Potential spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania follow.
The Marvel Phase 5 film arrives in theaters worldwide on February 17, so its latest teaser has landed in the nick of time. If you haven't watched it yet, check it out below:
Looks excellent, right? We certainly think so. And, with Ant-Man 3's last trailer being full of blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments, you've probably overlooked a number of interesting aspects of this teaser.
Worry not, dear reader, as we're here to point out six of the best and intriguing things you missed in this teaser. Possible spoilers follow so, if you want to go into the film with no prior knowledge of what it's about, turn back now.
Marvel Studios’ #AntManAndTheWasp: Quantumania, only in theaters February 17. pic.twitter.com/dGhZ6k8getJanuary 10, 2023
1. Masking up
The trailer's first 30 seconds show various scenes playing alongside a monologue from Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror (more on how important this is in the next section). Most of the footage comprises shots from the movie's first teaser, which arrived in October 2022.
It isn't until the 0:37 mark that we see something new, but it's pretty significant where Kang is concerned – it's his mask! Unlike Kang's comic book version, which depicts him as a blue-skinned individual, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) iteration of Kang has a blue, retractable face covering, which presumably allows him to breathe in low-oxygen environments and protects his face from harm.
The inclusion of a blue, translucent mask, then, is a subtle and fun nod to his comic book counterpart's make-up.
2. The man with the plan
Back to Kang's monologue now. We hear the MCU's new primary antagonist appealing to Scott Lang's position as a father and how he's missed out on spending so much time with his daughter Cassie. You know, because of those jail terms and the five years he spent trapped in the Quantum Realm between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Unfortunately for Scott, Kang isn't simply going to give him what he craves, i.e. more time with Cassie, without getting something in return. It appears, then, that Scott will have to put his pre-superhero skills – breaking and entering, stealing an object, and getting out alive – to the test.
So, what does Scott have to locate and/or steal? The trailer doesn't give that away, but we have an inkling, based on Kang's comic counterpart. In Marvel's source material, Kang has a device known as a Time Chair – a hovering seat that allows him to traverse the Marvel multiverse. We haven't seen Kang use this device in any of the footage so far, which begs the question: where is it?
In our view, Kang's Time Chair has been stolen or hidden away by someone. In order for him to finally conquer the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse – you know, now that one of his variants, He Who Remains, is no longer around to stop him following his death in Loki episode 6 – he needs his Time Chair to travel across time and space. Step forward Scott Lang, the one man who can traverse the Quantum Realm (with his Ant-Man suit) and get Kang's Time Chair back by putting his thieving skills to good use.
Oh, and it seems Kang will use Cassie as collateral to make Scott comply. Looks like our diminutive hero has no choice but to help...
3. Ringing in the Shang-Chi references
Once the Marvel Studios logo has disappeared, we're treated to some spectacular visuals of the Quantum Realm/Kang's domain.
The most interesting part of what we see is an apparent reference to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. We see multiple circular pillars floating around Kang's headquarters, which has a design that resembles a pyramid. Fun side fact: if this isn't a direct call back to Rama-Tut – Kang's Egypt-based variant in Marvel comics – we don't know what is.
But we digress. Those cylindrical structures aren't the only things that tease a link to Shang-Chi's MCU debut. At the 0:47 mark, we see a number of giant rings rise up next to Kang's fortress, and they look very similar to the ten rings that Shang-Chi's father (and, later, Shang-Chi himself) wields in the Marvel Phase 4 movie.
One of Shang-Chi's post-credits scenes teases the possibility that the ten rings are highly advanced, technological alien artefacts. Could it be that, in the Quantum Realm/this alternate universe, Kang stole the rings from Shang-Chi's dad and uses them for his own nefarious means? Given the interconnectivity that the MCU is renowned for, we wouldn't be surprised.
4. M.O.D-ifying M.O.D.O.K
Now this one really is a blink and you'll miss it moment. At the 0:56 mark, we see Scott and Cassie led out onto a platform by Kang (and some of his foot soldiers) to look out onto what appears to be some form of tear in the multiverse.
Look behind them before the camera angle changes, though, and you'll catch your first glimpse of another Quantumania villain – it's M.O.D.O.K! In the MCU, this supervillain's origins story has been altered. In the comics, M.O.D.O.K is created when a scientist called George Tarleton is turned into him when – yep, you guessed it – an experiment goes awry.
However, in the MCU, M.O.D.O.K is portrayed by Corey Stoll, who played Darren Cross/Yellowjacket in 2015's Ant-Man. In that movie, everyone thought Cross died when Scott destroyed his Yellowjacket suit. However, Cross clearly survived, and we think Kang is the person responsible for a) saving his life and b) turning him into M.O.D.O.K. It would explain why Cross is working with Kang to get revenge on Scott and company.
Anyway, later in the trailer (1:45 mark), we see M.O.D.O.K prepare to do battle with someone. He's got some serious upgrades from his comic counterpart – most notably, those energy cannons under his tiny arms – so expect this M.O.D.O.K to be deadlier than he is in the comics.
5. Chaining an Ant-Man combo
Whatever mission Kang wants Scott to complete, our hero will need all the help he can get.
Luckily for Scott, it seems the physics-breaking rules of the Quantum Realm are his best chance of succeeding. At the 0:51 mark, we see Scott split into two versions of himself. Initially, this seems to play into the "shatter timelines" line that Janet van Dyne says.
However, we think that's a misdirect. We think this Scott splitting scene takes place after he dives into, well, whatever that stormy pit is that we see at the 0:58 and 1:04 marks. Later, we see Scott being held up towards a lightning-infused structure by millions of other Ant-Men – the same ones who get destroyed at the 1:37 mark – in a manner reminiscent of how ants make chains and rafts in the real world.
It seems, then, that the Quantum Realm will split Scott into many, many variants of himself to complete Kang's task, only for those other versions to die as he tries to escape.
6. More than a time traveling genius
Unsurprisingly, it appears Kang won't play ball once Scott successfully retrieves the item that Kang wants back.
In the trailer's final 30 seconds, we watch as Kang's army – complete with Black Panther-like warships – rains energy blasts down on our heroes. Meanwhile, we hear Scott say to Kang "we had a deal", which clearly implies Kang goes back on his word to a) give Cassie back and b) let Scott and company leave unharmed.
What's clear from the final snippets of footage is that Kang isn't some meek, time traveling intellectual. Not only do his concussive blasts and laser beams looks incredibly powerful – that final shot of Kang screaming as he unleashes them is terrifying – but he's also a physically imposing and brutal fighter. Just look at the raw power he displays when he punches and stamps on Scott in what's surely their final confrontation. Prepare for Kang to bring the pain throughout Phases 5 and 6 of Marvel's Multiverse Saga.
For more MCU-based content, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Additionally, read up on everything worth knowing about other MCU Phase 5 projects, including Secret Invasion and Loki season 2, which arrive on Disney Plus later this year.
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
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