There are a whole lot of compelling mysteries hiding in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but perhaps the most mysterious of all relates to a movie that hasn't even hit our screens yet.
Sure, the puzzles of why S.H.I.E.L.D. is monitoring Wakanda, just what happened to Dr. Samuel Sterns after The Incredible Hulk's conclusion, and why no-one seems to have worked out that Agent Coulson has come back to life are all intriguing as hell - but there's another out there that might just trump 'em all.
Will the (Soon-to-be Released) Ant-Man Be Part of Marvel's Phase 2...or of Phase 3?
After all, Phase 2 seems to have been pretty much wrapped up by the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, so there'd seem to be a fairly solid argument for Ant-Man - the first movie to introduce a new Marvel character as a solo lead since Captain America: The First Avenger back in 2011 - to launch the far more new-hero-focused Phase 3, rather than closing out Phase 2.
On the flip side, though, the inclusion of 2013's Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in Phase 2, rather than allowing them to finish up Phase 1, was seen by many fans as a mistake, seeing as they arguably had a lot more in common with the earlier films than what came after. By that logic, Ant-Man would be better served playing the role of an epilogue to the hugely successful Phase 2 than by desperately trying to claw its way into a Phase 3 that may not fit it as well.
So...Which Phase IS It in, Then?
Well, the debate over which Phase it should be in may well go on for years - and certainly until at least its July release - but as it turns out, Marvel has already given us a pretty darned definitive answer:
It's in Phase 2.
Y'see, when Marvel announced it's huge Phase 3 line-up last year, it also confirmed that Ant-Man - which had originally been penciled in as the start of Phase 3 - would now close out Phase 2.
Which...Makes Sense, Actually
After all, Phase 2 has thus far only consisted of five movies, which'll go up to six with Ant-Man. Phase 1, similarly, had just six entries, from Iron Man, through to The Avengers.
Phase 3, by contrast, already has nine - ten if you include the new Spider-Man solo movie. Captain America: Civil War will be followed in 2016 by Doctor Strange, while 2017 will see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, that Solo-Spider-Movie, and Thor: Ragnarok. Captain Marvel and Black Panther'll then arrive in 2018, alongside the first part of Avengers: Infinity War, which'll conclude in 2019, before Inhumans (presumably) closes out the Phase.
So - even before we see Ant-Man, and what follows it, and work out whether it's a better tonal fit with Phase 2 or 3, there's a solid argument that there simply wasn't room for it in Phase 3.
And if Ant-Man being in Phase 2 means we get to see an additional MCU movie in Phase 3, then I'd call that a pretty damn good deal...
What do you think, though?