Endgame Theory: The Quantum Realm's Secret City Houses New Avengers Villains

Avengers in the Quantum Realm Suits in Endgame

Does a city in the depths of the Quantum Realm hold the key to the new villains of Avengers: Endgame? Marvel Studios is carefully avoiding giving away any major spoilers about Avengers: Endgame, to the extent that Kevin Feige has suggested all footage used in trailers and TV spots could well be from the film's first 15-20 minutes. For all that's the case, though, details are still beginning to get into the public domain courtesy of official merchandise - and they suggest there may be quite a few major plot twists.

One leaked toy box hinted that Thanos won't be the only villain in the film. The description included in the tie-in merchandise reads: "The Asgardian Thor wields the mighty Stormbreaker in his battle against new foes," and "Rocket teams up with a new crew to guard the galaxy from an even greater threat." Significantly, these two action figures were models of the two heroes in new white costumes that are commonly believed to be Quantum Realm environmental suits. So it's entirely possible these dangerous new enemies originate from the Quantum Realm.

Related: What If Avengers 4's Villain Isn't Thanos? Predicting A Shocking Marvel Twist

That's where Ant-Man & the Wasp may come in. In one scene, Hank Pym and Scott Lang flew out of the Quantum Realm - right past a mysterious city, covered by a dome. It was only on the screen for a split-second, almost hidden by the psychedelic special effects of the Quantum Realm, but it was definitely there - confirming that the Quantum Realm is indeed inhabited. This could well be where the new threat comes from; the Avengers are expected to head into the Quantum Realm in order to travel in time and rewrite history, and they could unwittingly come into contact with the inhabitants of that city. But what city is it, who lives there, and what could these new foes be?

Is Ant-Man & The Wasp's Hidden Quantum Realm City Chronopolis?

In order to answer this question, it's logical to turn to the comics themselves, which serve as the loose inspiration for the Marvel movies. Unfortunately, it's actually quite difficult to find a city in the comics that parallels the one glimpsed in Ant-Man & the Wasp. You're looking for a clearly advanced city, one that exists in some sort of other dimension or higher plane of reality, and that's covered by a protective dome. Surprisingly enough, in over 65 years of Marvel comic books, there only appears to be one location that fits with this checklist; Chronopolis.

In the comics, Chronopolis is the stronghold of classic Avengers villain Kang the Conqueror, although it's also been associated with other time-travelers like Immortus as well. It sits outside of time in a realm called Limbo, and can allow access to all the various time-periods Kang has conquered. Each block of Chronopolis extends to the ends of the Earth in the time-period it exists in; unless you find the hidden portals connecting the different blocks, it's possible to get lost in Chronopolis forever. The more primitive time-periods are on the outskirts, the more advanced towards the center, and Chronopolis is dominated by Kang's Citadel. Very few comics have ever shown Chronopolis from the outside - the focus is usually on the Citadel itself - but the few that have done so have shown a city that appears to match with Ant-Man & the Wasp.

It's important to note that Kang is very much unlikely to appear in Avengers: Endgame. Kang has strong ties to the Fantastic Four, and as such it's known that his film rights sit with Fox. Although Marvel is expected to regain them later this year, should the Disney/Fox acquisition be approved by international regulators, that will be far too late to introduce Kang in Endgame. But as noted, other time-travelers like Immortus have their own ties to Chronopolis. It's certainly not inconceivable the MCU could switch things up by placing a character like Immortus on the throne instead of Kang.

Related: 2018's Superhero Movies: All 9 Ranked Worst To Best

Is The Quantum Realm Also The MCU's Limbo?

Scott Lang in the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp

There are several realms referred to as Limbo in the comics, but the one tied to Kang and Immortus is probably the most interesting. It's a unique dimension that exists outside the time-stream and thus possesses no time. Reality is comprised of a single, ever-changing moment in which everything that ever was, is, and could coexists. Any time-traveler in Marvel Comics passes through Limbo, using it to jump from one point in history to another.

At first glance, this seems slightly different to the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man & the Wasp. After all, if there's no time in the Quantum Realm, then Janet Van Dyne shouldn't have aged while she was trapped there. However, Kevin Feige himself has explained that the relationship between time and the Quantum Realm is a little bit more complicated. Feige pointed out that the movie hints at there being "various levels" to the Quantum Realm; Janet, for example, asks to be rescued from "the Wastelands beyond the Void." Presumably it works like a sort of series of concentric circles: the deeper you get into the Quantum Realm, the more the laws of reality - laws like time and gravity - cease to apply. So the MCU's Limbo analogue could be at the very heart of the Quantum Realm.

There are two major points in favor of this idea. Firstly, Samuel L. Jackson has revealed that Captain Marvel can travel through time under her own power, and it's long been known that the Quantum Realm will feature in Captain Marvel in some way. If the Quantum Realm does indeed contain the MCU's version of Limbo, then Carol Danvers would pass through it when traveling in time. Meanwhile, it's generally believed that the Avengers will enter the Quantum Realm in Avengers: Endgame in order to use it to time travel. If that is the case, according to Feige's explanation they should really be expected to head to the very center of the Quantum Realm - a Limbo-like reality.

Page 2 of 2: What Role Could Immortus Play In Avengers: Endgame?

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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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