Ant-Man might seem like the comical side-franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but the latest movie might prove to be the most integral to what goes on in Avengers 4. Ant-Man and the Wasp is set two years after Captain America: Civil War and not long before Avengers: Infinity War and it’s clearly no accident that its release came after the latter movie.
For years, 10 in fact, each solo Marvel film has been filled with narrative breadcrumbs to lead the story and audiences toward the climactic fourth Avengers outing and in Ant-Man and the Wasp, it seems that the biggest breadcrumb concerns Janet Pym.
Michelle Pfeiffer made her MCU debut in the movie as Hank Pym’s wife and the original Wasp, and it is her rescue that pushes the plot forward as her husband, daughter Hope, and Scott work together to find her in the Quantum Realm. However, it's Janet that finds them first through Scott’s mind. As he went into the other dimension and came back out again, she was able to use his quantumly entangled brain to create a link between the two planes of existence, thus influencing her escape.
When Janet manages to fully take over Scott’s mind and recalibrate their Quantum tunnel to pinpoint her exact location, Hank goes in and finally finds her 30 years after she first got lost in the Quantum Realm, but clearly, she didn’t spend that whole time being lost. Janet has evolved and developed powers and an understanding of the Realm that not only allowed her to survive for three decades but also helped to temporarily cure Ava/Ghost of her unstable molecular state.
“There are so many questions still to be answered about Janet van Dyne and her 30 years down there,” director Peyton Reed explained earlier this year. “She says in the movie that she’s evolved and that her environment somehow has sped up or affected her evolution as a being. What that means we’re not quite sure but we definitely plant the seeds to it.
“And also, for eagle-eyed viewers,” he added, “there is a shot in Ant-Man and the Wasp, as Hank and Janet are leaving the Quantum Realm, you can see a little section that may suggest that there is something else down there to be seen. I will leave it as that.”
It must be more than just a coincidence that the concept of other dimensions was introduced in Doctor Strange before Infinity War and again right after the events of the third Avengers movie because the idea of all those heroes, especially ones who have only just stepped out in the MCU, just being snapped into non-existence is highly unlikely. What is more likely is the Quantum Realm and Janet playing a key role in returning those who have vanished back to the world that we know.
As the Ant-Man and the Wasp mid-credit scene shows, the Pym-Van Dyne family are among those who turned to dust when Thanos snapped his fingers, but what if they, along with half the universe, were sent to a mirror dimension? The Russos might have accidentally revealed that after posting (then deleting) a document that said “Infinity Mirrored Room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.”
This is the name of an art installment by Yayoi Kusama, but also seems to have ramifications for what’s the come in the MCU. After all, why would the post be deleted if it was just an innocuous joke to troll fans about the Avengers 4 title?
It seems to suggest that Thanos sent all those beings to another dimension — many theories believe it is the Soul World — and maybe the Quantum Realm is the bridge between it and our own dimension where the other half of the universe remains. And who has just happened to have spent 30 years in the Quantum Realm to become an enhanced being with the best understanding of it? Janet.
And she also happens to be in the potential Soul World with her ridiculously smart husband and daughter, as well as Doctor Strange whose own solo movie briefly showed the Quantum Realm. That squad of super intelligent and magically inclined people may just have the ability to reach through to the Avengers and aid in their return to their own world.
So it makes more than enough sense to have Janet Pym become key to the reversal of Thanos’ Snap and given her limited screen time in Ant-Man and the Wasp it would also appease fans who were hoping for far more screen time for Michelle Pfieffer, myself included.