Today is the day. Almost a month after the film was released in the US, Marvel and Disney have finally decided people in the UK are allowed to go and see Ant-Man and the Wasp without going to France. Now that the film is finally out, we can get round to pointing out all the different easter eggs and references to the greater Marvel universe hidden within the film.
Scott's Trip to the Quantum Realm
This is less an Easter Egg about Ant-Man and the Wasp, and more some foreshadowing from the original film. After Scott travels to the Quantum Realm in the battle against Yellowjacket, a shadow can briefly be seen over his helmet. It's been confirmed that this was Janet van Dyne, who encountered Scott during his brief visit to the micro-universe and ended up quantum entangled with the hero - an event key to her rescue.
Randal Park plays Jimmy Woo, a Marvel character that actually dates all the way back to the 1950s. While Woo is best known for being an agent of SHIELD, the fact SHIELD sort of doesn't exist in the MCU anymore he's been re-imagined as an FBI agent and responsible for Scott during his house arrest.
Following the battle in Germany during Civil War and his subsequent arrest for breaking the Sokovia Accords, Scott is placed on house arrest as part of a plea deal with the US government. That way he doesn't need to spend his life on the run, and can spend time with his daughter - an event referenced by Black Widow in Infinity War.
Meanwhile Hank and Hope are both on the run, being perused by the FBI because they were responsible for kitting Scott out with the illegal tech in the first place. Naturally they have some resentment, especially after Scott claims he destroyed Hank's suit.
The secondary antagonist of the film is Sonny Burch, a black market dealer that supplies Hope and hank with exotic tech. He's based on a very small-time character of the same name from the comics, a businessman who clashed with Iron Man after trying to steal the suit's patents. He's also the chairman of Cross Technologies, and MCU fans will remember that Darren Cross appeared in the first film.
Burch's man inside the FBI is also an established Marvel villain, even though he doesn't get much screen time. In the comics Geoffrey Ballard took on the alias of Centurion, though he was a pretty small criminal that relied on stolen tech rather than his own superpowers.
While Scott is still under house arrest he's seen watching Animal House, specifically the scene where Donald Sutherland and Thomas Hulce discuss the possibility of miniature universe inside atoms. Which is exactly what the Quantum Realm is.
The end of the film also sees Hope, Cassie, and Scott watching the film It's Them! in a make-shift drive-in, with the film featuring a giant ant. Using a phone as the screen is also reminiscent of the 2015 Ant-Man comic series where Scott shrinks down and lives inside a doll's house, using his regular-sized phone as a big-screen TV.
The main villain of the film is Ava Starr, aka the Ghost. Ava is an original creation, but Ghost exists in the comics with the same intangibility ability. Unlike the film version, that power is the result of technology rather than near-deadly exposure to quantum energy. Comics Ghost is also a master hacker, and a dude.
Ava is also effectively SHIELD's answer to the Winter Soldier, being trained and used as a weapon for the organisation. Unlike Bucky, however, she was motivated out of her desire for a cure for her constant intangibility rather than brainwashing.
Baba Yaga is a real mythical being from Russian folklore, which Kurt keeps bringing up whenever anyone talks about Ghost in his presence. Like many mythical beings Baba Yaga does exist in the Marvel comics universe, where she appears as a Russian Goddess and regular enemy of Captain Britain and other mystical heroes.
Hank's Anger Issues
Ever since losing Janet to the Quantum Realm, Hank has had a pretty short fuse when it comes to people using her as ammunition against him. Bill Foster nearly discovers this, but unlike the time he attacked Mitchell Carson in the Triskellion he had Hope and Scott on hand to hold Hank back.
Hank and Bill Foster previously worked together on a SHIELD project called Goliath, and reveals Bill had used Pym Particles to grow as well. In the comics Bill Foster is a hero in his own right, called Black Goliath (and later just Goliath). His power? The ability to grow, just like Giant Man.
The flashback scene also utilised Laurence Fishburne's son Langston (plus make-up and dubbing) to play the young Bill Foster, rather than full-scale digital de-aging used on Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer.
