Morbius, the Living Vampire

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Morbius the Living Vampire
Morbius The Living Vampire Vol 2 1.png
Promotional art for Morbius: The Living Vampire #1 (March 2013), by Gabriele Dell'Otto
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October 1971)
Created byRoy Thomas
Gil Kane
In-story information
Alter egoMichael Morbius
SpeciesLiving Vampire
Team affiliationsMidnight Sons
Legion of Monsters
Agents of Wakanda
Notable aliasesDr. Morgan Michaels, Nikos Michaels
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Trained biologist and biochemist
  • Superhuman strength, speed, senses, and durability
  • Flight
  • Hypnotism
  • Accelerated healing

Morbius the Living Vampire, a.k.a. Dr. Michael Morbius, Ph.D.,[1] M.D.,[2] 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 first appeared as an enemy of the superhero Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (Oct. 1971).[3]

Despite his initial status as one of Spider-Man's horror-based rogues, Morbius went on to become a brooding, gritty and tragically flawed antihero in his own series and other titles. His true identity is that of a former award-winning biochemist named 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.

The character has appeared in several media adaptations outside of comics, including animated shows and video games. Jared Leto will portray Morbius in a live-action film adaptation set to be part of the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. IGN ranked the character as Spider-Man's 19th-greatest villain.[4]

Publication history[edit]

Morbius debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (cover-dated Oct. 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.[5] 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,[6] 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.[6] Thomas said that the name "Morbius" was not deliberately taken from the antagonist Doctor Morbius in the movie Forbidden Planet.[6]

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.[7] Kane based the character's look on that of actor Jack Palance.[8]

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–Sept. 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 (Aug. 1973 – June 1975).[9] All but the first and last of these were written by Don McGregor, with penciling by Rich Buckler and by Tom Sutton, primarily.

The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (Oct. 1971), the first appearance of Morbius, cover art by Gil Kane and John Romita Sr.
Adventure into Fear #20 (Feb. 1974), Morbius's first starring feature in comics, cover art by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia

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 (Feb. 1974) and continuing through issue #31 (Dec. 1975), the last issue of the series.[10] 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, launched as part of the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover story arc in Marvel's supernatural/horror comics. It ran for 32 issues (Sept. 1992–April 1995). 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.[11] Series colorist Gregory Wright stepped in as writer with issue #9 and delivered the bloodshed-heavy stories that Wagner wanted.[11] Despite this, Wagner lasted just six issues longer than Kaminski on the series; Wright stayed with Morbius through issue #23.

Alongside the core series Morbius the Living Vampire, 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 Dec. 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 (Sept. 2007)

On October 17, 2012, Marvel announced that Morbius would appear in a new comic by writer Joe Keatinge and artist Richard Elson, beginning January 2013.[12]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Born and raised in Greece by his single mother, Michael Morbius experienced an isolated childhood due to his rare blood condition, which contributed to his ugly and unpleasant-looking appearance. But despite his looks, he was an intellectually gifted young man who spent his time reading books and, in time, became a highly respected and Nobel Prize-winning biologist who specialized in the field of human and animal biology. While in New York, after escaping from his home country due to his pseudo-vampiric condition, he attempted to find a cure and to protect his fiancé Martine Bancroft, but he was attacked by the Lizard and defeated when Spider-Man and the Lizard teamed up against him to recover a sample of Morbius's blood in order to cure their own mutated physical conditions before he escaped. The truth behind his horrific condition is that, in order to cure himself of an unknown blood disease that was killing him, Morbius, using his past experience as an expert biochemist, had attempted to cure himself of the disease with an experimental treatment involving vampire bat DNA and electroshock therapy. However, he instead became afflicted with a far worse disease called "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.[13] 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 to pseudo-vampirism 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.[14] He later sought a cure for his condition, but battled Spider-Man, the Human Torch, and the original X-Men.[15]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.[16]

Morbius later rescued Amanda Saint from a Satanic cult known as Demon-Fire and aided her in her quest to find her missing parents.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] He then first battled the Werewolf (Jack Russell)[20] He then first encountered rogue CIA agent Simon Stroud and battled the extra-dimensional demon known as Helleyes.[21] 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.[14] He then encountered Alicia Twain, a desperate landowner, 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.[22] Next, he encountered an enigmatic woman named Morgana St. Clair in England, who aided him and seemed to know all about vampires. This led to Morbius batting - and destroying - the Brotherhood of Judas, another Satanic cult of which St. Clair was a member.[23] Alongside the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), the Man-Thing (Ted Sallis) and the Werewolf, he then encountered the Starseed.[24]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.[25] Morbius then first battled the Thing, then teamed up with him to battle the Living Eraser and escaped to Dimension Z.[26] He later returned to Earth and battled Spider-Man again, this time briefly controlled both physically and mentally by an extra-dimensional humanoid android called the Empathoid, which fed on emotions to survive. Spider-Man destroyed the Empathoid (after the android had left Morbius and possessed him) by causing it to overdose on emotions during an exposure to the crowd at a baseball game in a stadium where he and Morbius 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.[27]

