Thanos, the MCU’s deadliest villain, owned an infamous yellow helicopter in the comics. Here’s why Loki episode 5 included it in the Void.
Here’s the comic book origin of the Thanos-Copter, the Mad Titan’s infamous vehicle that can be seen as a blink-and-you-miss-it easter egg in Loki episode 5. It’s almost difficult to imagine a time when Thanos wasn’t a major part of the MCU, but it was only when the character appeared in the post-credit stinger for The Avengers that the Mad Titan truly become the puppet master villain of the entire cinematic universe.
Despite being properly introduced back in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Thanos didn’t really make his presence felt until Avengers: Infinity War. He quickly became the deadliest bad guy of the entire series and one of the only villains to succeed in defeating the Avengers. It took an entire army of superheroes to defeat him in Avengers: Endgame, so it’s fair to say one of the more embarrassing moments from his comic book appearances came from the 1979 comic Spidey Super Stories #39, where he used his minuscule Thanos-Copter to try and steal the Cosmic Cube, a.k.a. The Tesseract.
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This now-infamous vehicle was piloted by the Mad Titan during the story “The Cat And The Cosmic Cube.” In it, Thanos uses the bright yellow helicopter – which is also emblazoned with his name – in order to claim the cube, only for Hellcat to kick it out of his hand. It falls into an alley, where a kid finds it and uses the cube’s power to conjure an ice cream. Spider-Man also gets involved in the chase for the cube and the whole storyline ends on an even more embarrassing note for Thanos when he’s arrested by regular cops. Since the story is just a straightforward adventure designed for Spider-Man and Hellcat to win within a single issue, the Thanos-Copter was presumably created as a fun way to introduce Thanos. Had the Mad Titan arrived on the Sanctuary II with an entire army of Outriders, the story would likely have switched tones and Spidey and Hellcat wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale.
The Thanos Copter was rarely seen again ever since. It made an appearance in an issue of Deadpool and received its own Mattel Hot Wheels toy in 2018, but for the most part, it has gained popularity for the countless memes that laugh at its expense. However, with the bizarre nature of the Loki Disney+ show bringing up the opportunity to introduce some of Marvel’s weirdest concepts to live-action, characters like Alligator Loki and Throg, along with objects like the Thanos Copter finally got the chance to be taken seriously. Of course, the wrecked Thanos-Copter only appears for a split-second, but its appearance in the Void at the end of time suggests that at least one variant of the Mad Titan used it at some point, only to be pruned out of existence.
The arrival of the MCU’s multiverse after the Loki season 1 finale is only going to bring more outlandish elements to Marvel’s movies and TV shows. While the live-action debut of the Thanos-Copter is just a nod to the fans, a future appearance in a multiversal title can’t be discarded yet. Perhaps Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or Loki season 2 could explain its MCU origin.
Next: Why Marvel Used Loki To Introduce Phase 4’s Thanos
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