Access to the Quantum Realm was finally realized by scientist Doctor Hank Pym through the use of Pym Particles, particles of an extra-dimensional nature that are capable of altering the size of beings or objects. Janet van Dyne, Pym's wife and the first person to bear the mantle of Wasp, disappeared into the Quantum Realm after sacrificing her life to disable a Soviet nuclear missile. Janet van Dyne became a resident of the Quantum Realm through this sacrifice. Following this event, Pym dedicated himself to researching the Quantum Realm, though he was unable to generate concrete results or information.
Escaping the Quantum Realm
In 2015, after defeating Darren Cross, Scott Lang was transported into the Quantum Realm, but managed to escape by altering the Ant-Man Suit's mechanisms; replacing the shrinking regulator with an enlarging one by installing a blue Pym Particles Disk in his regulator. Later, Lang claimed to have no recollection of what he experienced there.
Stephen Strange's Journey
In 2018, Scott Lang received an apparent message from Janet van Dyne in the form of a shared memory of her daughter, which allowed Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne to confirm their suspicions about Janet being alive. They briefly opened a Quantum Tunnel to the Quantum Realm, however, it was only able to be open for a few seconds. Later, when able to open a more stable tunnel, Janet, sending a message through Lang, gave her exact location, before revealing that there were only two hours before the Quantum Realm's instability would move her, causing her to disappear for another century.
Just before going through with the rescue, Pym told Lang and Hope that he would be the one to enter the Quantum Realm, allowing Lang and Hope to distract Ghost away from the lab, in an effort to have an unproblematic rescue. With the battle for the laboratory ongoing, Pym entered the Quantum Realm with just about 15 minutes left before Janet's location would change. Upon arriving at Janet's location, however, Pym became disoriented due to the Quantum Realm's nature, but Janet was able to find him and they reunited. They then came back with the lab, with it having returned to its original size.
Trapped in the Quantum Realm
Due to Ghost still needing additional quantum energy, Scott Lang was sent back into the Quantum Realm with a device to absorb Quantum Healing Particles. However, while he was doing this task, the Snap occurred. Coincidentally, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, and Hope van Dyne were among the victims, leaving no-one at the controls to bring Lang out of the Quantum Realm.
Used by S.H.I.E.L.D.
During S.H.I.E.L.D.'s War Against the Chronicoms as Zephyr One traveled back in time to create an alternate timeline to ensure the survival of Kora, Leo Fitz shrunk down into the Quantum Realm to act as a bridge between timelines. Eventually, Fitz emerged from the Quantum Realm into The Krazy Kanoe thanks to the Quantum Tunnel that Jemma Simmons assembled. S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently linked the Quantum Tunnel to Zephyr One to travel through the Quantum Realm back to the original timeline, bringing the orbit Chronicom Vessels with them in the process.
Released from the Quantum Realm
Pronounced dead by society as his body was never recovered, Scott Lang remained trapped in the Quantum Realm as the van was placed in a warehouse. For Lang's luck, however, a rat happened to sniff around the truck, accidentally setting the controls to bring him back, causing Lang to be shot from the truck to a bunch of garbage, bringing him back to reality. Five years had passed, but for Lang, it had only been five hours.
- "Time works differently in the Quantum Realm. The only problem is, right now, we don't have a way to navigate it. But what if we did? I can't stop thinking about it. What if, we could somehow control the chaos, and we could navigate it? What if there was a way to enter the Quantum Realm at a certain point in time but then exit at another point in time? Like... Like before Thanos."
- ―Scott Lang to Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff[src]
In 2023, the Quantum Realm was essential in the Avengers' plan to undo the Snap. Scott Lang introduced the idea of going into the Quantum Realm to acquire versions of the Infinity Stones, since in the present, the Stones were destroyed. Bruce Banner initiated tests, sending Lang into the Realm and having him walk for an hour there, while in present time, Banner would get him out almost immediately. While the initial tests were unsuccessful, with Lang turning back into a kid, an old man, and a baby in the tests, the final test worked, as Lang was able to return in his correct age and appearance.