He once again fought Spider-Man and tried to drink his 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 (he still retained a thirst for blood, however).[28] While he was cured, he was charged with the crimes he had committed as a pseudo-vampire 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.[29] He eventually regained his pseudo-vampiric state and first met Doctor Strange.[30] Alongside Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo, he battled Marie Laveau and witnessed the return of true vampires.[31] Morbius later battled Spider-Man in the New York sewers.[32]

The Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch) and Johnny Blaze searched for Morbius to form the Nine (a.k.a. the Midnight Sons) and stop Lilith the Mother of All Demons and her children the Lilin from taking over the world. When they found Morbius, the pseudo-vampire believed that they would kill him, but the Ghost Rider and Blaze successfully captured him. Doctor Langford, who supposedly tried to heal Morbius's wounds, was actually trying to kill him and was working for Doctor Paine. He made an unknown mutagenic serum that would prove fatal to Morbius. Unknown to Doctor Langford, Fang, one of Lilith's children, was also trying to kill Morbius by adding his own demonic blood to the serum, which would also be fatal to Morbius. When Doctor Langford injected the serum into Morbius, it did not kill him; instead, it mutated him. Morbius's friend, Jacob, was trying to look inside of him and see what he could do about Morbius's condition. After Martine Bancroft, Morbius's ex-fiancé, found out that Langford was trying to kill him, Langford shot her and she bled to death. Morbius found out about this and was enraged to find his ex-fiancé dead. He later avenged the death of Martine by killing Langford and took the beaker which contained the serum.[33] The Ghost Rider and Blaze later found out about Morbius's acts of destruction. The Ghost Rider confronted him and would not tolerate Morbius drinking any more innocent blood. Morbius then vowed he would only drink the blood of the guilty. The Ghost Rider accepted the vow, but warned him not to stray from it. Morbius soon became part of the Midnight Sons.

Later, 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 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 his employer, Senator Stuart Ward.[34]

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.[35] 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.[36]

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.[37] He survived the invasion, killing his zombie counterpart in the process.[38] 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.[39]

Morbius later helped the Man-Thing re-assemble a decapitated Punisher into a Frankensteinian monster called FrankenCastle.[40]

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 Jack Russell, agreed to help Morbius out by giving him more of his blood to help with the cure.[41]

During the Origin of the Species storyline, Morbius was among the supervillains recruited by Doctor Octopus to secure some items for him.[42]

During the events of Spider-Island, it was revealed to the reader that Morbius was the mysterious Number Six working at Horizon Labs. He assisted, wearing a hazmat suit to conceal his identity, in preparing the cure to the spider-powers virus.[43] When Peter Parker tried to investigate the identity of "Number Six", 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 the staff at Horizon to step up building security (making it harder for Peter 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.[44] Using DNA samples from the corpse of Billy Connors, 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 Curt Connors' human persona.[45] The Lizard was left alone in Morbius's lab, allowing him to release blood into the lab's air supply to provoke the injured Morbius into attacking the other Horizon scientists. This prompted Morbius to flee the lab, with Spider-Man in pursuit.[46] Morbius was captured by Spider-Man and locked up in a cell in the Raft.[47]

When Peter Parker (whose mind was now in Doctor Octopus's dying body) needed some supervillains to help capture Otto Octavius (whose mind was now in Spider-Man's body), Morbius offered to help, but was rejected.[48] Morbius eventually escaped from the Raft[49] and fled to Brownsville.[50]

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 the Outlaw. After telling them about the vampires' plan, they agree to help him kill King Morbius (a true vampire infected with Morbius's blood). Then after killing him, a vampire hunter tried to kill Morbius, but thanks to Domino, he escaped.[51]

Morbius was later rescued by Agent of Wakanda Wasp from Dracula's Disciples, with assistance from Agents Broo and Man-Wolf. He later informed the Wasp and Director Okoye on the Vampire Civil War.[52]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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.[53]

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.[28] 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,[54] 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. In Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #2, 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.

Even before he contracted the disease of pseudo-vampirism, Michael Morbius already possessed a gifted intellect. He is an expert biologist,[50] biochemist and neuroradiologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is also a Nobel laureate. He also attended medical school,[55] where he specialized in hematology.[56]

Enemies and allies[edit]

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 #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. Crown then called himself Hunger.[57]

During the run of Morbius the Living Vampire, Morbius crossed paths with a handful of brand-new foes. They included Vic Slaughter (introduced in issue #7),[58] the Basilisk (Wayne Gifford) (introduced in issue #5), Doctor Paine (introduced in issue #4)[59] and Bloodthirst (introduced in issue #20).[60] During this same period, Morbius also battled a new villain called Bloodbath in Midnight Sons Unlimited #2.[61]

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.

