collaborator they need to deal with.
In fact, the names of those characters might point to more Quantum Realm adventures in the MCU. While Quaz is a new character created for the movie, Jentorra and Krylar are very minor characters in Marvel Comics, both citizens of K’ai, a world within the Microverse. Believe it or not, K’ai is most often associated not with Ant-Man, but with a much bigger hero: the Hulk. Bruce Banner found himself involved in battles on K’ai several times, as did his son Hiro-Kala, twin brother of Skaar. And as you might recall, Hulk introduced MCU viewers to Skaar in the last episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
At this point, we don’t know much about Skaar, nor do we know Marvel’s larger plans for him. But it’s not hard to think that he and Hulk will find themselves at home in the violent Quantum Realm.
What’s Next For Cassie Lang?
Cassie has been a part of Scott Lang’s story since the first Ant-Man movie, and Scott’s reunion with her in Avengers: Endgame provided one of the most powerful emotional moments in that movie. But with Quantumania, Cassie moves to the forefront to become a superhero in her own right. In addition to the purple suit she dons and the size-changing powers she exhibits, we also get a sense of Cassie’s moral compass, namely her refusal to stand by in the face of oppression.
In short, Quantumania establishes Cassie as a superhero, which follows in the gigantic footsteps of her comic book forerunner. In 2006’s Young Avengers #6, Cassie debuted as Stature, mirroring her father’s ability to turn into Giant Man. Since then, Stature has been a charter member of the Young Avengers (except for the time that she was dead after Doctor Doom killed her, but she did get better).
Cassie is just the latest Young Avenger to show up in the MCU, following Wanda and Vision’s sons Tommy and Billy, Isaiah Bradley’s grandson Eli, and, most prominently, Kate Bishop as Hawkeye. That coincidence alone is worth noting, but the more interesting part is the reason that the Young Avengers initially assembled. They were brought together by a teenager called Iron Lad, later revealed to be a younger version of Kang the Conqueror, hoping to stave off an invasion by his older self.
By giving Cassie such a prominent place in a story involving Kang, the MCU may be setting her up as a key character in the founding of the Young Avengers.
Why Is Scott So Worried?
Quantumania begins with Scott basking in the glow of success after helping to defeat Thanos and restore the snapped people. By the end, he’s basking in the glow of success after stopping Kang and saving the world again. Maybe.
Scott’s happiness gets repeatedly interrupted by the nagging feeling that Kang isn’t really dead. Or worse, that Kang was right when he said that he needed to conquer our reality to save it from his Variants and therefore stopping him may have doomed other realities. While Scott eventually practices self-care and brushes away these thoughts to spend time with his family, we viewers know the truth. Scott Lang may have saved the universe at the start of the movie, but by the end, it appears that he may have doomed it. It’s a fun contrast to the fact that Scott was the secret hero of Endgame. Because as the mid-credits scene makes clear: Kang is coming. Lots of Kangs.
In the end, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania achieves what it set out to do, establishing Kang as a huge challenge for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. We may not see the full return of Kang until next year’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. But at least we know that when Kang and his Variants do attack, Ant-Man and the Wasp won’t have to face them alone.