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Jonathan Hickman (writer & designer), Esad Ribic (artist), Ive Scorcina (colorist), Chris Eliopolous (letterer), Alex Ross (cover artist) , Tomm Coker, Siya Dum, Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi, John Tyler Christopher, Greg Hindebrandt (alternate covers), Idette Winecoor (production), Alana Smith (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort & Wil Moss, (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
While several rebel forces attack Doom’s troops, Star-Lord flies Mr. Fantastic and the Maker to Doom’s castle. They take off to the gardens, while Star-Lord stays behind to fix the plane. He is attacked by Black Swan but saves himself by having his Groot toothpick merge with the World Tree. The giant Thing also attacks Doom’s troops and is, in turn, attacked by Franklin’s Galactus. However, once the Thing learns Franklin is Susan Storm’s son, he refuses to fight him and is killed by Galactus. With the Thing, who used to be the Shield, now gone, the Annihilation horde – led by Thanos – and the Deadland Zombies attack as well. Doom confronts Thanos and kills him. However, he next faces the Black Panther, armed with the Infinity Gauntlet. Valeria, in the meantime, wants to show her mother the truth and takes her to the gardens, where they meet Reed Richards.
Outside Castle Doom:While below the rebels are still battling Doom’s troops, Star-Lord, chewing on a toothpick, is flying the two Reeds to Castle Doom, when they are hit by a Hulk. As they lose their aft engines, plummeting to the ground below, Peter warns his passengers to hold on to something.
Standing atop his ship, the Maestro turns toward the castle and in a shout asks if Doom can see him. He has brought the entire green north to his lands. He has waited a long time for this day and, when he is done with the armies below, he… The Maestro breaks off when he sees the giant orange Thing who smashes him and his ship down.
On the ground, Thor and Captain Marvel shout a warning that the Maestro’s ship is coming down and the beheaded Sinister realizes he cannot flee.
Castle Doom:Seeing what happened, a horrified Susan Storm mutters what Ben is doing. An explosion tells them the rebels have reached the building, at least that’s what Black Swan figures. Doom believes it’s something else and tells her to look. Susan asks what he is going to do about Ben. Valeria points out it is too late.
On the ground, Terrax the Enlightened tries to get Galactus to react to him. Steered by Franklin, Galactus stomps on Terrax. He turns to the Thing, announcing he hopes he likes getting his butt kicked.
In the meantime, Star-Lord has flown through the castle’s wall, leaving a hole behind. They have arrived. Mr. Fantastic announces he has acquired a signal lock and tells the Maker to follow. The Maker orders Star-Lord to fix their ride.
Outside, Franklin suggests the Thing save himself the trouble and give up. He wishes, Ben scoffs and hits Galactus. Franklin almost falls off.
Susan is horrified and asks Doom to put an end to this. Not yet, he replies. Grimm was the Shield, he mutters, and if the Shield has fallen…
Floating above Galactus’ head, Franklin mocks, nice punch but it’s gonna take more than that, more than him, to knock him out. Then he has bad news, Ben deadpans, there’s a whole lot more than him coming.
A strange howling noise heralds the arrival of the Annihilation Horde led by Thanos. Doom teleports away. And in front of the Annihilation Horde.
Franklin warns the Thing he’s done it. That’s his father and he is in a bad mood. And so is he! Galactus’ eyebeams blast Ben, who realizes that Doom is Franklin’s father. So that makes him Suzie’s kid? he asks. Franklin agrees and impatiently goads him to come. This just ain’t gonna have a happy ending, is it? Ben mutters unhappily. Fighting him don’t’ seem right now. He tells Franklin to do what he’s gotta do. Franklin has Galactus beat the Thing apart.
Sue is horrified by what she has just witnessed. Val just stares and mutters this is some show. The spectacle of it. Like theater. She asks Sue if she trusts her. When Sue affirms that she does, Val asks if she loves her more than anything. No matter what? She is her daughter, Sue replies. Of course she does. Val asks her to accompany her. She needs to show her something.
In the castle, Star-Lord is busy fixing the ship when the Black Swan discovers him and demands what he thinks he is doing. He tells her and retorts what is she doing. Serving her god, she replies. Destroying those who stand against him. Oh, she’s one of those people, Peter remarks unimpressed. She thinks if she says scary things he’s the type of guy who’ll take it to heart. Like sheep. Well, listen up. He’s a big bad wolf who does big bad things. He doesn’t like it, but he can’t help his nature. So why doesn’t she turn back, where she came from before this turns into one of those “I told you so” things?
A moment later, he is hit hard. He lands next to Doom’s throne in the World Ash. His spleen! he groans. Calmly, she assures him she he is sure this hurts. They all have an extinction cycle and this is his. She is a Black Swan and this is her nature.
Peter desperately scrambles for the toothpick he lost in the rubble. Having found it, he grins. Last chance, he warns her. If she stops right now, he promises he won’t use this. She is predictably unimpressed. Well, remember he told her so, he smirks. Say hello to his little friend. He sticks the toothpick into the World Tree and the tree begins to change move even. I… Am… Groot! it shouts as it breaks through the castle roof. And even Franklin realizes that looks like trouble.
Valeria has taken Sue to the gardens. They see the Worldtree walk away with the castle and Sue wonders if what they are doing is a good idea. Val reveals they’ve been lied to for a very long time. She wants to show Sue the hidden Molecule Man. What they find outside the entrance instead are the two Reeds. Mr. Fantastic greets Susan.
On the battlefield, Thanos shouts enough and lands in front of Doom, who addresses him coldly. Thanos has brought down the wall he so carefully built – and for what – this? He wishes to be baron of the wastelands? Very well, he will permit Thanos to keep the Horde if he can find his faith.
He offers him a gift? Thanos scoffs. He was a god once as well. The Infinity Gauntlet gave him that power. And when he was a god, he did not use these powers as a mortal would have… as Doom did… saving what he can. No, he wielded them as a god should, judging all living things. Doom is a weak god. A pretender! He should bow before Thanos!
Doom seems to consider his words. Does he have an Infinity Gauntlet now? He does not, Thanos grins. Yet he remains Thanos, the greatest tyrant and for him that will be enough.
Doom reaches through his chest and tears out Thanos’ spine. That appears to be untrue, he observes. He turns to Annihilus and remarks he is owed penance for this indulgence. He orders him and his Horde to devour the heretics attacking Doom’s castle.
Suddenly, a portal opens on the battlefield and the living dead stumble through, followed by the king of the dead, the Black Panther, wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. He tells Doom his reign is over.
Incursion survivors:God Emperor Doom / Dr. Doom
Black Panther, Captain Marvel VI, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Star-Lord, Thor
Black Swan, Maker, Terrax, Thanos (Cabal)
Citizens of Battleworld:Invisible WomanFranklin, ValeriaGalactus
Ultimate ThorUnnamed Thors
Apocalypse, Maestro, Sinister
Art problem: On page 15, Star-Lord’s dialogue implies he is looking for the Groot pick, but he is already holding it in his hand.
Thanos was a god several times but presumably he refers to the time he held the Infinity Gauntlet in the Infinity Gauntlet limited series.