Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. This week’s ship: Scott/Hope.
Who Are Scott/Hope?
Scott/Hope refers to Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne from the Ant-Man movies.
To put it simply, Scott Lang is Ant-Man. But there’s nothing simple about Scott. He is the protagonist of the Ant-Man films in the MCU, though he also appeared in Captain America: Civil War. He’s definitely an unlikely hero, but he makes it work.
We first meet Scott in prison, on the day of his release. Scott tries to reintegrate into the world but finds things are not easy for ex-cons. We learn that Scott went to jail after some corporate espionage and burgling. He’s portrayed as a modern-day Robin Hood, giving money back to the poor. Unfortunately, his noble spirit cost him his family when he went to jail.
Scott agrees to take on one job, but it goes awry. It turns out, the job was a set-up. Hank Pym wanted to know what Scott could accomplish. See, Hank needed a new Ant-Man to try and stop an evil plot. Scott is an unlikely choice, something Hank’s daughter Hope points out, but he manages to impress Hank and save the day.
He also impresses Sam Wilson when he breaks into an Avengers facility. Sam calls on Scott when Steve Rogers needs help. Scott is thrilled to be recruited by Captain America, so goes to Berlin to help. Unfortunately, this ends up with Scott imprisoned again. He strikes a deal to get out on house arrest and return to his daughter.
House arrest isn’t easy on Scott, but he works with his friends to start a new company and turn over a new leaf. Unfortunately, Hank shows back up and Scott is roped into another adventure. In the end, Scott manages to help Hank and Hope save the day again. He ends his sentence and continues being Ant-Man.
Hope van Dyne
Hope van Dyne is the daughter of Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. When Hope’s mother, Janet, disappeared, Hope’s relationship with her father fell apart. They spent a long time alienated from each other, but work together when Hank’s protégé, Darren Cross, plots to destroy Hank (and possibly the world).
When they need someone to don the Ant-Man suit and stop Cross, Hope insists that she is the correct choice. She is appalled that her father would trust a convict over her. She’s also not too impressed with Scott but agrees to help her father stop Cross his way.
Scott points out that Hank is trying to protect Hope. It’s not a lack of trust, it’s a fear of losing the only person left who matters. This allows Hope and Hank to heal their relationship somewhat. More healing comes when Hank designs Hope a version of her mother’s suit, allowing her to become her own hero: the Wasp.
When Scott helped Captain America, Hank and Hope had to go on the run. They were doing research into the quantum realm, where Janet disappeared years ago. They are almost ready to search for Janet but need Scott’s help. Things are tense, but Scott and Hope work well together and do their best to save the day.
In the end, they are successful. Hank is able to rescue Janet from the quantum realm, reuniting Hope with her mother. Scott and Hope come to an understanding. Ant-Man and the Wasp make a good team, after all. Things are going well, and the Pym/van Dyne family are doing more research into the quantum realm when Thanos’ snap happens. All three are lost.
Why is Scott/Hope OTP?
Listen, Scott/Hope is one of the best parts of the MCU lately. Ant-Man and the Wasp is just what we needed after Infinity War (even if that ending was majorly uncool, Marvel). Seeing these two characters come together isn’t the only good part of the Ant-Man movies, but it’s definitely a high note.
The MCU doesn’t always have the best ships, but when it does well, it does really well. Scott/Hope is one of the cases where they do well. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are fantastic in the roles, and there’s so much to love about each of these characters, individually and together.
One of the least appealing things about superhero stories is when the relationships are built on damsel-in-distress situations. It’s an easy trap to fall into: the hero always has to save the girl, yadda yadda. It’s outdated and uncomfortable. Luckily, that’s not all we get. Some superhero ships are amazing. The best ships are the ones where the characters are equal partners.
Well, Scott/Hope is really about equal partners. Even some of the better MCU ships that give the characters a good partnership are inherently unequal when one partner is a hero and the other is a romantic interest. Scott/Hope gives us the most equal relationship out of any MCU pairing.
Scott and Hope are literally partners. Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first time that a (canon) ship get equal billing in the title. They are partners in (fighting) crime. They are a team: Ant-Man and the Wasp. That’s great to see. It’s beyond refreshing to see a couple in the MCU both be the heroes, to see the female character be more than just a love interest.
Sure, each has things that they are better at. Hope is a kick-ass fighter, and her suit is more advanced than Scott’s. In fact, Scott is a little jealous of what Hope gets to work with. But he brings a lot to the table, too. Scott is an expert strategist. He also brings a supportive team with him.
These discrepancies don’t make them unequal. It just means each brings something to the table. That’s what makes this such a viable partnership. Each helps and supports the other. They bring their own strengths to the relationship and balance each other out.
Scott/Hope is also a good ship because it is just plain fun. The Ant-Man movies have been some of my favorites in the MCU because they are more light-hearted and don’t take themselves too seriously. Ant-Man is pretty absurd, and a serious take would have ruined the character. What we got instead was a fun side of the MCU.
The relationship between Scott and Hope continues that fun feeling. So many MCU ships are overwhelmingly angsty. Yeah, these heroes have been through some tough stuff, so a little angst is to be expected. But nothing’s wrong with people actually having fun being heroes – or being in a relationship, for that matter.
Scott/Hope gives us that sense of fun. The dynamic between the characters is light and playful. Scott and Hope are always teasing each other. The first Ant-Man did a good job establishing this, while also allowing the characters to have deeper moments. When they kiss at the end of the movie, it feels like a well-deserved happy ending.
Given what happened off screen between the two Ant-Man movies, they could have gone heavier on angst in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Scott’s decision to help Captain America – made without consulting Hank or Hope – could have broken them. It does lead to some tension. But the movie chooses not to focus in on the angst to the exclusion of everything else.
Ant-Man and the Wasp sees a lot of the same teasing dynamic that made the first film so enjoyable. The back and forth between the characters is charming and fun. Sure, the ending kind of derails the enjoyment, but I have faith that things will get back on track for Scott/Hope.
What’s Next for Scott/Hope?
What’s next for anyone in the MCU?? The powers that be at Marvel are trying to play things coy, but theories abound for what’s going to happen in Avengers 4. Ant-Man and the Wasp only added fuel to the fire, by killing off Hope, Hank, and Janet.
So, at the moment, nothing good is up next. Scott is still alive but trapped in the quantum realm. We know he’s in Avengers 4, so I’m guessing at some point he escapes, but it’s not looking good for him at the moment. At the moment, Hope is dead. The general consensus is that the snap will be reversed, given how many returning characters were killed. That bodes well for Hope, at least.
Evangeline Lilly is credited as appearing in Avengers 4 on her IMDb page, so I’m guessing she’s going to come back. Post-Avengers 4, things are up in the air. Marvel hasn’t confirmed a lot of what’s going to happen after Phase 3 ends next year. Here’s hoping for another outing of our favorite insectoid heroes.
Is Scott/Hope Canon?
Yes! Ant-Man laid the groundwork, showing a mutual attraction growing between Scott and Hope and culminating in a kiss. After that, things went off the rails when Scott went to Germany to help Captain America. He lost contact with Hope and Hank and presumed that they hated him.
But, Ant-Man and the Wasp brought them back together. Working together once more to save the day, they were able to rekindle the budding romance between them. The end of the movie (before the awful post-credits scene) shows them on a date (with Scott’s daughter) watching movies together. It’s something, at least. Here’s hoping we see further developments in the future.