Scott Lang Could Emerge in the Future
There have been persistent rumors that there's an unusually large time-jump between the events of Avengers: Infinity War and next year's Avengers 4. Those rumors were supported just a couple of months ago, when 16-year-old Emma Fuhrmann joined the cast of Avengers 4 as an older version of Scott's daughter, Cassie. The simple fact is that, whatever time period Scott arrived in, his first thought would be to check on his family. This curious casting decision raises the possibility that Scott will emerge from the Quantum Realm five or six years after the "snap," returning to a world that's dramatically changed. The aftermath of Thanos's horrific act would have caused chaos on a global scale, with aircraft dropping from the sky as their pilots disappeared, world leaders vanishing while in the middle of difficult and dangerous negotiations, and emergency services decimated. Promotional photos have teased that the Avengers have stepped up to the challenge, becoming a symbol of hope in a world gone mad.
Cassie would have assumed that Scott was another victim of the "snap," given the timing of his disappearance. It's even possible that she's dedicated herself to honoring his memory, becoming a superhero in her own right, which would be true to the comics, fitting with hints from Kevin Feige that Marvel is interested in adapting the Young Avengers concept. Her father's unexpected return would shock her, and no doubt she'd point the returned Ant-Man to his old allies, the Avengers.
There's abundant evidence that Avengers 4 is actually a time-travel film, and this may well explain how. The moment Tony Stark learns about time vortexes, he'll start trying to work out how to travel in time and avert the "snap." Ant-Man's return would thus inspire the Avengers to change history. There's even a comic-book precedent for this idea; in 1994, Marvel's Age of Apocalypse saw a time-traveler create a dystopian reality in which Apocalypse ruled. The existence of Bishop led Magneto, leader of the X-Men in that reality, to seek to travel back in time and rewrite history. The parallel wouldn't quite be exact, but it would be significant nonetheless.
This Was The Only Way
This adds another dimension to Doctor Strange's decision to hand over the Time Stone to Thanos on Titan. As he crumbled to dust, Strange told Tony Stark this was the only way, clearly implying he'd foreseen one course of events in which Thanos was ultimately defeated, and had carefully manipulated events to ensure that timeline was the one that came to pass. On the face of it, viewers had assumed Strange handed over the Time Stone the moment Tony Stark's life was threatened, and that Stark is particularly important to defeating Thanos. While there's no doubt truth in this, there may be more to the battle on Titan than just that. It's also possible Doctor Strange needed to prolong the battle until the right moment so that Thanos didn't snap his fingers before Ant-Man entered the Quantum Realm, where he may have been protected.
If this is indeed the case, there are now two people who are crucial to Thanos's defeat: Ant-Man and Tony Stark. Ant-Man is important because he proves time-travel is actually possible, but Tony Stark would be important because he'd be the man to develop the time-travel technology, giving the Avengers a shot at rewriting history. That would turn the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp into an absolutely crucial step along the way to next year's Avengers 4.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019