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Cul Borson (Earth-616)

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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
-- Serpent src
 
Cul Borson (Earth-616) from Journey into Mystery Vol 1 625

The Serpent's past

Time Before Time

Cul Borson was born to Bor Burison and to the Giantess Bestla,[2] and was the older brother of Odin, Vili Borson (Earth-616) and Ve.[3]

It has been implied he comes from a much earlier Asgard and did not reincarnate in later cycles.[citation needed]

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.[4]

All-Father

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. 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, Ve, as his trusted council.[3]

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 brother's worked to stop the beasts that Cul released on Aesheim, but Cul confronted them, telling them to go home and allow him to rule.[3][5]

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.[citation needed]

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.[6]

Looking extremely old and frail, and now called the Serpent,[6] Cul prepared Sin's forces[7] and called the hammers of his Worthy, to spread chaos and fear across the globe.[6]

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.

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 who 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]

Cul Borson (Earth-616) and Captain America's Shield from Fear Itself Vol 1 5

The Serpent shatters Captain America's shield

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]

Dark Asgard Fear Itself Vol 1 4

The Serpent raises his citadel.

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]

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]

Return

Cul was later seen reborn alongside Odin during his self-exile, when the All-Father was reached by Loki.[13]

He later repented from his sins, was pardoned by Odin as a reformed god and made Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice.[1]

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.[2]

Powers

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.

Superhuman Strength: Despite of his advanced age, Cul possesses superhuman strength surpassing that of most Asgardian's, 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.[citation needed]

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 superhuman's in spite of his age.[citation needed]

Superhuman Agility: Cul's agility, balance, and bodily coordination, are far superior to the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.[citation needed]

Superhuman Reflexes: Cul's reflexes, are much more superior to the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Regenerative Healing Factor: 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. Cul's healing powers are far superior to all other Asgardians.[citation needed]

Extended 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.[citation needed]

Magical Manipulation: 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, and destroying many buildings in Manhattan.[citation needed]

Fear Eating: Unlike other Asgardian gods, 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.[citation needed]

Abilities

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

Strength level

Able to take on Thor and other mortal heroes with ease.

Weaknesses

If Cul is deprived of fear to feed upon he will revert to a withered state. 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.[citation needed]


Equipment

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

Weapons

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

  • According to his back story 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.

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