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Part of the "Time Runs Out" event

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Quote1.png And I say, no one will ever hear the word Beyonder again... For I will erase your name from history. You dared to test us... You dared to toy with us... I dare to throw back in your face. Damn your cause. Damn the cost. You will certainly die this... No... No... No! Quote2.png
-- Doctor Doom


Appearing in "In Latveria, the Flowers Die in Summer"

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Synopsis for "In Latveria, the Flowers Die in Summer"

Having been discovered by Doctor Strange, Doom begins to tell him how he came to assume the mantle of "the Great Destroyer".

Some time ago, the Molecule Man and Doom travelled to the time and place when Owen Reece first became transformed into the Molecule Man. The Molecule Man explains that he is not a person in the ordinary sense. He is a singular being across all of time and space, with a shared single consciousness. He reveals that he was created by the Beyonders as a living bomb. When he dies, he will destroy his native universe, and the Beyonders rigged it so that he would die simultaneously twenty-five years from his empowerment in every reality, simply in order for them to observe what would happen when the entire multiverse was destroyed at once.

He creates a dagger, and uses it to stab and kill the alternate version of himself. He tells Doom that he must do this; travel throughout the multiverse, killing different versions of the Molecule Man in an effort to sabotage the Beyonders' experiment. In order to help him find the Molecule Man in every universe, he creates the Manifolds. He instructs Doom that he will need help, preferably by creating a religion in service of his goals. He also shows him the Library of Worlds, a conduit between universes built by the Beyonders, where Doom will be hidden and unobservable, both by those within the multiverse and by the Beyonders.

While the early deaths of the Molecule Men at first appears to have no particular effect, the Molecule Man reveals that it will eventually lead to the incursions. After seven years spent killing Molecule Men, the first incursion occurs. A year after that, Doom finds his first disciple; a child that has just escaped from a Sentinel camp. Doom offers to take the child in and teach her to defend herself, at the cost of serving him. She becomes the first of many Black Swans, servants of Doom who like him travel the multiverse killing Molecule Men.

Ten years after he began killing Molecule Men, the Beyonders realized that something was wrong and attempted to deduce why their experiment was failing. They introduced a problem-solving virus into the multiverse that would conscript any self-aware artificial intelligence it encountered, turning them into Mapmakers, which would chart worlds where Molecule Men had died, mark the movements of the Black Swans, and attempt to preserve future incursion worlds.

Shocked by Doom's story, Strange asks him if the Black Priests were also a pawn in this game between Doom and the Beyonders. Doom responds no, and tells him that the Priests emerged around the same time as the Mapmakers. Over the years, Doom had come to believe they were some type of defensive reaction by the multiverse. Strange tells him of the Black Swan that had aided his Illuminati and comments that her story differed from Doom's. Doom reveals that she and other Black Swans reneged from Doom's teachings after they entered his hidden sanctum and saw something within. Afterwards, they began destroying Earths in order to avert incursions. Doom shows Strange the secret he has hidden in his sanctum, within a crack filled with billowing purple smoke. A shocked Strange asks Doom what he has done, who replies that he has done what was necessary.

Doom comments that after some time, he began to doubt the omnipotence of the Beyonders. After all, if he had been able to travel back in time with the Molecule Man and begin his crusade to rid the multiverse of the Beyonders' bombs, why could the Beyonders simply not have done the same thing, and travelled back in time to stop him? He tells Strange that they could not, because their one weakness is that they are linear, restricted to their own sequential timeline. Believing he has now found the way to stop them, Doom, Strange and the Molecule Man travel to the rift where the last Avengers fell and confront the Beyonders. Doom taunts them, prompting them to emerge in force, only for him to unleash his weapon. However, his plan appears to go awry; a giant explosion leads to a blinding white light that envelops the three.

On Earth-616 a shocked Reed Richards and Black Panther watch on the Bridge as in a single moment, the number of remaining universes goes from hundreds of thousands to less than two dozen.

Solicit Synopsis

FINAL ISSUE!

Notes

  • The original issue by Brandon Peterson featuring the Illuminati hiding from the Avengers' sight was changed for a cover by Simone Bianchi to "better reflect" the story. The original cover will be used by another issue of this series.
  • The title for this issue reflects the title to Hickman's Fantastic Four Vol 1 583.

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