Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just like that, Morbius never felt guilty about drinking blood again:

Ironically, both girls are from Buffy/Angel.
I took pictures for this short one last weekend, then had a severe bout of lazy, and didn't finish it up. (Doctor Who marathon on BBC America and NFL opening weekend did not help, either.) Back to work!

I personally prefer my vampires to be monsters. Soulless aberrations. Undead abominations. Get a stick and kill it. That's not to say they can't be intelligent or erudite, but as a rule of thumb, they're the bad guys. Even the exceptions, like Angel or Hannibal King or Cassidy from Preacher, seem to spend a lot of time killing their less-nice brethren. (I'm pretty sure Cass killed a vamp or two in a special...)

So I wasn't a big Anne Rice fan in her heyday, and I'm avoiding Twilight like crazy. Possibly because I've worked my way out of teen angst and into adult malaise; or more likely because once I heard the vampires "sparkle" I wanted no part of that. (My Oldest liked the first book and movie, although I'm sure I annoyed him no end by repeatedly asking "How do you kill the vampires again?")

Which brings us the long way around to Morbius, the Living Vampire. Over at the Hurting, Tim O'Neil referred to Morby as his least favorite Marvel character ever. Which is more than fair: I cheerfully concede, I don't think there's ever been a Morbius comic that's been good.
I haven't read a vampire novel in years: is the dialog any more or less purple than this?
More behind the break!
But the potential...I will steadfastly defend the potential of Morbius. Not because he's a vampire, because he's weak. I've gone over this before, but Morbius is intriguing since despite any good intentions he may have, he always ends up taking the path of least resistance.
Goddamn, that's an ugly panel.

Consider: when he finds out he's dying of a rare blood disease, Morbius never tells his girlfriend Martine; he takes her on a cruise where he's running experiments to try and save himself. Immediately after turning into a living vampire, Morbius drinks his lab assistant's blood; then, revolted at what he's done and the idea that Martine might see him, he throws himself overboard. Later in the series, rather than lose the mortally wounded Martine, Morbius turns her into a vampire. At least, that's how I remember it; somehow, Martine may have ended up a traditional, undead vampire. But the point is, rather than accept her loss, grieve, and get over it; Morbius goes to extreme measures to avoid that, leaving no one happy--he later breaks up with Martine, who by this point is pissed off at Morbius on multiple levels, and killing more people.
Morbius' nose seems to come and go, just like the art teams for this book.
And all of that pales in comparison to his junkie-like addiction to blood. Now that one isn't necessarily Morbius' fault, maybe; but he seems compelled to drink it out of someone's neckhole, rather than rob a bloodbank or take donations or any other means that don't involve an exsanguinated corpse and Morby crying with remorse. I'm not sure how much blood Morbius needs to survive, but perversely, he seems to be able to resist the craving until he hits a point where he's not only going to feed, he's going to suck all the fluids out of the next person he sees, killing them: if he fed a little at a time, he would probably kill a lot less people.

The trouble (or one trouble) with turning Morbius into a movie, is the same problem he had with his own comic: Morbius is the bad guy. He kills people. Yeah, he feels bad about it, and is trying to avoid killing any more, but that doesn't make his victims any less dead. (At the very least, even if Morby doesn't kill his victims, being wrestled to the ground and bit can't be a picnic for them.) To generate sympathy for Morbius, the temptation is to make the villain more horrible; like actual vampires, aliens, or law enforcement/government types that want Morbius for a weapon, for dissection, or just dead. Simon Stroud from the old comics only partially fit that shoe: assigned to the Morbius case, he doesn't believe in vampires or monsters initially. When the evidence comes in, though, he steps up to silver weapons and wooden stakes matter-of-factly. (Even though Morbius isn't specifically vulnerable to those, a silver bullet could kill him just as easily as a lead one.)

I am curious as to if the recent Disney/Marvel deal will be in Morbius' favor; and I would guess that if some other studio had the rights for him, they would have to get on the ball to use them before they lapsed back to Disney. Maybe Disney can improve Marvel's typical track record for hopping on a bandwagon: if Marvel wanted to cash in on Twilight, you could expect a teen Morbius limited series in 2015...

The first two scans are from Morbius #27, written by Lisa Trusiani, pencils by Craig Gilmore, inks by Rick Bryant. The third, from Morbius #32, "The River Runs Red" Written by Lisa Trusiani, pencils by Fabio Laguna, inks by Mike Witherby. It is entirely possible that Trusiani was the only female Marvel writer at the time, 1995; but she was saddled with some of the ugliest art you'll ever find. #32 was the last issue, and judging by the hasty wrapup of a couple plotlines, it seemed to perhaps (somehow) have come suddenly.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Sparkling vampires is a ridiculous idea really...unless they are sparkling from burning to death by sunlight.

So yeah, I'm entirely on Morius's side in this particular instance.