The Serpent is a male comic deity supervillain that features in Marvel Comics.
Cul Borson was a member of the race of beings known as the Asgardians where he was the son of King Bor and had three brothers namely Odin, Vi and Villi. (Mighty Thor v1 #7) As a young boy, he journeyed freely across the realms and held no black malice within him. On one such journey, he was ambushed by a group of giants that asked scorned the gods for living in the heavens and threw him off a cliff. Cul fell but did not die from the fall though his body was wounded but even more so he developed an un-quenching thirst to instill fear in others. After making a splint, he crawled on his wounded body to the encampment of the giants who slept. Once there, one by one he killed them in their sleep and left only a single survivor who awoke to find the bloodstained writings of Cul Borson. On it, Cul had written that the gods did not live in the sky but on the earth and that those that resided there lived only at their pleasure. The terrified giant later spread the words of the young Asgardian. (Journey into Mystery v1 #625) He regularly bullied his brother Odin and with but words could cause him to experience fear as well as made him cry. (Thor v5 #13) After the death of King Bor, Cul succeeded his father and became the new ruler of Asgard. Under his reign, he instituted an atmosphere of fear among the populace with this being enforced by his followers known as the Worthy. (Mighty Thor v1 #7) In addition, he had a number of warriors that served him with these being known as the Draumar. (New Mutants v3 #31) In time, Odin saw the madness of his brothers tyranny and sought to stop him where he consulted the wisdom of the world tree Yggdrasil but had to sacrifice his eye in the process. By the time of their adulthood, King Cul ruled from his fortress of Asheim when his brothers Odin, Vi and Villi struck against him. They slaughtered his many followers leading to an eventual confrontation between Cul and Odin. Odin defeated Cul and imprisoned him whereupon Asheim was devastated to prevent it from being used by any Asgardian in the future. In time, Asheim became the realm of Midgard whilst Odin took over the throne of Asgard as the All-Father. (Mighty Thor v1 #7)
Though killed, he was reborn where he awoke alongside his brother with the two eventually speaking to one another and coming to an understanding. In those moments, Cul told Odin that he desired a chance to redeem himself with his brother giving it to him. (Thor v5 #13) During this time, the pair remained in Odin's self-imposed exile within the lands of Old Asgard that had long since been abandoned. Once there, they had a chess game that was played between the pair within this prison. This silence was broken by the barrier to the location was breached by Loki who sought Odin's help against the freed Angels of Heven after the prison around the Tenth Realm was broken. Thus, Cul was freed from his exile alongside his brother with the two seemingly having ended the hostilities between them. (Original Sin v1 #5.5) Following his return to Asgardia, All-Father Odin appointed his brother Cul as Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice despite the objections of his son. (Thor v4 #5) He was tasked with the goal of reclaiming the hammer Mjolnir after a new female Thor had claimed it following Thor Odinson being declared unworthy of its power. To achieve this goal from the Allfather, Cul used his spirit to animate the Destroyer which attacked the new Thor nearly defeating her until the Odinson brought alongside numerous allies to aid her in the battle. (Thor v4 #7)
As the War of the Realms grew more fierce, All-Father Odin decided to dispatch Cul on a covert mission behind enemy lines leading to him secretly arriving in Svartalfheim. Once there, he learnt of the Black Bifrost that was being used by Malekith the Accursed and his Dark Elf armies. From there, he learnt that the gate was being powered by magical crystalline mushrooms from the nearby camp and decided to break into it to use the power source to destroy the Black Bifrost. Once there, he killed Dark Elf overseers that had enslaved Elf children of the realm who did not partake in the cruelties of their master. At first, Cul was content to simply depart with the crystals and leave the children who begged him to free them before more guards arrived. However, after seeing their faces, he decided to free them and give them a chance to escape whilst he was surrounded by Dark Elves. Cul was grievously wounded and in that moment he decided to destroy some of the magical mushrooms to cause an explosion to kill himself as well as his attackers. As such, he was seemingly killed but his axe was recovered by the Elven children who decided to fight Malekith's forces in his name. (Thor v5 #13)
Personality and attributes
As a young boy, he was noted to had regularly beaten and bullied his brother Odin in order to instil fear in him. In one such case, he used his own fathers words about Odin to make his younger brother cry without ever having physical struck him as he believed words were a weapon. (Thor v5 #13)
Though willing to kill his brother for the throne, Cul had stated that at the same tie he did love his sibling Odin. (Thor v5 #13)
Powers and abilities
Beyond the Worthy were the Draumar (The Dreams) that were the bad dreams of the Serpent. (New Mutants v3 #30) Long ago, they were once warriors of the Serpent and in time became monsters that were transmutated by their rage and hatred who were locked away in Hel. By this point, the Draumar were monsters that could kill the dead and feed off them. (New Mutants v3 #31) The Draumar were noted for being feral with these slaughtered souls fusing into berserk monsters with the fear of the Serpent creating the energy making them cohere. They were said to personify the rage, anguish and fury of Odin's enemies. However, being ancient beings they had no point of reference for modern aspects of the world and if they developed a greater fear of something other than the Serpent such as the unknown than they ceased to exist. (New Mutants v3 #32)
- The Serpent was created by Stuart Immonen and Matt Fraction where he made his first appearance in Fear Itself v1 #1 (June, 2011).
In other media
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Cul Borson featured as an antagonist in a plotline in the video game. He was referred to as the Firstborn of Bor and had assumed the throne of Asgard where he began a reign of fear. This forced his brother Odin to usurp the throne and imprison Cul within Midgard until his freedom. The Serpent then sought to destroy his former prison with fear and by using the might of his Worthy warriors.
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, Cul Borson as the Serpent appeared as a playable character in the video game with it said that his moniker was chosen because of his ability to assume the form of a giant dragon.
- Fear Itself v1:
- Original Sin v1:
- The Mighty Thor v2:
- Thor v4:
- Thor v5: