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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – Opening Phase Five of Marvel

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania via Disney

Another year gifts us with a new Phase for the Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is kick-starting Phase 5 of Marvel's journey and delivering the next slate of superheroes and villains that are guaranteed to bring even more intensity to the table than the previous four.

Paul Rudd and Kathryn Newton as Scott Lang and Cassie Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania via Disney

The Infinity Saga came to an end in 2019 with Spider-Man: Far From Home where we bid farewell to some of our most beloved heroes. These protagonists such as Tony Stark have become such an integral part of society their sacrifices, and their loss almost felt akin to losing family. And since this point, it hasn't been plain sailing for the franchise. Phase Four of Marvel witnessed a drastic hit in the box office levels since the release of Avengers: Endgame – which is partly to be expected.

The Infinity Saga materialised an entire decade of storytelling and saw the Avengers assembling at last to defeat the force of Thanos and his army. Following this, the new Multiverse Saga is just beginning to establish a new story with even more threatening villains. To err on the side of caution with these new, and underdeveloped stories is to be expected, particularly after parting with some of our favourite heroes. : Quantumania appears to be set to drop the trend that Phase Four adopted throughout its slate in which the narrative was often lost amongst the comedic tones. Thor: Love and Thunder is perhaps the representative example of comedy disregarding the progression or relationships between the protagonists.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is extremely exciting for multiple reasons – but the reign of Kang the Conqueror is arguably the most momentous. Kang is introduced to the universe in 2021's Disney+ series, Loki and immediately became a key player in the multiversal chaos at the expense of Loki Laufeyson and Sylvie Laufeydottir's antics. Meeting him at a Citadel at the end of time, Kang (who is also known as He Who Remains) oversees all of time – everything that has happened, and everything that will ever happen. He is one of the most menacing and terrifying presences the Marvel universe has seen, and we can expect this to intensify in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. He warns of countless different variants of himself, each one more perilous than the last. The teasers released for Ant-Man have showcased more of Kang's powers that are utilised against Scott Lang. It has been widely speculated that the fight sequence presented in the trailer appears to be within what looks like the Quantum Realm and that this variant of Kang may not be the only one we will see throughout the film. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that Quantumania will explore the threat of Kang in far more dept and consolidate the new, coherent plan for the next two Phases. But we may have to wait until Avengers: The Kang Dynasty for the final payoff.

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania via Disney

Scott Lang has become somewhat of an underdog within the Avengers. Yet 's portrayal of the ‘down on his luck', ex-convict has always been a fan favourite. Scott Lang opened Phase Two of Marvel in 2015 with his debut film, Ant-Man which warmed our hearts. Since this point, Scott has been a principal player in the plots of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. Often it seems Lang's efforts towards the defeat of Thanos are overlooked by the sacrifices of Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff.

This is not to say that these deaths should be understated, but there is an appreciation that was absent from Scott's initial idea. This incorporated travelling through time to collect the Infinity Stones in an expedition that he dubbed a ‘time heist', before Tony Stark developed the technology that was required to assist the plan along.  It has been a delight to watch Rudd's portrayal of his character grow from his arrival eight years ago and extremely fitting that Phase Five of Marvel is to open with Quantumania. It's full circle and a testament to how important Scott Lang has become over the course of the last ten years.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is full of surprises, including some rather big names joining the cast, such as and William Jackson Harper. Due to premiere in cinemas on February 17th.