Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Joe Sabino
Release Date: May 29th, 2019
Jason Aaron gives readers a thought-provoking and touching story about Cul, son of Borson, brother to Odin, in this week’s THOR #13. Take some time to read this one and bring some tissues just in case!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Jason Aaron opens the issue with a little trip down memory lane. He shows us two little boys, one Odin, and his older brother Cul. Cul, the rightful heir to the throne of Asgard, brings his brother Odin to his knees by telling him how much their father Bor hates him. Next, Aaron jumps in time to Cul and Odin battling for the throne after their father Bor died. With a fiery rage, Odin destroyed his brother Cul and imprisoned him in the mortal realm.
Aaron skips the story ahead to when Cul was approached by Malekith to kill his brother and in return, he would be given Asgard as his own. However, Cul stayed steadfast and true, turned down Malekith’s offer, and went on a secret mission into Svartalfheim to figure out how the Black Bifrost was created, as well as how it worked. Cul breaks into the mine, steals the mystic mushrooms used to power the Black Bifrost, and frees the children working the mines.
Everyone manages to escape except Cull who gets killed by Dark Elves in the process. Nonetheless, Aaron ends the issue with a fast forward to Freyja fighting off the Dark Elves by the Black Bifrost from WAR OF THE REALMS #4. And in her final moments stuck in Svartalfheim, out from the background comes the children Cul freed with his ax in hand screaming “in the name of Cul”. Wow, this reviewer can’t wait for the next issue to see what happened to Cul, Freyja, Odin, and the kids that were freed. This was such an amazing issue!
By the end of this issue, Aaron made this reviewer care for Cul. Now, any writer capable of taking a character you’ve barely heard of and use 20 pages to get the reader to feel something for that person, deserves to be recognized for the outstanding writer and storyteller they are, as well as what they have done throughout the years. Aaron uses this issue to amplify the love-hate relationship with Cul and Odin while taking readers on a trip down memory lane. He digs down deep into a brotherly battle that has been around since Bor was the All-Father, which this reviewer knew very little about.
Furthermore, this brotherly feud has been around for millennia and has traversed ions. Yet, throughout all this rage, Cul still loved his brother Odin so much that he was willing to travel to Svartalfheim on a secret mission to help his brother stop this war. Aaron reminds readers about the special bond brothers share regardless of what has been done or said. It’s a bond that’s so deep it can’t be broken by words or actions. Not only was this reviewer thinking about his own brothers here, but also the bond between Loki and Thor and where their relationship will end as Aaron’s run comes to a close. What will happen between Thor and Loki as they battle in the future at the end of time?
POWER OF LOVE
Aaron gives readers an amazing scene where Cul finally comes to his senses, frees the enslaved children, but gets stabbed through in the process. It was at this moment where fans could see the true change in heart of our hero in the story. A quote from the issue was “Love is roaring joy and paralyzing Fear.” Anyone who has ever felt true love for another knows this feeling all to well and Aaron is tapping readers into that very sensation throughout this issue. Love is so powerful that it causes people to sacrifice themselves for others, breeds passion and fire into any relationship, but can also bring nations to their knees. Aaron continues to drive home the theme that love can conquer all and uses Cul as the sacrifice to deliver this amazingly well-done message in such a profound way across the issue.
Throughout all the battles, fights, and wars, Cul used fear as his guide. However, he couldn’t see his own true fear in front of him the entire time. Aaron shows a touching moment where Cul finally overcomes his deepest fear, which was to love and to be vulnerable to love. The line that stuck with this reviewer when reading issue 13 was “you’ve come here to die… Ha! No, I think I came to live for a brief moment at least.” It took Cul millennia to finally realize the most important thing in life, which is to love. Aaron uses his run on THOR to hammer that idea home before his time is up on the title. And let this comic fan tell you, love is the name of the game. There is nothing more powerful in all the realms than love.
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
This issue is for anyone. The story may have been centered around Cul, which is a character many know so little about. But, Aaron gives readers insight into the family dynamic of the Bor Clan while explaining the emotional trials that every family goes through, whether God or man. Cul said it best “all that matters is what joy we make for ourselves when we’re alive and who we choose to be in our grandest or most intimate of moments.” Aaron relays a message that this reviewer hopes all fans are truly paying attention too. Power, prestige, fame, glory, pride, and wealth mean nothing when this ride comes to an end. They will bring no long term joy or happiness. However, following those nudges, listening to your heart, and living life by loving others is how humanity truly lives. Cul lived by fear and thus spent millions of years saturated with jealousy, rage, anguish, and pain. Fear consumed him until the very end. Nonetheless, Aaron shows readers through Cul that it’s never too late to change.
For an issue meant to be a WAR OF THE REALMS tie-in, the focus was centered more around family and love, which really are the most important things in this crazy, mixed up life. Aaron uses his platform as a comic writer to present to readers the foundation of his entire run on THOR to date, which is love. With one single issue, as well as a character many know little about, Aaron summarizes a theme that has underlined every issue to date; that love will conquer all. A great writer can get a reader to stop and think long and hard about what they read. After reading this issue, readers will do just that! If you are a THOR fan, a Jason Aaron fan, a WAR OF THE REALMS fan, or simply love good stories, this issue is totally in your wheelhouse. Pick this up and sit with it for a bit. This issue may even help put some things going on in your own life into perspective. Excellent job Jason Aaron!