The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given fans plenty of Tales to Astonish in the past 10 years, but thanks to the likes of Ant-Man and Doctor Strange – different realities and alternate dimensions have a key part to play for Earth’s mightiest heroes. The MCU first introduced the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man, where a single clue was dropped for eagle-eyed audiences about what the miniature hero’s sequel was going to hold. But could the Quantum Realm help the team against Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame?
Let’s turn the clock back to 2015 when the world finally met the MCU’s smallest hero; Ant-Man. A grumpy Hank Pym warns Scott that shrinking down without a functioning regulator means he’ll disappear into the Quantum Realm with no means of escape. We discover that Janet Van Dyne A.K.A. The original Wasp was trapped down there after shrinking to stop a Soviet missile in 1987. But we’ll get on to how important she is later.
When Scott has to “go sub-atomic” to defeat Yellowjacket, he continued to shrink uncontrollably before entering the Quantum Realm. It’s a visually fascinating place, with kaleidoscopic atoms and particles swirling across the screen. As Scott dives even further he briefly passes a shadow of Janet Van Dyne… It is a small world after all. It’s important to know that the Quantum Realm itself isn’t that small, but the only way to enter it is by continuously shrinking. The laws of physics also don’t work the way we’re used to, making it nearly incomprehensible. That’s why Scott forgot about everything he saw immediately after coming back.
Fast-forward to 2018, and Scott Lang returns in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Their mission? To travel into the Quantum Realm and rescue Janet Van Dyne. Spoilers, they succeed. Hank Pym makes the journey after spending several years building a ‘Quantum Tunnel’ in his portable laboratory with his daughter, Hope. After the team rescue, Janet Scott Lang travels back to the Quantum Realm now that they have the technology to it safely. But he’s left stranded inside as Thanos’ decimating snap from Infinity War kills Hank, Janet, and Hope… And Scotty doesn’t know. Does that mean that the Quantum Realm isn’t affected by the Infinity Gauntlet?
By now we’re all pretty sure that Captain Marvel is the final piece in the puzzle to defeating Thanos and hopefully restoring the universe back to normal. Kevin Feige has mentioned on numerous occasions that she’s the most powerful hero in the MCU, so we can all expect her to punch Thanos in his big purple head, really really hard. But what if her powers are connected directly to the Quantum Realm?
In the comics, Captain Marvel’s powers reach their peak when she goes into her “binary” mode. Her energy is drawn from a “White Hole”, which is an exit point for the energy of a collapsed universe into another. Basically, she could hit Thanos with the literal power of a universe in her fist. Not so perfectly balanced now, huh Thanos? Since the Quantum Realm is only becoming more important as the MCU progresses, it’s possible that they’ll swap “White Hole” for the Quantum Realm. It would tie together nicely right before Avengers: Endgame, wouldn’t it?
As we all know by now, Thanos won and he killed half of all life in the universe. Yes, that means he killed dogs too, John Wick crossover anyone? And the surviving Avengers are going to need to pull off something special to fix the universe. One prevailing theory is that Scott finds a portal within the Quantum Realm that sends him back in time. Take a look at the dramatic first trailer for Endgame, that final scene of Scott turning up at the Avengers facility was archived footage.
He’s the one bringing the time travel idea to fix it all before the heroes go to retrieve all the Infinity Stones before Thanos can assemble the gauntlet. Let’s go into full speculation mode. The first wave of toys that are already hitting some stores shows off artwork of the surviving heroes in brand new outfits. They’re dressed in matching white armored suits that look kind of similar to Hank Pym’s protective outfit when he dived into the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Even if they just use the Quantum Realm as a way of protecting themselves from anything Thanos can do with the Infinity Gauntlet, it’s definitely got a part to play in defeating the Mad Titan.