15 things about Morbius that only comic book fans know

Morbius will start filling in, the bigger Sony Marvel Universe of live-action movies when the film premieres later this year. While Morbius The Living Vampire may not be as well known in popular culture as other great Spider-Man villains, comic book readers know that he has been both a villain and an ally of Wall-Crawler for nearly fifty years.

RELATED: 10 movies, Marvel fans begin to watch before Morbius (2022)

Morbius The Living Vampire occupies a unique place in Spider-Man history as a direct link to the horror genre of comics that was very popular in the 1970s and is still a vital part of the comics years later. His tragic backstory and the internal struggle for his own vampiric nature have made him a compelling figure for comic book readers and most likely for movie fans as well.


Updated March 18, 2022 by Darby Harn: As Morbius approaches release after several delays, the latest trailers for the Sony Marvel Universe movie show more connections to Marvel Comics. Some of these connections have exciting possibilities for connections to the MCU thanks to the emergence of other horror-themed characters that have recently emerged as Moon Knights and Leaves. Comic book fans know that there is a lot to explore with Morbius, including whether Morbius is a hero or villain and whether he could potentially be part of a series of supernatural teams and stories from the comics.

Changes to the comic book code made Morbius possible

Marvel Comics Morbius the living vampire

The Comics Code Authority had a major influence on comics throughout most of the Silver and Bronze Ages, banning anything that was considered violent or sexual in nature. In 1971, the restrictive code began to relax a bit, and it allowed Marvel to start exploring previously banned topics like vampires.

Author Roy Thomas originally considered using Dracula as the villain in The amazing Spider-Man # 101, Morbius’ first appearance, but Stan Lee’s desire for a new villain led to the creation of Morbius. That decision led to one of Spider-Man’s best cartoon villain.

An experiment went wrong

Unlike most vampires in vampire history, Morbius is not the result of a vampire biting him. He actually got his vampire nature from a scientific experiment that went wrong. Michael Morbius had a rare blood disorder that made him pale and ill.

His efforts to heal himself led to an experiment that turned him into a living vampire with a need to eat blood, as described in his first appearance, one of the best Spider-Man comics from the 70s. Although in many respects he looks and behaves like a traditional vampire, he is not one and is therefore not subject to their primary weaknesses as exposure to sunlight.

Vampire tales

Cover of Vampire Tales # 7 cartoon from 1975

Vampires were very popular as villains in 70s movies, so it’s no surprise that Marvel Comics wanted to capitalize on their success with Morbius. Morbius wanted to be a big part of the growth of horror in the 70s and kept his own book, Vampire tales.

Vampire tales started in 1973 in a magazine-style format. This allowed Marvel to further get out of the Comics Code Authority’s restrictions, as the organization only had power over traditional comics. The series ran through 1975 under the ‘Marvel Monster Group’ banner that also included Dracula is alive!

A Spider-Man villain

Morbius Spider-Man

Morbius is not a villain in the traditional sense, but he is not exactly a hero either. He first encounters Spider-Man while trying to find a cure for his condition in New York City. Things did not get off to a good start; Spider-Man teamed up with his usual enemy lizard to get a sample of the vampire’s blood.

Both The Lizard and Spider-Man sought a cure for their own mutations. They were not successful, and the meeting created some bitter feelings on both sides, which would continue through the next many years in the comics.

And then a hero

Spider-Man and Morbius cartoon art

Morbius gradually began to shift towards being an ally of Spider-Man in the 90s. Morbius teamed up with Spider-Man to defeat Carnage in the massive Maximum carnage story which, despite the cinematic existence of all the characters involved, is probably a cartoon crossover that the MCU should avoid.

RELATED: 10 cartoon characters to appear in the Morbius movie

Morbius teams up with Spider-Man, Venom and many other heroes to stop Carnage in his bloody vandalism through New York City. In the story, Morbius helps Spider-Man fight all over New York after Shriek turns ordinary people into a violent mob.

Ultimate Morbius

Spider-Man confronts Morbius in Ultimate Comics

As is the case with almost all major Marvel Comics characters, there are a number of different versions of Morbius. One of the most significant versions that could potentially inform the live-action recording is the version from Ultimate Comics.

The Ultimate Comics Morbius is actually a drunk vampire and son of Dracula. However, he fights against his nature and is a vampire hunter like Blade, making his battle between being a hero and a villain even more serious and compelling.

