Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Richard Elson
Oh Morbius if only people would give you a chance.
From the first moment I heard that Michael Morbius was going to get a new ongoing title of his own, I was excited. Morbius was always one of those characters that were so interesting to me that I always loved to read his adventures. I mean the title alone has to grab you, “The Living Vampire” is one of those titles and phrases that make you go “ok how is this possible”? Sadly his days in this series are coming to an end.
Morbius who debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971 has long been one of those characters that have been both a protagonist and an antagonist. Constantly battling with his own self to control the hunger and rage inside himself and try to be the scientist he once was. He has had many ongoing titles over the years since his debut. He took over the Adventure into Fear title from Man-Thing with issue 20 (yes he took over after the debut of Howard the Duck in #19), was featured in Marvel Team-Up and then had his own title in the 90’s. Morbius has had a presence in the Marvel Universe for so long that I was sure this new title would be great, and honestly it was.
This was a transformation story for Morbius, a chance for him to show that he is more than just what he made of himself. This series showcases not only the monster, but also the man inside, and that is something really good to see in comics these days. You actually see the torment he has to go through, the demons and shadows that haunt his every step in this nightmare of a life he lives. Sadly many people didn’t seem to take notice or where too busy with the adventures of the Avengers, Spider-Man and X-Men to really take notice.
Issue 8 is the second to last issue of the series and it has set up for the finale to be truly spectacular and possibly shocking. The decision for the main villain of the series to be The Rose was interesting, but it really worked and showed that this character who has been played by many throughout Marvel’s history truly is someone to take seriously. I mean I knew he meant business when a few issues back he talked about an Ultimate Nullifier! That is some serious stuff to be messing around with, that and he seems to have Morbius’s number every single step of the way. Issue 8 really shows what The Rose is willing to do and how far he is willing to go to achieve his goals, even the last panel of the book leaves so many questions that I can’t wait for what is going to happen next.
This issue also marked a turning point for Morbius as it shows that he truly is not alone in his struggles. He has people around him who care and who are willing to step in and help him, he does not have to take on everything by himself. The secondary players in this title, while not anyone major or who has been seen before, really are the embodiment of those who are willing to fight for their homes and help those who are trying to help them. There is even a great speech from Becky to Michael about how he isn’t alone, how the world is not solely on his shoulders and how when he needs help it will be there.
Now the coolest thing in this issue and something I think could have led into more ongoing titles, was the inclusion of Monstropolis, the City of Monsters. While this does not give anything away about the book, I felt this could have led us to see many of the great horror characters from Marvel’s past. How awesome would it have been to see issues with Morbius fighting alongside Were Wolf by Night? That would have been epic! It could have brought back the entire Marvel Horror line and given us new tales from Were Wolf, Tomb of Dracula and even perhaps the Blade and the Nightstalkers. The creative team really could have built on this inclusion of the city of monsters and could have been able to revive many classic Marvel horror characters. I mean She-Hulk gave us Man-Thing a few issues back, why not do the same in Morbius.
Sadly this will never materialize but for what it is Morbius is a fantastic read and Issue 8 is no different. Full of revelations of one’s self, the true spirit of friendship and monsters. Who could ask for much more?
4 out of 5 nerds