The most famous vampire in Marvel Comics (or all of comics, for that matter) is probably Blade, who already has a trilogy of live-action movies to his name. Now another of Marvel’s vampiric characters is coming to the world at large with his very own movie, portrayed by Jared Leto of ‘best Joker’ fame.
Earlier today, we received the very first trailer for the Morbius movie. The question now is; who is Morbius the Living Vampire?
Who Is Morbius, Marvel’s Living Vampire?
Morbius is called the Living Vampire for a reason. Unlike other vampires like Blade or Dracula, he doesn’t derive his powers from the supernatural. He is essentially a science-based vampire, not someone who was typically turned into one by being bitten.
Dr. Michael Morbius was born with a rare and life-threatening blood disease. He grew up to be a respected biochemist, searching for a cure. Desperate to cure himself by using the DNA of vampire bats, he experimented on himself.
This resulted in him developing vampiric traits, like a thirst for blood and all the abilities that come with it, including super strength, a healing factor, and heightened senses that manifest in the form of night vision and echolocation (like a vampire bat).
However, unlike supernatural undead vampires, his bites usually don’t turn victims into vampires, with the exception of rare and unique cases. Like Blade, Morbius also doesn’t suffer from the normal weakness of vampires, like sunlight or silver.
Since he originally debuted in 1971’s The Amazing Spider-Man issue #101 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Morbius is a tragic anti-hero and sometimes even a villain, straddling the line between good and evil as he struggles to keep his vampiric tendencies at bay.
His search for a cure to his vampiric condition has made him butt heads with Spider-Man many times. It wasn’t until 1992 when the character received his own solo ongoing comic book with Morbius The Living Vampire that he truly started becoming an anti-hero by getting involved with the supernatural group, the Midnight Sons.
However, if you’re interested in reading Morbius, you can just jump into the new ongoing series by writer Vita Ayala and artist Marcelo Ferreira. Only three issues have been published as of January 2020, and the plot is accessible for newcomers with basic knowledge of the character (all you literally need to know is in this article).
Morbius In Other Media
Morbius is not a popular character to adapt out of the comics. A science-based vampire isn’t an easy character to base a plot around. As such, he has only appeared in several episodes of 1994’s Spider-Man The Animated Series. This was a censored version of the character, as he consumed blood through ‘suckers’ on his hands and refers to blood as ‘plasma’ instead.
He also later appeared in 2012’s Ultimate Spider-Man animated series and in several video games, including the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of video game tie-in of the 2007 Spider-Man 3 movie. Most recently, he became a playable character in the Nintendo Switch exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Marvel Knights DLC pack, ‘Curse of the Vampire’.
Morbius will be making his live-action debut in the upcoming Morbius movie directed by Daniel Espinosa. Hopefully, Jared Leto will do justice to this comic book character and not butcher him like he did with Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad.
The Morbius movie will also star Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson, and Al Madrigal, as well as Michael Keaton reprising his role of Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
It is slated to premiere on 31 July 2020. In the meantime, check out the trailer below, if you haven’t.