The end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is only the beginning.

The latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is here, with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man back for a third outing. This time, the subatomic superhero dives into the Quantum Realm to rescue his family, only to encounter the menacing Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) who wants nothing more than to break free from his imprisonment.

With Avengers: The Kang Dynasty slated for 2025, the ending of Quantumania begins the long road to the next time the Avengers shout “Assemble!” But how does the end of Quantumania set up the Avengers’ next big crossover? Below, we break down the end of Quantumania and how Ant-Man’s battle with Kang might have longer, lasting repercussions to the MCU.

Warning: Spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ahead.

What Happens at the End of Quantumania?

Luckily, you don’t need a master’s in quantum physics to understand the ending of Quantumania. Team Ant-Man’s victory over Kang is pretty straightforward and unambiguous.

Towards the climax of the movie, Kang prepares to activate his machine to finally escape the Quantum Realm. But he’s stopped by Scott, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), and Hope (Evangeline Lilly). There’s also Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), with Hank’s advanced super ants helping the Quantum Realm’s oppressed denizens carry out their revolution against Kang. The gang receive some unexpected help from former enemy Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who was turned into M.O.D.O.K. by Kang after Darren wound up in the Quantum Realm after the first Ant-Man.

Naturally the conflict comes down to just Ant-Man and Kang beating each other up, both trying to stop the other from entering a gateway Cassie built connecting the Quantum Realm to their real world. Telling Kang that they “both have to lose,” Scott blows up the gateway that seals Kang into a deeper dimension. Kang’s current whereabouts are now unknown.

Though Scott and Hope are briefly left behind, they’re not stranded for long and are eventually rescued by the others without any real effort.

What Does the Ending of Quantumania Mean for Phase Five?

While the ending of Quantumania may not have any immediate impact on the MCU, its implications for Phase Five run deep.

In the epilogue, everyone returns to San Francisco when Scott begins to worry that Kang is still alive. And he could be. Truth is, Scott isn’t totally sure what became of Kang after he blew up the gate. Scott also has no idea about the Council of Kangs, who were introduced in the movie’s mid-credits scene and are undoubtedly a major threat to the MCU.

Scott has every reason to worry about Kang’s possible (very likely) return. Scott knows he royally pissed off Kang, and Scott himself has seen what Kang is capable of when he’s both determined and angry. Kang conquered the Quantum Realm and make it into his kingdom. What’s stopping him from doing the same thing to Earth?

Scott brushes off his worries, and there is time for him to breathe; the rest of Phase Five won’t have Kang in any major way (with the exception of Loki Season 2). But Phase Six will begin after the release of Thunderbolts in July 2024, and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is scheduled right in the middle of the slate.

Quantumania may not have anything teasing the next Marvel project in the pipeline — that being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, soon to open in theaters on May 5 this year — but Kang’s inevitable return will surely be contextualized by what transpired in Quantumania. Suddenly, the one hero in the MCU that no one took seriously is the one who has maybe screwed things up the most.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters.

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