Welcome to the Void. Loki Episode 5 takes us to the end of time on another apocalyptic adventure, and along the way the series has managed to cram some incredible Easter eggs. This includes our best look yet at a certain amphibious version of Thor (more on that in a future article), but even more importantly, Loki gives us our first live look at one of the most controversial creations in Marvel history: the Thanos Copter.
Here’s everything you need to know about that big yellow helicopter with Thanos’ name written on the side, and why the Thanos Copter could be so much more than just an Easter egg.
The Thanos Copter in Loki Episode 5
In the beginning Loki In Episode 5, the camera scans the Void (the place where the cut variants are sent) to reveal several surprising Easter eggs. There is an oversized Yello Jacket helmet from The ant Man, but even more striking is the Thanos Copter.
We only see him for a few seconds as this family of Lokis walks past the helicopter on its way to their hiding place. Nobody said anything about it, which is surprising since our Loki seems to be quite obsessed with Thanos after seeing his own death at the hands of the Mad Titan. But the camera hovers over this image just long enough to make sure the audience notices it.
So is it just an Easter egg, or is it something more? To find out, you first have to dig a little deeper into the history of Thanos Copter.
The Thanos Copter in Marvel Comics
Appearing in Spidey Super Stories # 39 (1979), the Thanos Copter is exactly what it looks like: a yellow helicopter owned and operated by the Mad Titan. In the comics, Thanos uses his helicopter while trying to take the Cosmic Cube (it’s the Tesseract in the movies) from the superhero Hellcat, though he also uses the vehicle for various low-stakes crimes.
This isn’t the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has referred to Thanos Copter, either. In Avengers: Endgame, the Mad Titan’s sword was directly inspired by the helicopter’s propellers. Thanos creator Jim Starlin confirmed this link in an interview with Digital spy at Comic Con 2019, although he apparently wasn’t thrilled:
“The only thing they did and I’ll never forgive the Russos and [writers] Markus and McFeely brought this weapon he had, inspired by the Thanos helicopter that almost everyone had almost forgotten. Originally, the ThanosCopter was created by Larry Lieber for certain children’s books called Spidey Super Stories. Thanos was running around robbing banks with Thanos’ name written on the side of his helicopter, which always struck me as a little odd in itself. “
“But I tried to ignore it and I thought people forgot about it, but they stuck it in the movie. A few writers credited me with making it and I was like, ‘No , it was not me ” .”
What the Thanos Copter really means in Loki
We speculated before that Loki could set up the existence of variants of Thanos in the MCU. Mobius had previously hinted that the Time Variance Authority had arrested “Titans” – as well as vampires – but this is the first time the series has apparently confirmed the existence of multiple versions of Thanos. After all, if the Thanos Copter is part of the MCU canon, that means there has to be a version of Thanos that uses him.
Besides being a fun and weird Easter Egg, this is an easy way for Marvel to bring Thanos back. The MCU can simply reveal that a variant of the supervillain has managed to escape the TVA and the Void. We could see Thanos appear in a future Disney + movie or show. Hell, it’s even possible he’s the one who secretly controls all of the VAT (it’s extremely unlikely, but it is possible).
Either way, in the words of Starlin himself, it’s probably only a matter of time before Marvel brings Thanos back. And Loki Episode 5 has just authorized the landing of the Thanos Copter.
“You know, they made so much money with him,” Starlin said in 2019. “I can’t believe they’re not going to start over.”
Loki is now streaming on Disney +.