'Thor' post-credits scene: What the heck WAS that thing?

Ever since Samuel L. Jackson first appeared as Nick Fury in a hidden scene at the end of Iron Man, we’ve all become trained to sit through the credits of a Marvel superhero film. Last year, the post-credits scene of Iron Man 2 featured a first glimpse of Thor’s fun-to-spell-but-hard-to-pronounce hammer Mjolnir. Thor continued the tradition this weekend, ending with a quick scene that simultaneously pointed toward this summer’s Captain America and next year’s superhero mega-team-up The Avengers. But I’m guessing that, if you’re not a comics fan, you probably left the theater with one question: “What the *$%#@ just happened?” Let’s unpack the scene a little bit. (SPOILER ALERT!)

In the scene, Stellan Skarsgard’s Erik Selvig met Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury inside of a warehouse. Fury said he was very interested in Selvig’s research involving parallel dimensions, which implied that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster had made some serious headway with all her astrophysics research. (Since Portman herself didn’t appear in this scene, I’m guessing that Jane Foster probably won’t be in Avengers.) Fury then opened up a large metal case that contained what appeared to be a glowing cube. (Finally, we know what was inside the Pulp Fiction briefcase!) Fury said the cube was an object of “immense power.” Then, twist! In the mirror, where Selvig’s reflection should have been, stood Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Mirror-Loki said “That’s interesting,” and then Selvig repeated, “That’s interesting.”

So, just what was that cube-thing? Here’s the short answer:

Long answer: The object of “immense power” is called the Cosmic Cube. It’s essentially a god-machine, capable of making absolutely anything its holder imagines come true. Think Green Lantern’s power ring, but infinitely more powerful — the Cube has been used to bring people back to life, to bind one carrier to the fabric of the universe, and to generally twist all of reality to various nefarious purposes. The Cube has popped up all around the Marvel Universe since it’s first appearance in 1966, and there have been multiple Cubes with varying origin stories, but it holds a special place in Captain America’s history. (At least once or twice a decade, the Red Skull will try to get his hands on a version of the Cube.)

So what does this mean for future Marvel movies? There have already been images released from this summer’s Captain America of Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull holding what appears to be an evil-looking ice cube, so consider this a confirmation that the Cosmic Cube will make an appearance in that film. But the scene’s real revelation might be pointing towards next year’s Avengers. Loki has already been officially confirmed as that film’s Big Bad, and now it looks like the plot of the movie may be Cube-centric.

If the Cube is indeed The Avengers‘ MacGuffin, you can start anticipating all sorts of exciting reality-altering special effects, a scene where Loki lifts up the Cube and screams “The universe is mine!” and lots of sparkling Joss Whedon argue-dialogue between Iron Man and Thor about who is most worthy to hold the Cube, before Captain America finally solves everything by crushing it with his mighty shield. Just guessing.

Follow Darren on Twitter for more Cosmic Cube updates @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (125 total) Add your comment
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  • Dani

    I thought it was the Allspark

    • Anna

      Nobama 2012

      • Mephysto

        2012 is sure gonna suck for you then.. Terrorist!

      • Tim

        Lol if you don’t vote for dope and change your a terrorist now. Talk about a 180 from a few years back.

      • Buzz

        Hey Tim, we adults call what Mephisto (nice Marvel reference, dude!) said “sarcasm.” But still, it’s cool that you’re able to operate a computer! Keep it up!

      • Rigo

        Somebody is peing on her pants already after Obama cought Osama

      • chad

        Obama= the Red Skull

      • Barry Dillon

        Hey, Buzz, you should know that don’t understand sarcasm…in fact, they don’t understand the concept of humor.It’s alien to their black little hate-filled hearts.

      • ian1219

        And this has to do with the article how?

      • President Barack Obama

        Thanks for your support, Mephysto! Your name is kinda funny though cuz you can twist it around like this: “Oh, fist me!” Why, yes I will and I’ll add some “teabagging” as well.

    • LOL

      People who don’t stay to the end of the credits get what they deserve.

      • Ace

        As someone who didn’t stay to the end of the credits (in my defense, I was STARVING), I agree and am now kicking myself.

      • Gabriel

        ur write

      • Luca

        I tried to warn some guys not to leave but they called me, well it wasn’t very nice.

        I had guessed we might see a glimpse of the cube since we know that Red Skull is in the Avenger movie and he was all big over the cube and its power. Won a free beer for my guess (my friend is still pissed. lol)

      • Ryan

        Luca- Uh, Red Skull’s not going to be in the Avengers. LOKI will be, but not Red Skull.

