- My shame is that I could have done this so many years ago, had I seen things with a clear mind.
Appearing in 1st story
- Iron Man (Victor von Doom) (Main story and flashback)
- Chthon (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Victor's grandfather (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Mentioned)
- Hydra (Mentioned)
- A.I.M. (Mentioned)
- Ironheart (Riri Williams) (Mentioned)
- Reed Richards (Photo)
- The Maker (Reed Richards)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Elder Gods (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Demons (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Multiverse (Main story and flashback)
- Prime Marvel Universe (Main story and flashback)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Astral Plane (Mentioned)
- Hell (Invoked)
- Prime Marvel Universe (Main story and flashback)
- The Tear (Real name first revealed)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Uniforms (Appear in shadow only)
- Iron Man Armor Model 51 (Model-Prime Armor)
- Trythoom's Guided Key (First appearance)
- Doctor Doom's Armor
Synopsis for 1st story
Many years ago in a forest within Latveria, young Victor von Doom finds his mother, Cynthia, standing in front of a pentragram, holding a rabbit by its ears. Victor's mother discloses she knows his boy has gone through her writings and is curious about her activities. Cynthia explains that she's working with energies and ideas far beyond the grasp of the villagers that call her a witch, differentiating herself and Victor from them. When Victor is taken aback by Cyntha referring him as well, she explains unlike previous rituals she needs his help to summon the elder god Chthon. For this, she gives Victor a dagger to cut open the rabbit, defending the practice of sacrifice, conceding that even though it seems barbaric, it's necessary. Staring at the creature's eyes, Victor hesitates and eventually drops the dagger. Disappointed, Cynthia approaches Victor and calls him a coward.
In the present, Victor lies on a bed while questioning his mother. Among the few questions she answers is that she has brought him to the Tear, a dimension outside the Multiverse. She then directs Victor to a book called Trythoom's Guided Key to explain the relationship between the Tear and the earthly plane. Cynthia reassures Victor he's not being held prisoner, and is safe.
Floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier after being taken down by Cyntha von Doom. While on the ship's deck, Commander Sharon Carter demands The Thing to put an end to Victor von Doom by any means necessary. Ben looks vacantly at his superior and then flies away in the Fantasti-Car.
Back inside Cyntha's home in the Tear, she's meditating with Victor in his bed. She breaks the silence asking Victor about his future plans, meanwhile, the background fades from Cynthia's study to a magenta-colored aether. As his Iron Man Armor slowly begins to encase him, Victor reveals he intends to set his sights on the larger villanous organizations once he finishes dealing with the current type of threats he's neutralizing. Cynthia questions if Victor can really rid mankind of all evil people, and he answers he thinks he can make the fight fair, subsequently expressing remorse for taking so long to gain this new perspective. Cynthia blames herself, arguing that the way she showed Victor the world shaped his inability to see the rest. Now with his armor fully suited, Victor asks his mother to teach him something new. She refuses until Victor takes off his armor, insisitng he's safe where they are.
Meanwhile, The Thing returns to Castle Doom in Latveria in hopes to find clues about Doom's whereabouts. On top of the rubble he finds a little blond kid, who wonders about Ben's rocky hide once The Thing walks up to him. Ben asks the child what is he doing there, to which the boy replies he's scavenging for things to sell. The Thing apologizes he doesn't have anything, and tries to reassure the body, reminding him that at least he's no longer under Doom's foot. Ben is surprised when the boy replies he would give anything to have Lord Doom back. Before walking away, the boy elaborates on that remark, asserting that Doom protected Latverians and loved them, and now they have nothing.
At the Tear, Cynthia is demonstrating Victor a way of casting spells in which his physical form is strengthened rather than weakened. She then gives Victor a book to read and try what she did.
Now The Thing is wandering the gloomy interiors of Castle Doom using a flashlight. When he reaches Victor's former bedroom, past a display of all of his armor, Ben finds out peeking out from a disheveled library a framed photograph of himself and Reed in their college years, with Victor caught in the frame. Ben is astonished by this discovery.
Back to Cynthia and Victor, she's observing him from behind while he replicates the spell she previously cast, his Iron Man Armor slowly retracting. Victor remarks what they're doing is a far cry from sacrificing baby frongs back home, and Cynthia reciprocates stating she was just thinking the same. Victor's gaze becomes fixated behind Cynthia, followed by him immediately suiting back up. Having realized what's going on, Cynthia concedes the situation it's her fault and that she couldn't help herself. A voice from behind Cynthia stresses that there was a plan. As the person behind Cynthia is revealed to be the Maker, he asks her why did he bring Victor to the Tear.
On Earth, as Ben Grimm is exiting the ruins of Castle Doom, a green flash of light in the sky follows Iron Man crashing into a wall behing The Thing. Frightened, Iron Man desperately tells Ben to run away.
• As the impossible task of redeeming himself to the universe begins to overwhelm him, the truth about Doom’s reincarnated mother is revealed!
- The human silhouette cast above Iron Man's cape in the cover appears to be traced from this licensing artwork of the Vision for the film Avengers: Age of Ultron.
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