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Quote1 My children. We must not fail. I told you all I'd reclaim you from the veil of tears, and so I have. And now you must be ready for your work. Go forth and bring my terror to this place. Spread my gospel across this tomb of a globe we remain trapped upon. Punish and terrify every single living thing you can. You must not tire and you must not fail... Show no mercy here; show no patience for these vermin. See them driven before you. Beat them and maul them and break them any way you know how. Do not stop. Make them tremble. Make them beg. Fill them with doubt and panic. And fear... Crush their capitals. Bring their leaders to their knees. Make them beg for mercy. Always fear. Our time is at hand! Go foward in war and slaughter! Quote2


Time Before Time[]

Cul Borson was born to Bor Burison and to the Giantess Bestla,[3] and was the older brother of Odin, Vili and Ve.[4]

In his youth, while riding during the time that Earth was known as Aesheim, Cul was attacked by Giants and thrown off a peak. Breaking most of his bones, tormented by thirst, Cul splintered both his legs and belly-crawled to the camp of the slumbering giants, where he sucked the blood of all save for one. For this one remaining giant, Cul left a message in blood stating, "Gods do not live in the sky. We live on the Earth. And you do so at our pleasure." Thus, he instilled fear in the giant, which would spread giving birth to the god of fear.[5]

Cul Borson (Earth-616) from Journey Into Mystery Vol 1 625

The Serpent's past


After returning home to Asgard, Cul was watched over by a young girl with green eyes. Cul grew to have feelings for the girl, but after he healed her, she had completely disappeared, which left Cul bitter.[citation needed] After the death of his father, Bor, a still young Cul proclaimed that he would be King, as he was the eldest son, and promised to keep his brothers, Odin, Vili, and Ve, as his trusted council.[4]

However, Cul did not keep his word and his Worthy became his closest aids. Cul used them and his Draumar to spread fear all over the Nine Realms. Cul's brothers worked to stop the beasts that Cul released on Aesheim, but Cul confronted them, telling them to go home and allow him to rule.[4][6]

Silenced and Forgotten[]

Many centuries later, Cul ruled over Aesheim, spreading fear, until his brothers approached his citadel. Odin slaughtered all of Cul's followers on his way to the main chamber. Locked away in the main chamber, Cul began to experience a new sensation, fear, for the first time in his life. As Odin drew near, Cul reassured himself that Odin would not kill him, as the ancient rules prevented it. He transported his Worthy away, telling them to await his call. As Odin entered the chamber, Cul proclaimed himself the Serpent and stated that Odin could not kill him due to ancient rules. Odin then stated that Yggdrasil, the World Tree, had given him a vision that stated, "In anger smites the warder of Earth, forth from their homes must all men flee; nine paces fares the son of Odin, and slain by the serpent, fearless, he sinks." Unable to kill his brother, Odin defeated Cul and sealed him deep beneath the ocean. In order to end Cul's hold on the mortals, Odin began to kill them off, in the hope that with them and the memory of the Serpent gone, their fear would not empower Cul. Odin renamed Aesheim Midgard but spared the remaining who were unaware of Cul's existence on their world.[4]

Fear Itself[]

Many thousands of years later, Cul was freed from an ancient prison by his daughter, possessing Sin after she found and took the Hammer of Skadi. Looking extremely old and frail, and now called the Serpent,[1] Cul prepared Sin's forces[7] and called the hammers of his Worthy, to spread chaos and fear across the globe.[1]

Cul Borson (Earth-616) from Fear Itself Vol 1 4

The Serpent feeds off of Midgard's fears

The hammers of the Worthy found suitable hosts and possessed them and, as the Worthy wreaked havoc and destruction around the world, the Serpent gained strength, transforming himself into a more youthful version, in addition to his staff transforming into a hammer. Almost immediately after gaining his new form, he transformed a patch of Antarctica into Dark Asgard, a darker, hellish version of Asgard[8] with its own version of Heimdall, a creature with thousands of eyes.[citation needed]

Following new Asgard's creation, Thor arrived back on Earth and on the warpath to find the Serpent. The all-seeing creature alerted the Serpent to the coming of Thor and Cul dispatched his forces to greet the Thunder God, after which the Serpent revealed to Thor that a prophecy stated that it was indeed Cul whom Thor slays and dies as a result, not the Midgard Serpent. Further revealing the relation to Odin, as his brother, and Thor, as his nephew, Cul tried to convince Thor to join him in his cause, which Thor promptly refused, forcing the Serpent to teleport Thor away to where two of his Worthy, Nul: Breaker of Worlds (possessing the Hulk) and Angrir: Breaker of Wills (possessing the Thing) were waiting to battle the Thunderer.[8]

