Avengers 4: New Costumes May Prove Quantum Realm Time Travel Theory

Thor and Rocket in the Quantum Realm in Avengers 4

UPDATE: Read what the new Avengers: Endgame suits are for.

New art from Avengers 4 merchandise may prove a popular theory involving time travel and the Quantum Realm: Earth's Mightiest Heroes are attempting to rewrite history. The artwork shows two of the Avengers, Thor and Rocket Raccoon, wearing distinctive new costumes. An inset panel at the bottom confirms that Captain America will wear a similar uniform.

There's a sense in which we shouldn't be surprised to learn the surviving Avengers will wear new uniforms of some kind in Avengers 4. After all, from a business point of view, a costume change means more money from sales of merchandise. In this case, though, the designs aren't just a simple adjustment. Both of these are distinctive enough to suggest there's a strong story reason for the outfits.

Related: Avengers 4: All The Rumors, Leaks & Spoilers

And, while Marvel has been very secretive about Avengers 4's plot, from a variety of set photos and rumors, we've pieced together a good idea of what the movie is about - and a close examination of the costumes strongly supports the theory that the Avengers will be traveling through time via the Quantum Realm.

The Avengers 4 Time Travel & Quantum Realm Theory

Wasp in the Quantum Realm and Avengers Infinity War

The cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos emerge triumphant, achieving his insane goal of erasing half the life in the universe with a snap of his fingers. Viewers watched in horror as many beloved heroes crumbled to dust before their eyes; characters like Black Panther, Star-Lord, and even Spider-Man were erased from existence. As shocking as this ending may have been, though, it was immediately clear that next year's Avengers 4 would see matters put right. After all, the characters who were killed off are all heroes we know are set to return. Take Spider-Man as the ultimate example. Tom Holland is signed up for six Marvel movies, and filming is already underway on his sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home, a film set "minutes afterAvengers 4. Logically, then, the plot of Avengers 4 is the story of how the surviving Avengers undo or avert the snap.

Since, an abundance of set photos has confirmed that Avengers 4 will revisit a number of key events in the history of the MCU, most notably the Battle of New York. Tony Stark was seen wearing the same Black Sabbath shirt he wore in The Avengers, complete with bruises on his face suggesting this was immediately after the Avengers battled the Chitauri invaders. Thor and Loki were snapped in their Avengers-era costumes, with one photo showing Loki taken away in chains. And Captain America was spotted wearing that "old-fashioned" uniform, standing next to an older Tony Stark and - most surprising of all - Scott Lang's Ant-Man. There's evidence the movie will revisit other events too, but that image of Scott Lang stood on set with 2012's Captain America seemed pretty conclusive; this is a time travel film. The most likely scenario is that the Avengers are attempting to change history, perhaps by obtaining the Infinity Stones themselves and bringing them to their own time.

But how could the Avengers travel in time? The key, it's been suggested, is the Quantum Realm, the mysterious subatomic dimension where the laws of time and space break down. The time aspect is crucial. When it was introduced in 2015's Ant-Man, Marvel's scientific consultants openly admitted it could potentially be used for time travel. The post-credits scene of Ant-Man & the Wasp confirmed exactly that, with Janet Van Dyne warning Scott Lang not to get caught in a "time vortex" inside the Quantum Realm. As Scott was trapped in the microverse shortly after that tease, it seems reasonable to assume he'll escape through one of these time vortexes, perhaps emerging a few years in the future, and that his knowledge will lead Tony Stark to realize time travel is possible.

Read More: Ant-Man & The Wasp May Have Already Explained Avengers 4's Time Travel

It's a complex idea, but it fits all the known facts and would explain why Marvel was willing to kill off so many of their key characters; they knew that history would be rewritten, that the deaths would be averted. According to this theory, Avengers 4 will tell the story of how Earth's surviving heroes prevented Thanos from ever snapping his fingers in the first place.

New Avengers 4 Artwork Reveals Quantum Realm Costumes?

That's where these new costumes come in. They appear to be vaguely reminiscent of an astronaut's outfit - albeit with the kind of sleek, science-fiction twist you'd expect from Tony Stark. Notice that, although they don't cover the characters' heads, they're otherwise form-fitting. They're clearly environmental suits of some kind - and Ant-Man & the Wasp already confirmed that you need to wear just this sort of clothing when traveling through the Quantum Realm.

Significantly, these designs are similar to concept art Marvel considered while creating Hank Pym's own Quantum Realm suit in Ant-Man & the Wasp. As concept artist Jackson Sze explained in The Art of Ant-Man & the Wasp, "I... thought about how the Quantum Realm could be a pretty harsh environment, similar to what an astronaut would face when exploring space, so [my design] definitely has an astronaut feel to it." It's true that they're not identical, feeling very different to the costumes Marvel toyed with during production of Ant-Man & the Wasp, but there's a good reason for that. Another of Marvel's concept artists, Andy Park, pointed out that Hank Pym and Tony Stark have a very different approach to technology. "Stark's sensibilities are always as sleek as can be," he observed, "much like a fancy European sports car. Pym, on the other hand, is more old school. He comes from a former era so his sensibilities will be less fancy, a bit more clunky, but still state of the art." These new costumes, then, are exactly what you'd expect from Stark's interpretation of a Quantum Realm environmental suit.

Marvel originally toyed with the idea of having the Quantum Realm suits in Ant-Man & the Wasp be airtight, but ultimately decided it should be safe to unmask while subatomic. That decision made perfect sense in the film itself - Janet Van Dyne was supposed to have somehow survived in that strange dimension for decades - but it now chimes with these new Avengers suits.

Page 2: What The New Costumes Reveal About Avengers 4

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Key Release Dates
  • 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
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