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
Michael Morbius grew up in Nafplio, Greece. His mother was overbearing, constantly concerned with his physical safety. His father, Makarioa Morbius, was a famous filmmaker, artist and author. He never spent time with his son and Michael never saw him in person. His mother was a constant in his life, as was his friend, Emil Nikos. They grew up and went to university together to work on a cure for Michael's blood condition. His condition was never clearly defined but featured the death of his blood cells. They experimented with vampire bats, which seemed to raise his blood levels. He and Nikos won a Nobel prize for their work but Michael's physical condition still worsened. He couldn't even lift a tea cup without the weight of the cup breaking his hand. (Amazing Spider-Man #699.1)
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. (Amazing Spider-Man #101)
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 tried to escape by flying over a river and Spidey stopped him with a webline. The webbing tripped up the vampire, he fell into the river and was seemingly drowned. Spider-Man managed to capture the serum that Morbius had captured and changed himself back to a two armed man. (Amazing Spider-Man #102)
Morbius was saved from drowning by a young man that pulled him out of the water. In return, Morbius drained him to save himself. The bite changed the young man into a vampire himself and became Micheal's assistant. While Dr. Morbius felt sickened by his condition, his new helper, Jefferson Bolt, reveled in his new power. At the same time, Martine arrived in New York to seek the help of Reed Richards, an associate of her fiance. She also found correspondence with Dr. Hans Jorgenson, a professor at Empire State University. The Human Torch soon arrived at ESU to check on Jorgenson. Spider-Man followed the Torch to Jorgenson and they discussed Michael Morbius with him. Morbius and Bolt soon arrived at ESU and fed on a wino, whose screams alerted Spidey and the Torch. In the following battle, Jefferson's brother, Jacob, tried to help his brother against Spidey, unaware that he had changed. Jacob convinced the crowd of students to help him and they start throwing trash at the Torch. Jefferson tried to kill Spider-Man and Jacob reacted in shock. He was bitten by Morbius before he could stop his brother. Jefferson tried to stop Morbius, who killed him, breaking his neck. Morbius then escaped as Jacob mourned his brother. (Marvel Team Up #3)
Morbius returned a week later, still looking for Dr. Jorgenson. He found his colleague at his home, going over the notes and correspondence he had with Michael. Jorgenson was kidnapped and the Bugle blamed Spider-Man for his disappearance. The newspaper article attracted the attention of Charles Xavier, who sent several X-Men after Spidey. Spider-Man was beaten by the team and Prof. Xavier read his mind, discovering that Morbius was the true kidnapper. Morbius, meanwhile, was feeding on two men in an alley that had been planning a robbery. Their screams caught the attention of Angel, who was flying overhead doing reconnaissance. He called for the rest of the X-Men, who arrived and were stunned at Morbius's appearance. He used the hesitation to tear through them, only being stopped by Jean Grey and Cyclops. The mutants then took him and Dr. Jorgenson back to the mansion. There, they created a serum from Morbius's blood to cure Spider-Man of a blood infection that had made him sick. (Marvel Team Up #4)
Overcome with guilt over the lives he had taken, Morbius used a inter-dimensional transportation device created by the Living Eraser to leave Earth for an uninhabited world. Little did he know, but there was one other sentient being on that deserted world, the Empathoid. The creature forced Morbius to return to Earth so that it could once again feed on the emotions of others. Morbius kidnapped Glory Grant knowing that her disappearance would draw out Spider-Man. He soon arrived and the Empathoid attached itself to the wall crawler after Morbius fell unconscious from a lack of feeding on blood. The possessed Spidey took the creature to a football game, where the fever pitched emotions of the fans caused the Empathoid to overload. (Spectacular Spider-Man #7 & #8)
Micheal's blood lust had not been diminished and he was soon back at Empire State University looking for victims. He crashed a costume party hosted by Chip Martin, which naturally just happened to be attended by Peter Parker. Spider-Man chased the vampire outside, where a chance lightening strike (and some of Spidey's blood) momentarily cured Michael. (Spectacular Spider-Man #38) 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. (Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme) 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.
Morbius took refuge in the sewers of New York and lived among an inbred group of homeless individuals. Morbius refused to play God and choose who would be the next to satisfy his hunger for blood, so he used the simple minded under-dwellers to find victims for him. They would go to the surface to find victims for Morbius, but took people at random, not the "bad people" that the vampire had instructed them to take. His own mind seemed to be deteriorating, as he never knew that they were too simple to understand what made a person "bad." He did give them protection from those that would abuse them and took his responsibility seriously. Morbius fled after Spider-Man arrived, sickened that he had used innocent people to hurt other innocent people. (Spider-Man #13 & #14)
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.
