Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Morbius has fought Spider-Man
ever since his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man
#101 (October 1971), occasionally working together or fighting against several other Marvel
characters, perhaps most commonly with Blade
. He was also seen as a character in Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Michael Morbius, also known as "The Living Vampire", was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist suffering from a fatal blood disease. In hopes of curing this illness he treated himself with fluids distilled from vampire bats and, as a last chance, tried shock-treatment as a way to electrically create blood cells. This "cured" him by transforming him into a vampiric being that lusts after blood as a way to counter the disease. He also gained several other vampiric attributes, such as white skin, fangs, an allergy to sunlight
(since he isn't undead, sunlight won't kill him outright, but his lack of melanin leads to quick burns), Super Strength
, a Healing Factor
, and hollow bones which give him the capability of flight. Later he gains more supernatural abilities like hypnosis.
Because of his need to drink blood from living victims (stored blood contains too much anticoagulants for his body to handle, or the need to kill stays even after the physical need is satisfied) Morbius wallows in guilt and tries to find both an alternative substance to blood and a way to cure himself — without much success. At best he has been able to change back into a human for some periods of time, but either has soon reverted back or retained the need to drink blood.
Despite all this, he's generally willing to help or at least unwilling to harm people he sees as innocent or has a closer relationship with.
As of January 2013 he stars in an ongoing series that is part of Marvel NOW
If you were looking for the unconnected Doctor Who
story "The Brain Of Morbius", go here
Tropes seen in this series include:
- Aborted Arc:
- The Strange Tales story where Morbius goes to New Orleans to help Martine's niece. It is left on a cliffhanger too.
- His appearance in Amazing Spider-Man pretty much makes his Legion of Monsters appearance accepting his vampirism and running Monster City this.
- Alliterative Name
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: In his original 70's series, later got turned more into a Nineties Anti-Hero.
- Always Save the Girl: Some of this in the earlier comics, both Martine and Amanda. He's also responsible for She-Hulk's current condition, it being the side effect of a potential cure he was going to use on himself.
- Bad Dreams
- Blessed with Suck
- Death by Origin Story: Nikos
- Dr. Genericius
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Enfant Terrible: Tara
- Evil Albino: Vic Slaughter
- Evil Counterpart: Vic Slaughter
- Evil Versus Evil: When he first showed up, he fought the Lizard as well as Spider-Man.
- Game Face: In his first appearance when attacking.
- Genius Cripple: Before being 'cured' and turned into a vampire at least. He won a Nobel prize but didn't attend the ceremony, because even lifting a tea cup caused the bones in his fingers to break.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Woman: Applied to Amanda in Vampire Tales #7 though she suspects it was more because she insulted Morbius by calling him a vampire.
- Gone Horribly Wrong
- Horror Hunger
- I Am a Monster
- Mugging the Monster:
- Subverted in the Nineties Anti-Hero comic as this happens soon after Morbius has found a way to make himself human again, and thus is unable to defend himself against several robbers (but gets revenge later).
- Played straight in other comics where people have tried to steal from a "corpse" or robbers have mistaken him as a harmless hobo.
- Members of the Friends of Humanity attack him because they think him to be a mutant. He would likely have killed them if Spider-Man hadn't stopped him. (Then again, this is far from the first time the Friends of Humanity have made this mistake.)
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Blood-Tide, Death-Flame, Vic Slaughter...
- Not Quite Flight: His hollow bones give him rather incredible gliding powers.
- Our Vampires Are Different:
- Besides himself being different (notice the "living vampire" moniker), he also inadvertently created another different vampire called Blade.
- The 90s cartoon depiction makes him even weirder by giving him myriad small, leech-like mouths in each hand, causing him to feed by grabbing hold of victims and sucking out the blood through them, instead of biting necks. It was supposed to make him more "kid friendly". Most would say it had quite the opposite effect. He spent a brief period of time as a hulking anthropomorphic bat version of himself as well.
- Professor Guinea Pig: To his defence he was running out of time and had tested at least some parts.
- Religion of Evil: Has battled against these more than once, which is ironic, seeing how he likes to remind people that he's a rational scientist.
- Resist The Beast
- The Hunter
- Third-Person Person: Morbius himself at times, though it's not very consistent from one appearance to the next.
- Transhuman Treachery
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Morbius didn't think highly of his appearance even as a human, and turning into a vampire didn't help at all. In contrast, quite a few of the higher members of the Hell-Fire cult are handsome and beautiful.
- Undeath Always Ends
- Vampire Bites Suck
- Vampire Vords: His accent in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jack Russell aka Werewolf By Night.
- What Have I Become?
- Wig, Dress, Accent: In Strange Tales: Blade, Morbius disguises himself as human to meet with Martine's relatives, which stretches quite a bit to Paper-Thin Disguise. Though he does wear reasonably normal clothes as opposed to his leather wear, he does nothing to his white skin, fangs, pointy ears or claws, making everyone creeped out by him. While he's not recognized as Michael Morbius, one of the family soon starts to suspect him to be a vampire and goes straight to Blade for help. Truly a Nobel-price winning scientist at work.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The only type of prey Morbius is rarely seen to attack.