As a longtime fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I was eagerly anticipating the release of Avengers: Endgame. With the fate of the universe hanging in balance, it was sure to be a thrilling and emotional ride. And while the film certainly delivered on that front, there was one character whose absence left me feeling somewhat disappointed: Ant-Man.
Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, was introduced to the MCU in his own standalone film in 2015. Played by Paul Rudd, the character quickly became a fan favorite thanks to Rudd’s charming and humorous performance. He later appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, where he joined Team Cap in their fight against Iron Man and his allies.
But it was in 2018’s Ant-Man and The Wasp where Scott Lang’s importance to the larger MCU storyline became clear. The film ended with Scott entering the Quantum Realm to retrieve healing particles for the ailing Janet van Dyne, but just as he was about to be brought back to our world, his allies on the outside were snapped out of existence by Thanos’ infamous snap.
Fast forward to Avengers: Endgame and Scott miraculously emerge from the Quantum Realm five years later, having avoided the snap. He brings with him the key to the Avengers’ plan to undo Thanos’ actions: time travel.
But what if Ant-Man didn’t return in Avengers: Endgame? What if he was still trapped in the Quantum Realm, or had been snapped out of existence like so many others? The consequences of the Avengers’ mission would have been significant.
For one, the Avengers would not have had access to time travel. While Tony Stark eventually figures out a way to harness the power of the Quantum Realm without Scott’s help, it’s unlikely he would have been able to do so without Scott’s initial discovery. Without time travel, the Avengers would not have been able to revisit key moments in their past and collect the Infinity Stones, meaning they would have had to come up with an entirely different plan to defeat Thanos.
Additionally, Scott’s absence would have had an impact on the emotional weight of the film. While the other Avengers mourned the loss of their fallen comrades, Scott’s return served as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. His reunion with his daughter Cassie was a poignant moment that helped to ground the film in a sense of humanity amidst all the cosmic chaos.
Furthermore, Scott’s humor and lightheartedness were much needed in a film that could have easily become too dark and serious. His interactions with the other Avengers provided some much-needed levity, and his enthusiasm for the time heist plan helped to keep the audience invested in the stakes of the story.
Overall, the absence of Ant-Man in Avengers: Endgame would have been a significant blow to the film’s plot and emotional resonance. While the MCU has many great characters, Scott Lang’s unique skill set and personality were crucial to the story being told. His absence would have left a noticeable hole in the narrative, and the film would have been all the poorer for it.
In conclusion, while it’s impossible to say what Avengers: Endgame would have looked like without Ant-Man, it’s clear that his presence was essential to the film’s success. Paul Rudd’s performance as Scott Lang brought heart, humor, and humanity to the story, and his character’s contributions to the plot were significant. Without him, the Avengers’ fight against Thanos would have been even more difficult, and the emotional impact of the film would have been diminished. Thankfully, we didn’t have to find out what that alternate reality would have looked like, and Ant-Man was able to play a crucial role in the MCU’s epic conclusion.