The brand-new Ant-Man and the Wasp features a villainous comic book Easter egg that rewrites the origin for not one but two bad guys from Marvel comics. Elihas Starr, aka Egghead, is a pretty lame villain, but his appearance in this movie only makes the story’s chief villain that much cooler.
Spoilers follow for Ant-Man and the Wasp’s more villainous characters.
Ant-Man and the Wasp released Friday in theaters, and with it came a new adventure of small heroes with big problems. One particular flashback scene partway through the movie explains the origin story for Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), a scary new villain that can phase through solid matter. Her real name is Ava Starr, and she’s the daughter of Elihas Starr (Michael Cerveris), a character who goes by Egghead in Marvel Comics.
This scene confirms casting reports from June and my own theory about Ghost’s lineage. Years before the events of the movie, Elihas Starr was a scientist also trying to investigate the Quantum Realm just like Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne). Elihas was ejected from their little scientific group for being too radical, but that didn’t stop him from experimenting on his own.
When Ava was a little girl, one of Elihas Starr’s disastrous experiments killed him and Ava’s mother, but a quantum shockwave devastated Ava’s body at the cellular level. Her individual cells constantly separate and reunite, which causes her immense pain and repeatedly shifts her in and out of reality. This seemingly permanent and totally weird state of unbeing is what allows her to phase through solid matter, but it also left her a prime candidate for some totally insane assassin training.
In the present-day, she’s perhaps the most deadly black ops operative around. She also just wants to put a stop to her endless pain, so she’s willing to steal Pym’s quantum technology at all costs.
Egghead and Ghost have no relationship whatsoever in Marvel Comics, so Ant-Man and the Wasp presents us with a heavy rewrite of original Marvel canon in a way that focuses much more on this new, much cooler gender-bent version of Ghost.
In the comics, Elihas Starr is a rival to other Marvel scientists like Tony Stark and especially Hank Pym, but in the MCU he’s more of a scientific radical that doesn’t necessarily have evil intentions. He’s a bit player in Ant-Man and the Wasp that serves mostly just as a fun Easter egg for fans of the comics. And he isn’t referred to as “Egghead” at any point, because that would be hilariously unwoke in 2018, right?
Ant-Man and the Wasp is currently in theaters.