Marvels newest film, Ant-Man just came out, and it's incredible! The movie was seriously better than I ever could have anticipated. Not that I expected it to fail, but I certainly didn't expect it to become my second favorite MCU film!
I could go on and on about the intriguing premise, the expert pacing and the relatable and down-to-earth characters, but I don't really feel like writing a 7000 word long article. And you probably don't feel like reading all of that.
So instead, allow me to tell you about a little theory of mine. Now, I'm no Pixar Theorist, but I love theories that have to do with things on a wider scale, one's that deal with multiple movies and what they mean to each other. It helps when those movies are already one hundred percent in a shared universe.
Ant-Man was Marvel's last film in "Phase Two" of their acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While some would argue that ending the phase on such a film, rather than Avengers: Age of Ultron or Captain America: Civil War was a bad idea, I think ending it on Ant-Man was smart.
Why? Because Ant-Man is a very underestimated film. If you just watch it, and then move on without giving it any serious thought, Ant-Man just seems like a forgettable movie; used as a sort of rest stop between Age of Ultron and Civil War.
But it's so much more than that. Ant-Man, like any Marvel film, is FULL of easter eggs, cameos, and exposition. Marvels films are always alluding to the next film. And if it's not the very next film, they're alluding to a future film, or a future plot point that'll be important to the whole cinematic universe in general.
Ant-Man has done the same. It's full of references to previous and future Marvel films. Including a reference to everyone's favorite wall-crawler.
But what if there was another reference? Another allusion? One that we all missed, despite the fact that it was right in front of our faces the whole time! It's no secret that Ant-Man is going to show up in Captain America: Civil War, as well as his own sequel later on.
But with Yellowjacket gone, who's the big baddie that Scott Lang will have to deal with next? I believe that the answer has already been revealed to us—in the first film!
While we were all focusing on main villain Darren Cross, we didn't realize that another supervillain was right in front of us. That villain...is Hank Pym!
Hank Pym, Scott's mentor and the original Ant-Man. Why do I think he's the bad guy? Well, before I give my reasons, let me just clarify a little. I don't think that Hank is a BAD guy. He quite clearly plays for the light side.
However, there's some evidence that suggests that this good man is going to do some bad things. What evidence, you ask? I'm very glad you're participating in this discussion! But for now, please sit back, relax and allow me to blow your mind—with words!
He's Already Been Bad Before
There actually quite a few stories in the comics that feature the size-altering hero as a villain. Darren Cross is the Yellowjacket in the MCU, but in the comics, he was an entirely different supervillain.
Cross in the comics has a rare heart condition. After going through an experimental operation to save his life, Cross was mutated into a sort of pink Hulk-type monster.
He was never Yellowjacket, but there is a Yellowjacket in the comics—Hank Pym. Though Hank uses the suit for good now, it was originally intended for a villain personality. Hank changed his identity, claimed he killed Hank Pym, and then kidnapped Janet van Dyne (Wasp).
It was a pretty messed up time in his career. He attacked innocent people, kidnapped his girlfriend and threatened his former friends. Why would Hank do all of this? Well, one reason is that while doing mad genius stuff in his lab, Pym accidentally dropped some vials containing various unknown gases.
The gases then spread across the room, and exposure to the fumes caused Hank's personality to radically change. But previous and recent events prove that with or without the noxious gases, Pym was still very much unstable. The source of his mental instability can be traced back to the tragic murder of his first wife (not Janet) during a ski trip. In the comics, Hank could snap at any moment, if the moment was extreme enough. And there have been times when he has briefly gone bonkers.
Hank's Bipolar Behavior
Like I said, Hank has been in an ongoing battle with his emotions for the longest time. He can go from cheerful to angry in a matter of seconds. The people who get it the worse, besides himself, are his closest friends. There have been numerous controversial comic issues where Hank is seen abusing his wife Janet, verbally and physically.
The MCU Hank (thankfully) hasn't abused anyone close to him, but he has shown signs of bipolar behavior. I mean, the very first scene of the movie shows him ready to send someone to the infirmary at the mention of his late wife's name!
Later on in the film, he yells at Hope loudly after she keeps insisting that she wear the Ant-Man suit, rather than Scott. He also shares his comic counterparts distrust of others with his equipment. Hank is incredibly smart, and inventive; but he knows that if his inventions got in the wrong hands, the world would be doomed.
And so, Like every comic book scientist, his solution is to keep everything to himself. Live-action Hank isn't on the level of bipolarity or (sometimes justified) selfishness as his comic book self, but his behavior in Ant-Man might be a start.
It Could Make His AND Scott's MCU Roles Much Bigger!
Ant-Man and its characters were surprisingly more significant than I thought. Scott's becoming an Avenger, Hope is becoming the Wasp and Scott's daughter Cassie may or may not become a superhero later in her life. But I still don't think we've realized the importance of this film, or it's cast.
If Hank were to become a bad guy, or at the very least an insane guy in Ant-Man 2, it would certainly show us that the first movie wasn't just something to put in-between two bigger, more important films.
