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The Real Meaning Behind The Thanoscopter In Loki Episode 5

At the end of everything known within the Disney+ series "Loki" is the Void — a kind of purgatory for the variants the TVA can't entirely destroy and the objects from multiverses deemed not meant to be. It is, in short, a desolate wasteland for the wayward and the lost. Beyond the Void is the great unknown, the future that cannot be seen — all mysteries guarded by a giant smoke monster (like if the one from "Lost" was big and dragon-y) called Alioth. Alioth leaves destruction in its wake. And as the many Lokis trudge across the landscape littered by that destruction, we see all sorts of things in various states of disrepair — skyscrapers, tanks, and, at one point, even the ship often associated with the supposed Philadelphia Experiment, the USS Eldridge, appears before being promptly devoured by Alioth.

There's one other vehicle of note that appears for the briefest of moment — a yellow helicopter with the name "THANOS" emblazoned on it in large, black capital letters. It looks absolutely ridiculous, but, like so many ridiculous things we tend to see in comic book adaptations, this helicopter's origins aren't some bad toy tie-in like the Spock Helmet was for "Star Trek" — it's from an actual issue of an actual Marvel comic book.

The Thanoscopter is a real thing

The Tesseract plays an important role in the realm of the MCU. The Tesseract is a magical artifact protected on Asgard that found its way to Earth being controlled by Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), and, later, by SHIELD. You likely remember when Loki stole the Tesseract during "The Avengers," using its cosmic power to open gateways through space to allow in an invading Chitauri force. Eventually, it's revealed that the Tesseract is, in fact, the Space Stone aka one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos (Josh Brolin) needs to wipe out half of all life in the universe. Loki even dies as a result of trying to protect both Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Space Stone from Thanos. Yes, it's all very dramatic.

Meanwhile, in Marvel Comics, Thanos is not always as frightening. In the pages of "Spidey Super Stories #39" published in 1979, Thanos tries to steal the Tesseract's comic book equivalent, the Cosmic Cube, in a story called "The Cat and the Cosmic Cube." The Mad Titan doesn't use his physical prowess or an army of zealots; he uses a Thanoscopter. Not only does Thanos fail in his aim, not only is he defeated by Hellcat (a Marvel hero who has never been in an Avengers movie), but, after being defeated, Thanos is taken to jail by regular, human police officers. As Thanos says in the pages of that very comic — "Drat!"

It's too bad the original Loki from the MCU didn't have to face off against this version of the Mad Titan — he'd still be alive, as would Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), as would that half of the universe which was temporarily wiped from existence. Instead, the only evidence of that version of Thanos ever existing is the rusted out innards of a Thanoscopter lost in the Void at the end of all things. Much like the Infinity Stones in a random drawer at the TVA, this is a reminder how even the Mad Titan is nothing in the face of what Loki is dealing with now. Drat, indeed!