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Jonathan Hickman (writer & designer), Esad Ribic (artist), Ive Scorcina (colorist), Chris Eliopolous (letterer), Alex Ross (cover artist) , Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi, John Tyler Christopher, Tom Coker, Erica Henderson, Jim Starlin, Andy Smith and Chris Sotomayor, Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson (alternate covers), Idette Wincour (production), Jon Moisan & Alana Smith (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort & Wil Moss, (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Sheriff Strange informs the heroes who survived the final incursion about how Battleworld came to be and Doom is its God. In the meantime, the Cabal battles the Thor Corps. As the Thors are doing badly, one of them implores Doom for aid, even as Sheriff Strange notices something amiss. Both the heroes and Doom join the battle. As Doom faces the survivors from his reality, he demands their worship. Phoenix / Cyclops confronts him and is killed by Doom. Strange uses the time to magically scatter the incursion survivors across Battleworld. When he refuses to give them up, Doom kills him as well.
Utopolis:The Thor Corps attacks the members of the Cabal.
“Here’s the thing you need to understand about how this world is different from the old one…
The Earth that was… the universe that was… the multiverse that was… these were all formed by some higher order, some alien ethereal other thing that perfectly constructed not just the material nature of everything but the rules that governed it as well. But this world? The new world? It was formed from the shattered remnants of broken Earths – I know for I watched Doom will them into singularity.
If there’s one thing you hear, let it be this: The new world is unnatural. And survival is its first and highest purpose.”
Armed with a spear, Namor fights one Thor. Maximus and the Maker sit the fighting protected by a forcefield bubble. The Black Swan fires her eyebeams at a female Thor.
The Hidden Isle of Agamotto:Dr. Strange continues his speech. As such, it is a place of testing. Of constant conflict and it needs a god with a firm hand. Thus Battleworld. Thus… Doom. Long may he wear his crown, he adds with an unreadable expression.
When he talks like that, he does know that he sounds insane, right? Carol Danvers remarks. Exactly, Star-Lord agrees. The one thing more insane is that cape he is wearing. He has to have one!
How did it happen? Reed Richards demands. Does he remember how their Brotherhood couldn’t understand why the early death of everything was happening? Stephen asks. Worlds, universes… crashing together. Reed believed someone or something was behind it. Well, he was right.
Flashback:Unfortunately no one could stop the perfect annihilation plan the Beyonders had set into motion but they could stop them. So Dr. Doom, the Molecule Man and Dr. Strange confronted the Beyonders.
How did they stop them? the Black Panther asks. They killed them and took their power for themselves, Strange replies simply.End of flashback
Ashamed, he admits that he looked into the abyss that was omnipotence and ran from it. Doom did not. Then he saved all that there was left to save. And now he serves Doom, the Panther states. Now he is God, Strange replies. Doubt him if they want. Defy him. Curse his very existence. It doesn’t matter. He reigns.
So it’s all gone? Miles Morales asks weakly, as the other Spider-Man supports him. His world? His friends and family? Not all of it, Strange informs him. Some small bits remain. Parts of his New York. A small portion of Wakanda, he tells the Black Panther. Is that enough? Is it enough to remind them of who they were in the face of where they are now? There are times when this world falls far short of what he hoped it would be. But it is real – it exists and that counts for something.
Then he has to ask, the Phoenix-changed Cyclops begins, if he had the power and means, if he were playing God and this was not the world he wants, don’t you have the responsibility to burn it down and raise something better? Isn’t that the real burden of the power Doom has? Isn’t that the burden of the power he has? That’s something he would never— Strange begins.
Young Thor from Higher Avalon interrupts apologetically. Why is his hammer glowing? Their attention is needed elsewhere, Strange decides grimly.
UtopolisThe Thors are hoping for reinforcements because the battle is not going well for them. One Thor decides to take this matter to God. He kneels down, his hammer glows.
DoomstadtAn image of him appears in castle Doom at Doom’s feet. When Doom is surprised, Valeria explains today she informed Sheriff Strange of something heretical in Utoplis. He sent the lawmen there. Apparently, it isn’t going well.
The Thor explains there is chaos in Doom’s kingdoms and they need the All-Father’s guiding hand. He has no doubt they can prevail, no matter the cost, but there is something unnatural at work here and the All-Father should know.
Doom gets up, followed by Sue and Valeria and decides to see things with his own eyes, or the ones he has available to him. He orders the Thor to show him what he sees, and the sights appear as three-dimensional images.
Doom sees the Thors fighting the Cabal. He asks Valeria for her opinion. Val remarks the Thor is right, the outcome is difficult to predict, as she watches Thanos take out one Thor. They’ve seen multiple titans of this designation but none of them give off the energy levels this one is giving off.