After all, turning the good guy into the bad guy is a huge deal, not to mention a risky move. It's certainly not a plan you use in a film of lesser importance. Then again, it's not like Marvel would be using this 'Face-Heel' turn for the first time.
Marvel's Played This Card Before!
Remember Captain America: The Winter Soldier? That film revealed the "shocking" (see: "actually pretty predictable") fact that more than half of S.H.I.E.L.D was actually Hydra in disguise.
Characters we thought were the good guys turned out to be Hydra moles, like Jasper Sitwell and Alexander Pierce. But these characters didn't have a lot of screen time, so their evil reveal wasn't mind blowing or heartbreaking.
But a reveal that both blew our minds and fired a barrage of shotgun shells into our love organ was the shocking turn of agent Grant Ward. Ward was a main character on the show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He served as the team's resident field man, able to form tasks too dangerous for the average man.
Near the end of the first season, in an episode with connections to The Winter Soldier, Ward was revealed to be a no-good, lying evil psychopath!
Hank is nothing like that human wastebasket (no offense to wastebaskets), he's not just pretending to be good—he's genuinely a good guy. But as I said, he's constantly at the breaking point. All it takes is a little push, and Hank's personality could completely change.
Now you've seen my reasons for why Hank could potentially become the big baddie in Ant-Man 2 or beyond. But now you're probably wondering, what could cause it? What would be emotionally effective enough to make Hank go over the edge?
Well, I have a couple of ideas. And coincidentally, they both have to do with the upcoming film, Captain America: Civil War.
The "Betrayal" Of Scott Lang?
We know that Scott Lang will most likely participate in the cataclysmic hero on hero battles that will take place during Civil War. However, we have no idea what role Hank will play. Hank is Ant-Man during the Civil War comic series, and he does participate as a member of Tony Stark's Pro-Reg side...sort of.
See, the Hank Pym seen during the Civil War saga was actually a Skrull in disguise. Skrulls are green aliens with shape-shifting powers. During the war, many heroes were abducted and replaced with Skrulls. Because having a huge event featuring heroes fighting each other to the death just wasn't extreme enough for Marvel standards.
Skrulls haven't been introduced in the MCU yet. And due to their role in the comics as Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers villains, who knows if they're even allowed to?
So since they can't replace Hank with Skrull Hank (Skrank?), it's easy to assume that they'll be replacing him with Scott Lang; but I'm not too sure about that.
We aren't really sure of what Scott's role in Cap 3 will be, but so far, it's looking like he'll be a part of Captain America's Anti-Registration team.
The issue with that? If they were using Lang as a replacement for Pym, they likely would have placed Scott on Iron Man's team. If Scott really is part of Cap's team, it's possible that Hank will join Tony's.
Hank is Scott's mentor in Ant-Man, so joining a war on opposite sides is sure to cause some tension between the two. Perhaps the stress of the war, mixed with believing that Scott has "betrayed" him will cause Hank to snap.
He's already suffered a betrayal from the sinister Darren Cross. Hank was Cross' mentor at one point, before Cross started to show his supervillain attributes. Hank had to end their sensei-student relationship right there, after sensing a darkness growing within Cross.
Civil War is going to be though on everybody, especially Hank, should he choose to join. Losing Scott to the other side could fill Hank with distrust, and cause him to face off against Scott in Ant-Man 2.
Captain America: Civil War is NOT ending with at least one tragic and heartbreaking death. We've already been told countless times that this film is set to shake the very foundation that holds the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By the time this film is over, the heroes will be shaken, the world will be frightened and the MCU will never be the same.
Fans have been theorizing over who could meet their maker in the film, with the top two candidates being the leaders of the opposing sides; Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Tony Stark (Iron Man). But while it's still possible that either leader could lose their life, what would truly shake up the whole film (and universe) is if a member of either of their teams died.
Having a soldier die on the battlefield would make both sides see the consequences of war, and just how catastrophic their fighting is. And just how ironic and symbolic would it be if Hope died? If HOPE died?!
Again, this is assuming that Hank and/or Hope will even play a part in Captain America: Civil War. But with Hope suiting up in the Wasp suit at the very end of Ant-Man, there's a strong possibility we'll be seeing her utilize it real soon.
The loss of his daughter, like the loss of his wife, would definitely cause Hank to go over the edge. He spent his whole life shielding Hope from the dangers of the world, and his former profession. To have her die would be tragic, heartbreaking, and actually kind of cliche.
But if it did happen, you can bet that Hank is going to look for someone to blame. Scott, the Avengers, himself! It would cause him to despise the world, it's heroes and it's governments. Just imagine Hank creating and donning a new Yellowjacket suit, and wreaking havoc across town!
Of course, Scott would (hopefully) bring him back to his senses before it's too late. So, what do you think? Is it possible that Hank Pym will be an antagonistic character in Ant-Man 2, or some other MCU film?
That concludes this 'Cinema Conspiracy'! Until next time..