Meanwhile, Tony Stark managed to perfectly simulate a travel path by turning it into an inverted Möbius strip. He eventually brought the model he created to the Avengers Compound in order to do a final test run. Clint Barton volunteered to the test run and was able to travel the Quantum Realm to land in a timeline where his family was still alive. The test was proved to be successful when Barton brought back a glove taken from that timeline.
With the quantum time travel mechanics now perfected, the Avengers split up and traversed the Quantum Realm to different points in time: Steve Rogers, Stark, Banner, and Lang set out to the Battle of New York in 2012 in order to get the Time Stone, the Tesseract, and the Mind Stone; Nebula, James Rhodes, Romanoff, and Barton traveled to 2014 to get the Orb in Morag as well as the Soul Stone in Vormir; and Thor and Rocket Raccoon traveled to Asgard in 2013 to extract the Aether from Jane Foster during the Second Dark Elf Conflict.
After being unable to retrieve the Tesseract, Stark and Rogers used a few Pym Particles left to travel through the Quantum Realm again, this time, to an alternate 1970 in Camp Lehigh in order to steal the Tesseract there and acquire more Pym Particles.
An alternate 2014 version of Nebula traveled the Quantum Realm to the main timeline, specifically to the Avengers Compound. There she opened an entry route for an alternate version of the Sanctuary II to travel the Realm to the main timeline. The sheer size of the warship led to the destruction of the Avengers' Quantum Tunnel, disabling access to the Quantum Realm.
During the battle, Scott Lang announced that Luis' van still contained a Quantum Tunnel. However, alternate Thanos used his sword to destroy the Quantum Tunnel. This action led to an incredible burst of Quantum energy coming out of the Quantum Realm onto the Avengers Compound's grounds which blasted Carol Danvers and others backwards.
Returning the Stones
In the aftermath of the Blip, Bruce Banner used another Quantum Tunnel in order to return the Infinity Stones and Mjølnir to their respective timelines. Steve Rogers volunteered to do the task, and traveled back into the Quantum Realm. After returning the items, Rogers traveled the Realm far back to an alternate 1940s, where he married an alternate Peggy Carter and lived a long, fulfilling life. Once he was an old man, he traveled the Realm a final time back to the main universe.
In an alternate universe, Janet van Dyne contracted a quantum virus during her thirty year stay in the Quantum Realm, which transformed her into a zombie. In 2018, her husband Hank Pym entered the Quantum Realm to rescue her, where he was subsequently attacked and infected. The pair were then extracted out of the Quantum Realm by Hope van Dyne, where they infected the citizens of Earth and began the Zombie Apocalypse.
Nature and Structure
The Quantum Realm is said by Hank Pym to be a largely unexplored dimension, about which scientists currently know very little. Pym also says the concepts of time and space become irrelevant when entering the realm, and whoever tries to explore it may become trapped "for eternity".
Scott Lang's incursion into the Quantum Realm began on a microscopic level, then entered atomic size, later dissolving into pure energy and waves, then in a fractal-like reality where the shrinking person meets an infinite number of mirror images of themselves, and ending in a weightless dark void with pockets of dim light.
The nature of the Quantum Realm is such that you can enter at one point in time and exit at another. This can also be extended to jumping from one alternate timeline to another as done by Leo Fitz in the War Against the Chronicoms, and by Steve Rogers when he traveled to the realities the Avengers created during the Time Heist to return the Infinity Stones.
- The Quantum Realm is an amalgamation of two different dimensions from the comics: the Quantum Zone, the realm where all the energy of the universe come from, and the Microverse, which consists of many different sub-atomic dimensions all accessible through the same means as they are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Notably, the Microverse was also home to the superhero team Micronauts. Wasp was also trapped in the Microverse, during the time of her supposed death in Secret Invasion, before being discovered by Hank Pym.
- The depiction of the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man is based on the former Disneyland attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Doctor Strange
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Avengers: Endgame
- Ms. Marvel
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (unreleased)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.01: Laws of Nature
- Doctor Strange
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Ant-Man and the Wasp Mid-credits Scene
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 7.13: What We're Fighting For
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 7.12: The End is at Hand
- Avengers: Endgame
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