Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s Marvel Cinematic Universe connections

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL. /

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a more self-contained Marvel Cinematic Universe story, due to its eponymous setting. Yet connective tissue runs throughout the feature, linking the third Ant-Man feature to the extended franchise.

The first Ant-Man movie introduced the micro-hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while its sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, promoted his female partner to superhero status. In between, Ant-Man also joined Captain America’s Avengers in Civil War and his most recent task, prior to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, required him to spearhead a time-heist in Avengers: Endgame and reunite with his insect sweetheart to take on Thanos.

Quantumania follows the events of Endgame, with his daughter Cassie now grown into a young adult. The new movie is the third in the Ant-Man centric series, although the Avengers always have a special place in Ant-Man’s heart.

Ant-Man, the adamant Avenger

Of course, Quantumania references the previous films in the trilogy, from directly mentioning certain circumstances, such as Cassie recalling Yellowjacket coming for her in her bedroom, to more subtle callbacks like the maturing Cassie starting the narrative in jail, similar to Scott in the first movie. But Ant-Man never passes on an opportunity to name drop his super friends.

Scott clears up any confusion about the Civil War battle in Germany; he did not fight Captain America, he fought with the super soldier, alongside Steve. Scott also speaks about fellow heroes at his book reading, like the time in Avengers: Endgame when Hulk accidentally turned him into a baby during time-travel experimentation. The fact that Scott now has a biography evokes another medium he dabbled in – podcasting – which was revealed in the Ms. Marvel miniseries.

Clearly Ant-Man is more famous than ever and fans recognize him everywhere, even if some confuse him with a different Avengers team member, like the older gentleman from the coffee shop mistaking him for Spider-Man, another bug-named superhero. This could remind viewers when Hulk recently returned to Earth in Avengers: Infinity War and learned about these newer characters, prompting him to ponder the question, “there’s an Ant-Man and a Spider-Man?”.

Ant-Man stands defiantly against Kang, reporting his Avenger membership to the conqueror. Unlike the alternate universe Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home, who have no idea who the Avengers are, Kang boasts that he has killed Avengers in other timelines, specifically identifying “the one with the hammer”.

Quantum calculations

The Quantum Realm was first described to Scott by Hank Pym in the original Ant-Man when recounting the tale of Janet diffusing a missile by shrinking down to Quantum level. Scott then uses the same technique to defeat Yellowjacket, sucking him into the realm in that movie’s finale.

That was Scott’s first encounter with the Quantum Realm and he wasn’t too far gone to find his way back before it was too late. Ant-Man and the Wasp dives even deeper when the team searches for Janet in the Quantum Realm. Hank pinpoints her location and brings her back home, after she has been stranded for 30 years. She never discusses the dangers she faced during that time. One can only assume that when she helps Scott enter the realm in order to obtain restorative material for Ghost, Janet made sure Scott only scratched the surface of the unpredictable space.

With the rest of his team snapped away, Scott ended up trapped there for years. But again, he seemed to not have descended as deeply as Janet, since in Quantumania, he was not aware of the civilizations that existed in the realm, while Janet appeared to have made many friends (and a few enemies) during her stay.

In Avengers: Endgame, with help from Iron Man, Ant-Man was able to use his quantum tunnel strictly for time-traveling purposes. Now in Quantumania, Cassie conducts quantum experiments, which unfortunately gets the entire Ant-Man team sucked into the realm, where they come across a few contemptible characters.

Familiar faces of evil in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

The biggest surprise in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the return of Darren Cross. Corey Stoll played Yellowjacket in the first Ant-Man and, as previously mentioned, was sucked into the Quantum Realm. The only hint of his survival was a giant Yellowjacket helmet spotted in the background of the Void, in the penultimate chapter of Loki. However, the Void was a place where pruned variants ended up, so that helmet actually belonged to a different version of the antagonist.

Cross’ comeback, years after his disappearance, is reminiscent of Red Skull reappearing on Vormir in Avengers: Infinity War, resolving the mystery of where the Space Stone transported him in Captain America: The First Avenger. In Quantumania, Cross is reconfigured by Kang into MODOK, the giant floating head that has been the butt of many Marvel jokes across various mediums throughout the years.

Jonathan Majors shocked Marvel fans when he unexpectedly showed up in the Loki Season 1 finale. That version of the conqueror won a Multiversal War and created the sacred timeline. Kang is ultimately slain by Sylvie and it is alluded in Loki’s ending that the act of killing Kang directly triggers the fracturing of the timeline.

Tom Hiddleston returns the favor with a cameo in the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania end-credits stinger as Loki and Mobius are spying on a Kang variant. In Quantumania, Kang uses the term “variant” to refer to the variety of Kangs in alternate universes. Loki knows about variants all too well as it was depicted throughout his titular show.

When Kang stresses how important it is for him to escape the Quantum Realm, he warns that incursions could threaten multiple realities. Incursions, or the multiversal collision and obliteration of entire universes, is a concept that was first brought up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Quantumania expands on the multiverse phase of the MCU and Kang even possesses a multiverse jumping ship. America Chavez, from Multiverse of Madness, also had the power to travel the multiverse. The multiverse timelines were explained and illustrated in the third Ant-Man movie similarly to how it was portrayed during the first season of Loki.

The Loki series effectively completed the god of mischief’s reversal from villain to the “savior” he claimed to be in the Thor: Ragnarok climax and he is continuing to challenge evil at the end of Quantumania. Between the build up from that show, which will be releasing a second season this year, and recent events involving Doctor Strange and Ant-Man, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is shaping up to be a monumental cinematic crossover.

The Kang in Quantumania is conquered, but the Council of Kangs becomes an imminent threat. Although, the MCU does add another avenging heroine to its roster. Cassie is never officially called “Stature” in Quantumania, though her power sets are on full display, including growing to giant-size. She even craves something citrusy, just like when Scott asks for orange slices after his Giant Man debut in Captain America: Civil War.

Next. Quantumania's post-credits scenes. dark

What did you think of all the connections in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Did you spot any others? Let us know in the comments below.