The History Of The Thanos Copter
Many of the best villains in fiction are united by two commonalities: a glorious purpose and a goofy ride. Palpatine had galactic conquest and a special dreadnought. The Green Goblin has his hatred for Spider-Man and his cool glider. And Thanos has an endless conquest for universal balance and a big yellow helicopter with his name printed on it. One of these things may not be like the other, but Thanos is the Mad titan, so he gets away with it. Though the Thanos Copter has appeared in few canonical works, it has left an impression on the Marvel universe that none can match, and now it’s back! And by back, we mean a derelict easter egg in episode 5 of Loki. With this most recent appearance, it’s the perfect time to examine the history of the Thanos Copter when it was still proud in the sky.
The History of the Thanos Copter
Thanos is a man with a goal, and that goal is usually some kind of sparkly rock. In Spidey Super Stories Vol 1 39, Thanos continued his characteristic conquest and went after the Cosmic Cube, called the Tesseract in the MCU. To help him chase down Hellcat who was keeping the Cube just out of his grasp, Thanos hopped into his patented Thanos Copter. This Team Rocket-style helicopter was painted bright yellow, had his name printed in beautiful sans serif letters, and had the proportions of a clown car. The Mad Titan, the tyrant that would eliminate half the universe with a snap of his fingers, chased down Hellcat in a helicopter that looked like it was made for Kid Loki.
Image via Disney Plus.
Thanos’s legendary helicopter later appeared while the would-be lover of Lady Death hired none other than Deadpool to steal, once again, the Cosmic Cube. Because it’s a Deadpool comic, chaos reigns. In a few pages, Deadpool manages to infiltrate the Thanos Copter, steal the infinity gauntlet, kill Thanos and his helicopter with it, resurrect him, and wipe his memory of the whole interaction. This moment is notable because Deadpool just did what an entire Avengers couldn’t and because it represents one of the most jarring deaths in Marvel history. Not Thanos, dude dies all the time. He died twice in one movie. The Thanos Copter, however, has such a limited appearance that seeing it unceremoniously blown up is a shock to say the least.
The Legend Returns as an Easter Egg in Loki!
Spoilers for episode 5 of Loki coming up, so make your peace with that or watch it. If you need a recap before you watch, listen to the ComicYears spoiler podcast for Loki Episode 4.
In the most recent episode of Loki, while our Loki, Boastful Loki, Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Gator Loki are traversing the void, they pass the eviscerated remains of a half dozen Easter Eggs. Among them are the two machines Thanos has used to dominate the skies. The wrecked remains of his colossal ship Sanctuary 2 and the rusted ruin of the Thanos Copter.
Image via Disney Plus.
It’s only on screen for a moment, but the Thanos Copter was lifted out of history and plopped into our laps to talk about. One of the most important things the Thanos Copter represents for the Marvel soon-to-be multiverse is that somewhere out there, the Thanos who defeated the modern, much-less-goofy version of the Avengers rode in a teeny tiny yellow helicopter. Amazing. There is no treasure greater than the image of Josh Brolin’s Thanos crammed into a tiny cockpit growling into the horizon “I am inevitable.”
Did you notice any other easter eggs in Loki Episode 5, or were you too busy marveling at the Thanos Copter pulled straight out of comics history. Tell us about it in the comments below or on social media!
Featured image via Marvel Spidey Super Stories Vol 1 39
Jessica Kanzler lives with her wife and cats and enjoys obsessively reading fantasy and talking about writing with anyone who won't run away. Jessica has an MA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media studies, and one of her students once said she “wasn’t cool, but was clearly trying.”