One of Thor’s greatest foes may be making a return to the Marvel Universe.
SPOILERS for Thor #9 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo follow.
Thor #9 focuses on Rosalind Solomon, reflecting on how she as changed as she's gone from an environmentalist to an agent of SHIELD to Thor’s girlfriend to Thor’s ex to former agent of SHIELD to current Agent of Wakanda, all in the shadow of the looming War of the Realms.
But Roz isn’t the only one preparing for war. The issue is framed by Roz’s interrogation of Daario Agger, the CEO of Roxxon who is also a minotaur and who has betrayed his own realm to ally himself with Malekith the Accursed.
The Bifrost was recently destroyed, making travel between the 10 realms of the World Tree difficult. And yet, Malekith seems to move his troops throughout with ease. To have any hope fo victory, Asgard and its allies must know how Malekith does it.
Ulik the troll comes for Daario and drags him through the Black Bifrost, the new rainbow bridge that Malekith secretly had constructed. Except it is isn’t a secret any longer. Asgard somehow got a spy into Svartalheim. That spy is Cul Borson.
Cul is Odin’s older brother, the Asgardian god of fear. He’s been working in Odin’s service recently and even butted heads with Jane Foster while she still wielded Mjolnir as Thor. But the final panel of Thor #9 could be foreshadowing a much bigger role.
Cul asked Odin, “Just tell me, Brother...when do I have your leave to become my true self again, the god of fear? And start slaughtering some elves.”
Cul was once All-Father of Asgard, but when he became bitter and cruel he was overthrown by Odin and their two other brothers. Cul went on to rule over Earth, but Odin defeated him there and sealed him away beneath the seas.
During the Marvel Comics event Fear Itself, Cul was freed and once again became powerful by feeding on the fear of mortals. He transformed into a giant monster called the Serpent. Thor was eventually able to defeat the Serpent, but it cost the god of thunder his own life.
Cul was later reborn alongside Odin. Cul asked for forgiveness for his past sins and Odin granted him absolution. Cul was then made Royal Inquisitor and Minister of Justice in Asgard, a position that led him into conflict with Thor, Jane Foster, when Mangog attacked.
But this issue seems to foreshadow Cul returning to his role a god of fear, which could have major repercussions if he then gains enough power to become the Serpent. Would Odin unleash that monster again to fight against Malekith? There are only three months until War of the Realms begins, so it shouldn’t be long now for fans to find out.
Are you excited about War of the Realms? Let us know in the comments!
Thor #9 is on sale now.