Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania introduced Kang the Conqueror to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences had already met variants of Jonathan Majors’ character in Disney+’s Loki series, but the most iconic emerged in the third Ant-Man film.
However, a recent theory posted on Reddit suggests Kang wasn’t the only villain the people behind the movie had in mind when they were making it – MCU fans may also have seen the origin story for Annihilus. But how so?
Who Is Annihilus?
Knowing who Annihilus is in the comic books is essential to understand the theory. Annihilus is a member of the Arthrosian species. Arthrosians are insectoid creatures from planet Arthros, in Sector 17A of the Negative Zone. Annihilus is often depicted as the ruler of the Negative Zone.
He possesses superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, durability, stamina, and agility. He wields a powerful item called the Cosmic Control Rod, which grants him additional abilities, such as molecular manipulation, energy blasts, and slowed aging.
Although he’s gone up against various heroes in the comics, Annihilus is often portrayed as an enemy of the Fantastic Four. It would be fantastic to see him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
How Did Ant-Man 3 Hint At Annihilus’ Arrival?
In the MCU, the Quantum Realm is a mish-mash of several concepts from the comics: the Microverse, the Negative Zone, Limbo, and so forth. Given Annihilus’ strong connection to the Negative Zone, that’s inherently a significant hint towards his emergence. But there’s more.
Initially a relatively primitive insectoid creature, Annihilus obtains increased intelligence from mutation before becoming even more intelligent after using an extraterrestrial knowledge transference helmet to master the technology of the advanced Tyannan species. He subsequently gained more power after getting hold of the Cosmic Control Rod.
Now, in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Hank Pym brings many ants (which are, of course, insects) that he had been experimenting on to the Quantum Realm. Somehow, they evolve to become super-intelligent, with some resembling cyborgs or wearing armor). The army of super-intelligent ants ends up defeating Kang the Conqueror.
Although the ants were loyal to Pym in Ant-Man 3, one could enter Kang’s high-tech helmet to gain incredible knowledge, ultimately evolving into Annihilus.
The Multiversal Engine Core featured in the movie could be the MCU’s version of the Cosmic Control Rod. The item could grant Annihilus even more power, and the evolved insect could then learn how to control the other ants, leading them on a quest of destruction that takes them into the primary MCU.
Their rampage could even be the MCU’s version of the iconic “Annihilation” event from the comics, with the franchise’s Phalanx portrayed as giant robotic evolved ants controlled by Annihilus (perhaps even with further upgrades, such as some Ultron tech acquired on MCU Earth).
The MCU’s Hank Pym was “robbed” of Ultron’s paternity in the franchise, as Tony Stark and Bruce Banner inadvertently created the villain despite Pym doing so in the comic books. This would be the “justice” Pym deserves, finally getting to create an abomination worthy of being an Avenger-level threat.
That said, given that the Fantastic Four are coming to the MCU – and it’s Marvel’s First Family who most often deal with Annihilus in the comics – perhaps it will be Pedro Pascal’s Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic and his blue-costumed teammates who deal with the insectoid villain and his Annihilation Wave in the live-action franchise.