Morbius, the Living Vampire
|Morbius, the Living Vampire|
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October 1971)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas|
|Alter ego||Dr. Michael Alexander Morbius|
|Team affiliations||Midnight Sons|
Legion of Monsters
Agents of Wakanda
|Notable aliases||Morbie, Dr. Morgan Michaels, Nikos Michaels, Number Six, Mike|
Morbius, the Living Vampire, real name Dr. Michael Morbius, Ph.D., M.D., is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Roy Thomas and originally designed by penciler Gil Kane, he was at first depicted as an enemy of the superhero Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October 1971).
Despite his initial status as one of Spider-Man's horror-based rogues and also an adversary of the vampire hunter Blade, responsible for turning Blade into a dhampir, Morbius went on to become a brooding, gritty and tragically flawed protagonist in his own series and other titles starting in the 1990s. His true identity is that of former award-winning biochemist Michael Morbius who was imbued with pseudo-vampiric superhuman abilities and physical traits after a failed biochemical experiment which was intended to cure his rare blood disease, rather than originating from supernatural means. The rest of his appearances feature his struggles with his pseudo-vampiric persona, his insatiable lust for human blood and his subsequent efforts to cure his horrific condition, along with his eventual stint as a brutal and nightmarish vigilante, occasionally returning to villainy.
The character has appeared in several media adaptations outside of comics including animated shows and video games. Jared Leto portrays Michael Morbius in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe film Morbius (2022). IGN ranked the character as Spider-Man's 19th-greatest villain of all time.
Morbius debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (cover-dated October 1971) following the February 1971 updating of the comic-book industry's self-censorship board, the Comics Code Authority, that lifted a ban on vampires and certain other supernatural characters. It was the first issue of Marvel Comics' flagship Spider-Man series written by someone other than character co-creator and editor-in-chief Stan Lee. Lee, busy writing a screenplay for an unproduced science fiction movie, bequeathed the series to his right-hand editor Roy Thomas. "We were talking about doing Dracula, but Stan wanted a costumed villain. Other than that, he didn't specify what we should do," Thomas said in 2009, adding that part of the character conception came from an unspecified science-fiction film of Thomas' youth, depicting a man turned into a vampire by radiation rather than magic. Thomas said that the name "Morbius" was not deliberately taken from the antagonist Doctor Morbius in the movie Forbidden Planet.
Thomas and penciller co-creator Gil Kane created the character as a man who is given pseudo-vampiric abilities and traits via scientific rather than supernatural means. Kane based the character's look on that of actor Jack Palance.
A tragic and sympathetic antagonist in his initial two-issue story arc, having acquired his pseudo-vampiric addiction while researching a cure for his own rare, but fatal blood disease, Morbius collided again with Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #3–4 (July – September 1972) and the one-shot issue Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1 (June 1974). Morbius went on to star in Vampire Tales, a black-and-white horror comics magazine published by Marvel's sister company, Curtis Magazines, appearing in all but two of the mature-audience title's 11 issues (August 1973 – June 1975). All but the first and last of these were written by Don McGregor, with penciling by Rich Buckler and by Tom Sutton, primarily.
After his first two Vampire Tales stories, Morbius concurrently became the star of his own feature in Marvel's bimonthly Adventure into Fear anthology series, beginning with issue #20 (February 1974) and continuing through issue #31 (December 1975), the last issue of the series. These were written, successively, by Mike Friedrich, Steve Gerber (who had written the first Morbius solo story in Vampire Tales #1), Doug Moench and Bill Mantlo, working with a wide variety of pencillers.
Following sporadic guest appearances throughout the next 16 years, Morbius was revived in the 1992 series Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2), launched as part of the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover story arc in Marvel's supernatural/horror comics. It ran for 32 issues (September 1992 – April 1995). Despite being cast as a villain since his creation, this series of Marvel Comics saw Morbius' status become more heroic. He would also be cast as a member of Ghost Rider's superhero organization Midnight Sons. These later stories add to his repertoire of powers the ability to hypnotize others and describe his ability to fly as psionic in nature. A one-shot special issue, tentatively titled Spider-Man/Venom/Morbius by Morbius writer Len Kaminski, was scheduled for 1993, but never published due to the writer's departure from the series out of disgust with Morbius penciller Ron Wagner. Wagner felt that Kaminski's stories were too character-driven and Kaminski claimed that Wagner complained about the stories to the editorial staff and left "snide margin notes in which he made his personal opinion of my plots clear" (Kaminski would see these notes because he and Wagner worked under the Marvel method), but ignored Kaminski's attempts to get in touch with him so that they could discuss how the series should be done. Series colorist Gregory Wright stepped in as writer with issue #9 and delivered the bloodshed-heavy stories that Wagner wanted. Despite this, Wagner lasted just six issues longer than Kaminski on the series; Wright stayed with Morbius through issue #23.
