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Ant-Man 3’s Wasp Tease Avoids A Critical Quantum Realm Error

The Quantum Realm is home to time vortexes, trippy visuals, tardigrades, and a city. But the real story is how it impacts the Wasp & other characters.


In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Hope van Dyne will grapple with serious emotional issues stemming from her encounters with the Quantum Realm, avoiding a possible problem for the MCU sequel. Actor Evangeline Lilly revealed that her character, Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp, will be dealing with her personal fallout from losing her mother to the mysterious dimension for 30 years, and from trying to understand a place where familiar laws of reality have no meaning. This tease of the Wasp’s arc in the third Ant-Man movie is not only good for that specific sequel but is encouraging news for all of MCU Phase Five.

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Introduced in Ant-Man and developed further in Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame, the Quantum Realm is a new creation for the MCU. It’s viewed as an amalgamation of the comics’ Microverse and Limbo realms. Marvel lost the film rights to the Microverse name when its license to the Micronauts franchise reverted to Hasbro, so the studio had to reformulate its microcosmos for the screen. In Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) describes the Quantum Realm as a “reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.” Characters from the main world can only access it by shrinking to a subatomic scale with a Pym Particle, with magic, or via Quantum Tunnel. The Quantum Realm is home to time vortexes, tardigrades, and at least one civilization. It is also the source of mysterious quantum energies and healing powers.

Related: How Avengers: Endgame Could’ve Happened Without The Quantum Realm

The deeper story of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania may come from how this dimension impacts its characters. Lilly’s tease about Hope’s struggles suggests the MCU plans to embrace the more profound storytelling potential of the Quantum Realm in Phase 5 rather than simply using it as a plot device. Hope spent most of her life believing her mother was dead, only to reunite with a changed and unfamiliar Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) after Hank rescues her. Devoting screen time to the profound consequences of that separation is a promising sign that Marvel intends to mine the Quantum Realm for character growth and emotional resonance in addition to time travel and interdimensional conquest.


How The Quantum Realm Will Be Used In Ant-Man 3

The villain Kang the Conqueror will debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and it seems likely the movie will see him using the Quantum Realm in some fashion. Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame already established how to travel through time and across timelines via the Quantum Realm, so it’s easy to see how Kang might use it to extend his reach across the multiverse. There is even speculation online that the domed city glimpsed as Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne escaped the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp is Kang’s home base, Chronopolis. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has repeatedly described the Quantum Realm as a significant element of Phase Five, so narratively, Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will likely use it to develop and explore the MCU’s multiverse.

It would be a waste to create such a rich, elaborate, and immersive world as the Quantum Realm only to write the characters as mere observers or just the same old fighters on tour in an exotic world. Marvel’s willingness to tell the more personal aspects of the characters’ journeys points to some promising possibilities for future Multiverse Saga releases after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Maybe Daredevil: Born Again will find Matt Murdock able to see while in the Quantum Realm, for instance. The wide-open rules of this dimension, unbound by space and time, offer unlimited possibilities. Hopefully, the MCU creative team can craft more compelling arcs for other characters who venture there as well.

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