The MCU has been around for a decade, by now, and Kevin Feige has promised the upcoming Infinity War film will deliver a finale. This brings a number of questions to the forefront, of course. Long have their been rumors and theories about death in the MCU, and which characters will die. It’s very easy to forget that this is a possibility, considering the nature of comics, themselves. Characters die all the time, but they usually get better. The Ant-Man family is no stranger to this, in fact. Scott Lang, Hank Pym, Janet VanDyne, and Scott’s daughter, Cassie, have all fallen victim to this trope before.
Still, with so few films under his belt, and the interpretation of Hank Pym as older, it’s unlikely Ant-Man (or any of his supporting cast) will wind up on the chopping block. At least, that would hold true, if not for recent speculation to come from the Wasp, herself, Evangeline Lilly. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lilly was asked to expand upon a quote from Bob Iger, stating that Marvel was looking into “completely different realms.” Her response was long and multi-faceted, but one portion of it caught people’s attention.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, they are trying everything in their power to safely enter the quantum realm and return back from it because they have evidence from the first film that Scott Lang was able to do that. If he can do it, why can’t we? If we do succeed in Ant-Man and the Wasp, then that does open a whole entire new multi-verse to enter into and play around in. I’m not the story creator, so I can’t tell you what they’re going to do with that. But I definitely see the potential there.
Potential, indeed. The possibilities that emerge from the mere concept of multiverse theory are vast. We’re talking about alternate realities with unique histories. To briefly jump over into the DC side of the pond, a certain Lex Luthor quote comes to mind from the first Injustice game. “I can say without a doubt that there is an infinite number of universes. Some are just like our own… but for one or two significant events, exactly the same.”
If this turns out to be true, it could easily become a powerful tool in the MCU’s arsenal. Something akin to the potential of the Flash in the DCEU. By employing it wisely, they can essentially change some or all of the rules. Heroes who were dead before? They’ll get better if we pull them from another universe… kinda. Actors looking to move on but there’s still the desire to tell more stories with the character? Makes recasting easy. Characters who wouldn’t normally cross paths with one another because of universal differences? Multiverse theory can bring them together. Not to mention the vast utility the concept has as a continuity tidy-up machine.
Of course, Multiverse Theory can also yield some incredibly dangerous side-effects, both in-story and out of it. It can certainly lead to some incredibly engaging stories. But relying on it too much can very easily become a crutch. There’s also the concern of things becoming confusing if the various universes aren’t properly managed. This was a large part of many of DC’s major, continuity-shifting events, such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint. Your mileage may vary on how successful those were. Of course, then there’s the more obvious complication, and that would be the in-universe ramifications. Messing around with time travel and universe hopping is something that many fictional universes very quickly come to realize is a bad idea. Just ask Future Trunks.
With Thanos looming large, the possibility of multiverses getting involved isn’t so dismissable. But as Lilly wasn’t specific, she could mean a number of things. Another somewhat prominent concept in the MU is the Microverse. It’s entirely possible, and likely, that this is the other universe Lilly is referring to. This is Ant-Man we’re talking about, after all. And after this fall’s Thor: Ragnarok and the consistent lunacy that is the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, it’s possible, the absurdist approach seems all the more plausible. But we will have to wait and see to exactly what extent the MCU decides to dabble in either concept.
In the meantime, phase three of the MCU is set to soon come to an end as Infinity War hits theaters on May of next year, followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6.