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 briefly fed on the webhead after Spidey saved Dr. Janson. Morbius allowed his enemy to live but warned him to stay away. The vampire's bite caused dizziness for Peter for a significant time afterward, causing him to pass out at dinner with MJ, Arthur Stacy and Jill. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man #77)
Plagued by nightmares, Spider-Man went after Morbius at Empire State and found him with Dr. Janson. Morbius was explaining that even after feeding, his hunger returned quickly, more so than in the past. Spidey attacked the villain and the fight went outside. Meanwhile, the mutant hating group called The Friends of Humanity was trying to escort Mary Jane away (she followed the weakened Peter to the university) when they found Spider-Man and Morbius. Morbius dealt with the racists, and returned his attention to Spidey when Mary Jane stepped in and told 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. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man #78)
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. (Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 2 #14)
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. (Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 2 #14)
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. (Amazing Spider-Man #622)
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. (Amazing Spider-Man #688) 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. (Amazing Spider-Man #689)
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. (Amazing Spider-Man #690) 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. (Amazing Spider-Man #691)
Michael escaped from The Raft when Hydro-Man, Trapster and Scorpion broke out Doctor Octopus. (Amazing Spider-Man #699.1) He soon encountered a homeless man that suggested he lay low in Brownsville, New Jersey and not in Manhattan. There were too many superheroes in Manhattan and they never traveled to Brownsville. Upon arriving in the town, Morbius soon agreed that law enforcement was uncommon. He soon ran into Noah St. Germain, the local leader of a gang of thugs in Brownsville. For standing up to St. Germain after he harassed a boy and his mother, Michael ended up getting shot with a shotgun. (Morbius the Living Vampire #1) He healed quickly and soon found shelter in a run down theater with a homeless girl, Becky. She was supposed to babysit for the previous young boy, Henry. He had run off to join St. Germain's gang and Becky went to take him home. Morbius came with and ended up tearing out the throat of the gang leader. (Morbius the Living Vampire #2)
Michael was injured in the ensuing gun fight and then forced to perform life saving surgery on the man he tried to kill, or else Noah's girlfriend (Rochelle) would kill Henry's family. The surgery failed after Michael shoved too hard, forcing Noah back into his gurney. (Morbius the Living Vampire #3) News of St.Germain's death spread quickly and rival gangs came to finish the group off. Little did Morbius know, but the St. Germain gang worked as a kind of militia that kept Brownsville in order and relatively peaceful. New gangs came sweeping in, under the leadership of The Rose. (Morbius the Living Vampire #4)
The Rose then confronted Morbius, telling him that he had kidnapped his mother and that he worked for the mob leader now. He shot the vampire with an adamantium bullet, just to drive the point home. The masked crime lord had created Noah St. Germain and made him a puppet in Brownsville and now he was doing to same to Morbius. Micheal was then told to go back to the people and tell them that happy days had returned. After The Rose left Brownsville, he met with his employer: Michael's father, Makarioa Morbius. (Morbius the Living Vampire #5) While clearing out a band of drug dealers, Morbius was confronted by the Superior Spider-Man. He was captured after Spidey used a device that used light to incapacitate the vampire. Michael was taken back to Horizon Labs, where Max Modell explained that Morbius's research had been during a break in the previous night. They wanted Morbius to go through his old lab and determine what had been stolen. After they discovered who masterminded the crime, they could work on a cure for him.
Soon several of Spider-Man's spider bots were assisting in searching the crime scene for clues..until the facility was crashed by the rest of them. Spider-Man's spider sense went into overdrive, rendering him useless. A woman named Nikoleta Harrow arrived and beat them all, just to prove how dangerous her employer was. Soon Harrow was meeting with her boss, The Rose, to discuss his plan for an ultimate nullifier. (Morbius the Living Vampire #6) Morbius and Spider-Man tracked Nikoleta to her hideout with by following the frequency that set his spider sense on over drive. A short battle followed and Morbius and Harrow were transported back to Brownsville. This was just in time for the Rose to detonate the Nullifier, which destroyed the town in a massive explosion. (Morbius the Living Vampire #7)
Michael and Nikoleta survived the explosion and after a brief tussle, she escaped. Meanwhile, The Rose observed the ruins and looked forward to seeing the people of Brownsville taking their revenge on Morbius for letting them down. Morbius sent Becky and the others to Monstropolis for safety while he dealt with The Rose. The masked crime lord soundly beat Morbius in combat and used the Nullifier on him again. (Morbius the Living Vampire #8) Michael fell from the rooftop and onto a car, seemingly dead. He was made of tougher stuff and soon emerged at North Brother Island, headquarters of The Rose. After tearing through the guards, Morbius was shot by the Rose's adamantium bullets and was about to get another one in the head. The vampire surprised his enemy by saying that his mother was dead and had been for years. He then got the upper hand and killed the mafioso. Makaoria then called and explained that the whole scheme had been about destroying Brownsville so that it could be rebuilt and gentrified at a huge profit. A year later, Michael met with Becky, who had become a successful artist in the rebuilt town. As for Morbius, he was going to try and live life. (Morbius the Living Vampire #9)
|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.