‘Loki’ Episode 5 Features a Reference to One of Marvel Comics’ Most Absurd Moments

‘Loki’ Episode 5 Features a Reference to One of Marvel Comics’ Most Absurd Moments

Like the God of Mischief himself, Loki has never been afraid to lean into the ridiculous. The series treats its central drama seriously enough, of course, and some would even say it does so with a somewhat surprising dark streak. But that doesn’t mean the writers haven’t been having a total blast, throwing in Easter eggs and comic book references that’ll make any Marvel fan’s head spin. The latest episode is no exception, but you’ll have to keep scrolling as we dive deep into that hilarious and spoilery detail.

Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I almost couldn’t believe it myself, but Loki actually went and briefly teased the endearingly silly, meme-tastic Thanos Copter early on in the series’ fifth episode titled “Journey Into Mystery.” It couldn’t have picked a better spot for it either. Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer sheds some light on the “Void” while talking to Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), essentially likening it to a cosmic depository or junkyard far beyond the reaches of normal time or space. As it turns out, anything that doesn’t belong in the Sacred Timeline and subsequently gets purged ends up here, as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) himself found out the hard way.

But most importantly: the Thanos Copter is canon! Marvel tends to be clever in how they deploy tongue-in-cheek references to such absurd concepts, but we’re dying to know just how it ended up here and if our favorite Mad Titan was the one who piloted it. We’re not saying we’d watch an alternate show called “Thanos” involving an infinite number of Thanos variants, one of whom apparently got his hands on a helicopter, branded it with his own name (as any petty supervillain ought to!), and found himself arrested and purged by the TVA… but we’re not not saying that, either.

A Brief History of the Thanos Copter

Ah, comics. There is perhaps no other medium that lends itself to the most incredible whims of storytellers. If you’re wondering where the entire idea of a Thanos helicopter came from in the first place, look no further than Spidey Super Stories #39. In this issue, Thanos takes to the air in an attempt to procure the Cosmic Cube (that’s the Tesseract, in the MCU), as one does. But it’s crucial to note that Thanos is not above using this vehicle for more minor crimes, robbing banks and committing dastardly deeds as only a giant purple alien in a helicopter could.

Technically speaking, this isn’t even the first time the Thanos Copter has been referenced in the MCU, either. Much to Thanos creator Jim Starlin’s chagrin, Avengers: Endgame included a cheeky reference to the vaunted Thanos Copter through the Mad Titan’s weapon. He clearly wasn’t too happy about it, as he put in his own words:

“The one thing they did and I will never forgive the Russos and [writers] Markus and McFeely was they brought that weapon he had in, which is inspired from the Thanos helicopter which most everybody had almost forgot all about. Originally, the Thanos Copter was created by Larry Lieber for some kids’ books called Spidey Super Stories. Thanos was running around robbing banks with the name Thanos written on the side of his copter which always struck me as a little strange all by itself.

But I tried to ignore it and I thought people had forgot about it, but they stuck it in the movie. I had a couple of writers credit me with creating it and I’m like, ‘No, it wasn’t me’.”

So what does the official inclusion of this vehicle even mean for Loki? Probably nothing! We’re keeping track of any number of actual Easter eggs that could end up paying dividends throughout the future of the MCU and we previously wrote about that shout-out to vampires and the hints it may have for Blade, but we’re betting this is less an indication that “THANOS IS BACK, Y’ALL” and more of a fun exercise in bringing a tremendously funny bit of comic book weirdness to life.

But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be thrilled to be wrong as next week’s finale reveals that Thanos has been the secret mastermind of the TVA all along, or that we won’t be endlessly speculating about the entire hypothetical backstory involved in getting that Thanos Copter to a place where Loki and his variants could just casually stroll by it. Personally, my money’s on the possibility that the past version of Thanos we see in Avengers: Endgame stopped in his tracks, rethought his entire life, and found it easier to just scrap together a humble, bank-robbing life on some distant planet with his trusty helicopter… until the TVA ruined everything. Ugh, bureaucracy amirite?

Anyway, next week brings us the Loki finale and you can be sure we’ll have that covered from every possible angle.

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