MCU MADNESS: #16 Ant-Man vs. #17 Ant-Man and the Wasp

By Matt Roembke Updated:
#16 Ant-Man vs. #17 Ant-Man and The Wasp

Just like in our Iron Man v. Iron Man MCU Madness matchup, we have another battle of the same hero in two different movies. Ant-Man is one of Marvel’s most unique properties and both of its movies face an interesting visual challenge. The two movies follow similar beats and utilize alike techniques to bring the audience in and keep them entertained. Which of these two movies will win the battle of the small in Round One?

#16 Ant-Man

Released: 2015

Director: Peyton Reed

Phase: 2

Box Office: $ 519,311,965

Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes the new Ant-Man, being trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross, also known as Yellowjacket, from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.

Pros: After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the MCU gives us its first palate cleanser with the small-scare heist comedy. Ant-Man tests Marvels Studios’ ability to dive outside the norm with tales to astonish. We also get another home-run casting as Paul Rudd immediately cements himself as a fan favorite everyman-turned-hero. One of the biggest accomplishments of this movie is how it is able to remain a boots-on-the-ground story while still feeling relevant after succeeding the big ensemble that was Age of Ultron . And we cannot forget one of, if not the most, incredible supporting cast in the universe to date led by Michael Peña.

Cons: While this movie is not your typical origin story (Scott Lang is technically the second Ant-Man), it does encounter pitfalls that many other introductory movies face. Not only do we get a villain who is the quintessential “anti-hero”, but a portion of this movie is slowed by exposition scenes that don't push the plot forward. That, along with some awkward tension between the core characters, leaves this film asking for more in the grand scheme of things.

Released: 2018

Director: Peyton Reed

Phase: 3

Box Office: $622,674,139

Synopsis: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Lang must once again don the Ant-Man suit and fight alongside the Wasp. The urgent mission soon leads to secret revelations from the past as the dynamic duo finds itself in an epic battle against a powerful new enemy.

Pros: Everything that was great about Ant-Man continues to follow through in the sequel: It is funny. It has a great supporting cast. And it switches between the large and small in a seamless and entertaining way. The duo of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne in action and romance captivates audiences as few other duos have. A great set of heroes along with a plethora of interesting villains and a look into a new realm that ends up being the key to the whole puzzle, and we have ourselves an underdog with a fighting chance.

Cons: Unfortunately, Ant-Man and the Wasp lies between two of the biggest movies in the MCU. And while Ant-Man is widely praised for being such a loved small-scale movie, the sequel is widely knocked for being just a repeat of that. After Avengers: Infinity War, audiences were so excited to see how everything in the world would play out. Unfortunately, many fans view this film as an unwanted pit stop in the Infinity Saga climax which gives this movie a disadvantage.


Other Round 1 Matchups:

#10 Doctor Strange vs. #23 The Incredible Hulk

#11 Spider-Man: Homecoming vs. #22 Captain Marvel

#12 Spider-Man: Far From Home vs. #21 Captain America: The First Avenger

#13 Avengers: Age of Ultron vs. #20 Thor: The Dark World

#15 Iron Man 3 vs. #18 Iron Man 2

- About The Author: Matt Roembke