Serpent (comics)

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The Serpent breaks Captain America's shield in Fear Itself #5 (October 2011).
Art by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceFear Itself #1 (April 2011)
Created byStuart Immonen
Matt Fraction
In-story information
Full nameCul Borson
Place of originAsgard
Team affiliationsWorthy
Notable aliasesGod of Fear, Serpent
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and durability
Healing factor
Magic manipulation
Ability to eat fear

Serpent (Cul Borson) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Usually depicted as a foe of Odin and Thor, the Serpent has also come into conflict with the Avengers. He is the brother of Odin, therefore the uncle of Thor, Tyr, Balder, Loki, Laurussa, and Angela. He is known as the Norse God of Fear.

Publication history[edit]

Serpent first appeared in Fear Itself #1 (June 2011), and was created by Stuart Immonen and Matt Fraction.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Cul Borson is an enigmatic being who claims that he is the true All-Father of Asgard and not his brother Odin. After being injured upon falling off a peak, Cul crawled into the nearby Giants camp and slaughtered them leaving a message stating "Gods do not live in the sky. We live on the Earth. And you do so at our pleasure." Following the death of his father Bor, Cul became the new All-Father and promised to keep his younger brothers Odin, Vili, and Ve as his trusted council. However, Cul did not stick to his word and used his Draumar[clarification needed] 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. When Odin later confronted Cul, he deemed himself the Serpent as Odin fought him. As Odin was unable to kill Serpent, he sealed him away in an underwater prison and kept his existence a secret.[1]

Thousands of years later during the 2011 "Fear Itself" storyline, Serpent was freed from his underwater prison by Red Skull's daughter Sin who possesses the Hammer of Skadi. Upon emerging as an old man, Serpent prepared Skadi's forces and calls the Hammers of the Worthy which he sends to Earth so that whoever acquires them would help him cause fear and chaos across the globe. This causes some characters on Earth to become his Worthy. Juggernaut becomes Kuurth: Breaker of Stone, Hulk becomes Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Attuma becomes Nerkodd: Breaker of Oceans, Titania becomes Skirn: Breaker of Men, Grey Gargoyle becomes Mokk: Breaker of Faith, Absorbing Man becomes Greithoth: Breaker of Wills, and Thing becomes Angrir: Breaker of Souls.[2] As the Worthy wreaked havoc across the globe, Serpent rejuvenated himself with the collected fears and assumed a younger state in addition to his staff assuming the shape of a hammer. Afterwards, Serpent started forming the Dark Asgard in Antarctica with a 1,000-eyed creature acting as his Heimdall. Upon tracing the Serpent's location, Thor started to head to Dark Asgard as the 1,000-eyed creature alerted Serpent of this. Serpent dispatched his forces to greet Thor after which the Serpent revealed to Thor that a prophecy stated that it was indeed Serpent who Thor slays and dies as a result, not the Midgard Serpent. Further revealing relation to Odin as his brother and Thor as his nephew, Serpent tried to convince Thor to join him in his cause which Thor promptly refused. This forces Serpent to teleport Thor away to where two of his Worthy (Nul: Breaker of Worlds and Angrir: Breaker of Souls) were waiting to battle the Thunderer.[1] Serpent later teleported himself to where Skadi was fighting the Avengers. During his battle with the Avengers, Serpent managed to push them back and intercept Captain America's shield attack where he managed to break it with his fists. Serpent then raised his hammer and obliterated it in a devastating attack before teleporting away.[3] In an attempt to destroy Odin and his followers, Serpent and his followers headed to Broxton, Oklahoma in order to use Heimdall's Observatory to travel to Asgard.[4] After Thor was healed and returned from Asgard, Serpent switched to a giant serpent form and battled his nephew while the Avengers fought the Worthy with the weapons that Iron Man made in Asgard's workshops. At the end, Thor slew his uncle with Odinsword (revealed to be Ragnarok) and died in the arms of Odin thus fulfilling the prophecy.[5] Following Thor's funeral, Odin took Serpent's corpse to Asgard, cast out the other Asgardians, and locked himself alone with the body until the end of time while blaming himself for not preventing Thor's death.[citation needed]

During the 2014 "Original Sin" storyline, Serpent was revived by Odin as he is contacted by Loki.[6]

Serpent later repented his sins, was pardoned by Odin as a reformed God, and was made Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice.[7] Serpent's first task as the Royal Inquisitor is to retrieve Mjolnir from the female Thor. While using the Destroyer armor, Serpent confronted her as she was about to take action against Malekith the Accursed and Minotaur.[8] Serpent managed to briefly reclaim Mjolnir until Thor managed to call it back to her. Thor continued her fight against Serpent until she received aid from Thor Odinson, Freyja, and an army of women that Thor Odinson suspected of being the female Thor.[9] After a fierce battle, Freyja convinced Odin to call off Serpent's mission by mocking him.[10]

