You know that futuristic city we saw in the trailers for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, located within the Quantum Realm? That was almost certainly the MCU’s version of the city of Chronopolis. In the comics, Kang the Conqueror ruled this kingdom, located outside of time. Chronopolis appeared mainly in comics that Marvel published during the ‘90s. Judging from the Ant-Man trailers, Chronopolis contains highly advanced technology, likely from Kang’s MCU origin point in the far future. Clearly, it’s a place Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) is very familiar with—and did not want to return to. Here’s the backstory of the historic city of Chronopolis. Or should we say, a city made of history?
What Is Marvel’s City of Chronopolis?
In the pages of Marvel Comics, Chronopolis was the city that Kang called home. It first appeared in 1992’s Captain America Annual #11. The epic Avengers Forever mini-series in 1998 featured the destruction of Chronopolis. The layout of the city was circular in shape, and like the mythological Atlantis, a giant clear dome structure protected it. Inside, Chronopolis contained access points to all the different time periods Kang had conquered in the Marvel universe. The full map of Kang’s Chronopolis is below.
Each part of Kang’s kingdom was a slice of a specific time period. So one section looked like ancient Egypt, while another appeared as Victorian England, and so on. One could only go back and forth between parts of the city via hidden portals. But this free movement was not something an average citizen could do, and was largely reserved for Kang himself. The heart of the Chronopolis’ ability to function was the immensely powerful Forever Crystal.
Where Is Marvel Comics’ Chronopolis Located?
Chronopolis was located in Limbo, the pocket dimension that exists outside of time. Originally, Chronopolis occupied the same spacetime as another one of Kang’s first strongholds, the town of Timely, Wisconsin. After licking his wounds following an early battle with the Avengers, a variant of Kang’s went back in time to January 1, 1901, and founded the town of Timely. (The name itself was an in-joke, as Timely Comics was the original name of Marvel Comics).
From Timely, this Kang Variant, known as Victor Timely, created futuristic technology from his era of origin, in the hopes of gaining control of the following century. It’s where the advanced technology used to create the original Human Torch of the ‘40s, as well as many Hydra weapons, originated. Eventually, another Kang variant used this same location; he built Chronopolis there. Only it was “out of phase” with Timely and imperceptible to most regular people.
Was Marvel Comics’ Chronopolis Connected to the Quantum Realm?
In the comics, we knew the Quantum Realm as the Microverse. (There are all kinds of legal reasons the MCU version of a sub-atomic universe had a name change, mostly pertaining to a 1970s action figure line). Chronopolis was not located in the Microverse/Quantum Realm, but instead in the furthest outskirts of the realm of Limbo. Although, it was also partially located in “our” reality as well. But it looks like the MCU will give Chronopolis a change of address and place it in the Quantum Realm.
LEGO Marvel Super-Heroes‘ Chronopolis
In the game, LEGO Marvel Super-Heroes 2, a version of Chronopolis appeared composed of different points in time from famous Marvel locations. This was similar to Battleworld in the 2015 Secret Wars series. The locations included Avengers tower, Medieval Europe, the planet Xandar, Asgard, the swamp home of Man-Thing, and many more. There was even a whole new map of Chronopolis, which you can see above. We’re guessing that in the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars, Marvel Studios will combine a version of Chronopolis with Battleworld, transforming it from a city to a whole planet. LEGO may yet inspire the MCU and soon, Chronopolis could be a key setting in it as well.
A Quantum Realm Chronopolis in the MCU
Ant-Man and the Wasp
We first saw hints of Chronopolis in a “blink and you’ll miss it” scene in Ant-Man and the Wasp. It’s hard to make out, but one can see the domed Quantum Realm city in that Phase 3 film. Although never outright stated, the fact that Janet Van Dyne seemed to have clothing and gear that she didn’t go into the Quantum Realm with suggested that there was a civilization in the Quantum Realm. We just didn’t get to see it in that film.
Loki Season One
In Loki, He Who Remains, himself a variant of Kang, lived alone in a Citadel at the End of Time. Was that Fortress the remains of Chronopolis? We’re not entirely sure. However, the Chronopolis we saw in Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailers sure seems similar to Loki’s Time Variance Authority in the season one finale. All the giant statues of Kang certainly gave off similar vibes. It would not surprise us to see similar monuments dedicated to his own greatness in Quantumania’s Chronopolis. Kang’s ego spans millennia, after all.
Chronopolis in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and MCU Phase 5
From what we saw in the trailers for Quantumania, there are several large rings that circle around buildings in Chronopolis. Many fans think that means both Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings, as well as Ms. Marvel’s bracelets, have a connection to the tech we saw in Chronopolis. There are also what appear to be lots of alien races present. (Although “alien,” as in from another planet, might not be the best description here). We’ll discover the truth about the MCU’s version of Chronopolis, and just how much the Quantum Realm city has in common with its Marvel Comics counterpart when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on February 17.