Morbius, a vampire created by science, pissed off the gang lord of Brownsville, Noah, while trying to keep away from the cops. He bit Noah in the neck in front of his gang when he was attempting to rescue a little boy with his homeless friend, Becky.
"Maybe biting the local crime boss in the neck wasn't my greatest idea," Morbius thinks. In the abandoned warehouse, Noah gurgles, holding his neck, and falls to the floor with a thud. Morbius thinks about how he is just trying to do good, but bad things always happen to him. (He's done that about five times this series.) Becky and Henry, the boy they were trying to save, hurry out the entrance.
Meanwhile, the gang around Morbius in frantically shooting at him, missing terribly. Morbius tries to explain that he could help Noah if they all stopped fighting him, but nobody listens. Noah's girlfriend confirms that he's not "lastin' long" and grabs a gun out of a man's hand. "Y'all aim like it's your first damn time," she grunts as she shoots Morbius in the throat. She quickly returns to Noah's side to help him and says that if he dies, "I want to make sure Edward Cullen over here suffers for it." ("How dare she disrespect Edward Cullen! I'm going to send in a hate letter!" says every complainers around the world.)
At the abandoned movie theater, Becky and Henry are thinking about what to do next. "So, we're clear on why hanging out with Noah's a bad idea?" Becky asks. "...But what did Noah do? Everything was fine until your friend hurt him!" Henry objects. "Fair enough. We probably shouldn't hang out with my "friend" either way," Becky states. When Henry notices that she made a picture of him when all of the people she draws are supposed to be good, Becky says that she got "the wrong impression" about him. (And there goes all Morbius' only friend.) "Let's hope this next idea works. I'm out of options," Becky worries.
In a small room that once may have acted as storage or a freezer, Morbius is suddenly woken by a painful kick in the back. Noah's girlfriend has a knife to his throat and is obviously unhappy. Morbius apologizes for biting Noah but she doesn't take the apology respectfully. "You said you could help Noah," she mutters. Morbius tells her that he is a doctor specializing in blood. "Despite his stupid hair and those awful piercings, there's a lot to love about Noah," she rants. She tells him that she doesn't believe that he is a doctor, but lets him try to revive him as a last resort. She also notes that she will let him and his friends live if he is successful.
She introduces him to Vasquez, ex-military field medic who lost an arm, and Leonardi, his assistant, both of whom are working on Noah. Vasquez is obviously tense and relived for a doctor to come to help him. He says, "I was in the army reserves, but never saw combat. Lost my arm in a car accident before I could." Essentially, he doesn't know what he's doing. "What I know is Rochelle thought I could do something here and threatened me if I didn't," he says. Morbius knows that there is nothing left to do and that Noah is definitely going to die.
After checking on his mom, Becky takes Henry into a diner which is open 24/7. Outside, one of Rochelle's men is sitting in a car, talking to her on his phone. "I'm not sure what you want me to do here. They're at a diner. A lot of people around," he says. "It's a 24-hour diner. What if they don't leave?" Sadly, Rochelle isn't very sensitive toward the case and tells him that he will do as she says, no matter who sees.
Morbius is starting to get hungry for blood trying to pretend that he's fixing Noah. Luckily, Rochelle is buying the fake stitches that Morbius is threading in his neck and actually thinks he is helping. Vasquez, making small talk to relieve pressure, tells him that Noah's real name is Dave Brill and that he had disappeared for a while back and came back buff. Suddenly, Noah jumps up and takes Vasquez by the neck, brutally smashing his head against the table. (Ouch.)
"The first time we met, I was laying low. Holding back, trying not to get noticed. But right now? There are people whose lives are depending on us not messing this up right now. So, stay down!" Morbius shouts as he slams Noah against the table. Then, Noah stops moving, most likely dead. Meanwhile, Leonardi reveals that Vasquez is dead too. "I-I didn't...not again..." Morbius mutters.
Rochelle walks in to find Noah dead and shouts, "Dead!! You and your friends are dead!"
Remember how I said that the last issue acted a lot like the first issue of the series? Well, this is just like a typical second issue. It's a major filler. Not only that, but I feel cheated by the cliffhanger of the last issue. I expected something really awesome and exciting after it, but Morbius just played doctor for half an issue. This is the exact opposite of what Keatinge should be doing for this title to succeed.
I was also angered about how the supporting cast is handled this issue. It makes me angry that Becky is so quick to turn on Morbius and Henry's naivety towards Noah is sickening. I just wish that Keatinge would give Morbius some solid subplots with other characters instead of just having them turn on him the issue after they're introduced.
Not only that, but a resurrecting problem in this series is Morbius' bland dialogue. I mean, he repeats the same lines over and over and his thoughts can be easily identified by the panels themselves. In fact, you can read the whole issue without reading any of the captions without a problem. And that's a terrible thing.
On the positive side, Richard Elson handles art duties as well as possible. Keatinge gives Elson some really bland panels and didn't play him to his strengths this issue. The panel layout is decent enough, but the uneventful, mostly talkative panels don't match with his strengths. Elson is good at telling everyday superhero stories, as shown in ASM 698, not dark vampire stories.
Keatinge can do better. Let's hope the next issue isn't as horrid.