Characters : Morlun
Dresses well. Shows reptile skin when he absorbs too much radiation.
Long black (white when weakened)
Normal for his height
Once he touches anybody, he can always find him/her.
Needs to feed on life-forces regularly, and on totemistic (purer) sources occasionaly. Doesn't digest radiation too well.
Doesn't tire and doesn't grow weary. Absorbs life-forces on touch.
Very high. He was supposedly stronger than Thor and the Hulk. Read profile's body for notes.
Pile of Ashes
Unknown, Presumed High
Hunter of super-powered beings, feeding on his prey
Spider-Man, Ezekiel, Dex and the German super-hero.
Not much is known about Morlun. All of that is explained by Ezekiel: since the dawn of time, totemic powers walked the Earth. These powers are the bridges between two different species, human and other. Since then, humanity re-tells history (shamans, priests, etc), fitting it in it's own limited views, "to get a momentary taste of totemic force. Some do it for ritual", others to better understand the world around them, and others still "to project a sense of power". These are the ones Peter's been fighting for all his life. Every type attracts it's similar ("gods against gods, patriots against people who think they're patriots, mutants against mutants"): Vultures, Lizards, Scorpions, Cobras, Jackals, Rhinos, Octopi, and many others. They fight to attain the power of a specific totem, "guided by urges beyond their control and understanding", without even realizing what they're doing. They're just pretenders. And Peter is the "real deal".
But there are also those who feed on totemic forces, and on their inheritors (Peter). Only a few walk the Earth, and they hunt those forces for centuries. They can feed on lesser sources (humans, and super-humans) for a while, but eventually they must feed on a pure source. And one of them came looking for Peter...
The cargo ship where Morlun traveled to New York arrives at the docks. Dex, his servant, announces him that. Morlun devours (absorbs his energy, not literally eating him) his last supply for the trip, an unknown German super- hero, and prepares to go hunting for Spider-Man. His wrinkled skin, and white hair rejuvenate as he feeds.
Next day, while Spidey swings to his old high school to get a job, Morlun and Dex are having breakfast. Morlun establishes a parallel between Dex's croissant and Spider-Man, talking about appreciating the beauty of food. As he says this, Spidey is swinging by, and Morlun decides to tease him: he triggers his Spider- Sense in a very strong way, leaving Peter very scared. Morlun continues his talk with Dex, as Spider-Man tries to understand what happened. Dex asks to be killed, Morlun says no.
The next day, as Peter is having a talk with Ezekiel about Morlun, and his (Peter's) powers (the one described in the first two paragraphs), Morlun is trying out new clothes. Later in that day, Peter leaves home after hearing a bulletin that reports trouble on the East Side. He arrives at the scene. A burning building. He rescues a woman, and he gets the hardest punch he ever got (in his own words) and flies against a car. As he looks up, he sees Morlun standing before him.
Spidey attacks, but Morlun is unaffected. Morlun only says he doesn't want to kill Spidey, but he has to. He won't tire, won't grow weary, and now that he found him, he can always find him. Then he shuts up and proceeds in trashing Spidey. He bests every tactic Spidey tries, uses innocent people to prevent Spidey from fleeing, and gives him a major beating. Peter (who's a mess by now) tries to flee anyway, and dresses in civilian clothes hoping to go unnoticed. Tough luck Morlun wasn't bluffing. He meets him and attacks him again. In an ensuing explosion, Morlun's clothes get destroyed, and he leaves to find new ones. Spidey uses the break to get to Ezekiel. He asks for help, but Ezekiel tells him that he's doomed, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Ezekiel says now that Morlun touched Peter, he can always find him, and that he doesn't want to expose himself, because so far Morlun doesn't know of his existence. He's not a pure source, but he's a "pretty decent appetizer". Peter leaves disappointed, and sees a columns of smoke: Morlun is luring him again. They go at it again, Spidey gets a few breaks to phone his loved ones, but Morlun is relentless. But Ezekiel eventually enters the fray, saying he changed his mind. In a double blow, Ezekiel lands a jab in Morlun's nose which sheds some blood. And here comes my only gripe with this story:
Spidey thinks "[...]It's a new experience, relying on someone with similar powers to what I have." Well, it's NOT a new experience. He fought alongside Ben Reilly lots of times!
Eventually, Morlun gets a hold of Ezekiel and absorbs his essence, letting him fall on the river (the fight has gone throughout the whole Big Apple - now they're at the docks). Morlun's satisfied, and leaves for the moment. Peter dives several times for Ezekiel, but he couldn't find him. He then remembers the shed blood. He takes the sample and goes home to analyze it. He discovers that the blood is a mix of every form of DNA (human, insect, animal, bird, etc), in the purest forms he has ever seen. Probably "the cells break down" with time, and "he needs to recharge with a life source in each category". But Peter knows something Morlun doesn't. He's not pure... He invades a Nuclear Power Plant and activates the alert. The workers evacuate, leaving him alone in there.
