Marvel’s upcoming Morbius: Bond of Blood series promises a return to his horror roots while re-introducing the character ahead of his 2022 Sony film.
Warning: contains mild spoilers for Morbius: Bond of Blood #1!
In a universe full of all kinds of monsters, Michael Morbius has nevertheless always stood out. A pseudo-vampire who got his powers thanks to science instead of the supernatural, the villain turned anti-hero’s popularity has earned him a cult comics following and an upcoming Sony film where Morbius will be portrayed by actor Jared Leto. Despite Morbius‘ opening being delayed to 2o22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marvel has announced a new Morbius series to help fans get acquainted with the self-proclaimed Living Vampire before his big screen debut.
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Created by Rob Thomas and Gil Kane in Amazing Spider-Man #101, Michael Morbius was an acclaimed biochemist whose failed experiment to cure his rare blood disease cursed him with a life worse than death. Morbius’ experiment with vampire bat DNA and electroshock therapy gave him the superhuman powers and intense bloodlust seen in traditional vampires. After he had his first taste of blood, the horrified Morbius ended up in New York where he crossed paths with Spider-Man, beginning a longstanding feud with the iconic wall-crawler, whose irradiated blood Michael foolishly believed would help cure him. Eventually, Morbius’ status changed from villain to anti-hero, and he began using his powers to fight the guilty as he worked alongside other Marvel characters, both superhuman and supernatural. Although he always finds his way back to New York and Spider-Man, Michael Morbius remained a tragic, brooding enigma, one minute a genius scientist and intellect, the next a vicious, bloodthirsty monster.
Morbius: Bond of Blood by writer Ralph Macchio with art by Tom Reilly seeks to return Morbius to his horror roots while also reintroducing his origin story simply by taking Morbius back to where it all started. Emil Nikos was Morbius’ research partner until Michael’s bloodlust made Emil his first victim of his new vampirism. Now, in a Marvel Comics preview, Morbius learns that Emil had a son who is ironically dying from a new rare blood disease, and only Michael Morbius can save him. Enjoy the cover and preview pages below:
Michael Morbius was created in the early ’70s, and Marvel’s new comic honors those roots, bringing back Morbius’ classic red-and-black costume and using the technique of internal dialogue and flashbacks to fill in any new readers. Macchio and Reilly introduce Morbius as a budding hero with a dark past, employing B-movie style dramatic lines like, “It is night, and the hunger is upon him.” The artwork works to invoke the simple yet detailed style of Marvel’s yesteryear with the horror movie environment of shadows, smoky rooftops, and tragic monsters horrified about the people they used to be compared to the creatures they are now. It’s a moody, creepy start to Morbius’ new adventure, removing him from a recent history of more comedic stories that saw him more as the Legion of Monster’s resident level-headed leader.
As Marvel’s world has grown stranger and even Blade the Vampire Hunter’s stories have escalated to him dealing with entire vampire nations, it’s been easy for Morbius to fall by the wayside, and for him to lose what made him a unique anti-hero in the comics. Thankfully, Morbius: Bond of Blood seems set to correct that, returning Marvel’s vampiric protagonist to his genuinely creepy – though still fun – roots. While questions of how Morbius will be translated or reimagined for the big screen remain unanswered for now, Morbius the Living Vampire flies again in this awesome preview, given an opportunity to redeem himself for his first murder that – true to his cursed existence – is sure to go awry.
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