Ant-Man is very loyal to Captain America. Heck, the whole reason Scott Lang is on house arrest at the start of Ant-Man and the Wasp is because he helped Cap during the events of Civil War. Despite that loyalty, though, Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t afraid to poke fun at one of the silliest tropes from the Captain America movies: Cap’s really lame disguises.
This post contains minor spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Scott is on house arrest, but he’s not the only one who is in trouble with the law in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are on the run because Scott’s use of the Ant-Man suit was a violation of the Sokovia Accords, and Hank and Hope needed to flee or else hand their technology over to the government. But, they break Scott out from house arrest in order to help rescue Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, from the Quantum Realm. However, Ghost steals their shrunken-down lab, and the trio need to turn to Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), an old acquaintance of Hanks, to help track it down.
Thing is, Bill is a university professor, and in order to visit his office, Scott, Hope, and Hank need to disguise themselves to avoid getting caught by the law. So, the three slap baseball caps on their heads and… well, that’s pretty much it.
Hank, for what it’s worth, thinks these are lousy disguises, despite Scott’s insistence that they’ve hidden their identities. According to Hank, though, they three just look like themselves, but at a baseball game.
It’s a cute little moment, because this is exactly the same sort of disguise that Captain America and his allies have used in multiple Captain America movies. In Winter Soldier, while fleeing S.H.I.E.L.D., Cap puts on some glasses and a totally featureless blue baseball cap. There’s no logo or anything on it, and since plain hats like this are so odd and rare in real life the hat looks very conspicuous. When he and Falcon go rogue in Civil War, Cap wears a hat again, and Falcon wears a similarly blank maroon hat. An at-large Bucky, meanwhile, has his own black, blank baseball cap. Where are they all getting these hats? It’s like it’s the MCU’s universal disguise outfit.
Scott and Hope are wearing blank hats in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Hank at least is wearing a San Francisco Giants hat, which makes sense given that the movie is set in San Francisco. Apparently, Marvel was willing to shell out the money to license an MLB logo this one time, but every other hat needed to be featureless.
In an interview with Inverse’s Corey Plante, Ant-Man and the Wasp Director Peyton Reed confirmed that the joke is indeed at the MCU’s expense, although it was initially a Paul Rudd goof that parodied spy movies more broadly.
“It only occurred to us later — I think it was Stephen Broussard, our producer who noticed it and said, ‘Are you guys taking the piss out of Marvel?’” Reed recalled. “I think it definitely occurred to us after the joke had emerged, ‘Oh yeah this also works on that level as well.’”
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now in theaters.