10 comics to read to prepare for Morbius
Sony’s upcoming release Morbius may have been delayed, but with Spider-Man’s popularity plateauing thanks to Spider-Man: No Coming Home, the studio will be looking to release the Living Vampire solo movie as soon as possible. Morbius started out as a webhead thief, bumping into him when they were both seeking refuge in the same building. It’s been good, it’s been bad, but something Morbius hasn’t is well known: the star power of his portrayal, Jared Leto, is quite possibly the only reason the film received so many accolades. note that he did.
Either way, Morbius has a good story outside of Spider-Man that seems to inspire much of the film’s aesthetic and plot. With comics featuring a vampire, it’s natural to experiment, resulting in a mixture of traditional Marvel stories and horror fantasies in which the character appeared. The Living Vampire has found himself embroiled in some of the most significant comic book arcs in Marvel history, and is no doubt looking to channel that rich history for the big screen.
ten Morbius arrives by boat
The film draws significantly from Morbius’ first appearance in amazing spider man #101-102, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Gil Kane. Initially portrayed as a hideous monster, the issue takes great pains to flesh out what led him to become this beast. As most marketing campaigns show, Morbius is a Nobel Prize winner who suffers from a rare blood disease. He seeks a cure through the DNA of vampire bats, thereby transforming himself into a living vampire and slaughtering those on a transport ship he boards.
Spider-Man stumbles upon the scientist after seeking refuge in the same building as him. Tyrese Gibson’s Simon Stroud mentions in trailers that Morbius was found on a ship with the entire crew dead, echoing the events of his original appearance. This storyline will receive more than a few nods throughout the film as the latter seems to mostly deal with the experiments of the Doctor who mutated him.
9 Collateral damage on shore
After his defeat by Spider-Man, Morbius ends up stranded elsewhere in New York in Gerry Conway and Ross Andru’s The Marvel Team #3. Brothers Jacob and Jefferson Bolt argue over the merits of education, with the latter wandering alone thereafter. He stumbles over Morbius’ body and when he approaches, the vampire tries to feed on him. Jefferson is transformed into a vampire and decides to use his new abilities for criminal activities.
This is a classic story of a hero (or villain) discovering the impact of his actions on the world around him, with Morbius’ bite bringing together both Spider-Man and the Human Torch against Jefferson. In the end, it’s Morbius who ends his twisted creation, albeit accidentally. A subplot involving Morbius transforming a citizen, particularly after his own transformation, could very well be included in the film before he faces his main antagonist.
8 Loxias Crown Pattern
Every hero, whether flourishing or established, has the main villain who challenges them as a character in perfect ways. Captain America has the Red Skull, Spider-Man has the Green Goblin, and perhaps Morbius’ first independent antagonist is Loxias Crown. Ready to be represented by Doctor Whoby Matt Smith in the 2022 film, Crown is a HYDRA agent who kidnaps Morbius to study him in Howard Mackie and John Romita Jr. Spider Man #79-80.
The Living Vampire obviously takes offense to this and the two fight amidst a huge explosion following Spider-Man’s interference. The two subsequently disappear, but not before Morbius has drained Crown of his blood. It would seem like bad luck for the agent, but comic book thieves often find a way back from the underworld.
seven The appearance of hunger
Morbius’ revenge on Loxias Crown has a rather disastrous unintended consequence: the latter also transforms into a living vampire, taking on the appropriate name of Hunger. Although Morbius does not appear in Peter ParkerSpiderman #4-7, Hunger continues to prey on the citizens of New York and attracts the attention of Spider-Man and Eric Brooks, aka Blade.
While the appearance of these two characters in the upcoming film is sure not to happen, this series gives readers an idea of what drives Crown’s overall villainy. It’s unclear if the character will become the Hunger in the film’s plot, but he appears to be the only major antagonist facing Leto’s antihero.
6 First Morbius feature film
One untapped market for superhero cinema is for horror fans, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe making its biggest spooky push with the likes of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and moon knight. The simultaneous appearance of Morbius in Sony’s Spider-Man universe seems perfectly orchestrated to reinforce this idea: the living vampire first left an indelible mark on the pages of horror comics in which he searched for prey.
Adventure in Fear, presented by Mike Friedrich and Paul Gulacy, is Morbius’ first starring role and the character leads issues 20-31. The comic almost serves as a mini-universe unto itself, with hardly any of Morbius’ previously related characters returning. This has informed how the character has been written in every solo series since and can receive homage in film.
5 Simon Stroud hunting Morbius
Tyrese Gibson’s aforementioned role as Simon Stroud takes center stage in some of the later issues of Morbius’ run in Adventure in Fear. Specifically, issues 27-31 chronicle the CIA agent’s pursuit of the vampire in New York and flesh out the character’s relationship with Morbius. The agent had previously tracked down Man-Wolf, so his role in Marvel’s horror arena is well established.
The film’s version of Stroud is portrayed as an ally of the Doctor, potentially reaching out to him amid his bloodthirsty bouts. As with any vigilante character, Stroud serves as a proxy for the authorities in the adventures of Morbius.
4 First lead role of Morbius
While Adventure in Fear serves as the character’s first starring role, vampire tales claims Morbius as the main attraction given that he’s one of Marvel’s most well-known vampires (despite his relative anonymity to the general public). The character returns throughout the comic, beginning with issues 1-5 and returning separately for issues 7-8 and 10-11.
Told in classic black and white, the comic is reminiscent of Universal Studios’ ancient monster movies like Frankenstein and The werewolf. It’s a horror story through and through and should, if nothing else, inspire the film’s tone as Morbius hunts the ship’s crew after his transformation.
3 First eponymous series of Morbius
A feature film and a starring role all led to Len Kaminski and Ron Wagner Morbius: the living vampire, a comic from the early 90s illustrating the art style of that period. Visually inspired by characters like Cable and Deadpool, Morbius reinvents himself as a true anti-hero in his first eponymous comic.
A nod to this take on the character is included in the 2022 film as it appears Leto’s Morbius is wearing a similar coat, with purple coloring beneath the black exterior. The 90s comics industry enjoyed gritty heroes and muted colors and will have many parallels with this series in terms of optics.
2 Morbius and Horizon Laboratories
A brief overview of Horizon Labs in the Morbius marketing makes vampire time in amazing spider man #671-691 essential reading. Originally written by Dan Slott and illustrated by Humberto Ramos, the story follows an incognito Morbius as he searches for a cure for him and Professor Curt Conners, aka the Lizard Condition.
Additionally, the script introduces the character of Max Modell, a possible candidate for the role of Jared Harris in the film. Modell acts as a mentor figure for Morbius, with his influence more than likely extended for the film. It’s an entertaining story with Spider-Man desperately trying to figure out what Morbius is up to, far less than him.
1 Morbius seeks a cure
The most recent addition to the canon of Morbius, Vita Ayala and Marcelo Ferreira Morbius #1-5 follows the vampire once more in search of a cure for his condition. In this endeavor, he ends up worsening his condition as his hunger continues to worsen. Taking on the appearance of a real bat, this can receive a scream for the duration of the film in one specific way: Leto’s Morbius can undergo a similar upgrade.
In an interview with Deadline, Leto hinted at several “transformations” underway. Morbius taking to the skies during the third act in an attempt to take down Hunger could be what awaits us in April. If so, it will make for a substantial movie, adding yet another unstable thug to the back alleys of the SSU.
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