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Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Morbius has fought Spider-Man ever since his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October, 1971), occasionally working together or fighting against several other Marvel characters, perhaps most commonly with Blade. He was also seen as a character in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
Michael Morbius, also known as "The Living Vampire" was a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who in hopes of curing his fatal blood cell dissolving disease treated himself with fluids distilled from vampire bats and as a last chance tried shock-treatment as a way to electrically create blood cells. This "cured" him by transforming him into a vampiric being that lusted after blood, as a way to counter the disease. He also gained several other vampiric attributes, such as white skin, fangs, allergy to sunlight (though painful, sunlight does not kill him because he is not undead like normal vampires, but lack of melanin leads to burns), hollow bones which give him capability of flight as well as super strength and healing factor and in later series more supernatural abilities like hypnosis.
Because of his need to drink blood from living victims (due to the too large amounts of anticoagulants in stored blood for his body to handle or because the need to kill stays even after then physical need is satisfied) Morbius wallows in guilt and has tried to find both an alternative substance to blood and a way to cure himself without much success while working alone. At best he has been able to change back into a human for some periods of time but either has soon reverted back or retained the need to drink blood. Despite all this, he's generally willing to help or at least unwilling to harm people he sees innocent or has a closer relationship with.
Tropes seen in this series include:
- Aborted Arc: The Strange Tales story where Morbius goes to New Orleans to help Martine's niece. It was left on a cliffhanger too.
- With his recent appearance in Amazing Spider-Man, it pretty much makes his Legion of Monsters appearance accepting his vampirism and running Monster City this.
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: In his original, 70's series, later got turned more into a Nineties Anti-Hero
- Always Save the Girl: Some of this in the earlier comics, both Martine and Amanda
- He's also responsible for She-Hulk's current condition. It being the side effect of a potential cure he was going to use on himself.
- Bad Dreams
- Blessed with Suck
- Death By Origin Story: Nikos
- Dr. Genericius
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Enfant Terrible: Tara
- Evil Albino: Vic Slaughter
- Evil Counterpart: Vic Slaughter
- Evil Versus Evil: When he first showed up, he fought the Lizard as well as Spider-Man.
- Game Face: In his first appearance when attacking.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Woman: Applied to Amanda in Vampire Tales #7 though she suspects it was more because she insulted Morbius by calling him a vampire.
- Gone Horribly Wrong
- Hair of Gold: Martine and possibly Amanda Saint too.
- Horror Hunger
- I Am a Monster
- Mugging the Monster: Subverted in the Nineties Anti-Hero comic as this happens soon after Morbius has found a way to make himself human again, and thus is unable to defend himself against several robbers (but gets revenge later) and played straight in other comics where occasional people have tried to steal from a "corpse" or robbers have mistaken him as a harmless hobo.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Blood-Tide, Death-Flame, Vic Slaughter...
- Not Quite Flight: His hollow bones give him rather incredible gliding powers.
- Our Vampires Are Different:Besides himself being different (notice the "living vampire" moniker), he also inadvertently created another different vampire called Blade. This is mostly because Roy Thomas wanted to create a vampire enemy for Spider-Man but the Comics Code forbid the depiction of the undead. Because of this, vampires were Killed Off for Real in the Marvel universe (for a decade or so anyway). They got around this by making Morbius a vampire created through science, rather than the more typical supernatural methods.
- Professor Guinea Pig: To his defence he was running out of time and had tested at least some parts.
- Religion of Evil: Has battled against these more than once.
- Which is ironic seeing how he likes to remind people that he's a rational scientist.
- Resist the Beast
- The Hunter
- Transhuman Treachery
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Morbius didn't think highly of his appearance even as a human, and turning into a vampire didn't help at all. In contrast, quite a few of the higher members of the Hell-Fire cult are handsome and beautiful.
- Undeath Always Ends
- Vampire Bites Suck
- Vampire Vords: His accent in Spider-Man: The Animated Series
- What Have I Become?
- Wig, Dress, Accent: In Strange Tales: Blade, Morbius disguises himself as human to meet with Martine's relatives... which stretches quite a bit to Paper-Thin Disguise as though he does wear reasonably normal clothes as opposed to his leather wear, he does nothing to his white skin, fangs, pointy ears or claws (truly a Nobel-price winning scientist at work) making everyone creeped out by him but is not recognized as Michael Morbius. However one of the family soon starts to suspect him to be a vampire and goes straight to Blade for help.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The only type of prey Morbius is rarely seen to attack.