Characters : Morbius
Chalk-white skin and fang-like canines.
Ability to 'fly' on air currents, able to quickly regenerate physical wounds
While he is termed as a 'living' vampire, he does have an adversity to sunlight, but unlike regular vampires, Morbius is not vulnerable to garlic, direct sunlight, silver, etc.
Greatly enhanced strength
Chemist, scientific researcher
Criminal at Large
Single, formerly engaged
Dr. Michael Morbius
Dr. Michael Morbius was a Nobel prize winning chemist who became his own patient, when he discovered that he was dying of a unique blood disease. Working with his research assistant, Nikos, he devised a cure that involved vampire bats and electric shock therapy. As you might suspect, the cure was in some ways worse than the disease.
Working on a research ship in the Atlantic to keep his work private and secure, he managed to find a treatment for the disease, but it also transformed him into Morbius, The Living Vampire. Needing sleep after the treatment, Morbius woke up in a blind rage and killed Nikos without a second thought. He immediately was stunned at what he had done, and wanted to go to his girlfriend's, Martine Bancroft, room on the boat to get help. But realizing that he wanted to feed off of her, Micheal threw himself off of the boat to save her. His suicide attempt failed as he struggled between self-hatred for the thing he had become, and his desire to live.
He was picked up by another boat and traveled to the coast of Long Island. The crew didn't last long after they demanded to know from him why their ship mates kept disappearing, and after he was done with them, Morbius jumped ship and arrived at the summer home of Dr Curtis Connors. Dr Connors had loaned the house to Spider-Man to use as a research lab to find a cure for Spidey's six armed mutation. Initially surprised to find a six armed man in a spider costume alone in the house, Morbius's hunger soon drove him to attack Spidey. The battle was quick and an exhausted Spider-Man was nearly lunch for the vampire. That is when Connors showed up and the shock of seeing the grotesque creature caused him to transform into the Lizard.
The Lizard and Morbius fought over who had the right to kill Spider-Man, and during the battle, Morbius bit the Lizard but only deep enough to puncture the scales. Tired of battling two enhanced beings, Morbius left to find mortal prey. Soon after he left, Lizard began to change back into Connors, but only part way. Spidey and Connors surmised that the bite caused Dr Connors to change back, and it it could change the Lizard, it could help Spider-Man lose his four extra arms. After finding Morbius, Spidey devised a formula from the vampire's saliva that changed him back.
Morbius found a partial cure for his state in Spectacular Spider-Man #38 by means of a lightening strike and Spider-Man's irradiated blood, and lived a relatively normal life for a time. He still craved blood and went to the University of California at Los Angeles to find a way to end the desire. While there, he met Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk, and helped her end a degenerative disease that she suffered from. Walters returned the favor by acting as Michael's lawyer during a murder trial. She convinced the jury that he hadn't been able to control himself, yet he was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter. He was eventually released for good behavior and continued to seek a cure for his blood lust. Dr. Morbius has also used John Jameson (Man-Wolf) as a test subject to find a cure for his condition. He has also fought the Basilisk. (The Wayne Gifford version, not the Basil Elks Basilisk.)
Morbius hates that he needs to feed on human beings to live, but the hunger is too great. He sought the help of Dr Strange to cure him of his condition, but to no avail. After being a shadowy hunter for a time, Morbius decided that if he had to feed on blood to live, he would feed on criminals. He joined the Midnight Sons, a supernatural band of adventurers that included Moon Knight and Ghost Rider. He also used a band of simple minded sewer dwellers to pick his victims for him. In his mind, this removed the guilt of people's deaths, while he gave protection to the inbred outcasts. He had told his charges to only pick "bad people" but in their simplicity, they picked anyone for any reason.
He also has joined Spider-Man in times of crisis, such as during Maximum Carnage. While Carnage, Shriek, Carrion II, Doppelganger and Demogoblin tore Manhattan apart, Morbius joined with Spider-Man, Venom, Captain America, Cloak, Dagger, the Black Cat and others to end the murder spree.
Apparently his ability to control his hunger also faded, as did his "cure." Shortly after the Clone Saga, Morbius was stalking Empire State University, looking for Dr Andrea Janson, a hematologist and molecular biologist. He came to her to look for a cure, but was constantly interrupted by Spider-Man. The battles that followed only fueled Morbius's hunger and he nearly fed on Spider- Man, until he was stopped by the mutant hating group called The Friends of Humanity. Morbius dealt with the racists, and returned his attention to Spidey when Mary Jane stepped in and asked Micheal to fight his cravings and be a man, not a monster. Dr Janson arrived with a blood package to sate the vampire's thirst but demanded that he control his conditions urge to kill. Morbius left with Dr Janson to find a cure and promised that if the cure were unavailable, he would take his own life.
Dr Janson turned out to be a fraud and she wanted to use Morbius in her experiments. Morbius was saved by Spider-Man and, ironically, Blade, the vampire hunter. This episode seems to have embittered Morbius, as he now attacks innocent victims without remorse. In a creepy story, Morbius stalks a young man with cerebral palsy. Joey Beal spends most of his time on the roof of his apartment building, watching the world go by. He is confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak, which makes Morbius think he will be easy prey.
