Have you all watched the trailer for the new Avengers movie yet? If you haven’t:
Okay, we’re all on the same page now? Great! Because it’s time for some wild speculation about the seemingly humorous, but actually incredibly dramatic and surprising return of Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, at the end of the Avengers: Endgame trailer.
Those of you who watched Ant-Man and the Wasp (not enough of you judging by box office returns) will know that the post-credits sequence for that film took place contemporaneously with Thanos’ Decimation, where he eliminated half of all life in the universe. While most of the second Ant-Man film was a fun romp, this sequence very much was not, as it saw all of Ant-Man’s cohorts– Hank Pym, Hope van Dyne, and Janet Van Dyne– turned to ash during an experiment where Scott was traveling inside the Quantum Realm, leaving him stuck there. And as Janet would tell you, if you get stuck in the Quantum Realm, you might be there for a very long time.
Apparently though, Scott is luckier than Janet was. And he’s back to help save the universe (or what’s left of it). But how did he get back? Well, there are a couple of places in the trailer where our leads are in need of a hero that Scott might suddenly pop up like the funniest Deus Ex Machina of all time.
1. In need of a Rescue?
It would seem like the obvious choice to rescue Tony Stark from his rapidly deteriorating situation in outer space is Pepper Potts. In the trailer, we see Tony say that he’s got “zero promise of rescue.” That seems like an obvious allusion to Rescue, Pepper Potts’ chosen hero name in the comics after she dons a suit of armor herself. However, any good storyteller will tell you that it’s your job as a writer to swerve left when your audience expects you to go right, which is why we say– not so fast! What if, when Scott escapes the Quantum Realm, he has little to no control of where he ends up? We know that the Quantum Realm is an incredibly volatile yet expansive place, capable of incredible things– spitting someone like Scott out into the depths of space and potentially onto Tony’s ship certainly seems like a possibility.
Plus, we saw in Ant-Man and the Wasp that being in the Quantum Realm caused Hope to develop some really random and incredible powers, so perhaps Scott might be able to do more than to shrink Tony in order to conserve oxygen– maybe he’ll be able to power the ship back up!
2. Ant-Man: the real Ronin
One of the big surprises of the first Avengers: Endgame trailer is the return Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. It seems that, like in the comics, Clint has taken the identity of Ronin since we last saw him. And there are a lot of bodies around him when we see him on that rainy Tokyo street in the trailer.
But what if he didn’t knock out those men? After all, Clint would be the first person to tell you that he’s just a guy with a bow and arrow (and now a dagger). The problems the Avengers have faced– from alien invasions to flying cities and now a guy from space with a universe-shattering gauntlet– are pretty huge problems for a guy like Clint. These huge problems call for someone who can get huge— like Ant-Man. Despite Clint’s badass pose in this scene, maybe it’s all posturing. Maybe Ant-Man knocked out all those henchmen and is just allowing his fellow Raft cellmate to show off for his old friend, Natasha. We already know Clint and Scott have teamed up together before!
3. Right beside you!
Yeah, I know– this scene featuring Bruce Banner looking at photos of the decimated probably takes place inside the Avengers headquarters that we see Scott outside of at the end of the Avengers: Endgame trailer, but wouldn’t it be ironic if Bruce were facepalming over Scott’s face marked as “missing,” only to look up and see Ant-Man standing on his shoulder, freshly escaped from the Quantum Realm?
We’ve all been wondering how the Avengers might undo or at least attempt to ameliorate the horrific situation Thanos has created by snapping away half of all life in the universe. Well, the first step obviously involves getting the Infinity Gauntlet, as even in its damaged state, it still holds all the Infinity Stones that control all aspects of the universe.
What if…what if…the answer to the Avengers’ problems has been right under their noses the whole time? We know that it’s really tough to pull the Gauntlet off of Thanos from the outside— multiple heroes working together tried and failed during Infinity War— but Ant-Man has the power to take Thanos down from the inside. We already saw him ruin one of Iron Man’s suits during Captain America: Civil War, so perhaps Scott might just accidentally pop out of the Quantum Realm inside the gauntlet, blow up Thanos’ hand in the process of reconstituting himself, and just run off with the gauntlet!
Gross. Unsatisfying. But hilarious to think about. If Thanos thought Spider-Man was annoying, wait until he gets a load of this hyphenated nightmare.
Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.