Monday, July 08, 2013

Man didn't steal fire from heaven, they got it from aliens. Oh, and Morbius is in this post.

Pictures are displaying oddly lately, so I'm still playing with them a bit: they're all loaded more than once today, but click to enlarge!

A momentary confusion: I thought I had blogged Adventure into Fear with Morbius the Living Vampire #20 some years back, but I just read issue #21 and the storyline didn't seem to match up at appears that was actually #27 I blogged before, a Doug Moench/Frank Robbins piece. Today's issue, #21, "Project: Second Genesis!" was written by Steve Gerber, art by Gil Kane, inks by Vince Colletta.
Mind-controlled by the occult priest Daemond, Morbius has been sent to assassinate one of Daemond's foes. Morbius is shocked and appalled to realize said foe is...a little girl, and pulls out the will to fight off Daemond's control. Unfortunately, then Morbius's vampire bloodlust kicks in, and he's compelled to drink the girl's blood anyway. Still, the little girl, Tara, puts up a good fight, since she had a surprisingly array of mental powers, including the ability to manifest an older, warrior woman version of herself. Morbius bites the older Tara, which somehow drains and puts bite marks on the young one; but head cleared, he starts to take her to a hospital when he's stopped by the mysterious Caretakers, who claim only they can save the girl.
At the Caretakers' creepy house, Morbius finds they too have mental powers, and an a house full of incredible scientific advances, including the usual clones in tubes. The Caretakers tell Morbius they were an alien scout party that crashed on earth thousands of years ago, and decided to teach the primates and help them evolve. The historian, Kammar, claims to have shown primitive man how to make fire; and Morbius seems to buy it. Still, now the Caretakers are getting old, and the world is getting worse (in the seventies...) so they're building a new race, "to join with man and carry on our work." But the mystic Daemond, believing the future lies in the supernatural, has been fighting them. Morbius doesn't want any part of either, feeling "man should earn his right to survive," but frankly Morbius has his own problems. Still, the Caretakers, who claim they can't kill themselves, say if Morbius 'takes care of' Daemond, they will help him find his beloved Martine.
Morbius knows Daemond is a killer, since previously Daemond used him for a murder; but wonders if he can actually kill without the bloodlust to spur him on. Arriving at Daemond's, he interrupts the mystic and a girl (whose face is obscured more than once, for some reason...) performing a summoning ritual, which conjures up the cat-demon Balkatar. Caught by surprise, Morbius is forced outside and pinned; and Daemond simply plans on the demon holding the vampire there until dawn...y'know, I was going to say they must live in a terrible neighborhood if nobody's going to notice something like that, but how many people are really up around dawn? Worse, Daemond shows the girl how horrible Morbius is, and she agrees: of course, she's Morbius's girlfriend, Martine.

I never did get around to reading the most recent (and I believe, already cancelled) Morbius series; but I'm willing to bet it didn't have a tenth of the pure weird of these old ones. And just from looking at the GCD (where this series is under just "Fear," for reasons involving the indica) the Caretakers plotline ran to #26, by Moench and not Gerber. I have to suspect they weren't entirely benevolent, yeah; but that's a trope I'm coming to hate: that Ancient Astronauts or whoever are responsible for every achievement man ever made, and poor stupid humans couldn't have discovered fire, agriculture, or their own ass from a hole in the ground.

No comments: