Quantumania officially kicks off phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Super-Hero partners Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible…
Review by Tim Robins
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is the Marvel Cinematic Universe equivalent of The Rise of Skywalker – more coherent, although with less consequence. It does what it says on the tin – but that tin is a can of Sea Monkeys in brine.
The plot, spelled out in long scenes of flashbacks and exposition, revolves around the diminutive Pyms and Van Dynes on a number of unwanted quests to find each other, defeat Kang the Conqueror, free the Quantumverse and have cocktails with Bill Murray. All this plays out against a background resembling not much more than what is now possible in seconds, thanks to AI. The colour scheme is mostly purple, and mostly CGI.
I had worried that the film, produced in a similar way to the effects-heavy Green Lantern, would be totally without interest – but Marvel Studios employ people with a better grasp of compositing than DC. (If you’ve seen trailers for The Flash, making its debut in the UK in June, you surely can’t have failed to notice the way Ezra Miller’s face hovers alarmingly in front of his mask). It is too Quantumania’s advantage that it makes good use of close-ups of the human cast to keep us from similarly drifting away, but with disinterest.
A chirpy opening sequence, much of which has already been seen in the trailers, has Scott Lang (Paul Ruff, looking a bit pudgy round the face) trying to bolster his fragile sense of self worth by reading extracts from his character’s autobiography/inspirational life-story, Look Out for the Little Guy. to a captive audience of children. Which reminds me that I saw the film on the first morning of opening and the last day of half term, yet the cinema was sparsely populated and, then, mainly by adults.
Accompanying Ant-Man are various friends and relations, including Lang’s girlfriend Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), his daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) ,and Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). Together, they make dull table conversation, until Hank and Cassie show off a device they have created to map the Quantumverse resulting in everyone, including the family’s ant-farm, being sucked into the miniscule Universe.
It turns out that there is a lot Janet Van Dyne, who lived in the Quantumverse for thirty years, hasn’t been talking about – including her working partnership with the similarly stranded Kang (Jonathan Majors), her time among rebel Quantum people, and the existence of sentient sticks of broccoli.
Jonathan Major’s Kang is fine, but the prize for the most punchable face goes to Corey Stoll’s M.O.D.O.K., so that’s a very big face to punch. Again, respect to Marvel for including one of Jack Kirby’s more absurd looking creations, even if he is the butt of a lot of jokes, as so many characters in the MCU are.
Quantumania is far from manic, lacking the wild energy of Rami’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, released last year. Instead, the film just seems like a placeholder until the next MCU big screen adventure, Secret Invasion, comes along.
(I actually thought that this film was the last of “Phase Four” but was dismayed to find it is the launch of “Phase Five” of the MCU. I couldn’t be less interested. We are told Kang Will Return, but which one?)
There are a few notable visuals, particularly a scene where multiple possible Lang’s form a swarm of Ant-Men, but the film lacks the humour of its Ant-Predecessors.
The mid and end end of credit clips suggest that the plot line will continue on Season Two of Loki. OK, but I won’t be waiting with ant-ticpation…
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas across the UK now | Official Marvel Site: marvel.com/movies/ant-man-and-the-wasp-quantumania
• Ant-Man-related releases on Blu-Ray and DVD on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
• Read Tim Robins review of Ant-Man and The Wasp
• RSP Heads to the Quantum Realm with ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania’ VFX
The Australian-based visual effects studio delivers 270 shots for Peyton Reed and Marvel’s MCU Phase 5 kick-off, including augmenting and then destroying the massive Celestium fortress and visualizing Kang’s 3D multiverse map.
Recent and Upcoming Ant-Man Collections
Ant-Man/Giant-Man Epic Collection: The Man In The Ant Hill
Paperback – 31st January 2023 | ISBN: 978-1302950354 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
A man of action and a man of science, Dr. Henry Pym invented an amazing growth serum and a cybernetic helmet, and with them he became – the Astonishing Ant-Man! Pym soon teamed with Janet Van Dyne, the winsome Wasp, and the two tiny titans went on to battle an array of mini- and maxi-sized menaces from the Scarlet Beetle to the Black Knight!
But adventures in the microscopic world weren’t enough for one of the Marvel Age’s first super heroes. Soon, Ant-Man became the biggest Avenger there ever was – Giant-Man! And his foundational adventures are all here in this debut Epic Collection!
Collecting: Material from Tales to Astonish (1959) 27, 35-59
Ant-Man/Giant-Man Epic Collection: Ant-Man No More
Paperback – 24 January 2023 | ISBN: 978-1302949655 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Progenitor of the famous Pym Particle, biochemist Dr. Henry Pym started off his super-heroing life as the tiny Ant-Man and then burst into a new role as Giant-Man. The Avengers co-founder’s adventures with the Wasp continue in Marvel’s second Epic Collection as they beat back the Beast of Berlin and battle other adversaries big and small. After their starring roles in Tales to Astonish and Marvel Feature conclude, there’s a new Giant-Man on the block Pym’s friend and lab partner Bill Foster becomes the Black Goliath in a series all his own. Last, but far from least, Marvel present the debut of Scott Lang as Ant-Man, the small hero who has made it big both in Marvel’s comics and on the silver screen.
