Photo: Avengers: Endgame (Marvel Studios)

Marvel’s 1991 The Infinity Gauntlet storyline was a star-making event for Thanos, an alien tyrant with dreams of intergalactic genocide who was literally in love with Marvel’s personification of death, but that saga is so iconic that it’s easy to forget that he began his life as little more than a cosmic thug. In a new video from The Weekly Planet’s Mr. Sunday Movies, the hosts dig deep on one of the goofier moments of Thanos’ life before he got his purple mitts on the Infinity Gems, specifically the time he tried to steal a particularly slippery Cosmic Cube from Hellcat and Spider-Man. (If you’re new here: The Stones are Gems in the comics, and the Cosmic Cube is a separate thing that also has varyingly unlimited power, even though the MCU made it into the Space Stone.)

As explained in the video, everything here seems surprisingly low-stakes for a Thanos story, with his big move against the heroes being to summon an abnormally large dog. Also, this story was the debut of Thanos’ helicopter, a truly ridiculous accessory that has been a go-to reference for jokey self-aware Marvel comics over the years. It was even a Hot Wheels toy that came in a little Cosmic Cube, which is much cooler than it deserves.

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Then there’s the fact that Thanos just gets taken away by the cops at the end of the story, as if he’s just some regular asshole like The Scorpion and not the guy who will wipe out half of all life in just a few years. To give the comic a little credit, though, the hosts point out that Thanos is undone by his continued inability to simply hold on to the Cube, but that tracks with how he’s defeated in the Infinity Gauntlet. At the risk of spoiling a decades-old comic (and nothing else), the Gems basically just get swiped when Thanos isn’t paying attention, allowing the heroes to undo all of the death he caused. Perhaps the seeds for one of the greatest Marvel stories of all time were really planted in this dumb comic about Thanos flying a helicopter and using infinite cosmic power to create a big dog?

Anyway, Peter Parker’s red suit is slick. He’d be a cool dude if he didn’t always disappear whenever the exciting action starts, immediately before Spider-Man swings in to save the day.

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