WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp, in theaters now.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beloved superheroes have found themselves on the run from the authorities on more than one occasion. In doing so, obviously, they have to stay out of the public eye. However, their disguises have left a lot to be desired.
For some reason, they've always gone the route of simplicity: a hat, shades or glasses, and a jacket or hoodie; or as Reddit so humorously labeled it, Marvel's "I'm a civilian" starter pack. This internet gag pokes fun at how ridiculous the disguises are, but nevertheless somehow conceal the identities of heroes on the lam.
Director Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and The Wasp cheekily takes aim at the ridiculousness of this trope with some well-placed zingers.
Whether it be Tony Stark shopping in a hardware store in Iron Man 3, or Steve Rogers and his allies hiding in plain sight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, let's be real: Residents of the MCU, to say nothing of law enforcement, would have to be obtuse not to recognize these heroic icons.
With Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), rejoining Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) as they flee authorities and tech-hunters, disguises become an issue once more. The first instance is when they need help to recalibrate their Quantum Tunnel to locate and extract the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), from the Quantum Realm, and pay a visit toHank's bitter ex-colleague Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) at his university. Their disguises? Hats, shades and hoodies, of course.
Scott, however, takes issue with the get-up, addressing how anyone with common sense, a smart phone and, oh, eyes, wouldn't be able to spot them. Hank and Hope dismiss his concerns, only for one of the university students to recognize Scott, who's supposed to be under house arrest, and notify the FBI. The heroes escape, but Scott remains shocked that a couple of super-geniuses thought the disguise was a good idea, giving voice to what the audience undoubtedly thinks.
After that close call, Scott decides to have some fun of his own when Hank and Hope are taken into federal custody after running afoul of Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), each of whom wants the Quantum Tunnel. Ant-Man shrinks down Hope's Wasp suit, and then uses his army of ants to get it to her to escape. As for Hank, well, there's no extra suit lying around, so he's sent an FBI jacket, an FBI hat and a pair of shades.
He looks at the camera, slightly breaking the fourth wall, as he wonders how the heck this disguise is supposed to get him out of a place to which he was just brought by FBI agents. Given they're still lingering around, you'd think it would be mission impossible, but as is the norm in the MCU, Hank leisurely strolls out the building, leaving even Scott surprised.
The trio reunites to save the day, foiling the thieves and, most importantly, bringing back Janet from the mysterious microverse in an action-packed finale. But clearly, Team Pym wanted to have some fun in the process, even if it meant taking a shot or two at one of Marvel Studios' most ludicrous tropes.
In theaters now, director Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park and Walton Goggins.