Since New Avengers #1 in March of 2013, the Marvel universe has had to deal with the Incursions — two universes colliding together and obliterating each other if one Earth isn't destroyed in time. This will eventually result in Battleworld and the Secret Wars. The reason given for the Incursions was that in one universe, a person so powerful was born that it caused the early Heat Death of the Universe, which cause a chain reaction resulting in the Incursions. That person was called Rabum Alal, the Great Destroyer.
And in New Avengers #31, he was revealed.
Be warned: this post contains massive, massive spoilers for the current Avengers/New Avengers storyline. Got that? Good.
Okay, here's how it goes: there are a bunch of factions that are either trying to stop the Incursions or helping speed them up (this is called the "Game of Worlds"). Aside from the Avengers and the Illuminati (and their evil counterpart, the Cabal), the factions are:
- The Mapmakers (evolved Adaptoids that strip planets for resources during an Incursion before destroying them)
- The Black Priests (sorcerers that destroy Earths in order to try and stabilize the Multiverse)
- The Ivory Kings (a supremely powerful enemy that seeks the destruction of everything — recently revealed to be the Beyonders [yes, plural])
- Rabum Alal (The Great Destroyer)
And now for the big reveal of who Rabum Alal is: Doctor Doom.
This makes perfect sense.
Let me explain:
In the original Secret Wars crossover back in 1984, the Beyonder brought a bunch of superheroes and supervillains to a patchwork planet called Battleworld in order to fight. The heroes and villains do fight, but Doctor Doom sets his sights on the Beyonder himself and eventually steals his power.
A bunch of different factions, resulting in Doctor Doom vs. the Beyonder.
Now, it's not completely the same: the Ivory Kings are multiple Beyonders and look nothing like the original Beyonder (who looked completely human). They look more like grey aliens.
And we still don't know how Doctor Doom started the Incursions or why. How did he become Rabum Alal? Doom was last seen in New Avengers #29 embarking on a trip through the Multiverse with the Molecule Man. Is he trying to stop the Incursions and the Beyonders? Why do the Black Swans worship him like a god? Does he have actual godlike powers now?
All good questions that should be answered soon. After all, time is running out and there's only two more months until Secret Wars.