The last time Marvel fans saw the Ghost of Hannah John-Kamen, she was getting help for her quantum-induced condition from Team Ant-Man. So, the Blip happened. Now Ghost is still having trouble connecting with people, literally.
When talking about the next Ray, scheduled to hit theaters on July 23, 2024, John-Kamen said that Ghost will have to learn to work with others after a life in isolation. That’s a bit of a retconning of the origins established in his debut, Ant-Man and the Waspbut John-Kamen’s words still stand as a preview of the Thunderbolts’ team dynamic.
In D23, comicbook.com asked Hannah John-Kamen what fans can expect from her in Raywhere John-Kamen will co-star with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Sebastian Stan, Olga Kurylenko, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Wyatt Russell.
John-Kamen explained that Ghost, whose real name is Ava, doesn’t like human contact, which is ironic given her unstable ability to pass through objects and disappear.
“Well, she doesn’t like to be touched,” John-Kamen said. “She is not social. She grew up in the van. So she’s actually never had human contact with anyone. So this is going to be interesting for Ghost to connect with.”
That’s not entirely true, since Ava had some Human contact. After her tragic origin story, SHIELD took Ava away and trained her as a stealth agent. She worked espionage and assassination jobs in exchange for the hope that the organization would find a cure for her condition.
Of course, SHIELD was eventually infiltrated by HYDRA, and there was no way they were going to get rid of a valuable asset. After the fall of SHIELD, Ava was taken in by former agent turned professor Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), and she lived in hiding until the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
But John-Kamen’s words still hint at things to come for Ghost and everyone else in Ray, and you can make her the secret star of the movie. Whether for comedic effect (he imagines David Harbor’s Red Guardian trying to embrace the distant ghost) or for a more serious moment, John-Kamen hints that Ghost is the secret heart of the film.
The Thunderbolts are a team of villains and anti-heroes working to save the world as part of their reform effort. Unlike DC’s Suicide Squad, who work for their freedom, the Thunderbolts are not promised anything in return. While the original version of the team was a ruse, later iterations of the Thunderbolts were made up of former villains trying to do something good for once.
It will also be interesting to see how Ray resolve post-credits scene Ant-Man and the Wasp. Remember, Team Ant-Man was trying to get quantum particles to help Ava. What happened to her efforts after the Blip?
Unsurprisingly, the MCU is taking the spirit of the Thunderbolts and tweaking it for their own ends. These Thunderbolts are not bad the bad guys, to some extent, are all good people who have done bad things, but they don’t deserve reverence either. That makes them abrasive and difficult to work with. That was the whole Bucky thing. The Falcon and the Winter Soldierand it is probably true for him again in Ray.
Yelena could be the de facto leader even though she’s younger than everyone else, Red Guardian will be both the brute and the teddy bear while making everyone nervous, the US Agent’s overconfidence and zeal will probably make him both an asset as well as a liability, and Taskmaster is set to be the silent killer that no one trusts.
That leaves Ghost, whose literal inability to connect with people will serve as a metaphor for the team’s efforts to get along. As Ghost opens up, so can the rest of the Thunderbolts.
Like the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy before them, the Thunderbolts will likely become a reluctant family who, despite their better judgment, will have to trust each other. Ghost has lived most of his life without being able to do just that. Ray it will be your chance to finally learn how, or suffer the consequences.
Ray It will be released in theaters on July 26, 2024.