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Essential Captain America

Essential Cap: Cosmic Cube

Crack the code on the Marvel Universe's most amazing artifact, the Cosmic Cube!

With the release of "Thor" on May 6, 2011 and "Captain America: The First Avenger" on July 22, 2011, Marvel.com presents the Essentials, a series of articles showcasing each character's expansive history and mythology  in the Marvel comics.

From character retrospectives to a look at memorable storylines and interviews with key creators, the Essentials will act as the perfect guide for fans both old and new! Look for new Cap Essentials every Monday and Thor Essentials every Thursday as we head toward the release of each film!

By Jim Beard
Tales of Suspense #80
Powerful beyond human imagining, the Cosmic Cube represents a puzzle of staggering paradox and potential. Sought after by myriad entities through the years, the Cube has fallen into many a hand and been used to sow chaos - and ultimately grief. Its true properties remain unknown but its legend grows daily.


We’ve attempted to gather all known data on the Cosmic Cube to expand your knowledge of such items - prepare for the cosmic ride of your life.


A containment vessel for energies whose make-up defies definition, the Cosmic Cube possesses the powers – among others – of reality-warping and wish-fulfillment. On Earth, the Cube came into being at the whim of the rogue science organization known as A.I.M. in their quest for world-rule; little did they realize that the energies stored in the Cube could develop into a fully-formed, sentient entity and divest itself of its wielder.

Other Cubes came to be known when Earth’s heroes encountered alien races, such as the Skrulls, who themselves constructed energy vessels for their own purposes. It’s yet to be determined if the mysterious and terrifying energies can be properly identified as a true race of their own.

Cap’s Cube

Captain America #115

The villainous Red Skull seized the Cosmic Cube made by A.I.M., which brought him into direct conflict with Captain America. The hero cleverly defeated the Skull, despite his possession of the Cube, but the object made its way temporarily into the hands of Namor the Sub-Mariner. Later, A.I.M. managed to utilize a shard of their Cube to create the Super-Adaptoid and to dissolve it once it fell back into the grasp of the Red Skull.

Check out TALES OF SUSPENSE #79 for the first glimpse of the Cosmic Cube, collected in MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1 and ESSENTIAL CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1, and check out MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 4 or ESSENTIAL CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 2 for the Red Skull’s second go-round with it, originally seen in CAPTAIN AMERICA #115-120.

More Cubes

The death-loving Thanos recovered the Cosmic Cube – somehow reformed – and used it to manipulate the universe itself. Captain America, the Avengers and Captain Mar-Vell opposed him, yet once Thanos believed the Cube to be bereft of power he discarded it. The U.S. government’s Project Pegasus came into possession of a second Cosmic Cube, crafted by the Red Skull’s lackeys and eventually used to create Jude the Entropic Man and mutate the being known as Wundarr into the wondrous Aquarian.

Thanos’ gambit with the Cosmic Cube kicked off in DAREDEVIL Vol. 1 #107 and continued in CAPTAIN MARVEL Vol. 1 #25-33, the latter of which may be found in MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL. 3. The Project Pegasus saga played out in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #42-43 and #57-58, which can be seen in ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOL. 2 and 3.

Beyond the Cube

Avengers #290

The Cosmic Cube evolved into an entity calling itself Kubik when Captain America wrestled once again with A.I.M. for control of the object. It then left Earth to wander the cosmos but returned when the Super-Adaptoid attempted to rise up and seize power over the planet. Kubik also came into contact with the other-worldly Beyonder and convinced him to merge with the Molecule Man to form the Cube-being Kosmos. Together, Kubik and Kosmos went out into the stars to further their knowledge of the universe.

The entirely evil Magus, the doppelganger of Adam Warlock, gathered an unheard-of five Cosmic Cubes from different cosmos and put together a “dark” universe with evil versions of Earth’s heroes. After his defeat, Magus’ pure side, the Goddess, merged several Cosmic Cubes into the Cosmic Egg, but she too felt defeat.

Kubik’s debut came about in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #7 and the Super-Adaptoid tried to “adapt” the sentient Cube in AVENGERS #289-290. The INFINITY WAR collection contains the story of Magus and his Cubes from INFINITY WAR #1-6, and the Goddess’ saga may be witnessed in INFINITY CRUSADE VOL. 1 and VOL. 2, which collects INFINITY CRUSADE #1-6.

Everyone Wants the Cube

Mighty Avengers #33

The Cosmic Cube fell into the possession of many more personages, few of whom grasped its full power or used it in a benevolent fashion. A Cube landing in the 31st century became a pivot point for a battle between the Red Skull, Captain America and the entity called Korvac. A young Earth man used a Cube fragment to become a new super hero, Freedom Ring, but later died saving others. The Magus once again came into contact with a Cube while fighting the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Star-Lord drained it of its last ergs of power against a reborn Thanos. Another shard of the Cube ended up absorbed into the Absorbing Man, a criminal eventually stopped by Norman Osborn during his dark reign over the United States.

We suggest seeking out CAPTAIN AMERICA Vol. 3 #14-19, MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol. 3 #20-24, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 #19 and #25, and MIGHTY AVENGERS #32-33 for these exciting tales of the Cosmic Cube.

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Excuse me, I mean "created an alternate timeline in which Adam Warlock never became Magus". Now who's the moron?


A doppleganger is a look-alike, usually malevolent. Magus is not a doppleganger, he really is Adam Warlock, albeit from a now-defunct timeline. It stands to reason that Magus' own timeline still exists and that, from his perspective, his encounters with Warlock created an alternate timeline in which Adam Warlock was never created (because traveling back in time in the Marvel Universe never changes time but instead creates an alternate timeline). Magus doesn't seem to understand this, though, since he keeps messing with our timeline. If he knew the truth he could just go home and stop worrying about his past not becoming his present. What a moron.


What? Nothing on Bucky using the Cube?