Here it is. It all comes down to this.
I’m going to do one more of these going over Captain Marvel to the extent that I’m able to without access to a home video release and the capacity to grab screencaps followed by a sort of post-mortem on the whole project, but for now, I present the last formal entry in my Unofficial Marvel Timeline. It’s been a thing.
Anyway, there will be more to say next week, but for now let’s just jump right in… After we go over the rules one last time.
Rule #1: Only the movies are canon.
Rule #2: Title cards are always true.
Rule #3: References to dates in spoken dialogue are always true unless they conflict with rule #2.
Rule #4: Written dates that are prominently displayed in the world are usually true, unless they disagree with rules 2, 3, or each other.
Rule #5: Props and background objects that can be tied to a specific date almost never count.
As has been the case for a while now, “Present Day” does not literally mean present day. We’re ruling out a period piece, but that’s about all we get right up front.
Turns out Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place some time after the events of Captain America: Civil War with Scott Lang nearing the end of his mandated house arrest. We’ll get to exactly how long is a second, but first…
We learn that Cassie Lang is ten years old. That doesn’t tell us yet when this movie is set, but assuming we do learn that, we have another birth year to add to the timeline.
There it is. After being detained by Secretary Ross, Scott was released back to his home to serve two years under house arrest. What’s interesting is that, unlike the other members of Team Cap, it seems Scott was left behind to face due process. I’m interested to know what that looked like. I have to imagine this was Scott’s choice, he’d rather face justice and have a chance to see his daughter than go on the run, leaving her behind indefinitely, but it’s a shame that we don’t get to see that decision dramatized. Anyway, with Scott three days away from finishing his two year house arrest sentence, that would put this movie in Summer of 2019, presumably before the events of Avengers: Infinity War since no one mentions half the population of the universe getting dusted.
And the rest of the movie is pretty much just restating that information. Two years. Three days. The only other tidbit we get is reference to it being 30 years since Janet van Dyne disappeared into the Quantum Realm. We know from the first movie that that happened in 1987, so there’s a little bit of rounding involved, but nothing unprecedented.
The last piece of information we get comes in the mid-credits scene where we establish, yes, Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place before Avengers: Infinity War. We don’t exactly know how much time passes between the main body of the film and this scene, but it’s probably safe to assume it’s pretty soon afterwards. After all, they’re collecting quantum particles to help preserve Ghost’s life, and it’d be awfully inconsiderate to wait a long time for that.
And that’s it. We’re done. Twenty movies, twenty weeks, and twenty articles all to prove an extremely pedantic point. Was it all worth it? Tune in next week to find out!
(But it probably wasn’t).