A new trailer for the upcoming film Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania has dropped, and fans are equal parts excited and scared. The film is an important one, as both the opening chapter of Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the true introduction of the Multiverse Saga's big bad, Kang the Conqueror, after his more affable variant, He-Who-Remains, appeared in the season one finale of Loki.
On the one hand, having Scott Lang, our current Ant-Man, be the first Avenger to get face time with Kang is exciting for the character's fans, many are also concerned for Scott's life given the fact that he is a single hero up against what we know is an Avengers level threat. However, Scott is not entirely alone in Quantumania, and therefore, not the only one who's life is at stake.
Let's look at all of the film's major players, and how much danger each of them are in in the Quantum Realm.
Scott Lang's appearances outside his own films, in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame, saw him as mostly a supporting player. While he did bring important information with him in Endgame, it was ultimately the more seasoned Avengers who made the decision on what to do with it. However, it seems Ant-Man's status is changing, with various Easter Eggs in Phase Four suggesting that Scott has become a fan favourite Avenger in-universe. The 'Rogers: The Musical' sequence in Hawkeye includes Ant-Man in the battle of New York despite him not having been there, while Ms. Marvel has Kamala Khan mention Scott's popular Podcast, and in a later episode, she battles Kareem beneath an Ant-Man mural in Pakistan, showing that Scott's popularity has gone global.
This seems to have been confirmed in Quantumania's first teaser, with Scott seen attending various events. However, Scott's fame cannot give him what he really wants: the time he lost with his daughter, Cassie. The film's most recent trailer suggests that Scott is tricked into making a deal with Kang to get this lost time back, but things inevitably go wrong, and when it comes down to a fight, things aren't looking too great for Scott.
Could the MCU really kill off Scott Lang? Well, killing one of their own would certainly allow Kang to send a message to the other surviving Avengers. Plus, like most Marvel heroes, Scott has died temporarily in the comics, most notably during 'Avengers Disassembled'. His death inspires Cassie to become Stature of the Young Avengers. However, he is eventually revived in 'Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade'. Some fans believe Quantumania's Quantum Realm setting, and it's as yet undefined rules, could provide the opportunity to give Scott an impermanent, 'comic book death', but allow him to return later, for the upcoming Avengers films, Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.
However, it is worth noting that, as great as Scott Lang actor Paul Rudd looks for his age, at 53, Rudd is at the upper end of the age bracket of the MCU's current leading men. With an Ant-Man trilogy and two team-up films under his belt, the actor may be considering whether it is time to bow out gracefully.
Hope Van Dyne
After reluctantly sitting on the sidelines for most of the first Ant-Man, Hope Van Dyne proved her worth in Ant-Man and The Wasp after receiving her own Wasp suit, updated from the one once belonging to her Mother, Janet. Unfortunately, Hope falls victim to the Decimation, and though he does not mention her by name, getting Hope back is a key driving force for Scott in Endgame. After her restoration, she takes part in the Avengers final stand against Thanos and his army.
Following the abolition of the Sokovia Accords, as revealed in She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law, Hope and her Father, Hank Pym, are no longer on the run from the law as they were in Ant-Man and The Wasp, so in Quantumania, Hank is free to return to a normal life with his recently rescued Wife, Janet, and Hope is able to openly enjoy her relationship with Scott, including sharing the spotlight as she attends events with him. However, Hope is caught up in the film's main drama when she is sucked into the Quantum Realm with her parents, Scott, and Cassie.
Most fans, having laser-focused on Scott's possible death, believe Hope is safe in this film. If Kang intends to send a message, someone needs to be alive to deliver it, and Hope's death, while tragic, would not affect the wider network of MCU heroes nearly as much as Scott's. Plus, if Scott does die, Hope is the obvious choice to step up as a mentor to Cassie Lang if she chooses to carry on her Father's legacy as Stature or Stinger.-
There are a couple of possible scenarios that could put Hope on the chopping block. One is that Marvel could pull a bait and switch, letting us believe that Scott is in the most danger only to kill off someone he loves instead. It is also worth noting that there is actually precedent for Hope's death in the MCU, albeit in the alternate universes of What If..?. Hope's offscreen death some years prior to the events of the episode proves to be a major plot point in 'What If.. The World Lost It's Mightiest Heroes?', and in 'What If.. Zombies!?', she pulls a heroic sacrifice to get her fellow survivors to safety. Perhaps, Hope Van Dyne is a character simply destined to die.
Despite only appearing in the Ant-Man films, and two brief cameos in Avengers: Endgame, Hank Pym is an important character in the MCU. He was the original Ant-Man, carrying out missions decades before Scott Lang took up the mantle, and is the inventor of both the Ant-Man and Wasp suits and the size-altering Pym Particles that power them. This means that he is also partially responsible for the eventual discovery of Time Travel, for which Pym Particles are required.
Following the abolition of the Sokovia Accords and an end to his life on the run, Hank appears to be living a more quiet life, enjoying his reunion with his wife, Janet, but that looks set to change now that Team Ant-Man are about to be sucked into the Quantum Realm. Hank may be in some trouble in Quantumania, due to the fact that he would be more than willing to sacrifice himself for his Wife or daughter if need be. However, if Hank were to die, this could have a greater effect on the MCU, as no more Hank Pym means no more Pym Particles, and therefore, no more time travel.
Janet Van Dyne
The second Ant-Man film, Ant-Man and The Wasp, details Team Ant-Man's efforts to rescue Janet Van Dyne after she has been trapped for deades in the Quantum Realm. After Janet's rescue, she manages to stabilise Ghost's glitching powers with an infusion of Quantum Energy. Any other abilities Janet has developed as a consequence of her extended time in the Quantum Realm have not yet been explored.
After a brief cameo attending Tony Stark's funeral in Endgame, Janet is set for a more major role in Quantumania. Her panic at the realisation that Cassie is transmitting a trackable signal into the Quantum Realm suggests that she is at the very least aware of Kang and the danger he poses, but whether they have actually met will probably remain uncertain until the film's release.
Most fans would like to believe Janet will survive, if oly because it would seem a shame to kill her off when we're only just starting to explore her character.
While Cassie Lang was a cute, cheeky little girl in the first two films, the post-blip time jump has transformed Cassie into a rebellious teenager. At one point in Quantumania's latest trailer, she is even seen exiting what looks to be a Police Station Holding Cell. However, Cassie is also seen to be highly intelligent, and interested in Hank's work and the Quantum Realm. It is Cassie who built the device that inadvertently signals Kang and leads to she and the rest of Team Ant-Man getting sucked into the Quantum Realm. Cassie also receives her own Pym Suit in the film, a purple one reminiscent of her second hero identity in the comics, Stinger.
On the surface, it would seem like Cassie is probably safe. The MCU is clearly building up their own Young Avengers roster. Why waste time expanding on Cassie's character and giving her her own suit just to kill her off? However, Cassie has died in the comics before, killed by Doctor Doom in 'Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade'. It is heavily implied that her death sets Teammate Nathaniel Richards, aka Iron Lad, on the path that leads to him becoming Kang the Conqueror. However, like her Father before her, Cassie is eventually revived.
This idea provides an interesting twist to the idea of 'killing' Scott Lang. If Cassie were to be killed in the MCU, even if her death was temporary, Scott would be forever changed. The happy, fun-loving, jokester Scott Lang we've come to know and love would be gone.
We'll have to wait and see what path Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania chooses to take when it hits theatres soon. Check out the latest trailer here: