Marvel’s third film of 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is heading to theaters soon and has been generating plenty of positive critical buzz. Ant-Man and the Wasp is Marvel’s first film to feature a woman in the title, Hope Van Dyne AKA The Wasp, and we are so excited to see her team up with Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man. The pair will be facing off against super hacker Ava AKA Ghost, a woman who isn’t out for world domination, but her own survival.
Ghost is such a perfect villain for this film and the MCU. Her stakes are personal and her passions are important. With the MCU dedicated to dealing with the real world consequences of heroic actions, Ghost will be their avenging angel to remind heroes like Ant-Man that there are very human consequences to their actions.
Let’s take a look at her comic book backstory and how she will fit into the MCU at large.
Who is Ghost and What Are Her Powers?
Very little is known about “The Ghost” in Marvel Comics. The character, originally male, was an Iron Man villain. Ghost made his debut in 1987 in Iron Man Vol. 1 #219 . Claiming to be a former IT researcher, the Ghost rose through the ranks of Omnisapient, a company that was working on developing a processor that would change according to its environment. The processor could alter itself based on temperature and location. Revolutionizing IT, the programmer’s Ghost Tech caused Omnisapient’s stock to skyrocket.
Empowered by their success, Omnisapient became more and more dependant on the Ghost’s technology. The programmer continued to clash with the company, which bribed him with favors ranging from sports tickets to sexual encounters with one of his coworkers. Driven mad, Ghost wired his tech processors into his flesh and his suit — dedicating himself to bringing manipulative corporations down.
Ghost can manipulate his intangibility, which enabled him to go through walls, as well as render objects intangible. He is also an expert electrical and computer engineer. Embittered by his previous employer and the death of his girlfriend, Ghost is considered a reclusive cyber-terrorist in Marvel Comics.
Why Ghost is the Perfect Villain for Ant-Man
Ghost stands up to corrupt corporations, and while her methods can often result in a loss of life, she and Scott Lang actually have a lot in common. Scott’s history of theft and the VistaCorp job closely resemble Ghost’s original mission of taking down corporations. Will it take a thief to catch a thief? Ghost has a lot in common with Scott’s desire to play Robin Hood, robbing from rich corporations and individuals and giving back to people who they’ve hurt.
For Scott Lang, Ghost represents what he could have become had he not tried to change himself to benefit his daughter Cassie and become an Avenger. Including Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp will test Hope’s trust in partners as well as testing Scott’s heroism. The two of them will be forced to confront the best and the worst qualities of themselves when going against her.
Why Ghost is the Perfect Villain for the Wasp
Director Peyton Reed has made a number of changes to the character, first by making Ghost a female character named Ava, and second, by leaving her backstory a mystery. While Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost seems to possess the same abilities as her comic book counterpart, the film trailers hint that her powers connect to the Quantum Realm.
“As Hank [Pym] continues to develop the technology to find Janet [van Dyne], Ava realizes that those new devices might be able to help her and put her out of this pain and make her tangible once again. That, of course, puts her in direct conflict with Hank, Ant-Man and The Wasp.” – Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige
The Quantum Realm is where Janet van Dyne, Hope’s mother, has been trapped for the last few decades. Ant-Man saw a quick glimpse of her in the Quantum Realm during the first film. In this film, Hank and his former colleague Bill Foster will be working together to send a ship inside the Realm. It is this technology that will draw Ava out of hiding.
“We have a villain that doesn’t want to take over the world, or get rich or do anything that has these world stakes. It’s literally about survival that makes her a villain, and the complication is that she needs what our heroes need. So suddenly you have heroes and villains after the same thing for very grounded, relatable and emotional reasons.”
– Marvel Studios Producer Stephen Broussard
This is why Ava is a perfect villain for Hope. Ava is going to want this Quantum Realm technology. If she gets it, Hope won’t be able to save her mother. This will put these two characters on a collision course, because Ava needs Hank’s tech to survive, and Hope needs it so that her mother can survive. This puts both characters on an equal and very dangerous playing field.
What Ghost Could Do in the MCU
As for Ava, there are plenty of corporations and giant organizations that could earn the anti-capitalist’s ire. If Ghost continues her streak of attacking large entities praying on smaller groups, she could develop grudges against everyone from the Roxxon to the Rand Corporation, offering small tie-ins between the television and film universes. Should any of the major criminal organizations or government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. resurface, Ghost could also represent a threat to them as well.
Actress Hannah John-Kamen has said she’d be up for playing Ghost in all her incarnations, including in a Thunderbolts movie. In Marvel Comics, Ghost has ties to multiple characters, including Tony Stark, Justin Hammer, Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts, and the Roxxon Corporation. The character has been used as a hired gun, dedicated to tackling corporations with monopolies who treat their employees and customers like cattle. If Ava survives this film, she could make appearances in a future Thunderbolt’s film or as an antagonist for Iron Man, offering fans a potential Iron Man/Ant-Man team up.
While the character is introduced as a powerful antagonist, she’s a timely character with a story to tell. Introducing Ava opposite Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang, pitting her against Janet’s survival and Scott’s Robin Hood altruism — all of these factors make her the perfect villain for Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in theaters on July 6.