QuANTamania: The Rise of a New ANTagonist


Maroon Staff

Cinemas have blown up posters for many Marvel films knowing they will draw in big crowds and want to get audiences excited.

Elliot Eisenberg

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania has recently arrived in theaters to a swarm of mixed reviews. The third installment of the Ant-Man trilogy kicks off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The number of new characters and worlds introduced or visited within the just two-hour film amounts to confusion. Despite the clutter, the movie’s importance in officially introducing Kang the Conqueror and showing audiences the numerous empires of the quantum realm make it entertaining.


With the end of the Infinity Saga and Thanos, Kang is planned to be the new overarching villain across the next several phases. Played phenomenally by Jonathan Majors, the character is deeply complex, creating a perfect antagonist. Majors is an entertaining actor to watch with his animated facial expressions and foreboding demeanor. Kang’s backstory involving Janet Van Dyne is a perfect set-up to launch Ant-Man and his team on their adventure. Regardless of how much one enjoyed the overall film, Kang’s first grand appearance leaves fans with a character they will be excited to see again on the silver screen.

Not only did we get to witness the arrival of Kang, but there were numerous other characters introduced. Lord Kryler, for example, played by Bill Murray, acted as an old friend of Janet Van Dyne’s. However, his character didn’t add anything to the story; instead, it acted as an unnecessary plot line that could’ve easily been erased. Kryler’s whole scene seemed like an excuse for a celebrity cameo. Quantamania finally brought M.O.D.O.K. to the screen. Being a long-running and well-regarded character in the comics, there was enthusiasm for his role in the movie. The reveal that M.O.D.O.K. was simply Darren Cross (also known as Yellowjacket) from the original Ant-Man movie, although an amusing surprise, was an unexpected and dissatisfying twist that did not meet the high expectations. Some delightful introductions included Jentorra, telepath Quaz, and the lovable Veb, whose fascination with holes provided comedic relief. Veb’s whole character, from his friendly voice to his humorous body language, made me an instant fan of his. It’s unknown if we will be seeing these characters again, but I’m hopeful; otherwise, it will feel like they merely added filler to the film.

While there were a large variety of new people, some immensely important people from the past Ant-Man movies were noticeably missing in the movie. These include Maggie (Cassie’s mom), Paxton (Cassie’s stepdad), Kurt, Dave, and most notably, Luis. What is an Ant-Man movie without Luis? His absence, along with the rest of the “Three Wombat” trio, is severely noticeable. More screen time other than a five-second scene from Jimmy Woo would’ve been a nice addition to the film as well. It seems that Quantamania was devoid of Scott Lang’s slice of the world and, instead, chose to focus on the MCU as a whole, a choice seen through my eyes as controversial.

Warring against Kang in the movie led to some of the highest stakes Ant-Man has been up against. Yet, Kang’s swift demise at the end of the film certainly does not mean goodbye. As seen in the mid-credit scene, a literal arena filled to the brim with Kang variants exists. We can only expect this assembly to lead to chaos and destruction as more Avengers’ storylines intertwine with Kang and the multiverse. The second credit scene shows yet another Kang variant. This sighting is set around the early 20th century and he is being watched by none other than Loki and Mobius (the TVA agent from the Loki TV show). It’s our first official clip from Loki Season 2 and the appearance gives more context into what the show’s future holds. Maybe someday we will see an Ant-Man and Loki team up, but for now, fans can start to get excited over their favorite God of Mischief making his way back to the screen.

Overall, with the first two Ant-Man movies being great masterpieces, the third left something to be desired. While I was amused by the quirks of newly introduced characters and enjoyed watching Jonathan Majors act as Kang The Conquerer, the messiness of the Quantum Realm and plotline yielded disappointment. Much of the appeal of Ant-Man movies is the down-to-earth aspect. This most recent film felt too big-scale and could’ve been any Avenger movie. However, the intricate visuals, the ability to keep me captivated, and the one and only Paul Rudd led to a solid rating of six out of ten. I believe Marvel is still moving sluggishly through a low point, but Quantamania is a sure stepping stone on the path to the MCU’s former glory being restored.