Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Quantumania's Entire MODOK Storyline Was Spoiled By Cassie Lang In Act One

This article contains spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania"

"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" features two major comic book villains, and while we've seen versions of both before, they couldn't be more different from each other ... or from their previous incarnations, for that matter. Despite an implied tragic backstory, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) is the exact kind of bloodthirsty, timeline-destroying tyrant that fellow Kang variant He Who Remains (Majors) tried to keep in check with the Sacred Timeline in "Loki" Season 1. Meanwhile, MODOK (Corey Stoll) is the twisted, tormented, and heavily armed husk of what used to be "Ant-Man" villain Darren "Yellowjacket" Cross.

Though powerful in his own right, MODOK is an entry level bad guy compared to Kang. Because of this — and the fact that he was the first supervillain Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) fought — he's the perfect opponent for newly Pym particle-powered Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), especially since the two share a history of their own. As Cassie herself puts it, "A guy in a bee suit tried to kill me when I was six."

As Cassie and MODOK face each other on the battlefield, you might be surprised to notice that the way things play out between them seems oddly familiar. This is because Cassie stealthily spoiled "Quantumania's" entire MODOK storyline in a single conversation that happened in the beginning of the movie.

Cassie's conversation with Scott telegraphs her entire story arc with MODOK

"Quantumania" indeed telegraphs what turns out to be one of its key conflicts early on. The banter between Cassie and Scott after the latter bails the former out of jail gives us the aforementioned Yellowjacket line, which foreshadows MODOK's true identity — and establishes conflict, since Cassie's clearly still thinking about Cross. Her trick with the police car reveals her anti-authoritarian streak and resourcefulness, as well as confirms that she's familiar with how Pym particles work and has access to at least some of Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) size-changing gadgets. She also mentions that she has "a suit," which turns out to be an Ant-Man-style suit that she later successfully uses to fight MODOK. 

Just like that, in one tense father-daughter conversation, "Quantumania" establishes Cassie's own abilities, and teases a collision course with her would-be assassin from when she was a kid. The setup is so clever that when MODOK eventually enters the fray and Cassie's visibly creeped out to see him, the viewer understands that it has little to do with the way he now looks. MODOK or not, Darren Cross is her worst trauma made flesh.  

Cassie is an essential component in Darren Cross' redemption arc

In that very same early conversation, Cassie also spoils the way she ultimately defeats MODOK .. and saves Darren Cross. No, not the giant fist part — that one needed no setup. We're talking about the part where Cassie, with a single conversation, causes MODOK to rethink his life and perform one of the most surprising heroic turns in MCU history.

The reason Cassie is in jail in the beginning of the movie is her desire to do good, which manifests as a penchant for grassroots activism that seems to be largely nonviolent (the occasional shrunken patrol car notwithstanding). She genuinely wants to make a better world in ways that don't necessarily involve punching bad guys, and tells Scott as much. Keep that in mind when you rewatch the movie, and you might be surprised how well this translates to Cassie's final battle with MODOK. 

After resorting to self-defense and applying a very Ant-Man (well, Giant-Man) -style fist to the villain's face, Cassie doesn't walk away from the defeated MODOK who's muttering threats from the floor, as other superheroes might. Instead, she returns to her fallen foe, and gives him a completely nonviolent (though appropriately angry and surprisingly profane) pep talk. Just like that, her actions make the world a better place. Having finally realized the error of his ways, MODOK reclaims the name of Darren Cross, and proves to be the decisive factor in the heroes' attack against Kang — thus earning redemption in the final moments of his life, and getting the MCU's weirdest character death scene.