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Comic Book / Morbius

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"I am not a vampire. I am not a super villain. I am not a super hero."

Morbius the Living Vampire is a series of comics by Marvel Comics starring the character of the same name.

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 often with Blade. He was also seen as a character in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

Dr. Michael Morbius, also known as "The Living Vampire", was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist suffering from a fatal blood disease. In the hopes of curing this illness, he treated himself with fluids distilled from vampire bats and, as a last resort, tried shock-treatment as a way to electrically create blood cells. This "cured" him by transforming him into a vampiric-human mutate who lusts for 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 that give him the ability of flight. Later he gains more supernatural abilities, such as hypnosis.

Because of his need to drink blood from living victims (stored blood contains too many 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 short periods of time, but either soon reverts back or retains 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, and he has consistently tried his best to only target violent or incorrigible criminals. He also regularly uses his skill and knowledge as a scientist to give back to the community to the best of his ability.

He had a new series in January 2013 as part of Marvel NOW! that lasted nine issues. A new series, written by Vita Ayala and penciled by Marcelo Ferreira, debuted in 2019.

In 2018, it was announced that Sony was developing a film centering on the character for their shared film universe, with Jared Leto in the title role. It was released April 1, 2022.

Morbius: The Living Vampire has appeared in:


  • Adventure into Fear #20-31 (1974-1975)
  • Vampire Tales #1-11 (1973-1975)
  • Morbius: The Living Vampire #1-32 (1992-1995)
  • Legion of Monsters: Morbius #1 (2007)
  • Morbius: The Living Vampire #1-9 (2013)
  • Morbius: The Living Vampire #1-5 (2019-2020)
  • Morbius: Bond of Blood #1 (2021)

Live-Action Films

Video Games

Western Animation

Morbius: The Living Vampire provides examples of:

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    Vol 1 
  • Creative Differences: When Morbius the Living Vampire's first solo series started in the early 1990s, it was helmed by writer Len Kaminski and penciler Ron Wagner. Wagner, however, felt that Kaminski's stories were too character-driven, and according to Kaminski complained about this to Marvel's editorial staff as well as leaving "snide margin notes in which he made his personal opinion of my plots clear". Moreover, Wagner ignored Kaminski's attempts to get in touch with him so that they could discuss how the comic should be done. After nine issues of this, Kaminski had had enough and quit.
  • Death of Personality: This is the path Morbius is on after a cure goes wrong and he becomes more and more bat-like, fearing soon there will be nothing left of him except a raging beast with no trace of his human personality.
  • Don't Look At Me: In Morbius #1, Michael says this while trying to hide his face when he is confronted by his ex-fiancĂ©e Martine.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In the '90s Anti-Hero version, Morbius the Living Vampire uses this as a solution to slake his bloodthirst, figuring that if he needs to kill, he'll kill serious criminals.
  • Painful Transformation: In his first solo series, Morbius is able to turn back into a human for short amounts of time thanks to a serum derived from Spider-Man's blood. The change from vampire to human and back is excruciatingly painful and involves lots of screaming.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: In Morbius's '90s solo series, Michael uses Spider-Man's blood to develop a serum that changes him back into a human. While out on the street, he is attacked and beaten by a gang. Crawling out of the gutter where they left him lying, he makes his way across the sidewalk to look into a shop window and sees he has reverted to his vampire self. He runs off after punching a hole in the shop window.
  • Spiked Blood: In his first solo series, Morbius feeds off a man who just used drugs and ends up tripping balls. Time slows, he can't think straight, then he gets shot in the leg and is distracted by how beautiful the blood seeping from the wound looks.

    Vol 2 
  • Badass Longcoat: In his second solo series, Morbius the Living Vampire "borrows" one from a man on the subway during his fight with Noah, and is seen wearing it later on.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Inverted in Morbius v2 #2. Morbius coughs up blood just as the wound from a shotgun blast to the chest heals and gets back up.
  • Delinquent Hair: Noah St. Germain, the guy at the top of the criminal world in Brownsville as seen in Morbius vol. 2, has a blue mohawk. This is an invoked trope; he used to look average but his criminal mastermind employers made him change his appearance, presumably to make him appear more intimidating.
  • I Have Your Wife: In Morbius' Marvel NOW! series, the Rose tells Morbius he has his mother, who is alive "but I wouldn't say well" and is bound to get a lot worse. The Rose gives Morbius his mother's wedding ring as a reminder that he works for him now. Subverted when Morbius reveals his mother died years ago; he was even at her side when she passed away. The Rose's employer, who provided the ring, knows Morbius would know the threat was empty — so it was the Rose who was being conned.
  • Insistent Appellation: Throughout Morbius' second solo series, Becky keeps calling Morbius "Mike" despite him telling her several times that he prefers his full first name, Michael.
  • Villainous Gentrification: Most of Morbius's second solo series deals with the gentrification of Brownsville, New York.

    Vol 3 
  • Bat Out of Hell: In his third solo series, Morbius starts turning more and more into a bat after an attempt to cure himself of his affliction goes wrong. He's also seen in a monstrous bat form in various other universes: in an Exiles story arc (transformed when a sorcerer used magic to bring out the worst in him); in Spider-Man Heroes and Villains Collection published by Eaglemoss; in Spider-Man: The Animated Series; and in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
  • Bat People: Morbius is an Anti-Hero who became a genetically modified vampire, with bat genes and an Orlok-like appearance. However, in his third solo series and some alternate universes — such as in an Exiles story arc and in animated series — he was transformed into a half-man, half-bat monster, looking more like an anthropomorphic bat with wings.
  • Beast Man: In Morbius (2019) the Melter turns his henchmen into various beast people (bird, rat, cockroach, rabbit, grasshopper, etc.) against their will to pressure them into doing his bidding.
  • Growing Wings: Morbius: In his third solo series, Morbius grows bat wings after an attempt to cure himself of his scientific vampirism goes wrong and the bat DNA starts taking over the human DNA. They grow larger as he becomes less human.
  • Kid Sidekick: Also played with in Morbius' Marvel NOW! series with the teenager Becky, who keeps saying she's his sidekick but Morbius insists she's not.
  • Magic Pants: Double subverted in Morbius' third solo series. A combination of turning into a bat monster and being physically attacked causes most of his one-piece suit to be destroyed, except for the lower half, essentially turning the suit into Painted-On Pants. Later it seems he has lost that part too and is walking around naked... but it turns out to be a coloring error, and some panels later his pants have reappeared.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: In his third solo series, he messes up a cure and becomes more and more bat-like. He begs Spider-Man for help because he fears soon there will be nothing left of him except a raging beast.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: In his third solo series, Morbius turns into a monstrous bat form after a cure goes wrong. Eventually he manages to turn himself back into a "normal" living vampire, but retains the bat wings he grew.
  • Painful Transformation: In his third solo series, an attempt to cure himself of his vampirism goes wrong and he starts turning into a monstrous bat. The change can be slowed or partially reversed by ingesting blood, leading to a lot of painful changing back and forth.
  • Villainous Gentrification: In his third solo series, it's revealed he eventually took to causing the developers over a billion dollars in damages, halting the construction and allowing the original residents to move back.

Alternative Title(s): Morbius The Living Vampire