“Without the me, without the TVA… everything burns.” With those chilling words from the finale of Loki season one, He Who Remains set the new stakes of the MCU. The multiverse was held in tenuous balance by He Who Remains, and when a vengeful Sylvie killed him, she exposed the multiverse to its greatest threat: his own Variant, Kang the Conquerer.
Given He Who Remain’s grandiloquence, it’s more than a little surprising that the first line of defense against Kang’s incursion would be Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, aka Ant-Man and the Wasp. The duo have fought off weapons dealers and phase-shifting thieves, but a guy who can destroy several realities seems a little out of their league, even with the help of Hope’s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. And it’s even more surprising that they succeed, thanks in large part to a team of mutated super-ants.
Does this mean that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ends by revealing Kang to be a paper tiger and He Who Remains a worried blowhard? Well, not exactly.