In the 1993 Marvel Comic publication Maximum Carnage, he would team with his longtime adversary Spider-Man to free New York City from Carnage, though the two would immediately part ways and resume being enemies. But in the 1997 Peter Parker: Spider-Man #77-80, he would again team with Spider-Man to stop HYDRA agent Loxias Crown. The period during the late 1990s and early 2000s also saw him team with longtime nemesis Blade the Vampire-Slayer and Dr. Strange.
Alongside the core series Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2), a reprint series, Morbius Revisited, was published from 1992 to 1993, and featured material originally published in Adventure into Fear #27–31. Solo stories starring Morbius also appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #144 (late December 1993), several issues of the Midnight Sons Unlimited series (1993–1995), the one-shot issue Strange Tales: Dark Corners #1 (May 1998), Amazing Fantasy (vol. 2) #17 (March 2006), and the one-shot issue Legion of Monsters: Morbius (September 2007)
Fictional character biography
Michael Morbius was born and raised in Greece by his single mother, and experienced an isolated childhood due to his rare blood condition which contributed to his ugly and unpleasant-looking appearance. Despite his looks, he was an intellectually gifted young man who spent his time reading and, in time, became a highly respected and Nobel Prize-winning biologist specializing in the field of human and animal biology with a medical degree in hematology. Leaving his home country for New York due to his pseudo-vampiric condition, he began work to find a cure and to protect his fiancé Martine Bancroft. He came to the attention of the Lizard and Peter Parker / Spider-Man, who teamed up against Morbius to obtain a sample of blood in order to cure their own mutated physical conditions. The truth behind his horrific condition is that, in order to cure himself of an unknown blood disease that was killing him, he attempted a cure using a mixture of vampire bat DNA and electroshock therapy. However, this instead afflicted him with "pseudo-vampirism" that mimicked some of the powers and the bloodlust of the supernatural vampirism. Morbius now had to drink blood in order to survive and had a strong aversion to light. His bones became hollow and he gained the ability to fly, as well as gaining superhuman strength, super-speed, and accelerated healing. His appearance, already ugly, now became hideous—his upper canine teeth extended into fangs, his nose flattened to appear more like that of a bat's, and his skin became chalk-white. He also gained the ability to turn others into similar "living vampires" like himself by biting them and drinking their blood, infecting them with the disease of pseudo-vampirism. Additionally, his first victim was his friend Emil Nikos. People whom Morbius infected with the disease of pseudo-vampirism did not truly die as a result and they could be cured through an antidote derived from Morbius's blood that Morbius and Martine had created, although that antidote would not work on Morbius himself. They also did not acquire his ability to fly or his healing factor and any mortal wound could kill them. He later sought a cure for his condition, but battled Spider-Man, the Human Torch, and the original X-Men. Morbius then encountered Barbara Clark and protected her from a demon named Nilrac, but unfortunately after that, Morbius killed her and drank her blood to satisfy his hunger, feeling a strong sense of guilt immediately afterward.
Morbius later rescued Amanda Saint from a Satanic cult known as Demon-Fire and aided her in her quest to find her missing parents. He caused John Jameson to again become the Man-Wolf. Alongside the Man-Wolf, he battled Spider-Man again in another attempt at a cure. He then battled Reverend Daemond and encountered the Caretakers of Arcturus IV. At the same time, he visited both the Land Within, the home of the Cat People, and the planet Arcturus IV, the homeworld of the Caretakers. During this time, he first battled Blade the Vampire-Slayer and Tara the Girlchild. He then first battled Jack Russell / Werewolf. He then first encountered rogue CIA agent Simon Stroud and battled the extra-dimensional demon known as Helleyes. He and Stroud then battled a large group of other pseudo-vampires that had been created by Morbius, destroying them all. One of them, however, who had been taken into police custody, turned Martine into a pseudo-vampire before being destroyed by Morbius, but Morbius (who then turned on Martine and made her a pseudo-vampire again due to his bloodlust overcoming him) and Stroud cured Martine by using the antidote, after which Morbius fled. He then encountered desperate landowner Alicia Twain, and tried to help her keep her land; however, she died at the hands of the men trying to steal her land despite Morbius's help, forcing Morbius to kill her murderers. Next, he encountered Morgana St. Clair, an enigmatic woman in England who aided him and seemed to know all about vampires. This led to Morbius battling - and destroying - the Brotherhood of Judas, another Satanic cult of which St. Clair was a member. Morbius then visited his old friend Ronson Slade, a scientist, again hoping to find a cure. Slade, however, had become a werewolf and Morbius was forced to kill him. Alongside the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), the Man-Thing (Ted Sallis) and the Werewolf, he then encountered the Starseed. Morbius then first battled the Thing, then teamed up with him to battle the Living Eraser and escaped to Dimension Z. He later returned to Earth and battled Spider-Man again, this time briefly controlled both physically and mentally by the Empathoid, an extra-dimensional humanoid android which fed on emotions to survive. Spider-Man destroyed the Empathoid (after the android had left Morbius and possessed Spider-Man) by causing it to overdose on emotions during an exposure to the crowd at a baseball game in a stadium where they had taken their battle, after which both of them left due to the approach of the stadium guards. Morbius then fled and Spider-Man left the Empathoid's body with the Fantastic Four for safekeeping.
Morbius once again fought Spider-Man and tried to drink the web-slinger's radioactive blood, but then he was hit by a lightning bolt at the same time, which cured him of his pseudo-vampirism and made him human again (but still retained a thirst for blood). While he was cured, he was charged with the crimes he had committed as a pseudo-vampire, but was allowed access to a fully equipped laboratory while in custody to continue his research, and was represented by Jennifer Walters, whose dual identity as the She-Hulk was not yet publicly known at the time. Morbius selflessly saved Walters' life and stabilized her erratic transformations into the She-Hulk with a serum that he had created to cure the remnants of his own condition, allowing her to change forms at will with some effort. Subsequently, Walters defended Morbius in court on a charge of murder and managed to reduce the conviction to involuntary manslaughter due to his medical condition. He eventually regained his pseudo-vampiric state and first met Doctor Strange. Alongside Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo, he battled Marie Laveau and witnessed the return of true vampires. Morbius later battled Spider-Man in the New York sewers.
The Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch) and Johnny Blaze searched for Morbius to form the Midnight Sons and stop Lilith the Mother of All Demons and the Lilin group from taking over the world. When Morbius is found, the pseudo-vampire believed that they would kill him, but the Ghost Riders successfully captured him. Dr. David Langford (who was supposedly trying to heal Morbius's wounds) was actually trying to kill him, making an unknown mutagenic serum that would prove fatal to Morbius. But unknown to Langford, the Lilin Fang was also trying to kill Morbius by adding his own demonic blood to the serum. When Langford injected the serum into Morbius, it did not kill him and mutated him instead. Martine discovered that Langford was trying to kill him, and was shot. Morbius was enraged to learn of her murder and later avenged her death by killing Langford and taking the beaker which contained the serum. Ketch and Blaze later found out about Morbius's various acts of destruction, causing a confrontation in which Ketch warned Morbius of not tolerating him drinking innocent blood. Morbius made a vow to only drink the blood of the guilty, which the Ghost Rider accepted warning him not to stray from. Morbius soon became part of the Midnight Sons. He now went under the alias Dr. Morgan Michaels while his colleague Jacob Weisenthal provided medical support, and confronted several foes: Doctor Paine, the Basilisk (Wayne Gifford), Vic Slaughter, Nightmare, and Bloodthirst.
Morbius later attacked Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson before being captured by Loxias Crown for Don Fortunato but assisted both Spider-Man and S.H.O.C. against the terrorist organization HYDRA and drained his torturer dry while disappearing in the process. A new faction of vampires tried to destroy Morbius because he had been genetically manipulated to be the perfect weapon. The chest in which he was to be delivered was intercepted by the Kingpin, Blade the Vampire-Slayer and Spider-Man and he attacked all three. Whatever unknown party manipulated him failed; he collapsed after one battle, possibly dying. With his last breath, he warned Spider-Man to beware of Senator Stewart Ward.
