How Loki hinted at Yellowjacket's return: MCU theories explored as SDCC trailer leak confirms M.O.D.O.K. connection

M.O.D.O.K and Yellow Jacket (Image via Marvel Studios/Square Enix)
M.O.D.O.K and Yellow Jacket (Image via Marvel Studios/Square Enix)

M.O.D.O.K., an acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, is one of the deadliest foes the Avengers have faced. The large-headed, part-human, part-machine villain is in the news thanks to his surprise appearance in the Antman 3 trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. Since Comic-Con Hall H attendees only got a glimpse of the villain in fast-paced shots, neither do we know how M.O.D.O.K looks nor do we have any information about the actor playing the role.

However, hardcore fans with their immense comic book knowledge and other sources of information have insane theories brewing. One theory in particular which has been gaining traction claims that M.O.D.O.K. is none other than an old Antman villain.


Marvel is used to leaving trails of detail in the form of Easter eggs and references. One such detail, which can be seen in the Disney Plus series Loki, is about the return of the first Antman villain, Yellowjacket. In the fifth episode of the show, as Loki roams in the wastelands of the void, a gigantic helmet of the Yellowjacket can be spotted in the scene.

It has also been reported in Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast that Corey Stoll, who played the role of Yellowjacket in the first movie, will reappear in Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Antman's Yellowjacket rumored to be making a comeback as M.O.D.O.K in Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania

The villain of the first Antman adventure, Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, died when Scott Lang went sub-atomic and destroyed the mechanisms of Cross’ suit. This causes his suit to malfunction and shrink in size abnormally, crushing him as he ceases to exist. Antman goes sub-atomic and is trapped in the Quantum realm but fortunately finds a way out of it.

A recent hypothesis suggests that Darren Cross didn’t die but was trapped in the quantum realm just like Antman. However, unlike Lang, Cross didn’t find a way out, suggesting that Yellowjacket is still alive. This could be true since Marvel loves to re-invent their characters, like the case of Red Skull in Avengers: Endgame or Mandarin in Shang-Chi.

Dr. Darren Cross, a brilliant scientist who graduated from MIT, learned under the mentorship of Hank Pym, the inventor of Pym particles. The theory states that Cross shrunk unevenly during his altercation with Antman, with his cranium becoming bigger than his body. With some help, the genius scientist develops a robotic suit for himself to survive the hostile quantum realm. He renames himself M.O.D.O.K. and has the sole purpose of destroying Scott Lang and his family.

As per the title of the Antman threequel and trailer at SDCC, we know that the Antman family is going on a vacation in the quantum realm, unaware of the fact that their biggest and oldest foe Darren Cross, now M.O.D.O.K., is lurking in a new form and ready to strike.

Slated to be released on February 17, 2023, Antman 3 will star Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily in the titular roles along with Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, and Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror.

It is also reported that our favorite Ghostbuster Bill Murray will appear in the movie, but there is no information about the character he will be playing.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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