There were many issues with Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but probably the biggest was the absence of a single unifying threat for the various story threads to build to, or coalesce around. After Thanos and the Infinity Saga it all just felt a little meaningless and empty.
Signs are promising that this could all be about to change. The Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania trailer seemed to show real stakes and drama, and was thankfully free of the self-satisfied quip-o-matic approach that has tainted the MCU recently.
The single biggest addition was a clearly competent and threatening bad guy in the form of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. He is set to be the new supreme villain in this phase of the MCU.
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige talked about Kang and said we shouldn’t simply expect a Thanos redux. This guy is different. He is battling himself as much as he is fighting the Avengers:
“He is the obvious choice as you’re dealing with the Multiverse. Kang allowed us to do a new kind of Big Bad. He’s a different type of villain, warring amongst themselves as much as he’s warring with our heroes. Kang’s a very powerful person, but when we meet him he’s in a position where he needs to get that power back. He has a ship and a device that would allow him to go anywhere, and anywhen he wants if he can get it online. If only he had access to genius scientists with Pym particles.”
The sequel replaces Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie Lang with Kathryn Newton (The Society, Freaky) and they are joined by Bill Murray as Lord Krylar.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to release on February 17, 2023.