Collecting: Tales to Astonish (1959) #60-69, Marvel Feature (1971) #4-10, Power Man (1974) #24-25, Black Goliath (1976) #1-5, Champions (1975) #11-13, Marvel Premiere (1972) #47-48, material from Iron Man (1968) #44
Ant-Man: The Saga Of Scott Lang
Paperback – 17 January 2023 | ISBN: 978-1302950651 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Scott Lang cements his astonishing reputation as Ant-Man – with a little (and big) help from some of his fellow size-changing super heroes. Scott teams with Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp, on a fight for freedom in Dimension Z – and Nadia Pym, the new Wasp, on an incredible journey to the subatomic realm. But when the War of the Realms spills onto Earth, Scott must Giant-Man-up with three more towering titans to take on the Asgardian Frost Giants and complete a vital mission.
Plus: Scott and his daughter Cassie, A.K.A. Stinger, do a bit of family bonding with the fate of the world in their tiny hands,,And Ant-Man and Drax tackle some Miami vice.
Collecting: Ant-Man & the Wasp: Living Legends (2018) #1, Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) #1-5, Giant-Man (2019) #1-3, Ant-Man (2020) #1-5, Guardians Team-Up (2015) #7
Marvel Select Ant-Man: World Hive
Paperback – 2nd February 2023 | ISBN: 978-1804911136
by Zeb Wells and Dylan Burnett, plus David Michelinie, John Byrne and Bob Layton | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Everyone’s favourite size-altering super hero Ant-Man is back, and ready to save the world from… an insane Nazi scientist made of bees? Swarm, the infamous apoidean arch-villain is the key player in a global conspiracy to install a New Insect World Order. Now, Scott Lang has the chance to prove to the public what a great hero he is – and more importantly, to prove it to his daughter Cassie, now a hero in her own right called Stinger. Get ready for an epic tale that’s small on scale, but big on action and adventure!
Collecting Ant-Man #1-5 (2020) and Marvel Premiere #47-48
Out: 1st March 2023 | ISBN: 978-1804910757
by Al Ewing and Tom Reilly | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Celebrate the astonishing legacy of the Ant-Man – with every hero who ever donned the helmet! Reacquaint yourself with Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, during his early days as a costumed hero! Join the irredeemable Eric O’Grady on an untold adventure set during the events of Secret Invasion! And in the present day, reconnect with Scott Lang as he tries to stop the villainous Black Ant from freeing the killer android Ultron from captivity! But in the far future, who is the brand new hero calling himself Ant-Man? And what can he do against Ultron – who has become a god?!
Collecting: Ant-Man (2022) #1-4, and extra content
Marvel Film and TV Release Schedule
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania
17th February 2023 – Cinema Release
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Kathryn Newton, David Dastmalchian, Katy O’Brian, William Jackson Harper and Bill Murray
Spring 2023 – TV Series, Disney+
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
Friday 5th May, 2023 – Cinema Release
Loki Season 2
Summer 2023 – TV Series, Disney+
• Read Tim Robins review of Loki Season One
Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse
Friday 2nd June 2023 – Cinema Release
(Not a MCU film but included for information)
Autumn 2023 – TV Series, Disney+ (may move to 2024)
Kraven The Hunter
Friday 6th October 2023 – Cinema Release
(Not a MCU film but included for information)
Friday 10th November 2023 – Cinema Release
Winter 2023 – Animated Series, Disney+
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Winter 2023 or 2024 – TV series, Disney+
2024 – TV Series, Disney+
What If…? Season 2
2024 – Animated Series, Disney+
Daredevil: Born Again
Spring 2024 – TV series, Disney+
Captain America: New World Order
Friday 3rd May 2024 – Cinema Release
The Falcon / New Captain America
2024, TV series, Disney+
Untitled Marvel / Sony Films Release
Friday 12th July 2024 – Cinema Release
(Not a MCU film but included for information)
Friday 26th July 2024 – Cinema Release
Friday 6th September 2024 – Cinema Release
Untitled Deadpool Movie
Friday 8th November 2024 – Cinema Release
2025 and Beyond
Friday 14th February 2025 – Cinema Release
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Friday 2nd May 2025 – Cinema Release
Untitled Marvel Release
Friday 7th November 2025 – Cinema Release
Avengers: Secret Wars
Friday 1st May 2026 – Cinema Release
Categories: downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Film, Other Worlds, Reviews, US Comics
The timeline has actually changed now. What If 2 and Echo have been shunted to 2024 and The Marvels has moved to November. Thankfully Marvel is responding to criticisms of overkill by allowing audiences a bit more breathing space between projects which can only be a good thing