Ant-Man sat out the universe-altering Avengers: Infinity War but in Avengers 4, the diminutive superhero may ultimately be the cause of Thanos' defeat. Infinity War ended with Thanos achieving his lifelong goal of wiping out half of all life in the universe. Though he also paid a heavy price - the Avengers killed the Children of Thanos and he sacrificed Gamora to earn the Soul Stone - the Great Titan still possesses the completed Infinity Gauntlet, which essentially makes him the god of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, most of the Avengers are dead and the universe lies in ruins. Right now, Thanos looks unbeatable.
However, the Avengers have some overlooked positives still in their favor, and one of them is Ant-Man. We know Scott Lang will be part of Avengers 4, though it's uncertain who else from his cast of characters didn't fade to dust from Thanos' finger snap (the two actresses who play mother and daughter versions of the Wasp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Evangeline Lilly, are expected to appear in some fashion in Avengers 4). In any case, Ant-Man is a player in the next big Marvel team-up film, and the littlest Avenger might just be one of their heaviest hitters.
After Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is a prequel to Avengers: Infinity War that explains Scott's misadventures following his role in Captain America: Civil War, the shrinking superhero finds himself one of the few superheroes left the Avengers can call upon to bolster their ranks for a rematch with the Mad Titan. Indeed, without Doctor Strange and his mastery of the mystic arts, Ant-Man brings something invaluable to the table that Earth's Mightiest Heroes could use to fight and beat Thanos: the Quantum Realm.
For all of the Avengers' powers, they have been limited so far in that most of their abilities are physical. Doctor Strange and Ant-Man broadened the MCU by introducing supernatural and metaphysical elements; literal dimensions the more Earthbound superheroes don't have a means to access. With this in mind, here's why Ant-Man and the Quantum Realm could beat Thanos in Avengers 4.
- This Page: How Ant-Man Can Use The Quantum Realm
- Page 2: Time Travel Might Be The Only Way To Save The Other Avengers
How Ant-Man Can Use The Quantum Realm
Introduced in Ant-Man, the Quantum Realm is, as Hank Pym explained, "a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity." The Realm is accessible by subatomic shrinking via Pym Particles, Hank's discovery that allows for Ant-Man's size manipulation, but can also be entered by magical means like a Sling Ring as Doctor Strange showed. The Quantum Realm is an unexplored dimension, but a being traveling safely through it could then reach other places, times, and dimensions within the Multiverse.
Hank's wife Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp, has been lost in the Quantum Realm since the late 1980s; Ant-Man and the Wasp will see Scott, Hank, and Hope Van Dyne, the new Wasp, re-enter the Quantum Realm to find Janet, thereby further exploring this mysterious section of the Multiverse in the process. It's also believed Captain Marvel could be trapped in the Quantum Realm as well, which would explain her absence from the MCU for the last two decades.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank Pym seems to have perfected his technology that will allow for safe travel through the Quantum Realm via a size-changing experimental vehicle. This could end up as a crucial development for the future of the MCU; Ant-Man bringing this access to the Avengers gives them a way to counter and possibly undo the deaths Thanos caused in Avengers: Infinity War.
Thanos possesses ultimate power thanks to the Infinity Gauntlet, but he is still a being who exists in the physical universe and thinks two-dimensionally. The power of the Infinity Stones grant him higher planes of knowledge, but ultimately, he wouldn't expect Earth's superheroes, whom he has already physically overwhelmed, to also possess access to the interdimensional. The Titan is also likely overconfident following the certainty of his victory. Therefore, unless Thanos is looking for and expecting the Avengers to attack him in ways other than physical, he wouldn't see them - or Ant-Man - coming via the Quantum Realm.
Ant-Man Could Be The Most Powerful Surviving Avenger
It may seem humorous to think at first, but Ant-Man is actually incredibly powerful and dangerous. With his ability to access the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man has a power none of the surviving Avengers possess. The heroes already know from experience and the total defeat they suffered during Infinity War that they are physically no match for Thanos. Iron Man's technology, the skills of Captain America and Black Widow, the trickery of Rocket, and even Thor's magical new axe Stormbreaker don't equal the fact that Thanos wields power over Space, Time, Reality, the Soul, Power, and the Mind thanks to the Infinity Stones. Even if the Avengers had a Hulk, it would hardly make a difference. Thanos can't be beaten by mere straightforward physical means; Ant-Man and the Quantum Realm offer the heroes a way to come at Thanos through an entirely different plane of reality.
This doesn't necessarily mean victory will be gained by fighting Thanos, even inter-dimensionally. However, Ant-Man is potentially deadly in a fight, and in ways the other Avengers aren't. True, he wouldn't last long against Thanos as the 60-foot tall Giant-Man, but Ant-Man could potentially incapacitate Thanos by shrinking.
Otherwise, perhaps the key to beating Thanos is by relying on Scott Lang's other skills besides size-changing: he's a master thief. Ant-Man performing a heist and taking at least one Infinity Stone from the Gauntlet - perhaps the Time or Reality Stone - could be enough to turn the tide for the Avengers. Thanos' use of the Time Stone is what allowed him to take the Mind Stone from Vision after Scarlet Witch destroyed it. Turnabout would be fair play; the Avengers could then use that green ingot, which was the Eye of Agamotto guarded by Doctor Strange, to go back and fix the damage Thanos did. All of this could be made possible by Ant-Man, who is easily dismissed as comic relief, but in actuality can do amazing things none of the living Avengers can do.
None of this is to say any of the proposed solutions are what will happen, just that when you have such a fractured team, Scott Lang is the one who brings the tools to save the day.
Time Travel Might Be The Only Way To Save The Other Avengers
But even without the Time Stone, the Quantum Realm itself allows travel to different points of time and space. There's enough evidence pointing to time travel as a major focus of Avengers 4, so perhaps the Avengers will attempt to save their missing teammates by plucking them from different points in time before Thanos killed them with his finger snap. From leaked set photos showing some Avengers wearing costumes from previous films - though Ant-Man's presence in the Battle of New York from the first Avengers film is curious - it's clear that the heroes attempt some type of timey-wimey shenanigans, even using Tony Stark's B.A.R.F. technology from Captain America: Civil War to access old memories.
The specifics of all this are - unsurprisingly - a closely guarded secret. Are the Avengers rewriting history to stop Thanos or save the heroes who disappeared in the final moments of Avengers 3? It was shocking to see the MCU's newest heroes like Spider-Man and the Black Panther perish, and fans know these deaths aren't truly permanent; Avengers 4 has to undo it somehow, and at the moment the most overt manner looks to be time travel.
What we do have is Ant-Man. He's in the set photos during prior events he has no reason being there for, meaning at the very least he's changing events in the past. With all the powers we've discussed and the fact that Ant-Man is really a versatile, interdimensional hero, he is - in lieu of Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel - the most time travel-related hero currently in the MCU.
While every other Avenger can only fight the Mad Titan head-on, Ant-Man is the guy who can come at Thanos from directions, dimensions, and in proportions he wouldn't expect. Earth's Mightiest Heroes should find they are lucky to have Earth's tiniest hero on their side in Avengers 4.