Kang the Conqueror will be encountering Ant-Man during his live-action debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but the hero and villain may have already met each other in 2015’s Ant-Man. While it doesn’t appear from the first trailer that they officially know each other, details from that released footage and previous Ant-Man films suggest that Scott Lang and the MCU’s Kang could have already met at least once before. Not only would this make Kang yet more imposing, it would effectively explain why Ant-Man 3 is the villain’s official movie introduction.
Scott Lang has traveled through the Quantum Realm numerous times, and each occasion he spent down there saw something different happen. In Ant-Man, Lang was able to discover a way out from the darkness he encountered, but had no memories of how he escaped or what he saw down there. In real life, this choice was likely made because it left the Quantum Realm helpfully vague for future films – but it also sets up a big possibility for Quantumania.
The Ant-Man movies have explored the dangers of the Quantum Realm, such as when Hank Pym entered to save his wife Janet and when Scott became trapped for five years after Thanos’ snap. But Avengers: Endgame showed that it could also be used to travel through time – with Scott even mentioning that the five years that passed in the outside world were five hours for him inside the Quantum Realm. This means that Scott Lang could have met Kang the Conqueror at any point in time that he was in the Quantum Realm, and it could explain why he never remembered how he escaped in Ant-Man.
Quantumania Needs To Explain Why Scott Couldn’t Remember The Quantum Realm
Quantumania’s first trailer supports the idea that Scott’s memory loss could be explored more in the future. Janet van Dyne spent 30 years in the Quantum Realm, yet it doesn’t seem like she suffered from any memory loss. Janet also seems aware that Kang exists because she knows how dangerous that universe really is. The Ant-Man 3 trailer confirms this Janet theory, with her stating “There’s something I never told you” about her time in the Quantum Realm. Scott Lang never spent enough time in the realm to truly know how dangerous it is, and the issues with his memory indicate that Kang could have played a part in this. While Ant-Man hints at the idea Scott is lying about his memory loss in order to prevent Hank Pym from searching for Janet in the Quantum Realm, it’s never outright made clear, and using this story moment to tie Kang to earlier Phases of the MCU would benefit the overall franchise.
Kang Being Technically Set Up In Ant-Man 1 Would Make Him Scarier
The scene from the Quantumania trailer where Kang the Conqueror offers to help Ant-Man in exchange for his help doesn’t just add weight to the theory that the villain may have met Ant-Man before, but it also shows how pivotal their interactions will be throughout the film. This would work best under the idea that Kang has already interacted with Ant-Man previously, as it would set up for the perfect twist halfway through the movie, and tie it further to the first Ant-Man movie. Loki also confirmed that Kang’s He Who Remains variant paved the way for Loki’s journey in the series, so Kang very easily could have set up Scott’s story throughout the MCU, which would work well to set him up as an imposing figure to face.
The MCU using this blank spot in the lore of Ant-Man to set up Kang the Conqueror would make his role a lot scarier. The Ant-Man 3 movie story won’t just affect the rest of Scott Lang’s story, but it will impact the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe greatly, and setting up the next big villain to look as powerful as possible should be a priority as a result. If Kang has been around all along (or at least since Ant-Man) and is able to mess with time, then his appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be that much more terrifying.