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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most well-oiled and elaborately scheduled "machines" in Hollywood. Each movie perfectly sets up the other with quiet winks to specific parts of the audience (comic book readers, really). But there is, of course, one potentially fatal screw-up that could mess up the future of the MCU.
Age of Ultron came before Ant-Man.
Ant-Man was originally the Phase Three opener. That makes sense, being the first of the batch of "new heroes" we're seeing. But no, no, no! Ant-Man was added to Phase Two at the Phase Three event last October. Fiscally, it makes sense. You put your major event movie, at the start of summer and give it the summer to run its course (and the wallets of viewers), leaving Ant-Man (or other less popular characters) somewhere in the less-risky but still very profitable zones of late July and August. However, despite making sense financially, Marvel just screwed themselves up sequentially. Let's take a look at why Ant-Man should have come before Avengers.
Ant-Man: With the Avengers or Nah?
For now (at least), Ant-Man seems like a mixed candidate for the Avengers. Yes, we know he'll join them by next year's Civil War, but how much sense will it make in-film? He's already missed his mark to play an important factor in the battle against Ultron, and taking down another superhero won't do good for at least one of the involved. See, Ant-Man (Hank Pym and Scott Lang) could have had some bad-ass moments in Age of Ultron. Let's cover them:
The Making of a Certain Genocidal Robot
It's no secret that Tony Stark isn't the real daddy of our big baddie. Hank Pym originally owned that role before Marvel Studios decided to kiss Robert Downey Jr.'s feet again and make him the creator of Ultron with a little help from our green friend. But if Marvel was so adamant to keep Tony as the creator, whether it was for the convenience of familiarity or another way to keep Downey invested, why not replace Banner with Pym? Hank Pym could've been introduced as one of Tony's old friends (Get it? Cause he's old). And his past research could've helped make Ultron (I have no idea how that would relate but it's nice to be true to your source isn't it?).
Tearing Them Apart... From the Inside
Speaking of tearing apart from the inside, a great moment to showcase Scott Lang in the film would be somewhere in the final battle. He could have shrunk down and entered those little red lines all over Ultron's body, thus being in him, and done whatever fake techno crap the screenwriters want to throw our way. For a more comedic and abrupt end, Ant-Man could have crawled inside Ultron and then grown to his regular size (or larger, am I right?). If the vibranium allows it, of course.
So basically, come on Marvel! You screwed up here. Ant-Man would've been better before Age of Ultron, which could've served as nice culmination of Phase Two, leaving fans with a greater sense of "What's going to happen next" with Civil War.