What Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s ending means for the future of the MCU
Ant-Man and the Wasp are appropriately titled: There are lots going on between the Quantum Realm and the Ant-Man family and the time-traveling warlord Kang The Conqueror. This is on top of the fact that the movie ends with an open question. It’s intentionally confusing because it opens up many future MCU stories. All this is before the post-credit scenes.
What does this all mean for Marvel’s future, which is heading towards Avengers The Kang Dynasty and Avengers Secret Wars? Let’s try to unravel these quantum threads without creating any… Controversy.
Quantumania was described as the first introduction to Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror. This time-traveling warlord will serve as the final boss of the next three-year Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s understandable to feel a little confused at the end when he takes his big-handed to him.
Kang is caught in a shrinky portal which appears to be destroying him completely. All members of Ant-Man make it out of Quantum Realm safely and back to their normal sizes. The Quantum Realm is free from tyranny. Scott Lang returns to his happy-go-lucky life.
Or does he?
Is Kang still alive?
Polygon talked to Quantumaniadirector Peyton Reed to discuss giving Kang such an important role and then killing him at the end. Reed confirmed that Kang is dead.
Reed stated that the intention was to make this Kang the most fearful and most formidable of all Kings. However, that was only part of the setup that created the threat of all other Kangs in the film’s mid-credits scene.
Reed explained to Polygon that Scott does not know the secrets of the entire [Ant-Man] Family at the beginning. All those secrets will be revealed by the movie’s end. Scott Lang now has a secret. It’s self-doubt. Kang — He’s not going out of the Quantum Realm, we got him. Wait, Kang said that he would be replaced by other bad versions if he doesn’t leave the Quantum Realm. Did I wrongly bring down the entire Earth’s population? This self-doubt was presented to Scott to see how it might play out in future MCU. That was a fun aspect of it. It’s the ending of the movie with this note.
It appears that Quantumania’s Kang was a red herring and that the arena is full of wild Kang variants, which is the real threat.
Was there something wrong with all these Kangs?
Although there are many comics precedents for the Council of Kangs we will stick to what the MCU told us.
He Who Remains was the first Kang variant that we met. He is the secret boss of the Time Variance Authority, as shown in Loki. He was a strict policing man, removing any deviations from the “Sacred Timeline”, in which he was only one of many who had figured out how to cross the barriers between parallel universes. He warned Sylvie and Loki that if they killed him and restored free will to all the universe, the timeline could splinter into multiple dimensions and eventually, He Who Remains and the many variants would clash and spiral into a war for the time that would end all of existence.
The show’s final episode sees Sylvie killing He Who Remains. Loki ends up in the timeline where Kang, the Conqueror, openly rules Time Variance Authority. He’s the only one who can remember that the Sacred Timeline was ever different.
In the Quantum Realm, Kang mentions the infinite Kang variants. He says that they exiled him to the Quantum Realm for disagreeing with them about a threat. Ant-Man and his crew were warned by him that if he didn’t allow his ship to be rebuilt and escaped the Quantum Realm there would not be anyone to stop them. He was vague about what the other variants wanted, why it was wrong, and what the consequences would be.
In Quantumania’s credits scene, we see some more conversations between three Kangs from the Council of Kangs. Although the information we receive is not clear, there is an important clue. The Kangas met to discuss Incursions.
Wait, what are Incursions anyway?
Incursions were introduced by the MCU — a cosmic natural catastrophe in which two universes collide with each other. This could lead to the destruction of one or both of them — in Doctor Strange’s Multiverse of Madness. Stephen Strange was executed for inciting an Incursion into one universe. In another universe, he discovered the remains of another Incursion event in which his variant was the only one left alive. Clea approached Strange in the credits and told him that he had created an Incursion. She was coming to help him fix it.
Although we don’t know much about Incursions within the MCU, it is known that they were created by Jonathan Hickman in comics as an underpinning threat. This eventually led to the 2015 Secret Wars Event. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will adapt this event in 2026’s Avengers Secret Wars. However, Incursions are not caused by superheroes in the comics. They are a multiverse-wide natural catastrophe, set in motion accidentally by some of Marvel Comics’ nearly omnipotent cosmic beings.
The MCU may want to make Incursions a more villainous plot than an antagonistic plot. This could be why the Council of Kangs is possible.
When are we going to see Kang again?
According to Ant-Man and the Wasp quantumania, the next time we will see a Kang version is in the second season of Loki. He will likely appear in other Marvel movies and shows before the 2025’s Avengers The Kang Dynasty.
We might see him in Marvels this month, or Shig-Chi 2, or Agatha, Coven of Chaos winter 2023. But Marvel has yet to confirm that Jonathan Majors has signed up. It’s Loki season 2.