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The One Character Thanos Never Meets

Since it began in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced a who's who of comic book greats. From Iron Man to Howard the Duck, most of Marvel's biggest names not only recur, but interact with one another regularly. Even amidst all of the team-ups and crossovers, however, the chance to meet doesn't come for every combination of characters. For example, the main villain of the MCU, Thanos (Josh Brolin), narrowly missed one of the franchise's most important heroes.

Thanos made his debut in 2012's Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron via small teases. He also had a handful of scenes in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but didn't make his formal bow until 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. His quest for the all-powerful Infinity Stones drove the plot, finally putting him center stage. Given his nefarious plan to wipe out half of all life in the universe, Marvel's heroes gave him a run for his money.

Between Infinity War and its 2019 follow-up, Avengers: Endgame, most of the main MCU roster confronted Thanos directly at least once. Keeping him from the Infinity Stones and defending Earth from his hordes turned out to be a team effort. There is one champion, however, who never got the chance to stand toe to toe with Thanos before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) snapped him away for good.

Scott Lang's Ant-Man never faced Thanos

The biggest name to never take on Thanos directly is Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) — best known as Ant-Man. The character is no newcomer to the MCU, arriving in 2015 via his first solo film and taking the spotlight again in the sequel, 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp. In addition to his series, Lang has also appeared in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. One would think he'd run into the big bad of the MCU at some juncture with so many appearances under his belt.

Alas, Lang never crossed paths with the Mad Titan in the same way as his fellow heroes. The likes of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) faced him personally, but Ant-Man never did. Both characters were present for Endgame's epic final battle, which featured nearly every superhero in the MCU up to that point, but they never squared off one-on-one. Given Thanos' proficiency as a hand to hand combatant and his ability to wield large, bladed weapons, Lang certainly dodged a bullet.

Ant-Man's absence is explained by previous MCU movies

Ant-Man's good fortune is not a plot hole, nor is it a result of lazy filmmaking. His previous MCU appearances easily explain his exclusion from Thanos' affairs. At the end of Civil War, Lang is sent to The Raft super-prison, and later goes under house arrest for disobeying the Sokovia Accords. This prevents him from joining in on the events of Infinity War. Still, Ant-Man and the Wasp runs concurrently to it, leaving him to deal with the effects of Thanos' snap, regardless.

When Thanos turned half of the universe to dust, Lang was stuck in the microscopic and unpredictable Quantum Realm. Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) were supposed to pull him out, but they disintegrated. Thankfully, early on in Endgame, a rat happens to trip the device that got him there, releasing him 5-years later. At this point in the timeline, Thanos is long dead after Thor beheaded him. While Ant-Man fights against the 2014 Thanos' army at the film's climax, the two never get to speak or fight, so we'll likely never learn how Lang would've fared in a fight with the MCU's biggest bad.