Doom boasts he sees gnats that do not concern him. Susan warns him he might be underestimating what they are looking at here, as they are watching a Thor trying to pummel the Maker’s forcefield. Even her forcefield could not withstand repeated hammering of a Mjolnir. Perhaps he should reconsider intervening. That won’t be necessary, he tells her. Stephen has arrived (along with the heroes).
Doom asks Valeria for an updated projection. More favorable of course, she states, but actually less predictable. They have analogues of many of the things they are seeing, but there are variables. See the same variables through time and they become constants. All of which sends her to some pretty dramatic conclusions. She wants a much harder look at this.
UtopolisFighting Namor, Black Panther admits there is something disquieting and familiar about all this.
Castle Doom:Sue is fascinated by Reed Richard. She doesn’t know him but there is something special about him. Indeed there is, Doom whispers. He spent years looking in every corner of every kingdom for some version of him. And now here he is, brought before him.
He orders Susan to summon surgeons. There will be wounded. Something has caught his eye and stirs him to action, but he will return shortly.
UtopolisThe fighting stops as they see Doom standing amidst them. Richards! he shouts.
Is he talking to him? the Maker whispers. He doesn’t really care for his tone. He is most certainly not talking to him Maximus informs him.
The other Reed calmly faces Doom. So it is really Victor, he states. It’s amazing, an artificial construct of reality. A world where there should be nothing. Look at what he’s made!
Yes, Doom agrees, he did what Richards and his ilk could not. He saved the unsavable in the face of utter annihilation. He is a miracle worker, but here Reed is, so he must be as well.
They built a ship, Reed replies. All they saved was themselves. He can’t help but notice Victor put himself on a throne. Yeah, they´re all absolutely shocked by that, Spider-Man chimes in. Floored!
A throne? Doom asks. He’s had a throne for quite some time. A throne was his birthright. He’s placed himself a good bit higher than that. Has he? Thanos asks. He has his doubts. One plays at being God, one should not shy away from saying it. He is God! Dooms states forcefully and blows up the ground beneath them. He understands this must be confusing for them but take heart. While he is mighty, he is also merciful. He will give them a moment to… readjust their old ways of thinking. Then they will bend their knees and bow their head at his feet. Believe in him… for this world is his!
Surrounded by light, the Phoenix-empowered Scott Summers announces he does not need a moment and he does not need his mercy. For holding a thing, shaping a thing, does not make it yours forever. Things change… they evolve…. He fires an energy blast at Doom, who screams.in agony.
In the end, he is just like any other man, Cyclops coolly observes. For a time playing at something greater than what he is. And he? He is mutant – more than man! He is the future here in the present. And all worlds - even Doom’s - belong to them. “The planet is ours… the planet is min—”
Doom grabs Cyclops by the throat. He lifts him up. The future he speaks of is a dream, Doom announces, and that dream is over. He breaks Cyclops’ neck.
In the meantime, Strange tells T’Challa he has seen things over the years and hidden many of them. Remember this! He casts a spell and teleports all the Incursion survivors – heroes and villains – away.
Where did he send them? Doom demands. He scattered them to the winds, Strange replies. Why? Because they both knew what was going to happen. They would have refused to bow before Doom and then he would have felt compelled to eliminate such behavior with prejudice. Stephen couldn’t allow that.
Stephen thinks that’s an indulgence, Doom points out, but he knows what they are going to do. They won’t be able to help themselves. It’s their nature. It’s his. “Maybe it’s mine as well,” Strange admits. Those are people they really know from the old world and he has lived a lifetime with some of them. They did great things together.
And have they not done great things together, old friend? Doom asks and stretches out his hand. Of course they have, Strange replies, but he won’t have anything to do with this.
Call them back, Doom orders. Stephen refuses. Doom warns him not to test him. Careful not to mention the name Reed Richards, Stephen announces he didn’t even tell him what Doom’s done and he’s sure he’s going to be hard at work solving the problem of Doom. How much harder does he think Reed Richards is going to try when he finds out Doom stole his entire life? Look at him, even with all that power he is still afraid of Richards!
“Well, you know what, old friend? I think you should be.”
Doom kills him with one energy blast. Grimly, he stares down at where Strange stood moments ago.
Incursion survivors:God Emperor Doom / Dr. DoomStrange, Sheriff of Agamoto / Dr. Strange
Black Panther, Captain Marvel VI, Cyclops, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 1610, Star-Lord, Thor
Black Swan, Corvus Glaive, Maker (Reed Richards-1610), Maximus, Proxima Midnight, Terrax, Thanos (Cabal)
Citizens of Battleworld:Invisible WomanValeria
Thor of Higher Avalonother members of the Thor Corps
in flashback:Molecule Man