This summer’s Ant-Man occupies a curious place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Taking place after the earth-shaking events of Avengers: Age of Ultron but before the monumental Captain America: Civil War, it’s technically part of the MCU’s Phase Two but seems like a strangely small-scale affair with which to end that section of the franchise, especially since many are marking Avengers movies as the dividing points between phases. Nevertheless, Ant-Man will function as an origin story for a key Avenger – the title character, played by Paul Rudd – and now it’s been revealed that the Peyton Reed-directed pic will also introduce another key Marvel character: The Wasp.
Collider’s Matt Goldberg visited the set of the pic last year and learned that Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, makes an appearance in the movie. As in the comics, she’s the wife of original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and like him, she has the ability to shrink down to the size of an insect. Unlike her husband, Janet can also fly and fire “bioelectric energy blasts,” but the more tech-oriented MCU will likely make both powers the result of nifty machinery she carts around.
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However, Marvel didn’t cast a big-name actress as Janet because she’s only seen via a close-up of her eyes during a flashback. Apparently, some terrible fate befell her years before the main action of Ant-Man, and Hank Pym blames S.H.I.E.L.D. – and, by extension, all of the superheroes currently galavanting around the world. That’s one reason he’s been in retirement for decades when he taps thief Scott Lang (Rudd) to become the new Ant-Man.
Of course, Wasp is a key Avenger in several of the comic book lineups, so it would be surprising if she never appeared in the MCU. As with Lang becoming the main Ant-Man, though, it would make more sense for Hank’s daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to don the wings, as opposed to Janet coming back out of the blue somewhere down the line. The main takeaway here is that Marvel hasn’t forgotten about the Wasp and is already laying the groundwork for her to be properly introduced in a later phase – which is great news for comic-book fans, given how many terrific storylines Wasp had.