Gliding over to the roof top from the abandoned apartment building across the street, Morbius tells Joey, "I know you've been watching and hoping, wondering who I am. What I am. Well, I am Morbius. You know my voice, that's me in the night, soothing you in dreams. Feeling your pain. How hard it must be to stay trapped inside that body. It will end soon. Don't be afraid." Naturally, that's when Spidey shows up and Joey gets a front row seat to a battle that he compares to gods fighting over heaven and earth. Morbius is defeated and Spidey unmasks for the paralyzed young man.
Dr. Morbius willingly joined the Superhuman Registration Act and was sent by SHIELD to capture his old enemy, Blade, for use against the Anti-Registration Act Wolverine. Another ally of his has become his enemy: Martine, his former lover. She has tried repeatedly to help him find a cure, often putting herself in harms way. While he trusted Dr. Langford, a man that was working for Morbius' enemy, Dr. Paine, Martine learned that Langford was trying to kill him. Martine tried to stop Langford, but she was killed after being shot. Morbius was enraged and avenged her. Morbius resurrected her by using The Book of Sins, the Darkhold but she returned in a tainted state. Martine was now a host for a demon called Parasite and eventually killed again. She was brought back to life yet again by an immortal being called Embyrre but Martine was now emotionless and desired permanent death.
Morbius has always battled his urge to kill with the fact that he is a doctor. His scientific expertise drew him to try and find a cure for the lycanthropy that was effecting his friend, Jack Russel. Seeing Spider-Man constantly in the news being beaten up by various bad guys made Michael realize that he must have a sort of accelerated healing factor. He needed a sample of his blood to be sure. Wouldn't you know, Spider-Man and the Black Cat had just retrieved a vial of his blood from Mister Negative, a crime lord that intended to use the blood to make his bio weapon: Devil's Breath.
The Black Cat, being the upstanding citizen that she is, sold the vial to a group of vampire wannabe's. While at the "dracs" club looking for his blood, Peter was hypnotized by a lovely lady vampire, who read his mind and saw he was Spider-Man. She also told him that Morbius had his blood vial and where he could find him. Once he was in the vampire's lair, the woman psychically forced him to invite her into the building. She had used Spider-Man to let her get close to her ex-fiance. Martine had become a vampire herself over the years and set about looking for her true love. She intended to make him a full...well, blooded vampire so they could be together forever. As she was about to change him, Morbius staked her. He then explained why he needed Spider-Man's blood and Peter allowed him to keep a sample for his research.
Dr. Morbius showed up as Spider-Island was winding down. The Jackal and the Queen had changed average New Yorkers into human spiders and Reed Richards was using the curative properties of Anti-Venom (aka, Eddie Brock) to form an antidote. Little did anyone know (outside of the boss, Max Modell), but the mysterious sixth scientist at Horizon Labs was Michael Morbius. Dr. Morbius took part in creating the cure for the Jackal's bedbug-carried virus and took a sample of Anti-Venom with him back to his private lab. Later, Peter became concerned about the unknown sixth scientist, as his spider sense went off every time he passed the private laboratory. Watching Max take a blood sample to the scientist from an air duct, Spider-Man saved Modell when the attempted cure for vampirism instead increased Morbius's blood lust. Spidey saved the day, but not without exposing Morbius to the staff, who were uncomfortable to be working with a vampire. Afterward, Morbius went to the sewers to give a sample of the mimetic plasma to a man in a similar situation, Dr. Curtis Connors.
Morbius incurred Spider-Man's wrath after he secretly exhumed the body of Billy Connors, the murdered son of Curtis. Needing an untainted sample of Connors' DNA forced Dr. Morbius to test the body of the dead boy. Dr. Modell, while demanding that Morbius leave after he tested the cure on the Lizard, allowed the experiment to continue. Morbius aided Spider-Man in the battle against the Lizard in the sewers, eventually managing to pierce the Lizard's scales with hypodermic harpoons. Back at his lab, "Dr Connors" asked to be alone with Billy's corpse and sent Morbius' blood meal into the ventilation system, making the vampire lose control of himself. Morbius bit Dr Sajani as his hunger took him over, then he fled when he realized what he had done. Spider-Man caught up with him, determined to end his threat once and for all.
As they battled on the rooftops, they were interrupted by Julia Carpenter, who warned Spider-Man that the greater threat was back at Horizon Labs. Spidey refused to let Morbius escape despite Madame Webb's insistence that he was a lesser problem. Spider-Man reluctantly let the police take in the webbed up vampire and returned to Horizon. After the Lizard was captured and taken to the S.H.E.I.L.D. Helicarrier, Spider-Man visited him and passed Morbius' cell. Morbius continued to ask if Dr. Sajani is okay but Spider-Man coldly ignored him.
|Oct 1971||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #101|
|Nov 1971||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #102|
|Jul 1972||App: Marvel Team-Up #3|
|Co-starring the X-Men.|
|Sep 1972||App: Marvel Team-Up #4|
|Aug 1973||App: Vampire Tales #1|
|Black and White 70's Magazine.|
Here is the Full Appearance List (108 Apps) for Morbius.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.