Sunday, August 16, 2015
Morbius: The Living Vampire - The Man Called Morbius
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2013
Artist: Valentine De Landro, Richard Elson
Writer: Joe Keatinge, Dan Slott
Collects: Morbius: The Living Vampire #1-9, Amazing Spider-Man #699.1
One thing that struck me very much about this – not being a dedicated Marvel fan – was that by the end of volume #1 of the Living vampire series Morbius had, in his own words, died twice – perhaps he was just injured (to a degree where a normal person would be dead) but he mentions being a dead man and a dead vampire – so surely he should have become Morbius the undead vampire? No... I'm probably spoiling the concept of the character to even suggest it.
Rather than that we have Michael Morbius, sufferer from a rare blood disease who, whilst trying to cure himself, manages to transform himself into a living vampire. He has few of the disadvantages other than a sensitivity to sunlight (though he doesn’t burn up) and the bloodlust.
What’s rather nice about the series is that, despite the superhero universe, Morbius is no hero – and when he tries to do good he tends to make things worse. Part of me missed the early Vampire Tales stories where Morbius was faced with a demon cult and there was a definitive supernatural element. However by moving the story into the mundane, and by eschewing an “end of the world” story for something much more small town focused and actually corporate at heart, the writers managed to change focus and make the story more interesting for that.
Spider-man does make an appearance during the full story, as do some of the more famous super-villains in the escape from the Rift Spider-Man volume, and the Legion of Monsters cameo towards the end.
The artwork worked for me more through the Morbius comics than the Spider-man comic – but that was personal preference more than anything. The vaunted AR (where you can get extras on your phone by aiming an app at certain pages) never seemed to work for me however.