We know that the victims of Avengers: Infinity War will be coming back in Avengers: Endgame, but we’re still not 100% on exactly how.
The most likely theory is time travel and it’s backed up by set photos showing earlier MCU scenes being revisited, among other things. We expect that the Quantum Realm will play a significant role, not least because it’s where we left the returning Scott Lang at the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
So the Quantum Realm could prove the key to the MCU’s version of time travel, but what if the Quantum Realm was used for a different type of travel altogether?
A new theory suggested by Reddit user joethehamface argues that maybe Thanos didn’t actually kill everyone with the Infinity Snap (now officially called The Decimation). Instead, the ‘dead’ heroes got snapped to a different reality and the Quantum Realm will prove to be the bridge between the parallel dimensions.
Crucially, Scott was in the Quantum Realm at the time of the Snap (potentially at the bidding of Doctor Strange), so the theory suggests that he won’t be “bound” to any reality and would be free to use this bridge between existences.
And since Scott is the only one in the Quantum Realm at the moment, he’s the only one that can go between the worlds to bring back the ‘dead’ heroes.
It’s an interesting take, but it would lessen the impact of Avengers: Infinity War‘s ending, as well as the fact we saw the victims literally disintegrate into dust.
It’s more likely that the Quantum Realm is the bridge to different time periods and that’s how the remaining Avengers will undo the Snap, potentially by gathering together the Infinity Stones before Thanos can lay his hands on them.
After all, Janet van Dyne’s warning to Scott about a “time vortex” in Ant-Man and The Wasp can’t just be a throwaway line (Marvel aren’t that sloppy), so the Quantum Realm must be the key to time travel.
What’s more, if the Snap victims have instead just been sent to a different reality, then Avengers: Endgame runs the risk of being accused of copying The Leftovers. In the brilliant HBO show, 2% of the world’s population disappears and (spoiler alert) it eventually turns out that they’re just in a different reality where they think 98% of the world’s population disappeared.
So as much as you might hope and pray that Peter Parker really didn’t suffer a harrowing death, we’re sorry to say that he probably did.
Time travel just currently makes more sense than Avengers: Endgame setting up a whole multiverse, on top of everything else it has to cover. As it is, it needs to establish just what the Quantum Realm can do and maybe it is a bridge to an alternate reality, but we just don’t think that’s where Spider-Man and co are.