'Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania': Some Marvel Fans Are Fearing For The Life Of Scott Lang
The end of Ant-Man?
While Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, started out as a supporting player in the MCU, the character now seems to be stepping up into the big leagues. Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, will be a must-see film, kicking off Phase 5 of the MCU, providing deeper exploration of the Quantum Realm, and giving us a first look at a villainous Kang The Conqueror after his more affable variant, He-Who-Remains, appeared in the first season of Loki. Kang, as we know, is set to emerge as the ulttimate Big Bad of The Multiverse Saga.
Fans lucky enough to attend Marvel Studios' Hall H presentation were treated to a special first-look teaser for Quantumania, and while the footage itself has remained mostly under-wraps, those who were there have been happy to discuss what they saw. This includes a look at Scott's newfound fame and fan favourite status (which was teased in Ms. Marvel) and a quick glimpse of MODOK. But perhaps most important is a clip towards the end of the teaser, Scott, while confronting Kang, confidently declares that he is an Avenger, to which Kang chillingly replies:
"You're an Avenger.. have I killed you before?"
The line has left some fans wondering.. Could Scott Lang be killed off in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania?
Evidence from the comics
There is precedent for a Scott Lang death in Marvel comics, where he becomes the first casualty of the devastating 'Avengers: Disassembled' storyline. The corpse of former Avenger Jack of Hearts, reanimated and fitted with a bomb by a then-insane Scarlet Witch, appears at Avengers Mansion. Not realising the corpse is being controlled by the Scarlet Witch, Scott approaches believing he can reason with Jack. The ensuing explosion kills Scott instantly, as well as destroying half of Avengers Mansion.
Scott's death leaves his daughter, Cassie, heartbroken, but also inspires her to become a hero herself in his memory, joining the Young Avengers as Stature.
What reason would Kang have for killing Scott?
While Thanos, as we all know, was the Big Bad of the MCU's Infinity Saga. However, he spends most of the Saga pulling strings from behind the scenes, appearing just once as a cameo in Phase One during the credits of The Avengers, and twice in Phase Two, with a minor role in Guardians Of The Galaxy, followed by another credits-tease in Age of Ultron. Thanos himself does not become a direct threat to the Avengers until the events of Infinity War and Endgame.
Kang, according to Marvel Studios' head Kevin Feige, will be a very different kind of villain. It could be because he will hide in plain sight, appearing as characters in different projects without our heroes immediately knowing the threat he poses. Or, unlike Thanos, he may be more willing to make big plays earlier in the Saga.. maybe even something as big as killing an Avenger.
As suggested by the teaser quote, Kang The Conqueror doesn't have any qualms about killing Avengers. And, as was also mentioned in the Comic-Con teaser, Scott has become famous, and quite popular with the public after the events of Endgame. Kang killing Scott would send a clear message to the Avengers, and the general population of Earth 616, that trouble is on the way. The death could also mirror the comics and inspire Cassie, who is known to receive a Pym Suit of her own in Quantumania, to carry on her Father's legacy and become Stature, probably working alongside Hope Van Dyne's Wasp until the MCU's Young Avengers form.
Of course, there is another possibility..
A 'Comic Book' Death for Scott?
In Marvel Comics, or superhero comics in general, it is relatively common for characters to seemingly 'die', only to reappear later, either miraculously revived, or, more commonly, with an explanation revealing how they never actually died in the first place. The MCU, for the most part, has avoided the trope of the 'comic book' death, mostly to keep the stakes high, and reflecting the fact, unlike in comics where characters rarely age, actors do age, and cannot be expected to play these roles forever. Aside from the mass death/resurrection of half the universe during the events of Infinity War and Endgame, if a character dies in the MCU, and that character's name is not Loki, chances are they are actually dead.
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania could provide a good chance to play with this concept without harming the MCU's high stakes. The film, as it's title implies, will have the characters spending quite a lot of time in the Quantum Realm. Time, and likely many other concepts, work differently in the Quantum Realm, but as yet, any rules attatched to these differences have not been strictly defined. There are also, as teased in the previous Ant-Man films, other unidentified creatures inhabiting the Quaantum Realm. Some fans theorise that Scott may appear to die in the Quantum Realm during Quantumania, but emerge alive at a later date, due to the many unknowns regarding how the Quantum Realm works.
In the comics, the death of Scott Lang is reversed during the 'Young Avengers: Children's Crusade' storyline. Iron Lad, a former Young Avenger destined to eventually become Kang the Conqueror, takes the team, and Wanda Maximoff, back in time to the destruction of the Avengers Mansion in the hope of jogging the amnesiac Wanda's memory. Despite being warned not to intervene, Cassie intercepts Scott before he can approach Jack of Hearts. Scott is then accidentally brought back to the future with the Young Avengers, sparing him from death.
Sadly, later in the story, Scott and Cassie's miracle turns to tragedy, when Scott appears to be crushed by Doctor Doom. Cassie, furious at the prospect of losing her Father when she had only just gotten him back, attacks Doom head on. Doom blasts the Young Avenger with an explosive spell, killing her instantly. Scott emerges, dazed but unharmed, only to discover his beloved daughter is dead. Iron Lad, who had been in love with Cassie, wants to take her body to the future to try and revive her, but the heroes present don’t allow him, fearing that messing around with death could only lead to something worse. Iron Lad angrily returns to his own time, with the implication that his grief and anger over Cassie’s death has set him on the path to becoming Kang The Conqueror.
Recent rumours suggested that ‘The Children’s Crusade’ plot line was in the process of being adapted for a Disney Plus series, to act as an introduction to the Young Avengers. Now, in light of some of the announcements at SDCC, some fans are speculating that a different story will introduce the Young Avengers, and ‘Children’s Crusade’ could potentially form a part of the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty film. If this is the plan, we could see Scott Lang die in Quantumania, to later be revived during Kang Dynasty.
We’ll have to wait and see how things unfold when Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania hits theatres in February, 2023.