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Forget His Small Beginnings - After Quantumania, Ant-Man Could Tower Over The MCU

"Avengers: Endgame" was riddled with iconic moments that set a standard for all comic book movies to come. The Stark Snap. The whole "On your left" arrival. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lopping Thanos' (Josh Brolin) half-griddled grape noggin off his CGI shoulders. You get the gist – just absolutely awesome scenes, one after another. And yet, there was one discreet scene-stealer who brought humor to even the smallest moments. Fittingly enough, it was the hero known for shrinking down to very, very tiny sizes. 

That consistently charming super-crook, Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), was a devoted listener to Thor's stories, and an open admirer of America's ... well, you know. More importantly, he stepped up to help save the day without inserting himself into a Mad Titan's tush, even though far too many fans were hoping he would. Since then, though, the universe he helped save has changed dramatically. The MCU's greatest and oldest heroes have either passed away or stepped down from the mantle they built, leaving younger ones take it over. In the meantime, as "Ms. Marvel" made clear, Ant-Man has become widely celebrated as the teller of the Avengers' great tale, sharing all the behind-the-scenes details with the public at large.

Now, with the changing of the guard comes a new threat, and it seems that Scott Lang will be the first superhero (not counting Loki) to face him. With that in mind, there are many indicators that this little Ant-Man-that-could is gearing up to grow into the Giant Man that we always knew he could be. 

It's time for Scott Lang to level up, folks

We mean no disrespect when we say that Scott Lang's story until "Avengers: Endgame" was pretty inconsequential. His standalone adventures were just warm-up acts to the main event, than anything, with the first film leading into "Captain America: Civil War" (aka Avengers 2.5) while "Ant-Man and the Wasp" mainly just sucked him into the Quantum Zone so he could save the day in "Avengers: Endgame." 

However, in November 2022, director Peyton Reed assured Entertainment Weekly that Scott's next adventure was more than a "palate cleanser." So far, what we've seen of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" clearly supports that statement. Not only will the movie be throwing Scott, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), and the rest of the ant-fam into a monumental adventure, but it will also more properly introduce the next big threat to the Marvel fold at large — Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). Far from the D-tier goons Ant-Man faced in prior films, this guy is going to soon threaten every person in the multiverse. He's the kind of thorn you'd expect to see stuck in the side of Stephen Strange or the late Tony Stark, not a former Baskin-Robbins employee. 

With that in mind, why would Scott Lang — of all the heroes — be the first on Kang's hit list? After all, an ant has no quarrel with a boot, especially one as tough as this. Unless, maybe, that's the point. 

The 'stark' contrast between Ant-Man and Iron Man could be fun

While there may have been a healthy dollop of ribbing between the two superheroes whenever they encountered each other, the paths of both Scott Lang and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) aren't that different (putting aside their bank accounts, anyway). Take off their suits, and what are they? Both men with pasts they'd rather forget who, after being imprisoned, turned to their high-level intellect in the hope of redeeming themselves of past misdeeds. With Lang being in such a similar lane to the late, great Stark, there's a strong argument for Ant-Man filling the spot that Iron Man left behind, to become one of the new high-level members of the Avengers — particularly given the danger that's on the way, and his familiarity with it following whatever happens in "Quantumania."

Scott may have started small-time, but after "Endgame," it's clear that he can handle universe-ending events like the best of them and could be on the frontline of another when he goes up against Kang in this newest movie — another threequel that, like "Iron Man 3," looks to depict a hero relishing in his recent glory while still battling inner insecurities from a previous "Avengers" outing. More importantly, Scott's impending confrontation certifies Lang as a more prominent seat at the center of the MCU's future, thanks to the foe who plans on conquering it.

Scott vs. Kang could be the new Stark vs. Thanos

Since Tony flew through a hole in space to save New York and was the closest to catching a glimpse of the grinning purple threat on the other side, the Armoured Avenger was always on a crash-course with Thanos. Part of their journey had to end with Stark making the ultimate sacrifice and good triumphing over evil. Now, if Scott really does have a chance of being the MCU's next Tony Stark, unfortunately that also means he'll have to take the baggage that comes with it ... including a sworn enemy with plans to break the universe.

Jonathan Major's new man out of time is guaranteed to arrive as an even more imposing presence than the fallen Titan. Described in pretty scary terms as an almost "infinite Thanos" by "Quantumania" screenwriter Jeff Loveness, this will mark the first round between Lang and Kang before both sides call for backup in "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" (also penned by Loveness). By then, it'd be a solid guess that the Ant-Man we're reunited with will be a far more rattled and roughed-up hero, who could end up being in a position Scott has never held until now — taking charge.

Lang could take the lead of the New Avengers after Quantumania

As it stands, only three of the original Avengers remain since they first assembled in 2012. Now, 11 years on, two of those heroes — Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — have their proteges, in the form of Hailee Seinfeld's Kate Bishop and Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters, to carry on their names. The only one left is Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the actor hinted to Vanity Fair that he's already thinking it'll soon be time for him to hang up his red cape. 

With that in mind, when the New Avengers finally assemble, someone has to keep them in line. Scott will already be a seasoned supe with more hours on the Doomsday Clock than his peers, as well as added time thanks to his first clash with Kang in "Quantumania." Having the inside track (and potentially unfinished business) with his new foe once "The Kang Dynasty" arrives could not only make Scott leader material, but also the future front man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fully worthy of standing beside patriotic captains and masters of the mystical arts alike. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) have the credentials to help them qualify, but none of them will have faced off against Kang and lived. Yet. We can only cross our antenna in the hope Scott does, and should the time come, Earth's Mightiest Heroes get in line and let the ant lead the way for a change.