While Doom tries to keep his world balanced and steady in the wake of Stephen Strange’s sudden passing, the tangled web of lies starts to unravel.
Only two of Battleworld’s citizens now know the truth — that Doom, Strange, and Owen Reece the Molecular Man killed the Beyonders and took their power. It’s a truth that, once discovered, could be Doom’s undoing. Ironically, it’s Doom who’s holding Battleworld together by his own power.
With Strange gone, the realm mourns, and Doom has to play the game. He tasks his loyal daughter Valeria with finding the assassin, and while she toils, Doom brings Reece the news of Stephen’s death.
Elsewhere, the scattered members of the life raft and the cabal figure acclimate themselves to a new status quo. For some, that means being captured. For others, it’s a brave new world.
For Thanos, this new world is ripe for being picked.
Secret Wars #5 is cut and dry to a point. For those entering the Marvel Universe, wondering what the heck is going on, this issue will explain how Battleworld came to be.
For those who already know — issue #5 is a jarring emergency pitstop, like a sudden detour for a McDonald’s bathroom break in the middle of an epic car chase.
Jonathan Hickman’s writing is solid, and Esad Ribic’s art remains beautiful and a sight to behold. Along those lines, Ive Svorcina’s colors flow with the story, and the book — depending on your approach heading into it — will either be a welcome primer or a minor detour in a great series.
That doesn’t mean Secret Wars #5 is a throwaway issue. The conflict continues to become more and more defined. With Valeria making it a priority to find Strange’s murderer and a group of villains and heroes from the old world ready to take down Doom, things are being set into motion for a brutal and exciting climax.