In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we heard about another group that’s bidding on the contents of Hank Pym’s lab from Sonny Burch, which motivated Burch’s actions throughout the film. While we never saw who the other bidder was for Hank’s technology, the internet has taken to this and has posed its own answer, Norman Osborn.
This idea comes to us from DanielRPK on Twitter who has been viewed as a trusted source on the subject of comic book films.
Oh, I'm PRETTY sure the "Mysterious Buyer" who wanted Hank's Lab/Technology in Ant-Man and The Wasp is Noman Osborn…
— Daniel R (@DanielRPK) July 7, 2018
This would line up with Burch saying that the person who wanted the lab was “very dangerous.” It also backs up the idea that Norman Osborn was the one who purchased Stark Tower in Spider-Man: Homecoming. If both of these are true, it seems Norman Osborn is trying to gather the resources of various superheroes, which wouldn’t fall too out of line with how he operates in the comics. This is the man who became an amalgam of Iron Man and Captain America as Iron Patriot for a time in the comics. He even at one point turned himself into a version of the Super-Adaptoid in order to copy the powers of the heroes. Using other people’s powers and tech has been a running M.O. for Norman Osborn in recent years.
If we go the route of him creating some of Spider-Man’s villains like in the series Spectacular Spider-Man, his goal could be to adapt all of this tech in order to do something similar in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Osborn at least seems like he wants to build up his tech before his grand introduction into the MCU. Seeing as most of the Far From Home seems like it will take place outside of New York, it could be at the end of that film if the Stark Tower acquisition proves true. Considering that Sony has made no announcements to using Norman is one of their Live Action films, it could mean that Marvel specifically asked them if they could use Norman Osborn in a future MCU film.
Though, while this works from a meta-narrative standpoint, in terms of building up the characters, from the perspective of Ant-Man and the Wasp Norman Osborn doesn’t really fit in. It works to think that Norman was the one who bought Stark Tower considering that information was given in a Spider-Man film. But, considering that he doesn’t really have any connection to Pym or Pym-Tech so far as we know, it would make more sense to have the person coming after the technology be someone more connected to Pym in some way.
But is there a dangerous person with access to money who would have a more personal connection to Hank Pym? Well actually there is, William Cross, Darren Cross’s cousin in the comics, also known as Crossfire. Crossfire in the comics ran Cross Technological Enterprises for a time, and was a former member of the C.I.A. He’s kind of like Marvel equivalent of Deadshot, down to being a master marksman and having the red scope-eye, though Crossfire’s actually replaces his eye. Fans of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may recognize him from the episode of that how that focused on Scott Lang, taking his cousin’s place from the original story as the one who endangers Cassie. You could have him running a big company like he did in his early appearances, or you could even have him as the leader of a criminal gang as he has been at time in the comics. Either way he’d be powerful and dangerous.
His plan could have been to get his cousin back from the Quantum Realm the same way Hank and Hope were trying to get Janet back. Peyton Reed, during his Honest Reaction with Screen Junkies, even implied there’s a chance that Darren Cross is still alive. Stealing something Pym Particle related from Ant-Man in order to save Darren would actually make this version of Crossfire similar to Augustine Cross from the recent run on Ant-Man. In this run, Augustine, Darren’s son, kidnapped Cassie in order to transplant her Pym Particle-infused heart into Darren’s body to save his life. Crossfire even helped with that plan in the comics as well. Combining the two into a single character could pan out pretty well in the MCU. Though considering that Crossfire is more a Hawkeye villain, down to the marksman angle, they may do something similar to what they did with Darren Cross and combine William Cross with another size changing villain, Black Ant. Though that may end up being to similar to what they did in the first film, and comments made by Peyton Reed seem to imply he doesn’t want to go down the “villain with the same power as the hero” route again.
Honestly, going either direction would work fine for the MCU overall. With Norman Osborn, we get something that more a long game, really building him up until he’s finally unveiled. With Crossfire, we have something more personal, and with the heavy family focus that the Ant-Man series has, it would be even more fitting.