So. Just saw ANT-MAN for a second time, just because. Hold’s up – this one really works. Not GUARDIANS-level transcendent, but really good.
Anyway! Long story short: By now you’ve heard that there’s quite a bit of Universe-building business sprinkled throughout this one – multiple cameos, two post-credits beats and a no-name name-drop. But on my second viewing, I’m reasonably certain I caught a glimpse of something that’s either a sly inside-reference, the most well-hidden Easter Egg since Cap’s prototype shield on the workbench in IRON MAN (the first one) …or I’m seeing things.
MAJOR SPOILERS FROM HERE ON:
Okay. So, ANT-MAN’s version of Chekhov’s
Gun Finishing-Move is “going subatomic,” i.e. using the Ant-Man suit’s shrinking capabilities to reduce one’s size down below that of the building blocks of life – useful, but super-dangerous because if you shrink too far you hit the point where physics and reality no longer matter and start slipping through the cracks in space/time, and in the film’s backstory, doing so led to the death of original Ant-Man’s wife Janet “The Wasp” Van Dyne (hence why he’s adamant that his daughter Hope not use the suit herself, hence the conscripting of Scott Lang as the new Ant-Man.) Using this technique ultimately turns out to be the only way for Scott to defeat YellowJacket in a deadly situation, and he winds up tumbling down through the Subatomic World in nifty, possibly COSMOS-inspired sequence (there’s a Tardigrade!!!) that starts out straight-science and then goes all Cosmic Marvel.
At sub-atom size, Ant-Man continues to drift through the kind of hazy/colorful psychedelia Marvel has thus far used to represent “otherworldly” spaces like Thanos’ domain, finally winding up in a fractal space where he’s finally able to finagle an escape back to reality – though he can’t remember anything he saw or did there. It’s enough, however, for Pym to imply that he’s keen to go looking for Janet again…
Anyway! At one point in the process (during both the “shrinking” and “escaping” shots), we pass through what vaugely looks like a cloudy mountain-range of some kind. In the upper right-hand corner of the frame, I’d swear you can see (partially masked by “clouds”) what appears to be a gigantic humanoid figure looming over the scene. It’s brief, it’s not “pointed out” and it could be anything – but it sticks out to me because it’s there both times.
Here’s a snap from an in-theater recording I found online (I’m not linking to the original, I’m generally against phones/cameras in theaters and if there turns out to be an issue here I’ll glady remove it.) Anyway:
And HERE’S a version I’ve highlighted to show where I’m seeing the “figure”:
So. Assuming this is “something,” who or what is it? Marvel overseer Kevin Feige has already confirmed that the subatomic/cosmic stuff in ANT-MAN is meant to be a really tiny tease at how “The Other Side” can look/work for DOCTOR STRANGE, so that leads me to think this could be an early sighting of either Eternity or Infinity – in the Marvel Universe, esoteric cosmic concepts (see also: Death, whom Thanos is in literal love with) have semi-physical embodiments that you can meet and talk to if you have the ability, and Stephen Strange is one of the folks most often doing that talking. Here’s what they look like: