Who Is Morbius| The Living Vampire?

Movie still of vampire Morbius in his fully transformed body
Image: Sony Pictures

When I saw my first glimpse of the Morbius trailer, I was a little surprised. I grew up watching the Spider-Man (1994-1998) cartoon and Michael Morbius never struck me as a major character. Needles to say, I never expected him to have his own movie over twenty years later!

Michael Morbius was introduced in the Neogenic Nightmare arc in season two of the Spider-Man series. He came from a village overseas ravaged by disease and was looking to gain education and wealth to help his people. Morbius was a fellow student and academic rival to Peter Parker and competed against him in a contest to come up with the most original neogenic experiment to prove how vital neogenics is. The prize for the contest was earning funding through a grant for their university and a coveted research assistant position in Dr. Connors’ lab.

Peter Parker was having issues with his DNA starting to mutate and while masked as Spider-Man sought the help of Dr. Connors and Dr. Mariah Crawford. Peter is given a potential serum by Dr. Crawford which he combines with his blood in a test tube to see if it could help. He places the tube in his locker at the university for safe-keeping but is seen by Morbius.

Thinking that it is is Peter’s neogenic experiment, Morbius steals Peter’s blood sample from his locker. He studies it and realizes that it could serve as the key for great power and fears that Peter has won the contest. Not wanting to lose, Morbius takes the sample to an offsite lab to study in order to understand it and figure out how to create a better experiment.

Cartoon version of Morbius the vampire
Image from marvelanimated.fandom.com

When he tries to figure out the components of Peter’s blood sample using a neogenic ray, one of the vampire bats he has been using as vessels for his own experiments gets into the beam. The bat subsequently bites Morbius causing him to transform physically with vampiric looks and gain powers including flight, strength, and an overwhelming desire for plasma.

The more Morbius lives as a vampire, the more he feeds on others and his mind begins to alter. He eventually convinces himself that he must turn others into vampires and plans to start with his love Felicia Hardy. Together as vampires he believes their love can last forever. He kidnaps Felicia to change her with a neogenic laser but she pleads with him not to do it. Morbius agrees but before he could shut off the laser, Spider-Man enters the scene along with Blade and the beam gets misdirected to Felicia’s direction. Morbius jumps in front of the ray to save her but ends up being transformed even further into a man-bat. He flies off, apparently consigned to his new fate as a full fledged bat creature.

Cartoon bat version of Morbius the vampire
Image from spiderman-animated.fandom.com

The foundation hasn’t been laid for the story to play out like the animated series. From the trailer it seems they are sticking to Michael Morbius’s story from the comic books. They maintain Morbius’s position as a scientist as well as doctor with an obsession centered on finding a cure to his own blood based disease. Seemingly seeking an illegal solution centered on bats, he gains super strength, agility, and echolocation abilities.

I suspect that Morbius will become a force in the new Spiderman series of movies because we catch a glimpse of the vulture character in the trailer. I’m excited to see such a complex foe explored although it is unclear if he will be a true villain and threat to Spider-Man in the future.

Check out the Morbius trailer below

For my fellow artists out there, Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Inc. (CTMG) is hosting an art contest to create a digitally illustrated poster to be a part of their marketing campaign. Five works will be chosen. Creators will receive $2,000 in compensation and the chance for exposure on social media and promotion for the film. Check out the full details on the link here.

Are you excited to see this movie? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

©JustTalkingShep 2021

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