Other versions[edit]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M series, Michael Morbius appears in a flashback as one of the scientists (along with Jonas Harrow and Farley Stillwell) that gave Luke Cage his powers.[62]

Marvel MAX[edit]

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.[63]

Marvel Zombies 4[edit]

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.[37] 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.[64] 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.[38]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of Morbius is a "true" vampire, the son of Dracul and brother of Vlad III Dracula himself.[65] 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 is really trying to stop Urich from becoming a vampire, which he succeeds in doing despite the conflict. When Spider-Man is bitten by a vampire, Morbius sniffs him and determines that the young superhero is immune to vampirism.[66]


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.[67]
  • 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.[68]

Infinity Warps[edit]

In this new universe, Morbius is fused with Morpheus. He tries to steal some blood tanks, but is defeated by the Arachknight.[69]

In other media[edit]


  • Morbius the Living Vampire appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Nick Jameson.[citation needed] 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 in the episodes "The Insidious Six" and "Battle of the Insidious Six" before transforming into a vampiric organism in the episode "Morbius". He appeared as a villain in the next four episodes, "Enter the Punisher", "Duel of the Hunters", "Blade the Vampire Hunter", and "The Immortal Vampire". In "The Vampire Queen", Morbius becomes a hero after joining forces with Spider-Man, Blade, and the Black Cat to defeat the eponymous vampire queen and leaves with Blade and the Black Cat to destroy other vampires around the world. He makes a final cameo appearance in "Secret Wars" Pt. 2, alongside his new allies.
  • Michael Morbius appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six animated series, voiced by Benjamin Diskin.[citation needed] This version is a HYDRA scientist who specializes in symbiotes. In the episode "Anti-Venom", he co-creates the titular symbiote with Doctor Octopus.[70] In the three-part episode "Symbiote Saga", Morbius creates the Carnage symbiote before mutating into the Living Vampire. He later fights Spider-Man, Agent Venom and the Patrioteer while trying to control the Carnage Queen.


Video games[edit]


In The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, Morbius returns to New York, seemingly cured of his vampirism, and with a fiancé, Martine Bancroft. However, at night, he begins exhibiting his old symptoms and comes into conflict with Spider-Man. It is later revealed that his fiancé is behind his troubles and gained her own vampiric abilities after she was attacked and killed by Dracula.


  1. ^ Marvel Zombies 4 #1
  2. ^ Legion of Monsters (vol. 2) #3
  3. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  4. ^ "Top 25 Spider-Man Villains". IGN.
  5. ^ Cronin, Brian (July 16, 2009). "Comic Book Legends Revealed". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  6. ^ a b c Buchanan, Bruce (October 2009). "Morbius the Living Vampire". Back Issue (#36). TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 29.
  7. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (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.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Kane in Ringgenberg, Steve (n.d.). "Gil Kane". Comic Art & Graffix Gallery. Archived from the original on December 11, 1997. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Markstein, Don. "Morbius, the Living Vampire". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b Meth, Clifford (June 1993). "Going for the Throat". Wizard (#22). pp. 90–93.
  12. ^ Ching, Albert (25 August 2012). "'Morbius the Living Vampire' Rises in New Ongoing Series". Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  13. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #101–102
  14. ^ a b Adventures into Fear #30–31
  15. ^ Marvel Team-Up #3–4
  16. ^ Vampire Tales #1
  17. ^ Vampire Tales #2–5 and 7–8
  18. ^ Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1
  19. ^ Adventure into Fear #20–26
  20. ^ Giant-Size Werewolf #4
  21. ^ Adventure into Fear #27–29
  22. ^ Vampire Tales #10
  23. ^ Vampire Tales #11
  24. ^ Marvel Premiere #28
  25. ^ Marvel Preview #8
  26. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #15
  27. ^ Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #6–8
  28. ^ a b Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #38
  29. ^ Savage She-Hulk #9, 11–12 and 25
  30. ^ Doctor Strange (vol. 3) #10
  31. ^ Doctor Strange (vol. 3) #14–18
  32. ^ Spider-Man #13–14
  33. ^ Morbius #1
  34. ^ Peter Parker, Spider-Man (vol. 2) #8
  35. ^ Blade #5
  36. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #12
  37. ^ a b Marvel Zombies 4 #1
  38. ^ a b Marvel Zombies 4 #4
  39. ^ Marvel Zombies 5 #1–4
  40. ^ Punisher (vol. 7) #11
  41. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #623
  42. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #642
  43. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #671
  44. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #679.1
  45. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #688
  46. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #689
  47. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #690
  48. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #699
  49. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #699.1
  50. ^ a b Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #1
  51. ^ Domino #7–8
  52. ^ Avengers (vol. 8) #12
  53. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #20
  54. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #5
  55. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #25
  56. ^ Morbius the Living Vampire (vol. 2) #3
  57. ^ Spider-Man #76–79
  58. ^ Vic Slaughter at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  59. ^ Dr. Paine at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  60. ^ Bloodthirst at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  61. ^ Bloodbath at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
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  65. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #95
  66. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #96
  67. ^ Edge of Spider-Geddon #2
  68. ^ Vault of Spiders #1
  69. ^ Infinity Warps: Arachknight #1
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