Is The Soul World On The Same Plane As The Quantum Realm?
Of course, this raises yet another question; is there a connection between the Soul World and the Quantum Realm? In the comics, the Soul World is traditionally described as a metaphysical "pocket dimension" bound to the Soul Stone. The current Infinity Wars event has revealed that this dimension is far more vast in scale than anyone had ever realized, large enough to expand and contain all of creation itself. Perhaps it's better to imagine the Soul World as another plane of reality, one that is bound somehow to the Soul Stone.
If that's the case, then it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the Soul World and the Quantum Realm are one and the same place. After all, the Quantum Realm itself is an almost limitless dimension, a place where the laws of time and space break down, one that exists both in and apart from our own. This connection would somewhat explain why the souls appear in the Quantum Realm; the same logic as the Soul Stone theory applies.
Kevin Feige has explained that the Quantum Realm does have a sort of geography to it. "If you notice in [Ant-Man & the Wasp]," he explained, "[Janet] says meet me in the Wastelands beyond the Void. There are various levels that we check in on. So there are many, many different layers to the Quantum Realm." In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos briefly visited a shimmering orange realm, where he encountered the soul of his daughter Gamora. Perhaps this was one of the "different layers" of the Quantum Realm, a place where the souls of the dead can commune with the living when they've entered into an altered state of being.
What Would This Mean For Avengers 4?
But, if we assume this theory is correct, what would it mean for Avengers 4? By now it's looking pretty much certain that Earth's surviving heroes will travel into the Quantum Realm - new artwork even shows the Avengers in environmental costumes - with the expected primary goal being to travel in time and avert the snap. The Quantum Realm is a dimension where the laws of space and time break down, making it a logical way to explain the Avengers 4 set photos that have characters revisiting previous movies.
However, if the souls of the dead do reside within the Quantum Realm, then it's possible the Avengers will find themselves approached by these souls. In fact, the dead could provide the Avengers with the guidance they need to track down all the Infinity Stones, and thus rewrite history. Gamora, after all, is the only one who knows where the Soul Stone was hidden before Thanos acquired it.
Is The Quantum Realm/Soul Stone Connection A Coincidence?
As intriguing as this Avengers 4 theory may be, it's predicated by the assumption that the orange lights in the Quantum Realm have to be souls. You can certainly make an argument for that case, but are there any other possible explanations for that color?
Yes, there are. Firstly, it's worth pointing out that orange may not actually be the color of souls in the MCU at all. Instead, it could conceivably be the color of life itself. Thus the Soul Stone is orange (souls belong to living things, after all), and healing particles that restore life are also orange. Perhaps, when Ant-Man captured all the healing particles in the area he was in, he created a vacuum - and other orange particles flooded in, coincidentally at the same time as Thanos' snap.
Besides, you would expect Thanos' snap to cause chaos in the Quantum Realm anyway. This isn't an alternate dimension, it's another layer of reality itself, a subatomic plane of existence that lies beneath the world we know; and one more than open to being impacted by an act involving all the Infinity Stones. Indeed, there has even been hints that there are civilizations within the Quantum Realm (although a scene discussing that was cut from Ant-Man & the Wasp, Janet still carries a sword clearly forged by an alien civilization). Presumably, those races would also be affected by the snap, their numbers culled by half.
This is definitely an interesting theory, but it's not entirely persuasive. It seems more likely that the snap affected reality on a fundamental level; Scott Lang was in a subatomic world, and he simply saw the impact of Thanos's act working out in terms of quantum mechanics. Of course, that doesn't make the Quantum Realm any less important to Avengers 4 thanks to its connections to both time travel and Captain Marvel.
- 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 05, 2019