Ant-Man and the Wasp might have proved that we don’t really need Scott Lang anymore.
After seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp, it seems pretty clear that this movie wasn’t really about Ant-Man at all. This movie was for the Pym family, and served to introduce both Wasp characters into the MCU.
The first Ant-Man movie tried to make it clear that Hope was a badass, while not actually letting her do any badassery. She was one of the genius’ behind the tech, and someone who was more than willing to wear it, but Hank’s fear of losing another family member kept her from suiting up.
When Scott Lang broke his way into the Pym home, Hank took the opportunity to put someone who he cared about a whole lot less in the suit. However, Scott wasn’t simply a guinea pig. Hank was impressed that he managed to get past his security, which gave him some trust that he had what it took to wield the Ant-Man title.
Scott Lang had both book smarts and street smarts. As an electrical engineer, his intelligence and capabilities were reminiscent of a younger (and much less wealthy) Tony Stark. On top of that, his ability to pull off heists made him an even more valuable asset to the Ant squad.
When Scott stepped away from the suit for both personal and legal reasons, Hope took up the mantle…or should I say, m-ANT-le (lol). After Scott managed to get out of the quantum realm unscathed, Hank’s fear was diminished and his hope skyrocketed. Hope saw that hope and enthusiastically stepped in to make the whole thing a lot more hopeful!
At the beginning of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank and Hope are hard at work trying to free Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm. Even though they’re on the run from the law (due to their association with Scott), they’ve managed to build a highly impressive, fully functional laboratory with more impressive tech than ever before.
Hope is working as both the brains and the brawn of the operation. She’s working out the kinks behind the scenes, and she has officially become the Wasp, a fully fledged hero in her own right. Having full knowledge and control of her suit (which even has wings), she can use it to its full potential, which she proves on many occasions in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Scott is also part of the action in the sequel, but does he honestly even need to be? When I think back to the movie and try to pick out my favorite Scott moments, they’re all from Scott’s time out of the suit. Building the maze for his daughter, killing time on house arrest, dodging the police; Scott Lang is a much more endearing character than Ant-Man in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
After being exorcised from the colony post-Civil War, Scott only comes into the fold in Ant-Man and the Wasp because he had a vision of Janet, leftover from the quantum realm. Hope and Hank aren’t interested in his skills or abilities anymore. They want his insight into the quantum realm, and his willingness to go back. S
Anything Scott can do, Hope can do better. This likely would be the case no matter what, but in Ant-Man and the Wasp, it became especially true. Any capabilities that Scott had in the first installment of Ant-Man seem to have been retconned for the sequel. He’s no longer the highly intelligent engineer/criminal that we’ve known him to be. He’s a goofy dad with a fledgling business who’s mostly used as a pawn by the Pyms.
Even the end-credits scene features Scott essentially being used by Hank, Hope and Janet for research purposes. He doesn’t seem to be a unique and valuable asset to the team, he’s kind of just a guy who knows how to use the suit.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is Wasp’s movie, Ant-Man’s just in it. And that’s perfectly fine. Ant-Man already had his time in the spotlight, so we should absolutely be shining it on the new hero(es) in the mix.
The weird thing is, in terms of the MCU, the addition of Wasp has essentially made Ant-Man obsolete. Why call Scott when you can have Hope? Sure, they can still act as a team, but the MCU has made Hope the clear leader. The movie only amplified how much more capable she is, making her the logical first call for any future missions.
It’s amazing that the MCU is giving Hope/Wasp the recognition she deserves, but it would be ideal to achieve some balance between the two characters. Wasp won’t seem less capable if we acknowledge how smart Ant-Man is!
Of course, the after credits scene means that Ant-Man will be the lone insect in Avengers 4, but going forward we hope to see both characters at their full potential. (But if not we’ll still gladly watch Wasp being a badass for years to come…thanks!)