Power is subjective. Some may argue that power is best tested by physical prowess, while others believe it lies within the mind. Iwould argue power is a mixture of strength, intelligence, resourcefulness, and dumb luck.
It’s with that criterion in mind that I rank the 10 most powerful characters in the latest MCU movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Does everyone’s favorite ex-Baskin Robbins employee-turned-Avenger come out on top? Or does Kang truly conquer all and take the title of Most Powerful Character? Well, if I tell you now, you probably won’t read the whole thing, so be patient, have a snack, and read on.
Note: This article contains MAJOR plot spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Well, someone had to be at the bottom of this list, and it might as well be Lord Krylar. Bill Murray’s former rebel turned sleazy arms dealer was never meant to be powerful anyway. He’s there to give hints about Janet’s past, and to crack a few jokes about strange human behavior.
It’s hard to make a case for him as a formidable foe when he is ultimately undone by the still-alive snack he is about to consume, which becomes large thanks to some Pym Particles and begins to devour him. It’s an amusing end to an amusing character that absolutely no one will miss.
William Jackson Harper is always a welcome addition to anything he’s in. The Good Place actor makes his MCU debut as Quaz, a telepath who has only existed in the Quantum Realm. He’s curious about his new “alien” human friends, and frequently scans Scott’s mind to see if he’s telling the truth.
Beyond that, Quaz doesn’t get to show off his powers too much. It’s understandable, as Quantumania is a busy movie with lots of moving parts and roles, and he’s not important to the plot. Any comic fan knows that a telepath can be superpowerful (hello, Phoenix!), so while he doesn’t rank too highly on this list, Quaz has the potential to be more powerful if viewers get to see him again. And let’s hope he returns in a movie that’s better than this one.
Jentorra looks, acts, and sounds like she stepped out of a Babylon 5 episode, and that’s not meant as a compliment. She gives off a B-grade Xena vibe, and doesn’t really showcase any memorable personality traits. (Comics fans, I know she’s a supporting character from the Hulk comics, but she still comes across as a SyFy Channel reject.)
Still, I’m talking about power here, and she proves in the final act of Quantumania that she’s a skilled fighter who can take down most foes. She also appears to be super strong and perpetually angry, so Jentorra rightfully earns her place on this list.
Yes, he looks ridiculous, but there’s a reason why he’s named Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. MODOK may have a giant head and baby legs, but he also has a variety of weapons like body-cutting lasers, saws, and projectile bombs to make him a worthy henchman to Kang.
Yet for all his intimidating weapons, MODOK is still brought down not by Scott Lang, but by his inexperienced teenage daughter Cassie. It’s hard to argue this longtime Marvel villain is superpowerful if any amateur (armed with Pym Particles) can take him down.
Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp is a straightforward, unfussy hero who doesn’t get enough credit or the screen time that she deserves. While she’s mostly on the sidelines in Quantumania, her few moments in the spotlight allow her to really shine as both a character and a hero.
She saves Scott at a critical moment when he can’t quite reach the oversized reactor to Kang’s ship, and she again saves her lover’s life at the end of the film when Kang nearly kills Ant-Man after everyone has gone back to Earth. Power has all kinds of meaning, and for Hope Van Dyne, her power lies in her reliability and ability to step in and save the day when she needs to.
Listen, Cassie is a teenager and barely a hero, so I can forgive her inept moments in Quantumania‘s first and second acts as she’s trying to quickly learn how to shrink down and fight like an ant. I’ve tried it, and it’s not easy.
So why is Cassie so high up on this list? Because she’s a fast learner, and she beats the lethal MODOK all by herself. Not only that, but she unintentionally manages to turn the villain into a good guy (albeit briefly) by bluntly telling him to “not be a dick.” Cassie proves that her power skills come not just in the form of her intelligence or her super strength, but in her ability to be persuasive as well.
It’s natural that the main character of the movie is high on this list. After all, he showcases his complete mastery over shrinking and growing large, and demonstrates a grit seldom seen to pummel Kang in numerous fight scenes and save his daughter from death. Scott is no longer the helpless newbie in the previous Ant-Man movie or even Endgame; he’s a legit hero who can hold his own.
Well, up to a point. Scott repeatedly has to be bailed out of certain death situations by Hope, Hank, and even his daughter. Some may call that teamwork, but it’s actually more of a weakness that Scott still has to overcome in future MCU movies.
Janet’s high placement on this list might be controversial for two main reasons. First, she doesn’t show off any real powers. Unlike her husband and daughter, she doesn’t shrink down or fly in the air to combat weird Quantum Realm foes. Second, she doesn’t really do all that much besides provide exposition and get held captive by Kang.
Yet Janet proves she’s one of the movie’s most powerful characters in the film’s first 10 minutes alone. Why? Well, she singlehandedly prevents Kang from escaping the Quantum Realm by using Pym Particles to enlarge Kang’s ship reactor, thereby stranding him and saving countless lives and worlds. In the process, Janet sacrifices her chance at returning home, and resuming her role as a mother to Hope. In that single act, Janet displays impressive power, and she deserves to be near the top of the list.
A lot of readers may looks at Kang’s placement on this list and whine, “Well, duh.” First, that’s rude. Obviously he’s near the top of this list, because .. .well, he’s freakin’ Kang! He can shoot his crippling blue lasers from his hands, float through the air, and move objects with his mind. Oh, and he can travel through time almost effortlessly, knows the end to all of existence, and has conquered numerous civilizations.
So why isn’t he at the top? Well, it’s pretty simple: Kang doesn’t win in this movie. And while superhero movies, by necessity, require that the good guys win in the end, it’s the way Kang is brought down that makes him only the second most powerful character in the movie. He’s quite easily trapped in the Quantum Realm by Janet, and is felled by Hank and his million or so evolved ants. Yes, Kang is defeated by a bunch of ants. All powerful? I think not.
An unexpected pick for the most powerful character in this or any movie, Hank Pym earns the spot by quite literally saving the day. In Quantumania‘s overstuffed climax, he’s the one who takes down Kang by bringing together an endless horde of highly intelligent, technologically evolved ants to overwhelm the conqueror.
It’s fitting that in the third Ant-Man movie, the most powerful character is the OG Ant-Man. Hank trusted the power of his insect buddies, and had the resourcefulness to use them against a seemingly unstoppable opponent. That makes Hank the most powerful character in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and anyone who wants to fight that claim can take on the brigade of kickass ants I borrowed from Hank.
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