Teleporting himself there shortly after, Cul joined Skadi in battle against the Avengers, where the Serpent easily pushed back the team and even intercepted an attack from Captain America's shield, breaking it a moment after. The Serpent then raised his hammer high and slammed it upon the Earth, obliterating the city in a devastating attack and disappearing amid the blast's wake.[9]

Attempting to destroy Odin for stealing the right to the Asgardian throne, Cul and his new Asgard, full of his followers, journeyed to Broxton, Oklahoma, home to Thor's fallen Asgard, in an attempt to use Heimdall's Observatory to journey to the true realm eternal, Asgard.[10] After Thor was healed and returned from Asgard, Cul switched to a giant serpent form and battled his nephew, while the Avengers fought the Worthy. At the end, Thor slew his uncle with Odinsword, revealed to be Ragnarok, and died in the arms of his father, thus fulfilling the prophecy.[11]

Cul Borson (Earth-616) and Thor Odinson (Earth-616) from Fear Itself Vol 1 7 001

The Serpent fighting Thor

The day after the battle, while the Avengers prepared Thor's funeral, Odin took his brother's corpse to Asgard, cast-out all the other Asgardians, and locked himself alone with the body to guard it until the end of times, while blaming himself for not saving his son from death.[12]


Cul was later seen reborn alongside Odin during his self-exile, when the All-Father was reached by Loki.[13] He repented from his sins, was pardoned by Odin as a reformed god, and made Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice.[2]

One of his first tasks was to retrieve the mystical hammer Mjolnir from the new Thor. He later confronted her while possessing the Destroyer Armor.[14] Cul briefly managed to take Mjolnir from her, but Thor was able to summon it back to her hand. Thor struggled against Cul until aid came in the form of Odinson, Freyja, and an army of the women Odinson had suspected to be the new Thor.[15] After a fierce battle, Freyja convinced Odin to order Cul to end his attack by mocking the All-Father.[3]

War of the Realms[]

Following the disappearance of the Odinson and the beginning of Malekith's War of the Realms, Odin became a tyrant and began to rule Asgardia with an iron fist. He created the Thunder Guard to protect his sovereignty and appointed Cul to lead it.[16] When Odin took his wife Freyja with him to the Odinsleep to help her recover from poison administered by Loki, Cul ruled Asgardia in Odin's place as regent. Later, after finding Loki, Cul told him to warn the Dark Council that Asgardia was off-limits to them.[17] During his time as ruler of Asgardia, Cul was forced to fend off an invasion from the Shi'ar Empire instigated by the Shi'ar gods K'ythri and Sharra.[18]

Odin eventually emerged from the Odinsleep and reprimanded Cul for being an incompetent ruler. When the Mangog attacked Asgardia in its mission to kill all the Asgardians, Cul took Queen Freyja to the Destroyer Armor so she could pilot it to fight Mangog. Cul also watched as Mangog ripped the armor apart and left Frejya in pain. Cul fled Asgardia along with the other Asgardians for the safety of the Moon.[19]

Thor Vol 5 13 Textless

When the War of the Realms approached its zenith, Odin sent Cul on a mission to Svartalfheim to find out how Malekith's forces traveled undetected to Heimdall.[20] This weeks-long quest had Cul discover the existence of the Black Bifrost. After informing Odin of its location, Cul stayed behind to learn as much as he could about Malekith's plan and the workings of the Black Bifrost.[citation needed]

Cul eventually decided to raid the mines where the Dark Elves mined magical crystalized mushrooms that powered the Black Bifrost in order to use them as ammunition to destroy it. In the mines, Cul came upon children Dark Elves that were being enslaved to mine the explosives. He initially intended to leave them behind despite their begging, but he changed his mind after reinforcements arrived. Cul unshackled the children and had them flee while he held the soldiers back. In battle, Cul was mortally wounded and used his last moments to reflect on his life, and came to renounce his previous way of thinking, embracing the power of love. As he detonated a pile of explosives to destroy the mine, Cul cherished that he had finally worthwhile. Following Cul's death, the children that he had liberated would fight against their kin to stop Malekith's war in Cul's name.[21]


