Marvel: The 6 Worst Things Morbius Has Done In The Comics

Much attention is often devoted to the heroic side of the antihero: a vigilante character defined by the duality of their moral compass. As worthy as characters like Punisher and Venom are, they often engage in activities well below the standard of superhero behavior.

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Morbius the Living Vampire is another example in the Marvel Universe of the antiheroic archetype. He’s plagued by a dual identity: that of Dr. Michael Morbius who pledged to do no harm and the aforementioned vampiric persona that thirsts for blood. The latter component accounts for the majority of his most heinous acts of him, and this fact earns Morbius an heir of sympathy from readers. After all, the good doctor is a victim of his own condition, forced to bear witness to the things committed by his darker half of him.

6 Morbius Slaughters The Crew Of A Ship

morbius hunting the sailors

Jared Leto will bring the Living Vampire to life in April’s Morbius, and from the look of the trailers, the film will take inspiration from one of the antihero’s first violent acts post-transformation. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane’s Amazing Spider-Man #101, the character’s comic debut, introduces Morbius to readers as a prisoner on an unnamed boat at sea. It’s not entirely clear how the doctor arrives until the subsequent issue, but the crew of the boat has become enraged due to their fear of their prisoner. After finding Morbius adrift at sea and rescuing him, sailors began to disappear, and eventually, the captain is killed. The sailors seemingly chase the Living Vampire overboard but he returns to slaughter the entirety of the crew before throwing himself overboard in a vain attempt at suicide. A common theme of the wicked things that Morbius does is the racking guilt that follows him afterwards.

5 Morbius Feeds On His Childhood Best Friend

morbius attacking his friend emil

While readers are first acquainted with Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man #101, it’s in Thomas and Kane’s ensuing issue #102 that the character’s backstory is revealed. Suffering from a rare blood disease, Dr. Michael Morbius attempts to rid himself of the condition with his childhood friend, Emil Nikos, and his lover Martin Bancroft. The project goes awry and the doctor is turned into a vampire. Given he’s fresh from the alteration, Morbius is incapable of controlling the bloodlust that drives each one of his species from him.

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It may be properly equated to trying not to eat or drink for an extended period of time: the survival instinct eventually overrules any abstract thought or objections. This is what motivates Morbius to do one of the worst things of all by attacking a loved one. He immediately leaps upon his best friend Emil and drains his blood from him, but manages enough self-control to again leap into the ocean and avoid killing Bancroft. Perhaps the most comic-accurate thing the creators behind Morbius can do is have the titular character leap into the ocean at some point: it’s seeming to become a pattern.

4 Morbius Turns Jefferson Bolt And Attacks His Brother

morbius attacking jefferson bolt

Morbius is not seen again following his debut until Gerry Conway and Ross Andru’s Marvel Team-Up#3, featuring the fan-favorite pairing of Spider-Man and the Human Torch. Once again finding himself adrift in the ocean after his first battle with the webhead, Morbius washes ashore in another part of New York City. A passerby named Jefferson Bolt is fresh off an argument with his brother from him and stumbles upon the doctor’s body. Reviving and doubtless unquenched, Morbius feeds on Bolt whilst restraining from draining him entirely. This allows Bolt to instead develop into a vampire all his own and prey upon the innocent of the city, leading to a confrontation in which Morbius accidentally kills him by knocking his head onto a rock. Several factors contribute to the tragedy of Bolt’s story – mainly that he was considering getting an education prior to his turn from him, but also because Bolt is killed trying to defend his brother from him, Jacob, from Morbius’ feeding attempt. Again plagued by the guilt of his repressed conscience, the Living Vampire flees into the night.

3 Morbius Falls Prey To Nightmare And Bloodlust (Again)

morbius fighting doctor strange

The 1993 event Siege of Darkness follows the villain Nightmare’s attempts to enter into and command the MU dimension. Morbius becomes a pawn when Nightmare utilizes the vampire via possession in Len Kaminski and Geof Isherwood’s Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #52. The villain essentially body-hops to Doctor Strange: a vessel that flaunts immensely more capabilities than Morbius. Later, in issues #60-61, the doctor is rampant with bloodlust at the point of attacking his fellow heroes on the Midnight Sons. Nightmare’s success in possessing the Sorcerer Supreme is frightening in its potential and is perhaps fitting being facilitated by a characteristic creature of the horror genre.

two Morbius Feeds On Innocent Homeless People

morbius and the subhumans

Peter Parker discovers the existence of a city of outcast humanoid denizens, nicknamed Subhumans, living underneath Manhattan. This secret Sub-City, first introduced in Todd McFarlane’s spider-man #13 and continuing into #14, hosts a group that acquires victims for Morbius to feed on in exchange for his protection from outsiders.

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Morbius specifically instructs the Subhumans to only abduct bad people, but a rogue denizen named Keever ends up taking many random, innocent homeless people. The Subhuman’s rationale is unsettling: he believes all the surface-dwellers are bad. It takes Spider-Man’s interference to wake Morbius up to this reality, leading the doctor to, perhaps predictably, flee in shame-ridden terror.

one Morbius Turns Roxy And Abandons Gillie

morbius and gillie

Forever driven by good intentions, Michael Morbius always tries to be cautious with who he surrounds himself with, which is a fair practice given his unpredictable thirst. However, even his attempts by him to be noble end up terrorizing those he tries to save. Legion of Monsters: Morbius #1, penned by Brendan Cahill and drawn by Michael Gaydos, tells the story of Morbius’ encounter with the addict Roxy and his efforts to save her life at the behavior of her boyfriend. Roxy overdoses and is dying when Morbius tries turning her from her, but the young girl’s mind had gone too long without breathing, meaning the damage to her brain from her alters her transformation from her. Instead of becoming a conscious vampire, Roxy reanimates completely feral and kills two people, including her boyfriend, before Morbius puts her down. Gillie, a victim saved from the feral vampire by Morbius, remains terrified of him regardless. A fact of existence for the good doctor as real as the thirst for blood.

NEXT: 5 Similarities Between Venom And Morbius (And 5 Differences)

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