I think a list approach is probably the best one for this issue:
- We finally learn that Doom and Strange do remember the old world, unlike the rest of the inhabitants of Battleworld. We also learn that Strange could've just as easily been "god" as Doom, but he chose not to be. (Intriguingly, we also see that Doom keeps a statue of the Molecule Man in his backyard, though Hickman doesn't elaborate on that at this point. However, Owen was the other person with Doom to face the Beyonders, so it's intriguing to say the least.)
- I love the fact that Miles managed to get himself onto the Cabal's ship in issue #1. I had actually forgotten that the Cabal had invaded the Ultimate Universe, and I now realize that they did so to steal its version of the life raft that Reed had built. (I'm assuming that it means that the Reed of that world also built one.) Moreover, we learn that the crew that we see survive at the end of issue #1 -- Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Thor -- entered the same stasis that the Cabal did. The difference is that Strange discovered them three years ago and left the that way, because he felt that Doom was actually a decent god.
- We seem to get the answer to the question why we have so many alternate histories in Battleworld. Doom apparently built it from "remnants of incursion points between collapsing world." I sort of get that, but, still, I thought all those points would've been destroyed when their universes were destroyed? Shouldn't the only point left be the final one, between the Marvel and Ultimate Universes?
- Susan had Doom turn Johnny Storm into the sun rather than execute him. Dayum.
- An obvious question that comes with the existence of pre-incursion heroes is whether they are going to be the only ones in whatever unified universe that we get at the end of this story to recall who they are. Put another way, it seems possible that they are the only ones whose histories aren't on the table to change. That said, we already know that other versions of them exist on this world, such as Captain Marvel in "A-Force." It works with the idea that we're dealing with multiple universes pulled from incursion points but it's still unclear how Hickman is going to combine them all into one character (and history) at the end. Moreover, Strange tells them some of Earth remains on Battleworld, so other "original" (if you will) heroes might have survived, even if they don't remember the previous world like the pre-incursion heroes do. In other words, does being "original" matter? I guess that we'll see.
*** (three of five stars)