    • Valcan Krull

      Cool scene after the credits but I couldn’t stop thinking a giant Mako shark was going to jump out and bite off Skarsgard’s arm and swallow Samuel L Jackson whole!

      • Apos

        Ahhh…. Fond memories of “Deep Blue Sea”.

      • ryan

        if your going to reference deep blue sea get it right lol samuel was not swallowed whole he was grabbed by two separate sharks and ripped in half when they both swam different directions.

    • gman5541

      YOU TERRORIST!!

  • Bin Laden

    I needed to pee so I left as soon as the movie was over. Damn it!!!

    • President Barack Obama

      You must’ve had too much of my new drink, the “Navy SEAL:” two shots and a splash of water. Heh-heh.

  • Hitler

    White supremacy!

    • therealeverton

      Glad to see death has mellowed your views and ALL white people are now acceptable. Ho any more decades amongst the dead befre you star accepting mixed race?

      • ty

        black people are so dumb.

    • Labner

      Ty the only one dumb is YOUR stupid arse…who are you to judge blk ppl or anyone else. You’re showing your true colors, and your white pointy hat is sticking out dumbass

  • jj6

    hahahaha love ew comment boards. where is stalin?

  • Stalin

    Sorry, I was visiting Mao’s tomb. What’s going on?

    • octopus

      AAAAHAHAHAHAHHHAAA! That was funny right there! I don’t care who ya are!

      • Larry the Cable Guy

        It was, but copyright infringement isn’t. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers. Hey Stalin, Hitler. Good to see you guys. Been a few years.

  • rey

    i knew what it was but then some kid behind me literally squealed, “THE COSMIC CUBE!”

    • therealeverton

      That’s like the end of Iron Man II, The Usher and me were the only 2 people who knew it was Thor’s Hammer and we both blurted it out. It sounded like this…….

      “WE’RE NREDS!!!! BUT WE DON’T CARE IT’S THOR’s HAMMER!!”

      • Jacob

        I secretly hope you actually did call yourselves NREDS.

    • Maricela

      It was kinda awesome the difference between seeing Iron Man II and waiting til the end credits and seeing Thor yesterday.

      No one but me and like 5 people stayed at the end of Iron Man II. But about 80% of the audience stayed for the end of Thor.

      Geeks shall inherit the Earth.

  • Mao

    Dude, you left your bike here.

    • Stalin

      Thanks man. I’ll get Larry to drop me off in a bit.

  • Lauren VanSanten

    I hope in this film series, they will include:
    Balder, Beta Ray Bill, Frey, Hermod, Hercules, Hoder, Hrimhari, Idunn, Kelda, Thor Girl, Thunderstrike, Tyr, Valkyrie, Vidar, Volla, Zeus.
    I look forward to seeing the following villains in future sequels:
    Absorbing Man, Atum, Bloodaxe, Cobra, Desak, Ego the Living Planet, Enchantress, Executioner, Fafnir, Fenris Wolf, Grey Gargoyle, Hela, Karnilla, Kurse, Lorelei, Malekith the Accursed, Man-Beast, Mangog, Midgard Serpent, Mr. Hyde, Mongoose, Perrikus, Quicksand, Radioactive Man, Ragnarok, Seth, Surtur, Ulik, Wrecking Crew (Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball), Ymir, Zarrko.

    • therealeverton

      I kind of have to disagree. Seeing what a good job they did making Asgard and the other Realms the main focus; II hope we get what we often get in the comics. Thor can run around saving our Earth and the Galaxy in the Avengers movies, but in Thor movies I’d like to see them almost exclusively in Asgard and the other realms, with the Demons, Storm Giants, Frost Giants and more mixing of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. There’s a real chjance to keep doing something different with Thor. Wrecking Crew could be interesting though.

    • SaraLee

      Holy crude…was that in alphabetical order?

    • MWeyer

      Yeah, was disapointed they didn’t put in Baldar as he’s Thor’s best friend and one of Asgard’s captains. Guess they felt it was too crowded with Sif and the Warriors Three so hope a sequel brings him in. And Beta Ray Bill would be SWEET.

      • jymmymack

        This post is from some weird person who posts on Collider ALL THE TIME. Every single article about a comic book, this poster shows up and rattles off a list of comic book names.

    • jymmymack

      I’m talking about Lauren VanSuten.