It was later revealed that Morbius had signed the Superhuman Registration Act and was cooperating with S.H.I.E.L.D. in an effort to capture Blade. He had also presumably survived his genetic manipulation, as Blade was able to distinguish him as the same Morbius who "took a bite out of [him]" in their previous encounter.
Morbius was next seen as a member of A.R.M.O.R., held captive by the zombie Morbius from the Marvel Zombies universe of Earth-2149. He survived the invasion, killing his zombie counterpart in the process. Shortly afterward, he formed a new version of the Midnight Sons with Jennifer Kale, Daimon Hellstrom, Jack Russell and the Man-Thing to contain a zombie outbreak on an isolated island, briefly running afoul of the Hood in the process.
During The Gauntlet storyline, Morbius was behind the theft of a vial of Spider-Man's blood. Spider-Man, learning that Morbius was planning to use the blood samples to create a cure for Russell, agreed to help Morbius out by giving him more of his blood to help with the cure.
It was revealed to the reader during the Spider-Island storyline that Morbius is known as Number Six, a mysterious employee working at Horizon Labs. Wearing a hazmat suit to conceal his identity, he assisted in preparing the cure to the spider-virus via Anti-Venom. Parker later tried to investigate Number Six's identity, but Morbius had been accidentally provoked—who had been using the cure to try to develop a basis for a cure for his own condition—into a frenzy, prompting Horizon Labs' staff to step up building security (making it harder for Parker to enter and exit the building as Spider-Man in the future) and also forcing Morbius to leave, where it was revealed that he had been working with the Lizard, presumably trying to find a cure for both of their conditions. It was also revealed that Morbius was a college friend of Max Modell. Using DNA samples from Billy Connors' corpse, Morbius was able to create a cure that would restore the Lizard to human form, but he failed to recognize that the Lizard had completely destroyed Dr. Curt Connors' human persona. The Lizard was left alone in Morbius's lab, allowing the release of blood into the lab's air supply to provoke the injured Morbius into attacking Horizon's other scientists. This prompted Morbius to flee the lab, with Spider-Man in pursuit. Morbius is captured by Spider-Man and locked up in a cell in the Raft. Morbius offered to help when Parker (in Doctor Octopus' dying body) needed some supervillains' assistance, but he is rejected. Morbius eventually escaped from the Raft.
Having fled, Morbius acts as a protector of Brownsville after killing Noah St. Germain, which resulted in confrontations with the Rose (Phillip Hayes), Nikoleta Harrow, and the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) and gaining a friendship with Becky Barnes while being ultimately manipulated by his long-lost father Makarioa Morbius.
After some time, he tried to stop some vampires in Barcelona, but got captured by them and locked in a coffin. The vampires wanted to mix their blood with that of Morbius until he got unintentionally saved by Domino, Diamondback and Outlaw. He tells the three about the vampires' plan and they help him kill the King (a true vampire infected with Morbius's blood) then a vampire hunter tried to kill him, but he escapes thanks to Domino.
Morbius was later rescued by the Wasp from Dracula's Disciples, with assistance from Broo and the Man-Wolf. He later informed the Wasp and Okoye about the Vampire Civil War.
During the "Beyond" storyline, Morbius was seen biting someone when he is confronted by Ben Reilly / Spider-Man. Morbius briefly fought Spider-Man before fleeing. When Spider-Man investigated the victims, he was bitten by Morbius, who claimed that his blood was not working and was trying to cure himself. Morbius chased Spider-Man to Beyond Tower, where he was attacked by the security personnel. One of them blasted one of Morbius' arms off. As Spider-Man fainted due to the bite, Morbius was immobilized by Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Upon being taken to Beyond Corporation's secret facility on Staten Island, the genetic template of Morbius the Living Vampire was used with the genetic template of the Lizard's Isotope Genome Accelerator duplicate to create a binary clone called Creature Z which looks like a white version of the Lizard with the fangs and wings of a vampire bat. As Creature Z tried to escape from the facility, Morbius assisted Misty Knight and Colleen Wing into fighting it. He tricked Creature Z into sucking out some of his blood, causing Creature Z's regenerative abilities to get out of control enough for it to explode. After the facility was destroyed by Monica Rambeau and the Machine Man Impostor, the Lizard's Isotope Genome Accelerator duplicate was rescued by Morbius. As Morbius planned to work with him in curing their conditions, he is unaware that the Lizard he rescued is an Isotope Genome accelerator duplicate.
