Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania Is Resurrecting A Dead Villain

As part of the shift to make the franchise more than a palette cleanser, Peyton Reed-directed Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is altering MCU lore in a big way. Historically, the events from the microscopic superhero film series have not received the full recognition they deserve in the larger cinematic universe. But when Ant-Man 3 opens in theaters on February 17, there will be a major shift in that history.

Over the years, fans have gotten used to one-off appearances by iconic villains played by beloved performers. Hela (Cate Blanchett), Ronan (Lee Pace), and most recently, Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), to name a few. None has ever been brought back, but with the introduction of MODOK in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, a villain gets the chance to reintroduce himself.

Who Ant-Man 3’s MODOK Really Is

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MODOK appeared briefly in the second Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania trailer, giving eagle-eyed viewers a comic-accurate first look at a legacy Marvel character. But the more interesting revelation was the actor playing the enlarged head of the Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. In Ant-Man 3, Corey Stoll, who played Darren Cross in the first Ant-Man movie, will play MODOK in Quantumania. As MODOK, Stoll plays a more subdued role as a partner-in-mischief to the film and Marvel’s Phase 5 and 6’s big bad, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

Stoll was last seen in the MCU shrinking to his death after Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) sabotaged his Yellowjacket suit. His return is different from that of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who remains dead in the main MCU timeline, even though a variant is alive and caught in the mysteries of the Time Various Authority (TVA). As a result, Yellowjacket’s return in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania as the metahuman cyborg will be the first resurrection for a presumably dead villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why The Quantum Realm Changed Yellowjacket So Much (But Not Janet Van Dyne)

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While Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania‘s departure from the one-off villain pattern is welcomed, there’s no denying Corey Stoll’s MODOK and Yellowjacket look very different. The obvious explanation is the result of a prolonged stay in the subatomic zone. According to 2018’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, extended time in the Quantum Realm alters a person’s body chemistry and can even give a person superpowers. But the Quantum Realm is not just one thing. It’s a dimension with different characteristics subject to endless manipulations.

While Janet Van Dyne got the ability to manipulate Quantum Energy and keep herself stable, Yellowjacket may have contracted something akin to the Quantum zombie virus in What If…?. Or perhaps he lacked the energy to maintain his physique, causing the rest of his body to shrink relative to his head before a cunning supervillain offered a cybernetic solution that saved his life.

Could this be why Corey Stoll’s MODOK appears to be working with Kang the Conqueror? We will see when Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania debuts in theaters on February 17, 2023.

Read Next: 5 of the Most Devious Marvel Villains

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