Saturday, April 14, 2012

What I'm reading: Morbius- the early years

You've come along way!

In the early 1970s, Morbius splashed onto the scene.  He was the ‘living’ vampire; made by science, not supernatural.  His craving for blood tormented his soul and whenever the thirst came over him he always screamed out and brooded over his victim.  “Why?!”  

From his first appearance in Amazing Spider-man #101 (1971) (you know the one where Peter had 6 arms!!) Morbius grew in popularity and got his own feature in Vampire Tales.  (Vampire Tales is an interesting comic.  They had a couple vampire stories and in between they had essays about vampires in literature and movies.) There he traveled to San Francisco and battled hippies and satanic cults.

Next up, Morbius began some adventures into Fear.  And what followed were a demon sorcerer and thousand year old aliens trying to fix Earth.  In the final battle, the sorcerer is revealed to also be an alien and allies with his alien brethren in hopes of destroying Morbius (and a little girl who the aliens created).  He also happens upon his fiance, Martine who was under possession by the sorcerer.  The storyline was very strange, in that Morbius got transported to various ‘worlds’.  One was a land of cat people who had found peace and kept breeding to the point of overpopulation.  They brought in Morbius in hopes that he would start killing some of their kind.  He ended up getting tossed into a river which transported him to Arcturus IV, where he met grotesque mutants (who also wanted to die) and robots.  Turns out they were created by the aliens that Morbius had met.  One of the mutants had a spaceship so they were able to get back to Earth.  After it crashed back to Earth, Morbius ran into Blade.  Since Morbius isn’t a normal vampire, crosses don’t work, so Blade needs to use his wooden stakes. Also Morbius doesn’t believe in real vampires.  Go figure. Morbius gets away and needs finish his objective of destroying the aliens.  Once this debacle finished up, he and Martine relocate to the east coast.  

Now in Boston, life for Morbius is turning around.  He has his gal, they have a house, he is being hunted by an ex-CIA agent and he continues getting thrown into other dimensions/worlds.  There also seems to be a theme going on about characters who are eyeballs.  The mutant who had a spaceship had an eye for a face.  Then in another dimension he battled a creature with a thousand eyes. Can you guess his name?  Helleyes!  I kid you not.


The banter from ex-CIA agent Simon Stroud is some of the best 70’s dialog.  His nickname for Morbius is “leech”.  They became fast friends in their battle with Helleyes.  Afterwards, they fight real vampires and Morbius is dumbstruck by this.  And then his fiance gets turned into a vampire.  Then cured.  Then Morbius almost kills her by sucking her blood.  Life is too much for him so he takes off.

For additional interesting Morbius tidbits on this time in Morbius’ life check out this blog I happened upon.  
What kind of hijinks will Morbius get into throughout the 80’s?  Stay tuned...