Ant-Man 3 Introduces The MCU's New (And Weirdest) Avengers Team Member

This post contains major spoilers for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." Please proceed with caution.

Whenever a new film or show from the Marvel Cinematic Universe drops, True Believers are excited to meet the newest heroes in line to join the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. After all, since the events of "Avengers: Endgame," there's certainly room on the roster for some new additions due to a few key vacancies. Though they haven't properly assembled just yet, the House of Ideas has introduced Shang-Chi, America Chavez, Ironheart, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk in the Multiverse Saga so far, among others.

Now, with the release of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," Phase Five (and beyond) is in full effect and ready to follow suit by adding more gallant do-gooders to the MCU mix. The new film from Peyton Reed already touts a full roster of valiant individuals, including Scott Lang, Janet Van Dyne, Dr. Hank Pym, and Hope Van Dyne. So who is the latest character to make the jump from the page to the screen to join their ranks and wave the Avengers flag into battle? Considering the theme of family in the movie, there's clearly only one option.

Cassie Lang? I mean, yeah, she's in the film and she comes into her own as costumed superhero with the help of her father and the Pym-Van Dyne family, but that's not who we're talking about. No, the answer is in fact MODOK.

Criss Crossed

Just like in the pages of Marvel Comics, the Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing is a ruthless villain in the MCU. However, a few details have changed in this adaptation. Despite that, Reed and company still managed to nail the right vibe for the character. Instead of George Tarleton, the scientist who became MODOK after experimenting on himself, this version is Darren Cross. 

First introduced in the 2015 film "Ant-Man," the villain played by Corey Stoll was the former protege of Dr. Pym. But when the former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative refused to share his Pym Particle research with his mentee, Cross set out to replicate the work himself in order to create the ultimate weapon. The "son that Hank never had" started his journey by usurping Pym's company out from under him and using the resources to create the Yellowjacket, a suit with similar capabilities to Hank's Ant-Man technology. However, the knockoff particles created by Cross were affecting his mind and slowly driving him mad. In the end, Scott Lang defeated Yellowjacket and banished him to the Quantum Realm.

As we find out in "Quantumania," the fall into the microverse left Cross horribly disfigured. He now possesses an oversized head with a tiny body and short limbs, as well as an overwhelming need for revenge. That's when he was discovered by Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror, who offered the thwarted rogue futuristic armor that also doubles as a mechanized hover chair to assist the newly dubbed MODOK get around. From that point onward, he served as Kang's primary henchman in the Quantum Realm... Until he came face to face with Lang and Pym once again.

All in the family

When they are sucked into the Quantum Realm, Scott and Cassie are taken prisoner by Kang and MODOK. During this period, we uncover the struggles that Cross has endured since their last encounter. But after hearing about his hardships, the father and daughter try to convince MODOK that things don't have to be that way. More specifically, the younger Lang shares Cross, "It's never too late to not be a dick." Really taking those words to heart, Cross aids Ant-Man, the Wasp, and their family in their fight against Kang. Unfortunately, that's when the troubled being meets his demise. But before he dies, MODOK shares that he always looked at Scott like a brother, prompting a bit of an awkward reaction. He was also glad to spend his final moments fighting for good like Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow before him. "At least I died an Avenger," he said before passing away.

These heartfelt moments were played up as jokes, because they were definitely delusions caused by Cross' self-manipulation from his experiments and Kang's own corruption. But rather than rain on his parade, Paul Rudd's titular hero let all that slide in favor of a tender moment for a reformed man that did some good on his way out of his life.

Ultimately, Kang the Conqueror was defeated. Before Ant-Man and the rest of the gang have to contend with the Council of Kangs, they have time to savor in this victory and honor the hero of the hour, MODOK. He definitely wasn't the Avenger that we were expecting to save the day, but he was... definitely there when it happened. It's just a shame that he won't be there to assemble when the team needs him next time. Although, it's a big multiverse out there, so never say never.