SDCC Marvel Roundup – Evangeline Lilly is Hope Van Dyne in Ant-Man

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Credit: @EvangelineLilly (

As early as February this year, actress Evangeline Lilly has been connected with Marvel Studios’ 2015 movie Ant-Man, which already boasted the likes of Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd as their leading men. Though it was not confirmed, an early report from Variety revealed that the role was for Hank Pym’s daughter and Scott Lang’s love interest.

At Comic-Con International this past weekend, it was revealed at the Marvel Studios panel on Saturday evening that Evangeline Lilly will be in the movie and will be playing Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym.

Wait… Hope?

Where did this character develop from? And what happened to Jan Van Dyne, also known as The Wasp? Find out under the cut.

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Wasp in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Credit: Wikia

Poor Evangeline Lilly can’t catch a break. When she was announced to play new movie-only character Tauriel in last year’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, fans were up in arms. The criticisms of the character were many and often baseless, or at the very least, petty. Just when you thought the hate had died down, the announcement that Lilly would be playing Hope Van Dyne, a character who does not exist in mainstream Marvel Comics continuity, a new group of comic book critics emerged, albeit with almost the same set of arguments as the earlier group of Tolkien fans had with Tauriel.

First things first, the fact that Evangeline Lilly is playing Hope Van Dyne does not immediately preclude the existence or mention of  more popular female characters such as the original Wasp, Jan Van Dyne or Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang. That being said, given the very male-oriented nature of comic book films, it does suggest that neither Jan nor Cassie will have a significant role in the film. As it stands, Lilly really is the only woman that has been cast in the film so far, so there is admittedly some justification to the outrage that seems to imply that Hope Van Dyne has robbed her presumed mother of a Marvel Studios’ appearance.

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Red Queen, as she appeared in A-Next #12
Credit: Comic Vine

And what about the name Hope? It comes from the final issue of the short-lived 1998 non-canon comic book series A-Next, by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, In that issue, Hope Pym, daughter of Hank and Jan, calls herself the Red Queen and leads a villainous team called the Revengers. My guess is, the reasons for naming Lilly’s character hope are twofold – firstly, it’s a nice nod to the work of DeFalco and Frenz for creating the only daughter of Hank Pym in comics, and secondly, it steals the thunder from a more famous comic book Hope – the “mutant messiah” Hope Summers, which Marvel Studios presumably does not have the rights to.

Lilly’s casting was announced alongside that of Corey Stoll, who will play the film’s antagonist Darren Cross, and adopt the name Yellowjacket. Surprisingly, no announcement was made for Michael Peña, who is still attached to the film. My guess is that Peña will be playing secondary villain Crossfire, also known as William Cross, brother of Darren Cross, and that elements of Marvel Premiere #47-48 and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode, both titled “To Steal An Ant-Man” will factor into the movie’s plot. All in all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven that it is willing to mess with established continuity to an extent, but always to make a story more coherent, relevant to the larger picture, and an enjoyable ride. I am excited for Ant-Man, which will be out July 17th, 2015.

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Ant-Man stars Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll and director Peyton Reed Credit: MTV

San Diego Comic-Con International Roundup: Marvel Week

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Interconnecting Concept Art Posters

Yet another edition of the world’s most prominent geek culture event San Diego Comic-Con International has come to an end, and just as in previous years, a number of announcements were made, leading to varying degrees of euphoria, excitement, anguish and anger. Being a long-term fan of Marvel Entertainment, I compiled five of my top announcements from the various elements that make up Marvel. Now, naturally, this list is purely subjective and I have intentionally left out some major announcements like the new Star Wars comics, in favour of some news that I feel deserves more analysis.

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Liquid City vol 3, Last Train From Tanjong Pagar both to launch July 19

3888852 03 195x300 Liquid City vol 3,  Last Train From Tanjong Pagar both to launch July 19

Photo: Image Comics

It’s a good time to be a fan of local comics this weekend, with two consecutive book launches to be held on Saturday, July 19 at the Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store in Ngee Ann City. Koh Hong Teng’s Last Train From Tanjong Pagar will have its launch at 2pm, while Liquid City volume 3, edited by Sonny Liew, will have its launch at 4pm.

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Marvel gears up for 2015 with Avengers NOW!

It’s been quite a week of announcements from Marvel thus far, and we’re still a whole week from Comic-Con International! Some 36 hours ago, a new Thor was announced. Then, over two hours ago, it was confirmed that Sam “The Falcon” Wilson will wield the shield as Captain America. Now, just over an hour ago, Entertainment Weekly ties those two announcements and reveals the comic book publisher’s latest step to drawing new readers to their comic books.

Avengers NOW EW Marvel gears up for 2015 with Avengers NOW!

Avengers NOW!
Credit: Marvel and

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Thor is All Woman this October

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Thor by Esad Ribic
Credit: Newsarama

Marvel Comics made a major announcement this morning through Whoopi Goldberg on ABC’s The View, revealing that, come October, Thor will have a new eponymous series, and a “brand new” leading character.

Not only will Thor Odinson find himself unable to lift his hammer Mjolnir, but the legendary uru weapon will be gifted to a more worthy individual – an as-yet-unrevealed woman who will become the next Thor.

In a press release published shortly after the episode, editor Wil Moss revealed that this new hero is “the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!” Writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” This essentially marks the end of the Thor: God of Thunder series with September’s #25, though Aaron will continue onto the new series, simply named Thor and will start with #1,  alongside up and coming artist Russell Dauterman.

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