Thanos has been looming large over Loki’s entire MCU history – but we didn’t expect a strange nod to the Mad Titan to turn up in the penultimate episode of the God of Mischief’s Disney Plus series. In fact, it’s arguably one of the oddest Easter eggs to ever grace a live-action Marvel adventure.
Spoilers for Loki episode 5 follow. If you haven’t watched the episode, turn away now.
As the Loki Variants make their way across The Void, the group pass a conspicuous vehicle in the background. It’s a garish yellow helicopter with the name ‘THANOS’ written on its tail. Skip to 8:49 on Disney Plus if you want to check it out for yourself or take a look below.
spoilers #LokiTHANOS COPTER!THROG!!!! pic.twitter.com/b8UBxfiurJJuly 7, 2021
Yes, that’s the Thanoscopter – hinting that one version of the purple villain perhaps had a very different method of moving around the universe in pursuit of the Infinity Stones.
The Thanoscopter (or Thanos Helicopter, if you want to sound only slightly less insane) can chart its origins back to a one-shot Thanos appearance in the Marvel comics of the late 1970s.
In Spidey Super Stories #39, Thanos hired Deadpool to steal the Cosmic Cube. They almost got away with it, too, if it wasn’t for the pesky ‘copter being a less than suitable getaway vehicle.
Most fans, understandably, can’t quite believe the Loki creatives have pulled a moment that was heavily memed around the release of Avengers: Infinity War and dropped it into the MCU without warning. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn even posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet way back in 2015 asking for the Thanoscopter.
Whoa! Can't wait to see the Thanos-copter in the MCU! pic.twitter.com/o84r17SXMvJanuary 26, 2015
One fan said on Twitter (opens in new tab), "These beautiful bastards actually found a way to bring the #Thanoscopter into the MCU. Brilliant." Another joked that Loki is now the best show of all time (opens in new tab), purely because of the Thanoscopter.
That wasn’t the only major Loki Easter egg present in the episode. Frog Thor, better known as Thorg, made an appearance. Elsewhere, there was everything from nods to the 20th Century urban legend The Philadelphia Experiment right through to a giant Yellowjacket head from Ant-Man on display in The Void.
Catch up on the MCU story so far – no Thanoscopters prior to this, sorry – with our guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order.