When Asgardia was destroyed, Serpent was sent to Svartalfheim by Odin in order to find out how Malekith the Accursed's forces were able to travel undetected.[11]

During the "War of the Realms" storyline, a flashback had Serpent turning down Malekith the Accursed's offer to join the Dark Council as they would destroy Asgardia anyway. In the present, Serpent discovered that Malekith and his forces were using the Black Bifrost Bridge. He tells Odin about and states that he will remain in Svartalfheim to find out how it works. After spending months studying how the Black Bifrost Bridge works, Serpent stole some explosives from the Swamp Mines and threw them towards the Black Bifrost Bridge. After getting through the Swamp Mines' defenses, Serpent discovered the Dark Elf children who were being used as slaves to mine the explosives. At first, Serpent was reluctant to free the Dark Elf children until reinforcements arrived. He told the Dark Elf children to use the explosive to blow open another way out while he bought them some time. After being mortally wounded, Serpent's final moments stating that having the glory he wanted no longer matters. In his dying breath, he used his axe on the explosives taking down the Dark Elves and the Swamp Mines down with him. In the aftermath of the Swamp Mines' destruction, the freed Dark Elf children began to fight the other Dark Elf soldiers in his honor.[12]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Serpent possesses the known abilities of the Asgardians which are superior due to him being the son of Bor. He possesses superhuman strength (which is enough to shatter Captain America's shield with his bare hands), speed, agility, stamina and durability, a healing factor, longevity, shape-shifting, and magic manipulation. Serpent can also eat fear in order to empower himself.[citation needed]


In other media[edit]


Serpent appears in Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.[13] The episode "Paranoid" revealed that Serpent commissioned the Darkhawks using the Destroyer technology while using an amulet as their power source. He plotted to take over Asgard and the universe until Odin banished him and the Darkhawks to another realm. Years later, his Darkhawks escaped and started replacing the Galactic Council and civilians of Knowhere. In the episode "Darkhawks on the Edge of Town," Serpent is awoken when the Guardians of the Galaxy plot to destroy the energy core in the Darkhawk Realm. With help from the Asgardians, Irani Rael, and Cosmo the Spacedog, the Guardians of the Galaxy had to destroy the Continuum Cortex to keep the Serpent from escaping the Darkhawk Realm. In the episode "Holding Out for a Hero," Serpent escapes from the Darkhawk Realm thanks to a Darkhawk posing as Heimdall. He takes control of the World Tree that he planted as a sapling and begins his attack on Asgard where he even swipes Gungir from Odin. Despite a tactic from the Guardians of the Galaxy and Loki, Serpent breaks free from Loki's enchanted shackles, incapacitates Thor and Odin and takes over Asgard causing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Loki to disable the Bifrost Bridge. In the episode "Killer Queen," Serpent arrives in Nifleheim where he has come for Loki. Hela gives him Loki and Iron Man to make more Dragonfang swords. Then Serpent captures the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy's allies. In the episode "Just One Victory," Serpent has decimated the Nova Corps fleet sent to Asgard causing the Guardians of the Galaxy to turn to Thanos for help. Thanos was evenly matched with Serpent until he blasted Thanos all the way to Nifleheim. When Groot pushes the Dragonfang's blade into the corrupted World Tree, Serpent started to age. He fell from the World Tree and turned to sand upon hitting the ground.

Video games[edit]

Serpent appears in the 2012 social-network game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. He appears in Season Two where he is speculated to be the mastermind behind the Circle of Eight.


  1. ^ a b Fraction, Matt (w), Immonen, Stuart (p), von Grawbadger, Wade (i). "Worlds on Fire" Fear Itself 4 (September 2011), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Immonen, Stuart (p), Von Grawbadger, Wade (i). "The Serpent" Fear Itself 1 (June 2011), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Stuart Immonen (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i). "Brawl" Fear Itself 5 (October 2011), Marvel Comics
  4. ^ Matt Fraction (w), Stuart Immonen (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i). "Blood-Tied and Doomed" Fear Itself 6 (November 2011), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ Fraction, Matt (w), Immonen, Stuart (p), Von Grawbadger, Wade (i). "Thor's Day" Fear Itself 7 (December 2011), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Original Sin #5.4. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Thor Vol. 4 #5. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Thor Vol. 4 #6. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Thor Vol. 4 #7. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Thor Vol. 4 #8. Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Thor Vol. 5 #9. Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Thor Vol. 5 #13. Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ "Darkhawks on the Edge of Town". Guardians of the Galaxy. Season 3. Episode 21. May 26, 2019. Disney XD.

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