Well, well, well. Isn”t this interesting. Sources are saying Hayley Atwell – aka Peggy Carter of “Agent Carter” – is confirmed to appear in “Ant-Man” next summer. This could be very good news for fans disappointed that Evangeline Lily was revealed to be playing the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, instead of Janet herself.
Confused yet? Allow me to explain.
Back when “Ant-Man” was first announced, fans assumed the man behind the mask would be Hank Pym. This made sense since Pym – and not Tony Stark – is responsible for Ultron in the comics. At the time “Ant-Man” was added to the Marvel line-up, the Ultron plot change had yet to be revealed. Furthermore, fans of more lady heroes were also excited, since Pym”s partner Janet is both an original founding member of the Avengers and the superhero known as Wasp.
But the hope of seeing another XX chromosome Avenger on the big screen was dashed to pieces when it was revealed Michael Douglas would be playing Hank Pym. Which would leave the superhero-ing of Ant-Man to Paul Rudd as the character of Scott Lang. Old Hank Pym meant old Janet Van Dyne, right? Wrong.
Not only would Wasp NOT be saving the world from bad guys, Marvel was cagey as to whether Wasp was even in the movie. As of this writing, her character is still missing from the “Ant-Man” IMDB page. Fan alarm at this prospect was exacerbated when Douglas was quoted at San Diego Comic-Con, saying “But unfortunately during this process [of becoming Ant-Man], a tragic personal accident happened with [Pym”s] wife [and] daughter.”
The Internet lost its mind over the mistreatment of such an important character. The twitter hashtag #JanetVanCrime sprang up in retaliation and think pieces were created in protest. How could Marvel kill one of the original founding members of the Avengers? And as an apparent afterthought, no less! Why does the Marvel Cinematic Universe hate women!?
Of course, in the echo chamber of outrage a little something got overlooked. Douglas never, NEVER said Janet was dead. He said she was part of a “tragic accident” which also affected Evangeline Lily”s character. Words means things. It stands to reason if one Van Dyne survived, both probably did. So what the hell is going on?
Enter “Agent Carter.” Marvel has established the Cinematic Universe stands alone. So while Wasp might not be a founding member of the Avengers in this iteration, there is no reason to believe she wasn”t a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Think about it. Wasp is too integral to the Marvel lore to sweep under the rug with an off-screen fridging.
But it was nothing more than a theory…until today. Having Peggy Carter show up in “Ant-Man” indicates she either had something do to with funding Hank Pym”s research or S.H.I.E.L.D. at least showing an interest in it. In the SDCC interview, Douglas put the “tragic accident” in 1963 – which leads to some hinky math either on the age of Hope or dates “Ant-Man” as set in the 1980s – which would be almost 20 years after the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D.
So, what”s to stop Janet van Dyne from being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Perhaps she volunteered to help research Pym Particles and inadvertently became a superhero. Perhaps Hope was irradiated while in utero. Perhaps Tony Stark even named the current Avengers after a name he overheard as a child; a name for the covert group of agents with the “special skills” needed to take out the Zodiac. Perhaps Janet van Dyne isn”t in “Ant-Man” because she”s going to be on “Agent Carter”…fighting these guys.
Or perhaps they really did fridge her. And if so, bad form Marvel. But we can dare to dream.