As the looming big bad of the MCU, many fans are wondering if Thanos appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Does the Mad Titan encounter Earth’s smallest heroes?
Warning: Major spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp will follow.
It’s no surprise that Thanos doesn’t play a large role in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but he does make a fleeting appearance in the mid-credits scene. Ant-Man travels to the Quantum Realm to harvest healing particles — first to be used for Ava/Ghost — while remaining in contact with Hope, Hank, and Janet. Things go smoothly until contact is lost, and it’s revealed all three members of the Pym/van Dyne clan have fallen prey to Thanos’ snap. It is at this moment that Thanos’ smiling face materializes behind Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm.
It doesn’t make sense for Thanos to physically be in the Quantum Realm, but it also seems like more than just a tease for fans. It’s quite possible that this moment is hinting at a connection between the Quantum Realm and Infinity Stones. They could be intertwined in a way even Thanos is unaware of, but that connection may be the key to defeating him and saving the victims of the snap in Avengers 4.
Why Thanos doesn’t appear otherwise
Thanos fans may be disappointed that the character does not appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp beyond the mid-credits scene, but his absence is not shocking for many reasons.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos proved himself to be the most formidable villain yet in the MCU. He actually managed to his achieve goal of acquiring all the Infinity Stones and use them to “balance” the universe. Even though his actions will certainly be undone to at least some extent in Avengers 4, he still wiped out half the universe and many of the MCU’s heroes. For once, a villain actually won and the heroes were left devastated and defeated, at least for the time being.
While the Ant-Man and the Wasp villains Ghost and Sonny Burch are both effective in their own ways, both pale in comparison to Thanos. From a narrative standpoint, they could never be credible threats next to Thanos.
The absence of Thanos is also a necessity of the timeline. Fans knew ahead of time this movie was taking place after Captain America: Civil War, but before Infinity War. With the line of dialogue informing audiences that it’s been two years since Scott violated the Sokovia Accords by teaming up with Captain America in Germany, fans now know the movie is taking place very shortly before Infinity War.
This is also confirmed with the mid-credits and post-credits scenes, which catch up to the devastating end of Infinity War. That means during the events of this film, Thanos is still busy acquiring the Infinity Stones. His presence and focus was obviously elsewhere, and he doesn’t achieve his goal until the mid-credits scene.
Even though Thanos didn’t encounter Ant-Man and Wasp this time, he most certainly will in Avengers 4. Ant-Man is currently trapped in the Quantum Realm and is one of the few heroes spared by Thanos’ snap. He will need to reunite with his beloved Captain America and the rest of the survivors in order to defeat Thanos and save the lost souls. He has more than enough personal stake in the mission given the loss of the entire Pym/van Dyne family, and we don’t even know if Scott’s daughter Cassie was spared. Casting for an older Cassie in Avengers 4 suggests she survived and her return will involve time travel, though.
Despite falling prey to the snap, Evangeline Lilly revealed she will team up with Captain Marvel in Avengers 4. She, along with the rest of the heroes slain by the snap will likely reappear, and Ant-Man himself might be the key to that and defeating Thanos once and for all.
What did you think of Thanos’ brief appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Let us know in the comments!