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!