WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Thor #6, by Jason Aaron, Christian Ward and VC’s Joe Sabino, out now.
Jason Aaron’s latest Thor series has so far divided its time between the present and the future. In Thor #6, we get a whole issue dedicated to the epic fight at the end of the universe, between Old King Thor, a Phoenix-possessed Wolverine, and one of the most powerful versions of Doctor Doom we’ve ever seen.
As we’ve seen in previous issues, King Thor has taken it upon himself to reignite life on the barren world that was once Earth. His very own Garden of Eden is filled with a small but growing population of new humans, but as Thor has discovered recently, it may have been in vain; while life has been restored on Earth, the rest of universe around it may be long dead.
When Thor traveled the cosmos, the only life he found in the void was the ancient form of his old friend Wolverine, now possessed by the Phoenix Force. Their reunion is anything but friendly, however, as Logan believes that Thor’s actions back on Midgard may have done nothing but seal its fate.
As if hearing this warning, at that exact moment, Dr. Doom arrives on Earth with a posse of monsters, ready to end this new life before it’s even had a chance to begin.
It’s not unusual for Doom to be involved in a nefarious scheme to end all life on Earth, but this Doom is different. As he comes face to face with the Goddesses of Thunder -- grand-daughters of Thor -- he explains that this new garden of Eden has been built on the grave of his old home Latveria. That's a big no-no for Doctor Doom.
According to him, this universe is no longer a place for life -- mortal or Asgardian -- and he intends to end it once and for all. While even Dr. Doom would normally have a hard time against three Asgardians, this version of the classic Fantastic Four nemesis is no longer a mere mortal. Over the centuries, Doom has somehow acquired some of the oldest and most powerful gifts of the universe.
The flames surrounding his face tell us he has the Spirit of Vengeance within him. The Eye of Agamotto symbol on his chest and the Cloak of Levitation around him show us he is the Sorcerer Supreme. A glowing right hand is the gift of the Iron Fist, and the bright symbol on his left is that of the Starbrand.
All of these powers combined within one man makes Doom a walking Avengers squad and more than a match for the battles he faces in this issue.
Quite how he got these powers remains a mystery, other than the fact that this is Doom we’re talking about, the same villain that once found the powers of a God to be beneath him, and who once reshaped the multiverse.
InThor #6, Doom makes short work of the Goddesses of Thunder, before being confronted by both King Thor and Old Man Phoenix. It takes Thor merging with the powers of the Phoenix -- not to mention a century of battle within the core of the Earth itself -- in order to take Doom down, but his defeat comes at great cost.
It’s worth noting that all of the powers that Doom possesses are among the oldest in the universe. As seen in Jason Aaron’s current Avengers run, the Ghost Rider, Sorcerer Supreme, Starbrand and Iron Fist are all members of the first Avengers team from 1,000,000 BC, along with Thor’s father Odin, the Phoenix Force and the Black Panther.
The latter is the only power not directly involved in the battle in Thor #6, but otherwise, this issue provides an interesting contrast to Aaron’s work on Avengers. There, we see these powers at the beginning of time; here, we see them near its end. But what will happen in the middle? Time will tell.