She’s been a feature of the MCU since the very first Ant-Man movie back in 2015, but it’s taken until Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania for Cassie Lang to really come into her own on the big screen. Is it because she’s now a trouble-seeking teenager (Kathryn Newton) after the time jump of Avengers: Endgame, or because she’s got her own powers to play with in the new movie? Time will tell, but one thing’s for sure — the MCU’s Cassie Lang is now perfectly placed to follow in the footsteps of her comic book inspiration, for better or worse.
Who is Cassie Lang in comics?
As unlikely as it might seem, Cassie Lang has been around in the comic book Marvel Universe since 1979, when she debuted in Marvel Premiere #47 — the same issue that saw her dad, Scott Lang, become Ant-Man for the first time. In fact, Cassie was indirectly responsible for that happening; Scott only stole Hank Pym’s Ant-Man costume and equipment as a way to rescue Dr. Erica Sondheim, the only person who could help Cassie deal with a heart condition that was threatening her life. (Don’t worry; she got better to such a degree that no-one even remembers her heart condition these days.)
As her dad continued to appear irregularly as a superhero across the decades, so too did Cassie. She knew about her father’s dual identity, and was particularly unimpressed by it — “It wasn’t such a big deal,” she told him in 1995’s Fantastic Four #405, adding, “It’s not like you’re a real famous superhero like Captain America or Spider-Man!” — but nonetheless, she’d occasionally get roped into a storyline or two, including getting temporarily absorbed by homicidal robot the Super-Adaptoid during the late 1990s Heroes for Hire comic book series. That said, it wouldn’t be until her father’s untimely — and ultimately temporary — death that Cassie truly came into her own.
In the 2005 Young Avengers series, it was revealed that Cassie, now a teenager, had been secretly stealing and experimenting with the size-changing Pym Particles from years, becoming the size-changing superhero known as Stature. As Stature, she’d go on to become not only a member of the Young Avengers, and later The Initiative and the short-lived Mighty Avengers team that existed during the Dark Reign era. It was when she was reunited with the Young Avengers that things would really get dark for her, though — and when I say “dark,” what I mean is, “Cassie died.”
Yes, really: Cassie died fighting Doctor Doom in 2011’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8, but — like the death of her dad — it didn’t stick; she was resurrected three years later by Doom himself in Avengers World #14, and reunited with her father in the same issue. Resurrection didn’t come easily, though; it left Cassie without her size-changing powers, although she’d go on to make a deal with the super villainous Power Broker to change that once more, finally adopting the new superhero name of Stinger, and officially going into partnership with her dad as a crime-fighting duo properly… if not always harmoniously, as the 2020 Ant-Man miniseries demonstrated.
What are Cassie Lang’s powers and abilities?
Whether as Stature or Stinger, Cassie Lang has the ability to increase or decrease her size, thanks to exposure to Pym Particles. As Stinger, she also uses equipment that allows her to fly, telepathically communicate with insect life, and shoot elecrric blasts from her wristbands. All things considered, Stinger — who’s basically a rebranded, repurposed version of the traditional Wasp persona in Marvel’s comic book mythology — is a pretty big upgrade from Cassie’s Stature days. Better living through technology, as the saying goes.
Who is Cassie Lang in the MCU?
The MCU version of Cassie Lang was, for the extent of the first two Ant-Man movies at least, her father’s greatest supporter and cheerleader — something that was not only sweet to see, but arguably necessary too, given everything that Scott Lang had to deal with in those movies. Cassie wasn’t just a positive influence on her dad, though; she was also pretty resilient in her own right, which comes in handy when you’re being kidnapped by a guy in a suit that makes you wonder if he’s a monster or not at age 6.
Even though Cassie was too young to fully participate in the action of both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp — being 6 and 9 respectively during those movies — she’s still one of the most important players in the franchise; without her inspiration to be a better person, Scott is unlikely to have made the decisions that he did in either feature, whether it’s because of his attempts to save Cassie’s life after she’s kidnapped by Darren Cross in the first movie, or listening to her version of inspirational speeches in the second. For the initial two movies, Cassie serves as Scott’s closest confident, but also his conscience. And then, the Blip happens.
Although billions disappeared as a result of Thanos’ attempt to end half of all life in existence, neither Cassie nor Scott was amongst them… which didn’t mean that Scott wasn’t lost in other ways. While Cassie believed that her dad was amongst the dead, he was instead lost in the Quantum Realm, and by the time he returned, she was five years older than he’d last seen her, and a teenager who’d grown up with a whole new set of issues… and perhaps a little bit of that earlier innocence and optimism tarnished, along the way.
As Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens, Cassie isn’t the same girl that either audiences or Scott Lang are familiar with (literally; Kathryn Newton now plays the role, inheriting it from Abby Ryder Fortson, who played Cassie in the first two Ant-Man movies, and Emma Fuhrmann, who played the briefly-glimpsed Cassie in Avengers: Endgame). But who is this new Cassie Lang, and what is she capable of?
Cassie Lang’s potential MCU future
That Cassie Lang now has the same abilities as her father places her directly into the Stature status quo of the comics — and just an equipment upgrade away from becoming the incredibly capable, headstrong Stinger of the comics, as well.
Cassie’s power set also means that she’s the latest member of the original comic book Young Avengers to show up in the MCU, following Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), Eli Bradley (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and Billy Kaplan (WandaVision). Marvel’s Stephen Broussard has said that there are no plans for a Young Avengers movie at this time, but it’s not as if Marvel hasn’t offered a little white lie in the past to keep fans off its well-planned trail.
Even if Cassie isn’t headed for a super teen team anytime soon, it’ll be interesting to see just how active she’s going to be in terms of everything that’s coming up for the MCU — after all, she’s right there at the center of the start of everything that’s to come across the next few years. Just how present is she going to be in the Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars to come?
Everything you want to know about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is available in this particular section of the Quantum Realm.