A Nobel winning scientist, Dr. Michael Morbius, MD PhD, has contracted a rare blood virus that will end his life prematurely. Determined to defeat the disease that will soon ravage his body, he brings his incredible genius to wage war on the virus. Unfortunetly, a horrible accident during his experiments changes Michael into the Living Vampire, Morbius!
Morbius the Living Vampire first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in October of 1971. This date is important as it during this time that Stan Lee stopped writing Spider-Man stories and allowed other writers to pen the series. Morbius was written by Roy Thomas, who would also bring Conan the Barbarian as well as the Silver Age Vision to Marvel. This date is also important because it was in 1971 that the Comics Code Authority, a self imposed censorship group, lifted the ban on vampires and other supernatural entities and allowed them into comics.
Thus Dr. Michael Morbius became Morbius the Living Vampire!
Morbius, who’s arrogance and lack of empathy toward others, is single minded in his pursuit to find a cure to not only the virus but the vampirism that he infected himself. Though he begins as an enemy for Spider-man, he soon becomes a tragic and sympathetic figure. His curse now doubled as both dying from his fatal disease and his need for blood as a vampire. Morbius would go on to have his own series in Adventure Into Fear for Marvel, actually becoming a hero in some instances, but still hunted for the creature he has become by no less than Blade.
Still, in the larger scope of the Spider-Man and Marvel Universe, Morbius has begun to slide into obscurity. Which is strange considering the popularity of Vampires and Nocturnal creatures in today’s society. Not in the Twilight style, but more int he Laurel K. Hamilton and True Blood kind of Vampire. Still there is hope, that in the right hands, Morbius could make a comeback.