Almost healed

Morbius the living vampire

Earth-616 Morbius has had a few close conversations about being cured of his ailment. One of the most dramatic came in Peter Parker, the spectacular Spider-Man # 38. Morbius drinks Peter Parker’s blood, and while doing so, he is struck by lightning. This unusual confluence of events seemed to heal him.

Although he was human again in appearance, he realized that he still had a thirst for blood. However, his respite from his vampire nature would only last a short time and he would return to his pseudo-vampire state.

Helps she sob

Jennifer Walters confronts Morbius in She-Hulk # 12

During his short period as a normal human, Morbius tried to help other superheroes with their own relationships. One of them was Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk.

At the time, Jennifer Walter was experiencing violent, uncontrollable turns back and forth between being her ordinary self and She-Hulk. Morbius helped stabilize her with a serum he had invented to try to help his own condition. This is possibly an upcoming comic book story Hun-Hulk streaming series could adapt in some way.

Morbius almost healed the lizard

Morbius is a potential member of Sinister Six in MCU depending on how things go between Sony and Marvel Studios. He has also had meetings with some members of the supervillain team, including lizards. Morbius almost cured the Lizard of his own condition when he bit him in their first encounter in The amazing Spider-Man # 101.

RELATED: Ranking of Spider-Man movie villains, from weakest to strongest

The bidet temporarily returned the lizard to its human form, prompting both Curt Connors and Peter Parker to follow Morbius to see if the effect could be made permanent. This particular aspect of Morbius’ story could be a way to bring the villains together in the movies.


Q: Dr fights MORBIUS in Marvel Comics.

There is many powerful variants of Spider-Man in the multiverse of Marvel Comics, and the same goes for Morbius. One of the best that could eventually appear in either animation or live-action is MORBIUS from the universe as Peni Parker.

MORBIUS is somewhat of a cyborg kaiju creature, but instead of blood, he lives on information. This unique and powerful version of the character is a fascinatingly modern version of Morbius and would be at home in the coming Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part 1).

Marvel zombies

Morbius meets the Marvel Zombies version of himself in Marvel Comics.

Another version of Morbius that seems likely in some context is the zombie version. A version of Morbius as a zombie is found in the alternate reality of Marvel Zombies in the comics, and there was no doubt that he was a villain.

This version of Morbius crossed over to the main Marvel Universe of Earth-616 and used his scientific genius to create a way to trigger the zombie virus on Earth. He joins the zombie Kingpin, but Morbius was killed by the 616 version of himself.

Fighting the X-Men

Morbius fights the X-Men in Marvel Comics.

The X-Men have faced many evil villains in Marvel Comics, and one of them is Morbius. In one of the earliest adventures of the living vampire in Marvel Team-Up # 4 from 1972, X-Men joins Spider-Man to defeat Morbius.

The story follows the initial confrontation between Spider-Man and Morbius in 1971, where it is still unclear about Morbius’ true intentions. This leads to one of the most significant fights of the early ’70s for the X-Men, who mostly appeared in reprints at this time.

Legion of monsters

A number of Marvel Comics horror-themed characters will hit the screens in the near future, and Morbius has connections to several of them. He was even part of a team of horror heroes called the Legion of Monsters, which included Werewolf By Night and Man-Thing.

RELATED: 10 best current horror comics you should read

The first iteration of the team was formed in 1976 in response to an alien unit that arrived on Earth and triggered uncontrollable hunger in Morbius. The latest version of the team included newer characters like Manphibian and Satana.

Enemy Of Blade The Vampire Hunter

Morbius bites Blade in Marvel Comics.

As a vampire, it makes sense that Morbius would be a target for Blade The Vampire Hunter. The first two crossed roads in the 70s, in numbers 20-26 Adventure into fear cartoon series. They would remain antagonistic over the years, despite the fact that Morbius was not a traditional vampire.

Their relationship would not get much better. Morbius participated in the SHIELD effort to capture Blade under Civil war event in the comics. Many of their comic book stories could be adapted for the future Blade MCU restarts.

Allied with Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange vs Dracula Vampire Spell

Morbius could also potentially play a role in future MCU stories involving Doctor Strange. Although Morbius’ condition is not supernatural in any way, he met and became friends with Dr. Stephen Strange. He joined him on several adventures and also became a member of the Nine, a secret group of superheroes that Strange was formed to fight supernatural threats to the world.

This team was also known as the Midnight Sons, which already has many members in the MCU, and more will come in the near future.

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