Powers and abilities
Michael Morbius experienced a transformation by electrical shock treatment and chemical ingestion into a pseudo-vampire. As a pseudo-vampire, Morbius does not possess all the powers of a supernatural vampire, nor is he subject to all the traditional limitations and weaknesses thereof. He possesses a variety of superhuman powers, some of which are similar to supernatural vampires within the Marvel Universe, such as superhuman strength and speed, as well as heightened senses including night vision and echolocation. Due to his pseudo-vampiric condition, Morbius is forced to ingest fresh blood on a regular basis to sustain his life and vitality. How much blood he requires and how often he has to feed has not been specified in the comics. However, Morbius does not possess any of the mystical vulnerabilities that supernatural vampires are subject to, such as garlic, holy water, crucifixes, or silver. Morbius has a strong aversion to sunlight, thanks to his photo-sensitive skin which allows some protection from major sunburn, in contrast to "true" vampires that are incinerated by it, with the result that he can move in daylight, but his powers are diminished and he will stick to the shade if circumstances demand him to be active during the day. Morbius also lacks the shapeshifting and weather-control powers of supernatural vampires and the ability to control the minds of certain animals, such as bats, wolves, dogs, rats and mice. Like supernatural vampires, Morbius does possess the ability to hypnotize beings of lesser willpower and bring them under his control, which can only be resisted by those possessing an extremely strong will. While briefly possessed by the demon Bloodthirst, Morbius gained the ability to liquidize his body, moving through small spaces and stretching his limbs as needed; he lost this ability when he and Bloodthirst were split.
Morbius possesses accelerated healing and can recover from mild to moderate injuries at a rate beyond that of ordinary humans. While not nearly as efficient as the healing possessed by Wolverine, Morbius has proven to be able to heal from multiple gunshot wounds in less than one hour. More severe injuries, such as broken bones or severe burns, might take several days to heal, but once it was shown to take minutes, even though it left him as a near-mindless creature who had to feed on blood to replenish the energy that was used to do so. He is unable to regenerate missing limbs or organs.
Most of Morbius's victims die or are severely injured by his bite. Unlike supernatural vampires, Morbius's victims do not necessarily become pseudo-vampires themselves. There have only been several instances where Morbius's bite has turned other individuals into pseudo-vampires, including Jefferson Bolt (a young man first seen in Marvel Team-Up #3), Emilio (a young man first shown in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #7), Vic Slaughter (a bounty hunter who first appeared in Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #7), Nate Grey (in X-Man #24), Roxy (a junkie dying of a drug overdose in Legion of Monsters: Morbius the Living Vampire #1) and Blade the Vampire-Slayer (in Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2) #8). The causes behind these transformations have never been clearly explained, even though, in Blade's case, Morbius's bite combined with his unique physiology to turn him into a half-vampire with all the strengths and powers of a supernatural vampire and none of the weaknesses.
The radioactive blood of Spider-Man once caused Morbius's pseudo-vampirism to go into remission. As a result, after drinking Spider-Man's blood, Morbius became human again and did not need to feed on blood again for some time. Morbius once developed a serum based on Spider-Man's blood, which would stave off his pseudo-vampirism for short periods of time.
Morbius possesses the ability of transvection, which enables him to navigate wind currents and glide for great distances. It was alluded to that this ability may be related to hyper-evolved portions of his brain, caused by a combination of his blood disease and his pseudo-vampiric condition. He also used a battlesuit to further enforce his body provided by Horizon Labs.
Even before he contracted the disease of pseudo-vampirism, Michael Morbius already possessed a gifted intellect. He is an expert biologist, biochemist and neuroradiologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is also a Nobel laureate. He also attended medical school, where he specialized in hematology.
Enemies and allies
Morbius was first introduced as a villain in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #101–102. He would return to battle Spider-Man several times over the years in Marvel Team-Up #3–4; Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1; Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #6–8 and 38; Spider-Man #13–14; Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #3–4 and 21–23; and Peter Parker: Spider-Man #77–80 and (vol. 2) #8. Spider-Man and Morbius formed an uneasy alliance during the Maximum Carnage crossover event.
Blade the Vampire-Slayer and Morbius have had an ongoing feud with each other, which began in Adventure into Fear #24. The two also clashed in Marvel Preview #8, Blade the Vampire Hunter #8, Blade #2–3, and Blade (vol. 4) #5. Blade, while possessed by a demonic presence, killed Morbius in Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #12, but Morbius was resurrected in Spirits of Vengeance #13.
