Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — A Reading List
Earth’s tiniest heroes are at it once again. On February 17, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hit theaters. Several familiar faces are back in the mix. Paul Rudd is back as the titular hero of variable size. Evangeline Lily, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas are back as Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, and Hank Pym, respectively.
There are some new faces and some big things happening, too. Cassie Lang has been recast yet again, this time with Kathryn Newton stepping into the role. She’s wearing a costume this time around, so she might be Stature or Stinger, as well. And then there’s Jonathan Majors. He made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut at the end of Loki, but now we’re getting a different version of that character. This one is undeniably the villainous Kang the Conqueror.
Judging by the trailers (which might be lying to us), the Pym/Van Dyne crew get sucked into the Quantum Realm, and there they find Kang. There’s some sort of deal to be struck between Scott and Kang, and it certainly won’t end well if Kang gets his way. Kang certainly looks to be the next big bad of the MCU, the next Thanos-level threat.
That’s a lot of information to unpack by itself. Need more? Fortunately, there are decades of great comics to read to learn more about these characters and their stories. Here’s your reading list for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Unfortunately, this list is rather heavy on white, cisgender men. While it’s getting better, the comics industry has long been dominated by this demographic, and there’s still a long way to go.
The Astonishing Ant-Man by Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas
This book is probably the closest analog to the first Ant-Man film. Scott Lang is a divorced ex-con who steals the Ant-Man suit to save his daughter. Will he continue his journey to becoming a superhero or fall back into his life of crime? The relationship between Scott and Cassie is particularly germane to the upcoming movie.
Avengers Forever by Jason Aaron, Aaron Kuder
Even the setup for this story is fascinating. The Avengers are up against an unbeatable enemy: time. Seven of the Avengers are displaced in time trying to save Rick Jones from Immortus. If they have any hope of success, they have to team up with Kang the Conqueror, their long-time foe.
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, Justin Ponsor
The Young Avengers (including Cassie Lang) decide they’re going to find and save Scarlet Witch. When Magneto finds out, he first fights and then helps them, but they all run aground of Doctor Doom, who plans to marry the depowered Wanda. The X-Men and Avengers, including Ant-Man and the Wasp, all get involved as this comes to a head.
The Irredeemable Ant-Man by Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester
No Scott Lang or Hank Pym here, no. Instead, a low-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent gets ahold of the new Ant-Man suit and takes it for a spin. He’s not a hero. He’s not even very nice. He’s just trying to get a leg up and live his life. Supervillains have been created in such ways, though.
Kang the Conqueror: Only Myself Left to Conquer by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Carlos Magno
Kang has led many lives, even as we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How did this come to pass? How did he gain such mastery over time and space? The answers are in here as Kelly and company retell Kang the Conqueror’s incredible origins. The entire thing is framed by an old Kang sending a younger Kang down a terrible path.
The Kang Dynasty by Kurt Busiek, Alan Davis
Keen-eyed comic book fans noticed a particular word flash across the screen in the most recent Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer: Dynasty. That’s because of this book, the most famous Kang story. Why is it so famous? Kang wins. He conquers. Then the collected heroes of Marvel have to get their world back.
Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1 by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Alti Firmansyah
Meet Nadia Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym. Raised in the Red Room, the same place that trained Black Widow as an assassin. But Nadia doesn’t want that life. Along with Jarvis and Moon Girl, she’s on the run from the Red Room and trying to remake herself as a hero. Definitely my favorite Wasp.
Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2 by Jeremy Whitley, Gurihiru
More than a year after the end of the first volume, Whitley returned to Nadia Van Dyne, this time with the backing of the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, and the Agents of G.I.R.L. Now that she’s escaped the Red Room, they’ve got their sights set on fighting A.I.M. The battle of the acronyms!
Wasp (2023) by Al Ewing, Kasia Nie, Tom Reilly
The first issue of this series only recently hit the shelves of local comic book stores, and it’s taking the comic world by storm. Janet Van Dyne is a legend at this point, accomplished in business and heroism. When an old foe emerges, she needs Nadia Van Dyne’s help. Two Wasps, one great adventure.
Young Avengers: Sidekicks by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, John Dell
We can’t forget about Stature, also known as Cassie Lang. She’s been in the Marvel Universe for a long time as Cassie, but in issue #6 of this series, she makes her superhero debut as Stature and joins the Young Avengers. Her superhero story starts here.
Now for the burning questions. Will Scott survive this adventure in the Quantum Realm? Will anyone except for Cassie? Just how powerful is Kang? How ridiculous is MODOK? I’ll just have to read these comics until I get the answers.