Power Grid[26]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Virtually Unlimited:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Virtually Indestructible:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Speed of Sound:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Incalculable:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Gifted


Asgardian Physiology: Cul possesses all the conventional attributes of an Asgardian God. However, as the son of Bor, many of these attributes are significantly superior than those possessed by the majority of his race.[8]

  • Superhuman Strength: Despite of his advanced age, Cul possesses superhuman strength surpassing that of most Asgardians, who are normally capable of lifting 30 tons. Cul is capable of lifting over 100 tons. He's also able to augment his strength to even greater heights by tapping into the fear of others. He has shown amazing feats of strength, such as breaking Captain America's shield with his bare hands.[22]
  • Superhuman Speed: Cul, despite his age, is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete capable of speeds rivaling most superhumans in spite of his age.
  • Superhuman Agility: Cul's agility, balance, and bodily coordination, are far superior to the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Cul's reflexes, are much more superior to the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Stamina: Cul's musculature produces considerably less fatigue during physical activity than the musculature of a human, and most other Asgardians. As a result, he possesses superhuman stamina in all physical activities. He can exert himself at peak capacity for months before fatigue will begin to impair him.
  • Superhuman Dense Tissue: Cul's skin, muscle, and bone tissue are about 3 times as dense as those of a human being, this contributes, in part, to Cul's superhuman strength and weight.
  • Superhuman Durability: Cul's body is considerably more resistant to physical injury than the body of a human being, or even most other Asgardians for that matter. Cul's body is capable of withstanding great impact forces, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, falls from great heights, and powerful energy blasts from cosmic level beings without sustaining injury, however, though to what extent is unknown.
  • Regeneration: Like all other Asgardians it is possible to injure Cul, but he recovers from injuries with superhuman levels of speed and efficiency, Cul is capable of regenerating massive tissue damage or loss to a degree far beyond that of most other Asgardians, even being able to regenerate missing limbs and organs, faster and with much more efficiency.
  • Advanced Longevity: Cul, like all Asgardians, is extremely long-lived, although not truly immortal as some other god pantheons. However, Cul still ages at a pace much slower than human beings. He is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections.
  • Magic: Cul can manipulate vast quantities of magic for nearly any effect. A few demonstrations of his power include transporting Thor far away, creating his own twisted version of Asgard, raising and recreating dead servants, turning into a giant serpent, projecting mystical energy blasts, creating force fields, and destroying many buildings in Manhattan with energy radiating from his form.[23]
  • Fear Absorption: As the God of Fear, Cul can feed upon the fears of others to empower himself. The fear of an entire world is necessary for him to be a full power. It is unknown if he needs to feed constantly or if periodic feedings are enough when he is not using his powers. The more fear he consumes the younger and more vigorous his body becomes.[8]


Allspeak: Thanks to the Allspeak, Asgardians can communicate in all of the languages of the Nine Realms, Earth's dialects, and various alien languages.


If Cul is deprived of fear to feed upon, he will revert to a withered state.[1] The full details are unknown, but it appears that if Cul himself feels fear, if the person he is fighting is not afraid of him, or if the masses he is feeding upon cease to fear him, his powers weaken.[11][24]



A mystical gnarled staff that transforms into a hammer with properties similar to the Worthy hammers.


Mystical hammer with powers similar in respect to Thor's hammer Mjolnir, made of the same metal Uru.


  • According to his backstory, Cul succeeded Bor after the latter died of old age and he and Odin were still teenagers. However, other stories have Bor as a middle-aged man being turned to snow with no mention of Cul. Based on these continuity differences and a fact-based, but fictitious story told by Volstagg stating outright that Cul comes from an earlier Ragnarok cycle it has been speculated that Cul's imprisonment somehow removed him from the cycle.[25]


  • Although there is no direct counterpart of Cul in Norse Mythology, his title, The Serpent, could be a reference to Nidhogg, meaning "malice striker," a dragon who gnaws on the roots of the Yggdrasil Tree. Cul's antagonism to Odin, the All-Father, could be a parallel to how Nidhogg gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil, which would result in the destruction of all life in the Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology.
  • Cul's role as Odin's antagonistic brother is closer to the mythological Loki, with the difference being that the mythology Loki is Odin's brother by blood oath, while Cull is Odin's biological brother.

See Also

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