Spoiler: This article contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania might’ve set up an unexpected and major cosmic villain right under audiences’ noses. The third Ant-Man film has officially launched Phase 5 of the MCU, which will serve as a new era of stories for the MCU and the second chapter in the Multiverse Saga. With the release of Quantumania, Marvel made Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror the greatest threat facing the heroes of the MCU for the immediate future.
Kang’s introduction, as well as his death, are obviously vital to what comes next. His downfall set up the arrival of the Council of Kangs in the post-credits scene, led by Immortus, Rama-Tut, and a character believed to be the Scarlet Centurion. Clearly, they are being positioned as the main antagonists for the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. It’s worth wondering how this will all play into Avengers: Secret Wars, and how villains intrinsically related to the comics arc, like Doctor Doom, the Beyonder, and Molecule Man, could feature. Regardless, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania does a lot to push the MCU forward and establish important characters for the next saga.
MCU Theory Suggests Hank’s Ants Could Become The Annihilation Wave
Part of why Ant-Man films have been so charming has been the ants, and in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, their role greatly evolved. Many were sucked into the Quantum Realm along with the Ant Family, but unlike the humans, thousands of lifetimes passed for the ants. They became extraordinarily technologically advanced and developed a socialist government, and in a moment like Aragorn in Return of the King with the ghost army, the ants flocked to Hank Pym and helped beat Kang. While the heroes returned to Earth to live their lives, the ants remained in the Quantum Realm, allowing them to continue evolving, possibly into destructive Marvel antagonists.
Specifically, a theory suggests that these ants could eventually become the Annihilation Wave. First introduced in 2006’s one-shot issue Annihilation: Prologue, the Annihilation Wave is the armada of Annihilus, a powerful interdimensional warlord with important links to several upcoming MCU heroes. Comprised of Arthrosians, also known as bugs, the Annihilation Wave launched an attack on the galaxy from their home in the Negative Zone, an alternate dimension ripe for exploration in the MCU. Hank’s ants could evolve into these bugs and perfect their technology, and when one bug, Annihilus, takes charge, they can set their sights on Earth-616’s heroes.
Who Is Annihilus? Cosmic Villain Explained
Annihilus and the Arthrosians of the Negative Zone were first introduced in Fantastic Four #6, in which Reed Richards unlocks a way to travel to the strange dimension. Annihilus became a prominent recurring antagonist for Marvel’s First Family over the years, but he’s also crossed paths with many cosmic heroes like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Surfer, and Nova. The villain is best recognized for being the strongest of his kind, wielding his powerful Cosmic Control Rod to manipulate cosmic energy and anti-matter. On top of that, his incredible physical strength is comparable to Thor, Hulk, and now in the MCU, Namor.
Annihilus and the Annihilation Wave are perfect villains for a future MCU property. While not a Thanos or a Kang, who can span over an entire saga, Annihilus would best function like Ultron as a big bad for a major crossover film. Thankfully, even if this theory doesn’t pan out, his future in the MCU seems quite likely with the steady expansion of alternate dimensions and the franchise’s cosmos. Even Fantastic Four could easily delve into the Negative Zone as part of the teams’ introduction and origins, thus opening the door for Annihilus.
What Would This Mean For The MCU?
If Hank’s ants do indeed evolve into the MCU’s Annihilation Wave, it would link the Quantum Realm to the Negative Zone, which would have vast implications for the MCU beyond just Annihilus. In addition to the Fantastic Four, the Negative Zone shares deep connections to heroes like Captain Marvel, Blue Marvel, and more. If Marvel heads in this direction with Hank’s ants and the Annihilation Wave, this could define the Negative Zone as a part of the Quantum Realm. Or, it could mean that they must travel through the Quantum Realm to get to the Negative Zone. This is something the MCU can easily explore after Avengers: Secret Wars across various heroes’ arcs.
In addition to potentially setting up the MCU’s Negative Zone and the ants’ evolution into the Annihilation Wave, this theory coming true could lead to the rise of Annihilus and his impending attempt to conquer the galaxy. There are many ways an MCU adaptation of Marvel’s Annihilation could go down. It could easily be a future Avengers movie to maintain a consolidation of team-up films, but given its cosmic scale, it might be best saved for another team. Annihilation catalyzed the formation of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy, and it could do the same for the next generation since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the last film with the current roster.
Also, as in the comics, this could involve other cosmic heroes and villains including Nova, Silver Surfer, Thanos (if he’s somehow brought back), Super-Skrull, and Galactus. Their integral nature to the series might mean it could be the Avengers-level film for Phase 7 or 8. It’s interesting to consider how other cosmic heroes, such as Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau, could be brought into play in the MCU’s Annihilation adaptation. It’s quite a marvel that something like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania might’ve laid the groundwork for an epic cosmic crossover event for the next saga.
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