Warning: If you haven’t seen “Ant-Man,” there are major spoilers ahead!
“Ant-Man” is finally here, and with it one of the new summer blockbuster traditions returns: The Marvel post-credits scenes.
If you’re heading out to see the new film this weekend, don’t head out right before the movie ends.
Unlike “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which only featured one scene after the stylish main credits, “Ant-Man” has two: One after the main credits (the “mid-credits” scene), and another after the long crawl.
If you headed out early or were left scratching your head, here’s what you should know.
The Mid-Credits Scene
In probably the most puzzling choice for a Marvel post-credits scene, the first rejoins Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) at home with his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). Pym tells her there’s something she should see.
Pym reveals the wall at the back of the vault where he kept the Ant-Man suit he gave to Scott Lang was in fact false, and behind it lies a newer, more advanced suit modelled after the one her mother, Janet Van Dyne, wore as The Wasp. (We never see Janet in the movie, but she briefly appears in costume during a flashback scene. Janet’s Wasp costume, however, was identical to the one Hank wore — just with wings).
The new suit is predominantly blue and silver, and the tech powering it looks far more advanced. Pym tells Hope that it was a “prototype” that he and Janet were working on together. He says he thought they were working on it for Janet, but he supposes that they were really working on it for Hope.
Hope, meanwhile, tears up with validation, before saying the final line in the scene:
“It’s about damn time.”
What’s so puzzling about this scene:
Frankly, it has no business taking place after the credits. It’s such a clear conclusion to Hope’s arc throughout the film — who spends most of it resenting Hank for not letting her wear his suit and take on Cross herself (while also demonstrating that she’s far more capable a choice than Scott) that it deserves to be part of the film proper. It certainly is a better place to leave Hope than her actual last scene — which is making out with Scott.
As for the future of the Marvel Universe …
It seems like it’s clearly setting up Hope Van Dyne as another hero in the Marvel Universe. But which one? Smart money says she assumes her mother’s code name and becomes the Wasp, much like Scott Lang took on Hank Pym’s old Ant-Man alias.
“Ant-Man” is extremely careful to never show Janet Van Dyne’s face. Even in photographs! That, taken in conjunction with an Easter egg director Peyton Reed hinted at that sharp-eyed viewers should be able to see during Scott’s climactic trip into the Quantum Zone seems to suggest that Marvel has plans for Hank Pym’s lost love, plans that might even result in someone being cast to play her in the future.
If that’s so, then it adds an interesting wrinkle: If Janet Van Dyne returns, will she be the Wasp? And if so, what will Hope be?
It should be noted that Hope Van Dyne does not really exist in the comics. There is a Hope Pym that resides in an alternate universe where all the Marvel heroes have grown old and their children have now taken over, but there she’s the villainous Red Queen.
She looks like this:
Given that Marvel’s plans for the next few years are pretty thoroughly laid out, it’s doubtful we’ll see this — but given the studios penchant for remixing the greatest hits of the comics, don’t be surprised if it’s referenced somehow.
The Second Scene
Remember “The Winter Solider?”
The next scene is brief, and a bit unclear as to what’s happening.
We see Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon (who appears in one of the very best scenes in “Ant-Man”) meeting up with Steve Rogers in a garage somewhere. They’re in a jam — they have found Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who went missing at the end of “The Winter Soldier.”
It looks like he’s in bad shape, but we don’t know why. Cap and the Falcon (in their civilian garb) need help, but they can’t call Tony Stark — they say he’ll be busy with something called “the accords.” They have to go off-book for whatever it is they need to do. But it’s no problem, because Falcon says “I know a guy,” right before the message “ANT-MAN WILL RETURN” appears on-screen.
What this means:
The next post-credits scene is a cryptic nod to the next Marvel movie, 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” but also picks up a plot thread from the previous Cap movie.
There’s not nearly as much to unpack here, other than the first notion of what may cause a rift between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark: Steve goes on a mission without any oversight, and Tony is working on some sort of policy. The center of it all then, will probably be Bucky Barnes.
It’s a hunch, but I feel pretty good about it.
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