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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Reviews Are Forcing Me to Remember It Isn’t an Avengers Movie

I bet I'll still love it, though

In a still from 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' Cassie (Kathryn Newton) stands next to her father, Scott Lang. Scott is wearing his Ant-Man suit without the helmet, so his face his visible.
(Marvel Studios)

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had its world premiere earlier this week, and the social media embargo has lifted. That means we finally get to read reviewers’ first impressions of the film! Sadly, those impressions have been middling so far, which has forced me to confront a brutal, devastating truth: This is an Ant-Man movie, not an Avengers tentpole.

I mean, rationally, I knew that. It’s not called Avengers: Quantumania! However, the initial marketing for the film has been hyping up how the movie kicks off Phase 5 and starts the Multiverse Saga in earnest. Plus, it introduces Kang the Conqueror, a.k.a. “the next Thanos, except even better.” I think I can be forgiven for letting my expectations run a little wild.

The social media reviews aren’t bad—at least, most of them aren’t. But almost all the ones I’ve seen are tempered.

The most glowing reviews, for instance, say that the movie succeeds in being a solid introduction to Kang and Phase 5.

Other reviews, though, criticize the story, largely calling it underwhelming.

Would reviewers be this critical of the story if it was marketed as just another Ant-Man film? Or are we all going into this movie with higher expectations than we should?

I’ll admit that when I went into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder, I was underwhelmed by both films. Why? Because I’d come to expect two things from Marvel: extensive tie-ins to other movies and shows, and narratives that advanced the plot of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. How could Doctor Strange 2 have “multiverse” in the title, yet have no connection at all to Loki? (The WandaVision tie-in apparently wasn’t enough for me.) How dare Thor take care of business without recruiting all the other Avengers?

But those expectations weren’t reasonable! I had to remind myself that it took Marvel 10 years to build up to the juggernaut that was Infinity War. The MCU takes time to develop, and that’s part of what makes it such a satisfying franchise.

So I’m going into Quantumania with adjusted expectations. It’s an Ant-Man movie, and that’s okay. Avengers: the Kang Dynasty is coming out in just a couple of years, and that’s when I’ll (hopefully) get the grand, sweeping story that I’m craving so much. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy Quantumania for what it is: one early chapter in a much larger epic.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.