Simon Stroud, a rogue CIA agent who was first introduced hunting the Man-Wolf in Creatures on the Loose #30–37 and Marvel Premiere #45–46, has been hunting Morbius since Adventure into Fear #27. Stroud and Morbius last clashed in Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #23.
Dr. Loxias Crown was a HYDRA scientist who kidnapped Morbius to study his pseudo-vampiric condition. During his escape, he bit the scientist, turning him into a pseudo-vampire like himself who called himself Hunger.
During the run of Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2), Morbius crossed paths with a handful of brand-new foes. They included Vic Slaughter (introduced in issue #7), the Basilisk (introduced in issue #5), Doctor Paine (introduced in issue #4) and Bloodthirst (introduced in issue #20). During this same period, Morbius also battled a new villain called Bloodbath in Midnight Sons Unlimited #2.
Morbius has had a friendship with Jack Russell (a.k.a. the Werewolf) since West Coast Avengers #5, where Morbius helped Russell deal with his werewolf curse. The Werewolf was a frequent guest star in the pages of Morbius the Living Vampire. Morbius and the Werewolf first met as enemies in Giant-Size Werewolf #4 and, together with the Man-Thing and the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), they formed the short-lived Legion of Monsters and met the Starseed in Marvel Premiere #28.
Morbius and Doctor Strange have teamed up on several occasions. Morbius appeared sporadically throughout the run of Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme, beginning with issue #10. Doctor Strange recruited Morbius as one of "the Nine", a.k.a. the Midnight Sons, a team with only one purpose: Earth's last defense against the occult.
House of M
Morbius appears in Dead of Night featuring Werewolf by Night #4 as one of the anomalous beings contained and experimented on by the Babylon Group. When Jack Russell attempts to escape from the Babylon Group with his infant daughter, the facility tries to stop him by unleashing Morbius and the Frankenstein Monster. In the ensuing brawl, Morbius's heart is punched out by the Monster.
Marvel Zombies 4
A zombified version of Morbius appears in the 2008–2009 Marvel Zombies 4 miniseries. The real Morbius of Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel Universe) is kidnapped and beaten by his zombie counterpart, who found a way from the Marvel Zombies universe into the Marvel Universe. The zombie Morbius holds the real one captive while using a latex mask to look normal. It is revealed that he plans to infect every member of the Fifty State Initiative with the zombie virus. His captivity is later inadvertently uncovered by an A.R.M.O.R. team member, whom Morbius tries to warn of an impending attack. The warning comes too late, as Morbius's zombie counterpart attacks the team member and infects her, thus creating a violent chain of events after she attacks another team member. Towards the end of the crisis, the real Morbius appears out of nowhere and grabs a tree, which he uses as a stake and stabs his zombified version from behind and straight into the heart, killing him instantly.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Morbius is more akin to a traditional vampire, the son of Dracul and brother of Vlad III Dracula himself. He has all of the powers and abilities associated with the usual interpretation of Dracula. This version of Morbius, however, seems to be heroically struggling against his baser instincts and is, in fact, a vampire hunter. He meets Spider-Man in a typical misunderstanding, centering on a cabal of vampires attacking Ben Urich. He tries to stop Urich from becoming a vampire, in which he succeeds, despite the conflict. When Spider-Man is bitten by a vampire, Morbius sniffs Spider-Man and determines that the young superhero is immune to vampirism.
During the "Spider-Geddon" storyline, there are different versions of Morbius:
- In the universe of Peni Parker, M.O.R.B.I.U.S. is a techno-organic dragon-like kaiju with tentacles which feeds on technology. During the battle between SP//dr and VEN#m, it attacks the latter and overloads it; sending the black mecha into a rage.
