With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania now officially out, all of the spoilery details of the latest MCU project are finally out there for fans around the world.
The moment this third Ant-Man film was revealed to be featuring Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, fans immediately perked up, wondering how in the world Scott Lang was going to beat an Avengers-level threat. Now, the moment to find out has arrived.
Sadly, the film isn’t being received all that well. Not only is it the second MCU film to be labeled rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, but critics have noted explicitly that this is not a good start for Phase 5.
Either way, the movie is out, and its many details are here.
Why Kang is in the Quantum Realm
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
In some of the first promotional materials for the film, Jonathan Majors’ villain asks Paul Rudd’s leading hero for help. As it turns out, Kang’s stuck in the Quantum Realm, just like the Ant-Family.
But why is he there in the first palace?
According to him, the Council of Kangs exiled him out of their circle and into the Quantum Realm—a place outside of time itself. Additionally, the power core for his time-travel chair was emptied, leaving this Kang with no means of escape.
To make matters worse, when he does charge it up, Janet Van Dyne overgrows it to where the villain can't even use if he wanted to.
Bill Murray’s 1 Scene MCU Debut
The moment word started getting out that Bill Murray was going to be in Quantumania, people’s curiosity instantly shot up. Who in the world could he be?
Well, turns out his role wasn’t ever that big. In fact, he only has a single scene in the movie, one that he seems to perish at the end of.
Murray’s character is named Krylar, and he is the leader of a sect of people under the rule of Kang. He also seems to have had a past fling with Janet.
Darren Cross Is Alive! Then MODOK Dies...
Marvel Studios actually did it - they adapted MODOK in live-action.
Though, understandably, many won’t be too pleased; the character is completely different from how he is in the comics. It’s not George Tarleton, the former A.I.M. employee. Instead, it’s Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross.
Yes, the very same Darren Cross as in the first Ant-Man, or as Cassie Lang would say, “the bee guy.”
When Yellowjacket was shrunken down by Scott in the final battle, his journey in shrinking smaller and smaller left him deformed and misshapen. However, Kang found his remains and took to fixing him up—though he did more than that.
The Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing became the hunter for Kang, though there was no bond between the two. Darren was no more than a tool for the Conqueror to utilize however he wanted.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem that MODOK will be joining any more adventures going forward, as he dies on screen in the third act.
Perhaps there is a timeline out there with George Tarleton instead?
William Harper Jackson’s Mystery Character
No, Jackson is not playing Reed Richards, or Quasar, as many fan theories claimed he was.
Instead, he is a relatively inconsequential character named Quaz, who is the local telepath for the rebellious Quantum Realm citizens. Generally, his purpose is to offer up some jokes and to get Scott and Cassie acquainted with everything.
It’s a shame that Marvel Studios relegated Jackson to this role, as he’s an incredibly talented actor who deserves a far bigger role than what he got.
It always felt like Janet’s rescue was a bit convenient in Ant-Man and the Wasp. That’s not to mention how many questions arose regarding how she survived in the Quantum Realm for so long anyhow.
Thankfully, there was more to it; Janet Van Dyne had a whole life down there.
Part of this was time spent with Kang the Conqueror—before she knew he was the destroyer that he is. The two seemed to grow pretty close before the fracture between them, with Janet even sharing personal details of her daughter with him.
Sometime after that, presumably, she spent plenty of time with Krylar and his people.
Her sudden departure from the Quantum Realm ended up rubbing many Quantum Realm locals the wrong way, leaving lots of resentment for Janet, Hank, and Hope to sift through when they arrived in Quantumania.
Hank Pym Loves Ants
Right when the Ant-Family was about to be crushed by Kang the Conqueror, Hank Pym came in to save the day—but he wasn’t alone.
With him was a legion of ants. The very same ones seen at the beginning of the film building their own tech in the ant farm.
Thanks to Quantum Realm shenanigans, they have experienced multiple generations, evolving as a species and civilization. Now, all of their technological advances are at Hank Pym’s fingertips.
It was a really fun and clever way to utilize ants in a story where it seemed they had no place. After all, the movie is about Ant-Man.
Kang Dies (Or Does He?)
So did this Variant of Kang the Conqueror get out of his banishment?
No, he did not. In fact, from the looks of it, he was killed thanks to both Scott and Hope, who successfully kept him from getting through the portal up to the real world.
Instead of getting out of his prison, Majors’ villain was sucked back into his own time-traveling energy core after a variety of Pym size-changing discs were thrown at it.
While it looks like he was crushed, the animation was technically sucking him into the core—meaning that just like Darren Cross, this Variant of the Conqueror could end up being alive and well. Only time will tell.
As for the Ant-Family, they all ended up making it out of the Quantum Realm safe and sound.
The Council of Kangs
The post-credits scene for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is easily one of the most important tags since Spider-Man: Far From Home. In it, audiences meet the Council of Kangs.
The first three Variants they're introduced to are the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Rama-Tut, Immortus (presumably from the far future), and an unidentified version of Majors’ villain who has futuristic cyborg elements to him, possibly atake on the Scarlet Centurion.
It’s revealed that they’ve called a very important meeting amongst their Variants after they learn that the exiled one has been killed. The trio also voice some concern about how Earth-616’s heroes are beginning to touch the Multiverse.
Before the tag ends, the camera sweeps over hundreds and hundreds of Kangs, all super excited to be doing whatever it is they’re doing.
The second post-credits scene then introduces you to one very specific Variant, Victory Timely, who looks poised to play a big part in Loki Season 2.
Needless to say, this Kang guy is going to be trouble.
Marvel Succeeds With Majors’ Kang
Sure, opinions about Quantumania are mixed at best, but there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on: Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror was fantastic.
This is great, seeing as, no matter the overall quality, this movie laid the foundation for a villain who will go on to be the big bad of an entire MCU Saga. Had the villain himself been a miss, Marvel Studios could be in some big trouble.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Now the MCU just has to get over its rocky string of releases. Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or The Marvels will fare better?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters worldwide.