When the monstrous armies of Malekith the Accursed's Dark Council come for Earth in Marvel's War of the Realms event, they'll have already consolidated their power across Asgard's other Nine Realms. At this point, the enemy controls a vast amount of territory, but the Asgardian gods do have an agent behind enemy lines who could do tremendous damage to the Dark council's war machine... if he doesn't fall prey to his villainous nature, that is. That agent's name is Cul Borson, aka the Serpent. He's Thor's uncle, and more importantly, he's the Asgardian God of Fear.
Cul was tasked with his current mission by his brother Odin in recent issues of Jason Aaron's Thor run, and with the writer's six year long saga coming to a culmination in his and Russell Dauterman's War of the Realms miniseries, it's time for Cul's mission into Malekith's home realm of Svartalfheim to get a bigger spotlight. That happens in May's Thor #13, by Aaron and artist Mike del Mundo, and CBR has the exclusive first details on what it means, for Cul and for the rest of reality.
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CBR: You're using the War of the Realms tie-in arc of Thor to tell a variety of stories. May's issue #13 looks like it'll be a fantasy-style take on spy/war films like Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone. Was that what you were aiming for?
Jason Aaron: You'll definitely see a little bit of those films in the story. And, yeah, with the Thor tie-in issues I'm trying to take supporting characters from Thor's world and look at how the war is affecting them
Our first issue, #12, focuses on Loki and this one will focus on Thor's evil uncle, Cul, who a couple of years ago came back alongside Odin and was made a core part of Asgard. He even sat on the Throne of Asgard as Regent while Odin was away tending to his wife. So Cul has been a part of everything going on in Thor for the past few years, and when Odin retook the throne he gave Cul this new mission: to uncover intel on what Malekith's up to. This issue, we'll see how that mission has gone for him.
He's basically trapped behind enemy lines and on a one-man mission, so this issue will dig down into the core of that mission. It's sort of a stand-alone story in the midst of this big, sprawling war, one that most of our other characters aren't even aware of.
So it's a bad-ass action story that also manages to tell a small character-driven tale.
Yes, it is absolutely that. Cul is a character I've always enjoyed writing. We haven't had a ton of focus on him, but this issue I'm looking to change that. I'm going to dig into the character in a big way.
I like the idea of taking Cul, who was a big villain in Matt Fraction's Thor stuff, and looking at his perspective. He's a God of Fear. He tried to light the world on fire and murder Thor. He went away for awhile, and when Odin came back he said, “This is my brother. He's a part of our world.”
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He played a significant role when Jane Foster was Thor, but this is the first time we'll really look at his perspective and see what he thinks. We'll get his P.O.V. on how he ended up where he's at and where he goes from here.
Who are some of the characters Cul will run afoul of in this story?
Lots and lots of Dark Elves. He's stuck in Svartalfheim, and he's one guy against an army.
It sounds like a story that will really play to Mike del Mundo's strengths.
Yeah, Mike draws awesome Dark Elves. I think you saw that in the prelude to War of the Realms issue that focused on Roz Solomon [Thor #9]. Mike took a lot of what Russell Dauterman set up and designed, and tweaked those things and made them his own.
This will be the first time since our first arc, where we went to Hel, where he'll do a whole issue set in one of the other realms. It's also the first time Mike has gotten to draw Svartalfheim, so I think it will be super cool.