Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania’s 5 Biggest Quantum Realm Retcons
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania!
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania changed the MCU’s Quantum Realm in some major ways. The Quantum Realm has been an important location in the MCU since 2015’s Ant-Man, which saw Scott Lang enter the subatomic dimension after defeating Darren Cross, a.k.a. Yellowjacket (now known as MODOK). While the Quantum Realm has made appearances in several different MCU projects, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania finally explained more about the mysterious reality, providing some answers that seriously changed audiences’ perceptions of the MCU’s Quantum Realm.
As well as its debut in Ant-Man, the Quantum Realm has made appearances in MCU projects such as Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame. However, in previous projects, the MCU’s Quantum Realm had always appeared to be a barren environment where nothing could possibly survive, something which gave Janet van Dyne’s rescue in Ant-Man and the Wasp even more weight. Now though, that perception has changed, as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has revealed whole worlds and countless beings residing inside the Quantum Realm, rewriting what audiences thought they knew about the MCU’s microscopic universe.
5 MCU’s Quantum Realm Exists Outside Of Time & Space
Previous MCU projects have established in terrifying detail how dangerous the Quantum Realm can be due to the fact that the concepts of time and space become unpredictable. When Avengers: Endgame revealed Scott had been trapped in the Quantum Realm for five hours, five years had actually passed on the surface, and Janet even warned about the possibility of falling into a time vortex. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s story establishes that the Quantum Realm actually exists outside of time and space, suggesting that these simply aren’t concepts for the residents of the Quantum Realm.
The fact that the concepts of time and space don’t exist at all in the Quantum Realm is new information for the MCU but helps to explain several questions, mainly how Kang the Conqueror was able to amass such an army and build his empire in only a few short years. What might have only been a few years on the surface could have been several more in the Quantum Realm. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the freedom from the constraints of time and space allows for some spectacular visuals, as the world quite literally bends every which way.
4 The Quantum Realm Has Many Different Worlds
Soon after entering the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne explains to Hank and Hope that the Quantum Realm consists of far more than they first realized, particularly in the fact that many worlds make up the fabric of the Quantum Realm and their previous journeys into the strange dimension had barely scratched the surface. This idea is taken straight from the pages of Marvel Comics, as the source material’s depiction of the Quantum Realm (there called the Microverse) is that of a long string of sentient planet-like worlds. Each of these worlds harbors a different environment, some of which can be seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
During the first film of the MCU’s Phase 5, Janet names one of these areas in the Quantum Realm as « Sub-Atomica, » which is a star-system of five planets in Marvel Comics’ Microverse. This could have been where Janet set up her home in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s opening moments and where she and Kang attempted to restart his Multiversal Power Core. Several different environments are seen during Quantumania, including the wasteland where Janet lived, the desert where the team hitches a ride to find Scott and Cassie, and Kang the Conqueror’s city of Axia, none of which were previously known about.
3 Entire Civilizations (& Creatures) Exist In The Quantum Realm
Along with a variety of new landscapes to explore, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania reveals that all kinds of sentient life have formed inside the Quantum Realm, producing an array of creatures and beings. While some look strikingly human, others are entirely other-worldly, including Veb, David Dastmalchian’s gooey character with no holes, and a being resembling broccoli which Hank Pym comments on in shock. Before Kang the Conqueror found his way to the Quantum Realm, these beings had formed immense civilizations, one of which was glimpsed in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
It was revealed that Kang had decimated many of these civilizations, leaving only those who submitted to his rule intact, while beings from the others joined together in refugee camps and revolutionary missions. Scott and Cassie came across one such group, led by Jentorra and Quaz, when they first entered the Quantum Realm. While Hank had theorized about sentient beings residing in the Quantum Realm, Quantumania marked the first time these creatures were actually seen in the MCU, which marks a significant change in how the Quantum Realm will be used in future projects.
2 The Quantum Realm Can Be Used As A Prison
It’s previously been known that the Quantum Realm is a very difficult place to escape from, primarily demonstrated in Janet getting stuck down there for thirty years after a SHIELD mission. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania revealed that other beings, specifically the Council of Kangs, view the Quantum Realm as the perfect prison. When Kang the Conqueror’s rampage across the Multiverse got too much to handle, the Council of Kangs, including Rama-Tut, Immortus, and the Scarlet Centurion, introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s end-credits scenes, sabotaged Kang the Conqueror’s vessel and exiled him to the Quantum Realm in the hopes that he’d be trapped there for eternity.
Since Kang had no knowledge of the Quantum Realm’s true nature, it’s likely the Council of Kangs didn’t realize that there could be beings inside the Quantum Realm who could help Kang eventually escape. In its earlier appearances in the MCU, the Quantum Realm was thought to be simply a vast emptiness where no life could survive, so it’s possible that this perception was shared by the Council of Kangs. This would have made the Quantum Realm the perfect prison to hold Kang the Conqueror, as he would have no means of escape and no way to amass his army. Unfortunately, this wasn’t actually the case.
1 Kang The Conqueror Has Built An Empire In The Quantum Realm
Luckily for Kang, the first person he bumped into in the Quantum Realm was Janet van Dyne, someone with the knowledge and expertise to help him rebuild and restart his Multiversal Power Core. Even though Janet was able to stop Kang from escaping the Quantum Realm, he was able to piece together his suit of armor, which gifts him remarkable abilities and helped in his conquest of the Quantum Realm. Quantumania introduced Kang the Conqueror’s secret empire to the MCU, which must have been growing throughout each of the Quantum Realm’s previous MCU appearances, though this was never seen.
The fact that Kang the Conqueror has been expanding his power inside the Quantum Realm in the background of every MCU project makes the Multiverse Saga’s major villain even more terrifying. Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, or any of the Avengers in Avengers: Endgame could have potentially come into contact with Kang in the Quantum Realm and wouldn’t have even realized it. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has blown the idea of the Quantum Realm wide open, and since this is only the first project of the MCU’s Phase 5, there’s no doubt the minuscule universe will only become more important in the MCU’s future.