This explainer contains major spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. If you’re not caught up with the film yet, check out our spoiler-free review of the start of Phase 5!
Phase 5 is officially in motion and Scott, Hope, Cassie, Janet, and Hank are all back in San Francisco safe and sound. It’s happy endings for all (for now) and, now that Cassie’s Not Birthday cake has settled, it’s time to dive into just what those post-credits scenes meant. If you’re just here to find out if there was a post-credits scene or how many of them there were, the answers are “yes” and “two” respectively!
For those who have seen the film, don’t worry, you’re safe. M.O.D.O.K’s weird, distorted face can’t hurt you here. You may, however, be a little bit lost by all the different versions of Jonathan Majors’ face running around. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
The Council of Kangs
The first stinger features a familiar image for comic fans. After a brief discussion between Rama-Tut, Immortus, and a variant who appears to be a play on the Scarlet Centurion, the scene changes to reveal an entire arena brimming with Kangs and with more popping up by the second.
This scene serves two primary purposes. The first is to illustrate the scope of what Ant-Man’s Kang the Conqueror — and Loki’s He Who Remains before him — meant when he said he was standing between their timeline and his infinite variants who meant to destroy it. Ant-Man’s Kang works with a Thanos-like ethos, insisting that he doesn’t mean to conquer reality itself, just all the variants and the splintered timelines they came from. But his counterparts make it pretty clear that they have no such goals of balance or restoration (no matter how misguided those intentions may be), only annihilation.
The second is to give us a glimpse of the three variants who we’ll likely spend the most time with throughout Phase 5 and in the lead-up to Phase 6’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in 2025. Rama-Tut, Immortus, and not-quite-Scarlet Centurion are all heavily featured in our Kang the Conqueror explainer if you’re looking for a deeper dive into their individual characters, but the biggest question here is which variant will lead the charge against whatever version of The Avengers we’ll see in the future? Each will undoubtedly play a not-insignificant role over the next few years, but is it Rama-Tut or Immortus who will drive the variant ship forward? Or perhaps Centurion or another version of Kang will step up to lead the fight against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Which, of course, takes us to the second post-credits scene.
Victor Timely and Loki Season 2
The fourth iteration of Kang that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania gets up close and personal with is one Victor Timely. On the surface, he appears to be a mild-mannered 20th century scientist showcasing his findings to a crowd of awed onlookers, but, as we learned from The Conqueror’s introduction to Janet Van Dyne in the Quantum Realm, most of these Kangs are not what they seem.
Loki, however, seems more than adequately stressed out by the presence of the man on stage. (Then again, maybe he’s got some Mild-Mannered-Scientist-PTSD after his run-in with Dr. Banner’s big green friend.) Mobius — who, as per the show’s season finale, doesn’t remember his time with Loki prior to Sylvie murdering He Who Remains — can be seen with his former TVA bestie, but he’s not so sure Loki’s panic is warranted. Presumably, he’ll be changing his tune as Loki Season 2 progresses, because Timely has some major ties to some upcoming players in the MCU.
In addition to likely playing a major role as at least one of Loki Season 2’s primary antagonists, the introduction of Timely could mean major things for two of the MCU’s biggest upcoming introductions: The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Timely — known in the comics for creating “harmless” tech in an era before the Avengers or even Howard Stark began tinkering — is directly responsible for the technology that made the solar gem possible. Said gem was an integral part of creating the first Human Torch (who actually had a cameo in Captain America: The First Avenger). While current iterations of the character have moved away from the Torch’s android roots, we still don’t know what direction the MCU will take when introducing Marvel’s First Family. And, given that Kang’s — that’s Nathaniel Richards, or Kang Prime, however you find it least confusing to identify his original version — own origins are deeply connected to Doctor Doom, expect the villain to be heavily involved in the movie version of the Fantastic Four story.
Timely’s other known breakthrough is much more nefarious than the first. During the Kang Dynasty comic run, the U.S. Government sends the Sentinel Fleet to protect Earth from, y’know… conquering. However, that version of Kang is easily able to take control of the fleet due to his advanced knowledge of the tech that went into creating them (because it originated, in part, with one of his variants). Given that the Sentinels pose a major threat to the mutants through a good hunk of their comic tenure and we’re spending a lot of time with Kang over Phases 5 and 6 — during which X-Men will make their long-awaited MCU debut with the introduction of Wolverine with the rest to likely follow — it seems probable that we’ll see some version of one or both these comic tie-ins come to pass in the cinematic universe.