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‘Quantumania’ Talking About Sex Is a Hilarious Nod to a Common Marvel Criticism

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'

Marvel’s latest film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is seemingly not everyone’s cup of tea. I enjoyed it a lot because I liked the comedy mixed in with the stakes of what Kang (Jonathan Majors) wanted to do when he escaped the Quantum Realm, but there were some who didn’t like it, and that’s fine! But we’re going to talk about a part of the movie I really found funny: sex.

Okay, so they’re not out here having sex onscreen in an Ant-Man movie, but given the tone of the Paul Rudd-led trilogy, they have a little more freedom to poke fun at things—like Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) talking about who they slept with when they both thought they were going to be separated for the rest of time.

Janet was stuck in the Quantum Realm and couldn’t find a way out, and Hank thought Janet was lost forever. So, the two clearly had “needs,” and those needs meant that they found someone else to be with. For Janet, it was Bill Murray’s Lord Krylar, and Hank’s was someone he knew back in San Fransisco. But they have this conversation about their needs while Hope (Evangeline Lilly) is with them, and watching her squirm as her parents are talking about their sex lives from when she was a kid is genuinely funny.

But it is also a funny note to those who claim that the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have any “sex” to it. What that means, I’ve never fully gotten, but now that these two talked about their needs, that’s what people wanted, right? (I know it’s not, but I do think that’s genuinely funny.)

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No really the kind of sex we were looking for

A lot of the time people have complaints about the Marvel Cinematic Univer, they say there’s no sex in it or about it. I don’t get that, seeing as it is a franchise geared towards super hero fans (who tend to be younger kids, as well as adults), but hey, whatever. It also doesn’t make sense for a number of characters or shows (if you’re including the Netflix MCU in the discussion), but that’s not the point. The point is that this conversation wasn’t exactly the sex representation people wanted. But it was funny!

I’ve never really understood the argument about sex in Marvel movies because the first movie of the franchise (Iron Man) featured Tony Stark having a one-night stand. Is it just because couples aren’t making out constantly? I think the MCU does their level of “sex” just fine, but if you want characters to talk more openly about their desires, at least there is this! Quantumania gives Hope some trauma to unpack by listening to her parents talk about their sex lives outside of their marriage, and it’s honestly hilarious to see.

Maybe next time that can be a private conversation, though, Janet and Hank—for Hope’s sake.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.