Quantumania’ Is Set to Revive Phase 4’s Most Infuriating Trope


As the latest trailer made clear, there are a ton of reasons to be excited for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, with the arrival of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror at the top of the list. However, there’s also a bunch of reasons why fans might be skeptical about it, from its dodgy CGI to the massacring of our boy MODOK. Another way the new trailer has got us worried is in its promise that the incoming threequel, and Phase 5 at large, will continue the most frustrating trope of the MCU’s Phase 4. Namely, our heroes being at the root of their own problems.

Perhaps out of a desire to subvert the typical depiction of superheroes as Superman-like paragons of virtue, the MCU has always been interested in pitching its protagonists as flawed individuals who are often their own worst enemies (see all those villains who are dark mirrors of the hero). However, this predilection took over to an obnoxious degree in Phase 4, much to the detriment of the characters and their reputations. In short, Marvel has started to make its own heroes look like short-sighted idiots.

Think Doctor Strange messing up his magic spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home or Wanda allowing herself to be corrupted by the Darkhold in Multiverse of Madness. Or Sylvie killing He Who Remains in Loki. Or even Wanda again being the cause of the Hex in WandaVision. More often than not these days, the Avengers aren’t the ones saving the world but threatening it in the first place. And now Scott Lang is the latest to fall into the same trap in Quantumania.

The latest trailer teases that Kang manages to hoodwink Paul Rudd’s shrinking supe into making a deal with him — it looks like Scott agrees to go on a Quantum Realm quest to find Kang some powerful MacGuffin in exchange for the Conqueror changing reality so Scott gets back the time he lost with his daughter Cassie. As with Peter Parker, Scarlet Witch, and Doctor Strange, we can empathize with Scott’s reasons for doing this… but it still comes across as an abundantly stupid decision for a seasoned hero who should know better.

There are a lot of issues that need to be ironed out of the MCU as Phase 5 continues, but restoring the Avengers’ reputations by portraying them with intelligence and foresight should be at the top of the list.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on Feb. 17.





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