On Battleworld, we have seen a planet that is divided into different realms which were actually different universes that were saved by God Doom during the incursions. Doom has allowed all those realms to live on Battleworld with one rule. They must stay in their own realms or face the wrath of an angry God. If you disobey this simple rule, you will be placed beyond the Shield, and forced to try and survive against the Ultrons and the zombies that plague the planet. But, the main thing we have noticed about Doom is that he has a conscience. That conscience consisted of both his immediate family(Sue Storm, Valaria, etc) and his only true friend, Sheriff Strange who was present during the final battle between Doom and the Beyonders. But now, that conscience has been shredded when Doom was forced to show his anger against Strange by killing him. So, how will Doom be now on his planet without his righthand man around him.
Well, Hickman again shows us Doom at his finest. But, where the last few issues of this series succeeded, this one pretty much fails. In the last few issues, we have gotten the chance to see Doom in a different light. He was the villain of this story, but not fully. We saw that he was actually just a man given god-like powers who still had zero confidence in himself. But, now he is a man who is back to being his old self. He will connive and lie to get what is needed by his people. Secret Wars #5 is the calm before the storm, the floodlights humming to life before the big game. The Future Foundation studies everything, and it doesn't add up. Doom allows fear into his heart and it is degrading his reality. Strange is gone and with him the only chance at a peaceful outcome. The war is coming and the secret shall be revealed. We know that by the end, Doom will fail and the universe shall be recreated. But, the problem is that a majority of this issue was telling us facts that we already know. Hickman successfully explained the main purpose of "Time Runs Out" in a few pages. Now, for people who had read that set, we gain nothing out of the story. For new readers, a few pages will just confuse the readers even more. The end of the issue is what gets you most excited knowing now exactly where everyone was scattered. Who knows if we'll get to all of them within Secret Wars, but if you recognize where each are placed then you know which tie-in to look out for to find out what they do next. As an issue, this truly is the calm before the storm, and this issue is the filler to the set that we are in the midst of. I give this issue a 6 out of 10.