Many Marvel fans have not yet recovered from what the Red-Wedding of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. After Thanos snapped his fingers, half of the universe’s lifeforms were obliterated along with the newer crop of superheroes. That means Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord and Black Panther are all dead, all of whom have franchises of their own.
They are all almost certain to return, since Disney will not allow its subsidiary Marvel to kill off such profitable characters. And dead people can’t have sequels, can they? Some say they are not dead at all, but have been transported to some other realm – the popular belief being it is the world inside Soul Stone. Another theory says they are dead, but that time will be somehow rolled back. This means time travel. Time and tide wait for none, they say. But in MCU, time does and can even go backwards through the use of the Time Stone. But that Infinity Stone was last seen with Thanos, and the only other person able to wield it – Doctor Strange – has disappeared.
What then? Enter the quantum realm. Introduced in the first Ant-Man film, the quantum realm is a world that can only be accessed by beings who can go subatomic. It is a microscopic world that is said to exist between the space between the atoms that make up the universe. Entering the quantum realm is easier than escaping it. Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, Janet van Dyne (the original Wasp), disappeared into this realm and has not been seen since.
The thing that makes the quantum realm important is that the usual rules of time and space do not matter in it. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Evangeline Lilly, who is playing the current Wasp in the movie, said, “So in other words, you want me to tell you about the flash-forwards and flashbacks and flash-sideways? When I heard about Infinity War and the direction that they’re heading, I did have this moment of realizing, oh, wow, there’s a bit of a déjà vu for me with the Lost franchise. We are hitting that [Lost] Season 4 space where everything’s about to shift, and you’re about to lose the solid ground underneath you. And [Ant-Man and the Wasp], of course, will play a part in that.”
She added, “Those characters are experts in the quantum realm. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, they are trying everything in their power to safely enter the quantum realm and return back from it because they have evidence from the first film that Scott Lang was able to do that. If he can do it, why can’t we? If we do succeed in Ant-Man and the Wasp, then that does open a whole entire new multi-verse to enter into and play around in. I’m not the story creator, so I can’t tell you what they’re going to do with that. But I definitely see the potential there.”
Lilly all but admits that the quantum realm will play a huge role in Avengers 4. It could also have multiple timelines, something like what happened in DC Comics universe after Flash screwed up the timelines (read the magnificent Flashpoint) to save his mother. With its near-unlimited possibilities, the quantum realm’s powers could, theoretically, be harnessed to bring dead characters (and other people) back.
Though, it may not be just quantum realm. Captain Marvel’s arrival (hinted at in a post-credit scene of Infinity War) may also have something to do with reviving the presumed dead heroes, since she has travelled extensively in the universe (it is hinted that she is an experienced hero) and may know some way to turn back time. Then there is Doctor Strange’s game plan that he did not reveal to anyone. He said there is only one possibility, among millions, in which the Avengers overcome Thanos. Therefore he traded the time stone for Tony Stark’s life. But Dr Strange is dead. Did the visionary (he is literally a one) foresee that too?
Ant-Man and the Wasp releases in India on July 13.