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Have you noticed there’s been a lot of comic book-based movies lately? The idea of plotting to take over the world isn’t an unusual one for a comic, so it makes sense that Marvel Studios has been slowly conquering the film industry for the past eight years.

“Ant-Man,” which is now showing in cinemas across Japan, is the 12th installment in what’s being referred to as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This number doesn’t include other Marvel projects: TV show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the “Agent Carter” mini-series, or the Netflix-exclusive series “Daredevil.” “Ant-Man” is the final film in what’s being called “Phase Two” — the second stage of introducing a much larger, intertwined plot that stretches across several media and has earned the franchise nearly $9 billion worldwide. What comes next will be even bigger.

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