Minutes pass, and Morlun arrives. He kills a cop who doesn't let him come in, and Dex takes his gun without him knowing. Spidey injects himself with radioactive fluid and collapses. Morlun enters the room, and picks him up. He says the energy he'll absorb from the "pure spider" within Peter will allow him to live for at least 100 years more. He tries to absorb Peter's energy, but he gets burned instead. He can't understand, and Peter gets up and explains: Whatever the origin of his powers is, the radiation is a part of them. And while Morlun can feed on the Spider, he can't on the radiation. Spidey beats Morlun up. Whenever he touches him, Morlun gets weaker because he absorbs radiation. It's logical to assume that in their previous fight, whenever Spidey hit him, Morlun absorbed some energy, thus "never tiring", resisting every blows, and leaving Spidey a lot more vulnerable.
Morlun is backed against some debris, and he begs Spidey to spare him, saying he'll go away and never return. His skin looks like the one of a snake or lizard. Peter questions himself: Should he leave Morlun alive to kill, or should he kill him? His decision is made for him when Dex shoots Morlun. Spidey's hesitation is enough to give Dex the time to do it. Morlun dies claiming it was nothing personal, he was just hungry, leaving a pile of ashes. Spidey lets Dex go, because Dex tells him that "He hurt me a lot". He was probably let go not only by that, but because in his heart, Spidey knows that had he not hesitated, Dex wouldn't have had the time to shoot. So, he's as much to blame as Dex. He doesn't know if he would have come to kill Morlun himself, but he suspects he would. Later, he drops by Ezekiel's office to tell his partners he's dead, but he finds a clean office and a rubber spider stuck to the glass. Ezekiel is alive...
About Morlun being stronger than Hulk and Thor. This seems unlikely. Since Morlun absorbed radiation every time Peter touched him in the final battle, I think it's legitimate to guess that he also absorbed Peter's life force whenever he hit or was hit by Peter before. That would increase the impact of every hit of his, and also explain his "doesn't tire and doesn't grow weary" attribute. That would place him near Class 75~80 Strength, instead of Class 100.
A hint in Peter's dream in Amazing #46 (vol.2) seemed to indicate that Morlun will return. We know nothing about him, except he had been alive for centuries. Exactly how old was he? Who has he killed in the past? Could he be able to transcend death, reincarnate, or anything else? Not likely, but we never know. Will others like him come hunting for Spidey? Ezekiel said there were a few roaming this world. So that makes them "a few minus one". Will they come? Will Spidey use the same tactic? Will Spidey be forced to kill them? Lots of questions that will probably stay unanswered. (While not of the same species as Morlun, Spidey was attacked by similar energy draining creatures: Shathra and the Temple Spider.)
Morlun returned during The Other arc, when Peter was dying of a disease related to his powers. He stalked Peter, but was disappointed to see the man that killed him in a weakened state. (No reason for his resurrection was given, he had simply returned to life.) Morlun ambushed Peter at the Bugle and was soon tossing him around New York. Spidey felt his knuckles breaking and his skin tearing from the violence of the battle.
It did no good. Morlun literally beat Spider-Man into the ground and would have fed on him on the spot, but the arrival of the police forced him to flee. Even he isn't invulnerable and he cant feed and fight at the same time. He allowed the police to take the body to the hospital, knowing that they would keep Spider-Man alive for him and he could always find Parker later. He found him near death at the hospital, and was about to feed when Mary Jane stopped him.
As Morlun was about to kill her, Peter awoke and pounced on him. Except, Peter had changed. He had glowing red eyes, fang-like teeth and stingers coming out of his wrists. He pinned Morlun to the floor with his stingers and proceeded TO EAT MORLUN ALIVE, STARTING AT HIS HEAD. Yes, you read that right. Stingers. Red eyes. Ate Morlun alive. Or, at least his life essence, as Morlun crumbled to dust in a pink whirlwind. Peter died soon after, in the hospital. It all gets tied up in the Miss Arrow profile.
|Jun 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #30|
|Jul 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #31|
|Aug 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #32|
|Sep 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #33|
|Oct 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #34|
|Nov 2001||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #35|
|Dec 2005||App: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1|
|Returns and stalks Peter|
|Dec 2005||App: Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #19|
|Dec 2005||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #525|
|Jan 2006||App: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2|
|Jan 2006||App: Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #20|
|Jan 2006||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #526|
|Feb 2006||App: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3|
|Killed by Spider-Man|
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.