    • Caracticus

      I think if Thor sets a precedent that fans can accept supernatural / cosmic aspects in their superhero blockbusters, I’ll be super stoked for the Fantastic Four reboot: bring on Annihilus!

    • Rango

      Your ability to prove to the community that you can copy and paste is only matched by the sheer lack of knowledge you have about what you posted. Good job being a tool.

  • Carly Maguire

    NO!! Loki should have been killed off at the end. They should not use the same villain from Thor in The Avengers! Is Loki going to be their equivalent of Lex Luthor or General Zod?!
    Hulk should not be used as a villain either. They should include some of the following new villains:
    Baron Zemo, Collector, Count Nefaria, Egghead, Grandmaster, Graviton, Grim Reaper, Immortus, Kang, Korvac, Legion of the Unliving , Lethal Legion, Master Pandemonium, Masters of Evil, Morgan le Fay, Nebula, Space Phantom. Super-Adaptoid. Supreme Intelligence, Squadron Sinister, Taskmaster, Thanos, Ultron, Zodiac

    • therealeverton

      Well even though the movie Avengers are more an amalgamation of The Avengers and The Ultimates (Ultimate Avengers) the fact is Loki is a key part of Avengers history and if it wasn’t for him they wouldn’t exist, so it’s nice to acknowledge that. Also I seriously doubt that he’s the only villain, it’s just another Red Herring. Apart from anything else if he gets the cube he could always use it to create The Wrecking Crew and Absorbing Man and who knows what else. Plus maybe he makes a deal with The Skrulls to share The cube.

      Also Hulk is still “wanted” so, because the next Hulk film is AFTER The Avengers the issue of him going from fugitive to hero has to be dealt with in the movie.

      Best of all, if Hulk is at odds with The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D in the movie it makes a Planet Hulk movie double, with a third part World War Hulk (AKA Avengers 3) all the more plausable!

    • heej

      Thanks Asperger Boy and Captain High Functioning! Are you SURE you didn’t leave anybody out?

      • L

        Hahahaha.

    • jim johnsom

      Kill of Loki? really? what’s wrong with you?

      • tipsy

        Thank you! Loki`s awesome. I want to see him and Thor again.

  • ObiHave

    Sorry to spoil it for everyone but the cube contains the recipe for New Coke…which will bring down any enemy.

    • Sean

      Our taste buds can’t repel flavor of that magnitude!

      • Ace

        *giggle*

    • Pede

      Thank you for that moment of brevity in a midst of nerdgasm squeals and exclamations.

    • NeverFree

      haha. yea. good one

  • lostidol

    The wrecking crew would be cool. For the rest, well at least you’ll always have your comics nerdboy.

  • Ghandi

    In Hell, we only get to watch garbage.. Pretty much anything Michel Bay does

  • therealeverton

    Random question, but hy would Ghandi be in hell?

    • Jester

      same reason as Jesus, for being an attention grabbing wh@re?

      • Jesus Christ

        I am not what you say i am. I am just a teacher of ways man should behave. And when i say that, I mean keep making great Marvel Movies

  • afe

    he didn’t say “That’s interesting”; he said “That’s worth taking a look”

    • Spilldog

      You’re right. Loki said, “Well, that’s worth a look,” and Selvig, as though he’s under a trance, repeated the statement.

  • Josh

    You know, I could post as some infamous d-bag who actually got what they deserved, but I won’t.

    Anywho, I guess it bears mentioning that the extra scene kind of started with the Edward Norton Incredible Hulk when Robert Downey Jr. reprised as Tony Stark and visited the General in a bar after the main events of the movie. Just throwing it out there, because it was what it was and it was before Iron Man 2.

    • Skip182

      The first Iron Man had an extra scene and was before the Incredible Hulk.

      • Jep

        “Thor” was good but I had better things to do than sit and watch five minutes of credits to see if there was another scene. Get a life already!

    • therealeverton

      Nah, it was Iron Man

      “I’m Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

      “Oh”

      “I’m here to talk to you about The Avenger Initiative!”………. dramatic music……….

      • Shaun

        Incredible Hulk came out AFTER the first Iron Man.

        Not to mention, the scene in Incredible Hulk actually happened BEFORE the closing credits. Last scene in the movie, but before the credits.

    • Spilldog

      There was an extra scene at the end of the credits in the first Iron Man movie. Nick Fury pops up in Tony Stark’s living room and tells him he wants to talk to him about the “Avengers Initiative.” The Incredible Hulk movie came out after Iron Man, as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) appears in a bar where General Ross is having a drink and mentions the Avengers Initiative as well.

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