In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Dark Knight had the Man of Steel on the ropes, but ultimately spared the Kryptonian when he finally recognized the humanity within his otherworldly foe. Superman should be thankful he wasn't facing Ant-Man, however, because based on quantum physics, Marvel's pint-sized powerhouse could destroy the DC Comics icon.
For 2015's Ant-Man, Marvel Studios called upon Dr. Spiros Michalakis, a quantum physicist from the California Institute of Technology, to help bring some scientific validity to the film's concept of the quantum realm. He detailed his experience in a post on his blog, Quantum Frontiers, but he also spoke with Inverse about some of the ramifications of his findings, particularly in regards to how the quantum realm could allow Ant-Man to defeat Superman.
As Michalakis explained, "When Ant-Man goes into the Microverse and something malfunctions, he doesn’t just go to just a smaller space like Fantastic Voyage. This is a place where the nature of reality changes around you. So, when you enter the quantum realm, its different set of laws takes hold."
While Superman can fly in the vacuum of space, defying human science, he still falls under the jurisdiction of the laws of physics, including gravity. Thanks to the idea of the the quantum realm, however, Ant-Man isn't forced to work within those limitations.
"Gravity, as Einstein said, is nothing but the curvature of space-time," Michalakis said. "The curvature of space-time is the curvature of something we call the manifold, like a 4-dimensional structure like the sphere, or a globe. So, if you understand that, and manipulate that, you can change the curvature of space-time. Hence, changing gravity. What I’m saying is that potentially understanding the quantum code from which curvature of space-time comes from, [Ant-Man] could manipulate to increase it or decrease it. Those are still holding within the same laws of physics, just changing the constants. Ant-Man could have created say, a black hole. Could Superman escape the black hole? Probably not. Then game over."
That came as welcome news to Ant-Man director Peyton Reed.
As fun as it is to speculate, the chances of seeing Ant-Man and Superman go head to head on the big screen are slim to none. However, you can catch the Man of Steel when he soars into theaters Nov. 17 in Justice League.