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Quantumania Completely Fails Cassie Lang (& Makes Ant-Man 4 Less Likely)

The following article contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

Ant-Man got himself a trilogy of films before such Marvel heavy hitters as Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. Suffice it to say, anticipation was incredibly high going into the character's third solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." Whereas the first two "Ant-Man" movies were relatively grounded in the real world and mostly focused on heists, "Quantumania" raised the stakes. The titular hero goes up against Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) in a diminutive adventure where Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his crew get sucked into the subatomic Quantum Realm.

And while Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) has been around since the first "Ant-Man," she comes into her own as a legit superhero as opposed to being there to help Scott emotionally through his journey. Cassie's presence is also significant because it heavily hints that she'll be part of the inevitable "Young Avengers" movie that Marvel Studios has been teasing for a while now. Even though it hasn't officially been announced, the introduction of characters like Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson) seems to imply they'll unite sooner rather than later. 

As such, it was the perfect opportunity to show why Cassie belongs in such noteworthy company. The only problem is that "Quantumania" kind of fails Cassie in hyping up her future in the MCU.

Is Cassie Lang ready to be an Avenger?

At the beginning of the film, Cassie Lang follows a long lineage of Marvel geniuses. She's only 18 years old, but she's the one responsible for creating the device that sends a signal to the Quantum Realm. In a way, she's ultimately responsible for getting them all stuck there and almost letting Kang out into the world, but that's for another time. We also learn she's been gifted a shrinking suit, but it takes her a long time to really get the handle on it.

A good chunk of time Scott and Cassie spent in the Quantum Realm together involves him teaching her how to throw an Ant-Man-style punch where they shrink down and regrow in size just long enough to knock out an opponent before shrinking down again. Outside of that, she learns to get big by the end of the film to help out her dad before needing to immediately shrink back down to normal size. 

In the lead-up to the release of "Quantumania," it really seemed like Cassie was being primed to take the place of her dad or possibly even join the Young Avengers. But with what we get in the movie, she just doesn't seem ready. She just learned how to throw a punch, and that puts her at odds with some of her theoretical Young Avengers compatriots. Kate Bishop was already well acquainted with archery from a young age, so she's proficient with it in "Hawkeye." America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) masters her powers by the end of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Cassie still has a long way to go, but it didn't have to be that way. 

Cassie should've helped kill Kang

"Hawkeye" proved Kate Bishop was worth taking seriously when she went toe-to-toe with Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio) in the finale. It helped cement her character arc and exemplified how she had grown as a hero. Cassie's arc in "Quantumania" could've benefitted from a similar treatment. 

Kang the Conqueror is one of the biggest threats in all of Marvel, and this version of him was taken down by Ant-Man punching him and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) blasting him a few times. The moment could have been a lot more impactful if, during the final fight, Cassie also came through the portal to help lay down some hurt on Kang. Just imagine it; Cassie masters all that Scott and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) taught her to the point where she plays an active hand in beating a multiversal threat. Plus, it would be a lot more believable if three heroes were needed to take down Kang after they got an assist from the hyper-intelligent ant army from earlier. 

Cassie ultimately needed a moment to really show she had what it takes to be a presence in the MCU moving forward. As it stands, she's kind of just another shrinking superhero who gets in trouble with the law like her dad. There's obviously plenty of room for the character to grow and come into her own, but "Quantumania" had to cram so much into its runtime it felt like her development was a little lost.