The Goliath Project was also teased earlier in the MCU in one of Iron Man 2's deleted scenes, alongside Project Pegasus (seen in The Avengers) and the still-unseen EXODUS.
Laurence Fishburne has been in many things, but he's still best known for play Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy. Something alluded to in his classroom, when you see the word 'matrix' on the chalkboard. Physics and the word matrix fit together quite nicely, but we know what they were really doing here.
The breakout scenes from the original Ant-Man involved Luis's overly dramatic and detailed story-telling, which makes a single return in the sequel. Under the effects of truth serum, Luis is forced to recount Scott's past dealings with Hank and Hope, and the effects of the drug don't make it any less specific.
X-Con Security Consultants
Who do you hire to make sure you have a security system capable of keeping out the criminals? Hire the former criminals to do it for you, and give them a second chance at a working life in the progress. That was the idea behind Scott and Luis's X-Con Security Consultants, and it was lifted straight from a recent Ant-Man comic.
In the 2015 Ant-Man series Scott moves to Florida to be closer to his daughter, and starts his own security company 'Ant-Man Security Solutions' to make ends meet. He also made a habit of hiring former super criminals to work alongside him, so they wouldn't return to a life of crime.
In the film it's revealed that Ghost is the daughter of Elihas Starr, a former SHIELD scientist who stole Hank Pym's work and tried to create his own quantum tunnel. In the comics Starr is also known as the supervillain Egghead, a genius scientist and recurring foe of Hank Pym's Ant-Man.
As the nickname suggests, Egghead's head is shaped like an egg, making the casting of Fringe's resident bald superhuman Michael Cerveris absolutely perfect. Even if his head isn't shaped like breakfast.
Scott continues his tradition of naming ants, and the first one to not be eaten by a seagull ends up with the name 'Ant-onio Banderas' after the actor who has little relevance to Marvel or comic movies beyond his ant-like name. Earlier in the film he uses the name Ulysses S Gr-Ant.
The fake cardboard ants he uses to play with Cassie also have similarly ant-themed names like Anton and Antoinette.
The Token Marvel Disguise
In many MCU movies there have been times where the hero has to go incognito, and every single time they use the same disguise: a baseball cap, sunglasses, and maybe a hoody. Scott's the first character to actually point out how ridiculous this is, saying "it's not a disguise, we look like ourselves at a baseball game".
Mirroring the original film, where Hank breaks Scott out of jail using ants and shrinking supersuits. Hope and Hank find themselves in custody and need help escaping, and behold Scott is on hand to use the ants and shrinking technology to get them out without anyone noticing.
Throughout the film Scott's daughter Cassie makes it clear she wishes she could be a superhero too, and work alongside her father to fight bad guys. In the comics she eventually does develop shrinking and growth powers thanks to regular exposure to Pym Particles, and becomes a member of the Young Avengers known as Stature.
Stature is also rumoured to appear in Avengers 4, played by an older actress.
Pretty self-explanatory, really
Making his standard cameo, Stan Lee appears during the car chase sequence as a man who loses his car to one of Hope's stray shrinking pellets. Not realising what happened properly, Stan then blames the event on substance abuse in the '60s. The 60s were also the decade both Ant-Man and the Wasp were created.
Watch the newsreel towards the end of the film, and you'll see that Scott's appearance in the San Francisco bay refers to him as 'Giant Man'. While this is clearly the most accurate way to describe him, it means that we've finally seen Ant-Man's alternate alias appear on screen.
The post-credit scenes give us some extra glimpses at the consequences of Thanos's finger snap, which occurs in Avengers Infinity War sometime after the conclusion of Ant-Man and the Wasp's main plot. It's not clear how long it's been, but it's been long enough that Hank, Hope, and Janet were able to develop a quantum tunnel small enough to fit inside a van.
Sadly the Pym/Van-Dyne clan ended up with some serious bad luck, with all three of them disintegrating as a result of the Gauntlet's power. Scott, meanwhile, is trapped in the Quantum Realm.
The final scene reveals what happened to Ant-Scott, and what the state of things post-snap are. Not good from the looks of things, but we only get a small glimpse.