- In the Web-Slinger's universe (which takes place in the Old West), Doc Morbius appears similar to his Earth-616 counterpart, but he works to cure himself by experimenting on people; including children. Before he could do so, the Web-Slinger burst into the lab and battled Morbius. During the fight, several chemicals caught fire and Morbius realized what he was doing. He sacrifices himself to save the Web-Slinger and the children from the exploding chemicals.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Morbius the Living Vampire: The Man Called Morbius||Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #1-9, Amazing Spider-Man #699.1||November 5, 2013||978-0785183914|
|Morbius: Old Wounds||Morbius #1-5||March 9, 2020||978-1302920999|
|Morbius: Preludes and Nightmares||Amazing Spider-Man #101-102, Marvel Team-Up #3-4, Fear #20, Amazing Spider-Man #699.1||November 24, 2020||978-1302925925|
|Volume||Subtitle||Years covered||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|1||The Living Vampire||1971–1975||Amazing Spider-Man #101–102; Marvel Team-Up #3–4; Fear #20-26; Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1; material from Vampire Tales #1-8; Giant-Size Werewolf #4||February 23, 2021||978-1302928353|
|2||The End of a Living Vampire||1975–1981||Fear #27-31; Marvel Premiere #28; Marvel Two-in-One #15; Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #6-8, #38; Savage She-Hulk #9-12; material from Vampire Tales #9-11, Super Annual #1 and Marvel Preview #8||May 25, 2021||978-1302928346|
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Morbius the Living Vampire Omnibus||Amazing Spider-Man #101-102; Marvel Team-Up #3-4; Fear #20-31; Giant-Size Werewolf #4; Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1; Marvel Premiere #28; Marvel Two-In-One #15; Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #6-8, 38; Savage She-Hulk #9-12; material from Vampire Tales #1-5, 7-8, 10-11 and Marvel Preview #8, plus extras||July 7, 2020||978-1302922405|
In other media
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Nick Jameson. This version drains blood plasma through his hands, leaving his victims with a series of welts covering their bodies. He first appeared as Michael Morbius, a foreign Empire State University biologist, in the episodes "The Insidious Six" and "Battle of the Insidious Six" before transforming into a vampiric creature in a self-titled episode. In the following episodes "Enter the Punisher", "Duel of the Hunters", "Blade the Vampire Hunter", and "The Immortal Vampire", he attacks people for their plasma and battles Spider-Man and Blade while attempting to create more vampires like him. In "The Vampire Queen", Morbius becomes a hero after joining forces with Spider-Man, Blade, and the Black Cat to defeat Miriam the Vampire Queen, and leaves with Blade and the Black Cat to destroy other vampires around the world. Morbius makes a final cameo appearance in "Secret Wars" Pt. 2, alongside his allies.
- Dr. Michael Morbius appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six animated series, voiced by Benjamin Diskin. This version is a HYDRA scientist who specializes in symbiotes. In the episode "Anti-Venom", he and Doctor Octopus create the Anti-Venom symbiote. In the three-part episode "The Symbiote Saga", Morbius creates the Carnage symbiote before Doctor Octopus mutates him into the Living Vampire which grants him the power to absorb life forces. Morbius later fights Spider-Man, Agent Venom and the Patrioteer while trying to control the Carnage Queen, who defeats him.
- Morbius the Living Vampire made a cameo appearance in a deleted scene from the 1998 live-action film Blade, portrayed by director Stephen Norrington. The scene was included as a bonus feature on the DVD release. Marvel Entertainment denied Blade II director Guillermo del Toro the rights to use the character.
- In 2000, Marvel Entertainment entered a joint venture agreement with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action films, television series, direct-to-video films and internet projects. These franchises included an adaptation of Morbius.
- In November 2017, Sony Pictures announced plans to make a live-action film adaptation as part of Sony's Spider-Man Universe, written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Jared Leto stars as Dr. Michael Morbius and Daniel Espinosa is the film's director. Production began in November 2018. Filming began in February 2019. Additionally, Charlie Shotwell portrays young Michael. Morbius was originally scheduled to be released on January 28, 2022, before it was pushed back to April 1, 2022.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appeared as a non-playable character in Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as a boss in the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of the Spider-Man 3 film tie-in game, voiced by Sean Donnellan. This version is married to Shriek, who was unwittingly responsible for the lab accident that transformed him into a pseudo-vampire. One of the game's side stories revolves around Spider-Man and Dr. Curt Connors trying to cure Morbius' pseudo-vampirism.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by Tom Kenny.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as an unlockable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as a playable character in Spider-Man Unlimited.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. A bonus mission sees Morbius, N'Kantu, the Living Mummy and the Man-Thing make a parade float for the HYDRA Empire's Red Skull Honorary Parade in HYDRA Square so that they can get people to not fear them.
