So far, Secret Wars (2015) has been a roller coaster of a ride, but in this issue, things slowed down. I think Hickman is giving us a chance to process everything that we have read so far. Additionally, this issue was needed to explain, a bit more, how the Marvel Universe ended up becoming Battleworld. Not the most thrilling tale, but one that needed to be told. With only three issues left, I’m sure things will heat back up. Now, on to the review true believer!
It is confirmed in this issue that Doctor/Sheriff Strange was killed at the hands of God Doom in issue #4. To honor Strange, a statue is erected of him next to that of the Molecule Man. It appears that God Doom likes to erect statues, who knew? I guess when you become a God that is one of your duties. That, and murdering the people you make statues of.
Doom tasks Valeria with the duty of tracking down those that survived the incursion (that Strange, in the last issue, transported throughout Battleworld to save them from being destroyed by Doom). Those that survived the incursion are a threat to Doom because they existed before Doom created Battleworld. If it were discovered that life existed before Battleworld, the people’s faith in God Doom would most definitely come into question. It is explained to Valeria by Doom that Doom (in his state of anger) cannot seek out the survivors because in doing so he may destroy Battleworld.
After Valeria runs off to complete her mission, Doom walks under the statue of the Molecule Man to a place of bright light where we see the Molecule Man alive and well. So I guess he didn’t die during the incursion after all. Ok, but what’s this all mean?
The Molecule Man and Doom discuss the plan they put into place to save the Multiverse, which harkens back to one of the last New Avengers issues before Secret Wars began. In short, the Beyonders created life and the universes, but got bored with it all and decided to dabble in death. The Beyonders created the Molecule Man (one for each Universe) as a bomb to be set off to destroy each Universe. However, Doom and the Molecule Man of the 616 decided to stop the Beyonders by traveling to each Universe and killing the Molecule Man of that Universe, they even started the Black Swan religion to carry out that mission. In the end, it wasn’t enough, and therefore the Molecule Man of the 616 created an army of himself to do battle with the Beyonders. The Molecule Man army won and with the help of Strange and Doom harnessed the power of the Beyonders. Using the Molecule Man of the 616 as a conduit of the Beyonders’ power, Doom decided what lived on in Battleworld.
An interesting aspect that is in question in this issue is who holds Battleworld together? Is it Doom or is it the Molecule Man? They are the only two that now exist after the death of Strange who was there when Battleworld was created. It’s possible that the series will come to an end with one or both of their deaths.
Things are definitely unraveling with the death of Strange and those that survived the incursion on the loose. So far, this series has felt monumental; even though things are going to revert back to normal later this year based on Marvel’s winter solicits. But for now, sit back and enjoy the mysterious ride that is Secret Wars. Consume. Review. Repeat. gives Secret Wars #5 a 7 out of 10 true believers!