Later on I’ll give you my full impressions of the Marvel panel that closed out Comic-Con 2010, but for now I want to share something that had me geeking out:

Despite only being in production for a week Captain America: The First Avenger arrived with a complete scene, set in Norway in 1942. The Red Skull, before he becomes the Red Skull, smashes through the front of an ancient temple and sends his Nazi goons to a crypt looking for something he calls The Tesseract. They open up a sarcophagus and find a large, misty cube atop the corpse of a Crusader. But the Skull can’t be fooled, and he knows this is a fake, smashing it to the ground.

Instead he finds a hidden compartment in a wall carving of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life. And within that is a box, the contents of which glow an unearthly blue.

I knew it was the Cosmic Cube, but after the panel I cornered Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and got the confirmation. Yes, he told me, the Cosmic Cube is in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Cosmic Cube is one of the strangest and most enduring aspects of Captain America’s mythology. A containment unit for vast extradimensional energies, the Cosmic Cube gives its wielder almost unlimited control over reality. The Red Skull has, time and again, tried to control the Cosmic Cube, and its limitless power has played into many, many classic Captain America stories – including The Winter Soldier arc, where it was revealed that Bucky, Cap’s long-thought dead sidekick from WWII, was actually a brainwashed Soviet super assassin (yeah, it’s comics).

The introduction of the Cosmic Cube – and the fact that the film connects it to Asgard (in the Marvel Universe Cosmic Cubes have been created by many civilizations) – seem to set up unique and large scale possibilities for The Avengers and whatever comes after. The possibilities, when one has a Cosmic Cube, are endless.