- Morbius's alias and past background as Morgan Michaels is used for an African-American character depicted in Marvel's Spider-Man, voiced by Phil Morris. Dr. Michaels is the former chief scientist of the Devil's Breath project headed by Norman Osborn at Oscorp. After being attacked by Mister Negative and the Sinister Six steal the Devil's Breath bio-weapon to infect New York, the repentant Michaels works to atone for his actions by helping Spider-Man create a cure. Once he receives an anti-serum, he is able to mass-produce a vaccine for the Devil's Breath and cure New York.
- Morbius the Living Vampire appears as a downloadable playable character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, voiced by Jake Green.
In The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, Michael Morbius returns to New York, seemingly cured of his vampirism, and with a fiancée, Martine Bancroft. However, at night, he begins exhibiting his old symptoms and comes into conflict with Spider-Man. It is later revealed that Bancroft is behind his troubles and gained her own vampiric abilities after she was attacked and killed by Dracula.
- Marvel Zombies 4 #1
- Legion of Monsters (vol. 2) #3
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- "Top 25 Spider-Man Villains". IGN. 16 April 2014.
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- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura (2012). "1970s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 59. ISBN 978-0756692360.
In the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man to be written by someone other than Stan Lee...Thomas also managed to introduce a major new player to Spidey's life - the scientifically created vampire known as Morbius.
- Kane in Ringgenberg, Steve (n.d.). "Gil Kane". Comic Art & Graffix Gallery. Archived from the original on December 11, 1997. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- Morbius did not appear in issues #6 and 9; reprinted Morbius stories from the series appeared in Vampire Tales Super Annual #1 (summer 1975), the only issue of that title.
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- Meth, Clifford (June 1993). "Going for the Throat". Wizard. No. #22. pp. 90–93.
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- Ching, Albert (25 August 2012). "'Morbius the Living Vampire' Rises in New Ongoing Series". Marvel.com. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
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- Adventure into Fear #20–26. Marvel Comics.
- Giant-Size Werewolf #4. Marvel Comics.
- Adventure into Fear #27–29. Marvel Comics.
- Vampire Tales #10. Marvel Comics.
- Vampire Tales #11. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Preview #8. Marvel Comics.
- Marvel Premiere #28
- Marvel Two-in-One #15. Marvel Comics.
- Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #6–8. Marvel Comics.
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- Doctor Strange (vol. 3) #10. Marvel Comics.
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- Web of Spider-Man #102–103; The Amazing Spider-Man #379–380; Spider-Man #36; Spectacular Spider-Man #202; Spider-Man Unlimited #2
- Spider-Man #77-80
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- Blade #5. Marvel Comics.
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- Marvel Zombies 4 #1. Marvel Comics.
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- The Punisher (vol. 7) #11. Marvel Comics.
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- The Amazing Spider-Man #699. Marvel Comics.
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- Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 5) #91-92.BEY. Marvel Comics.
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- Spider-Man #76–79
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- Bloodbath at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
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- Brehmer, Nat (2020-01-16). "Breaking Down the Deleted 'Blade' Ending Featuring Morbius and Why We Never Got That Sequel". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
- Fleming, Michael (May 16, 2000). "Artisan deal a real Marvel". Variety. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- Trumbore, Dave (November 13, 2017). "'Morbius': Marvel's Living Vampire Movie in the Works as a 'Spider-Man' Spin-off". Collider. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Kit, Borys (27 June 2018). "Jared Leto to star in Sony Spider-Man title 'Morbius', Daniel Espinosa to Direct". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- Hood, Cooper (July 20, 2018). "Sony's Morbius Movie: Villain Details & Filming Start Revealed". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- Marc, Christopher (October 9, 2018). "Producers Hint Jared Leto's Morbius Could Begin Filming Around February". OmegaUnderground. Geeks WorldWide. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
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- Garvey, Marianne (4 January 2022). "Marvel's 'Morbius' release date pushed by Sony again". CNN. Retrieved 2022-01-21.
- "Characters". IGN Database. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Insomniac Games. Spider-Man (2018 video game). Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Voice Cast Credits
- Green, Jake [@iamjakegreen] (September 30, 2019). "I'm the voice of Morbius in MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order! Voicing a playable character..." (Tweet). Retrieved October 1, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Morbius at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Morbius at the Big Comic Book DataBase
- Morbius, the Living Vampire at the Grand Comics Database
- Morbius Revisited at the Grand Comics Database
- Morbius, the Living Vampire at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Brief bio at Insania 1998
- Morbius, the Living Vampire on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki