Friday, January 11, 2013

REVIEW: Morbius The Living Vampire #1

Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Richard Elson
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Review: Cody “Madman” Miller

I know as Spider-Man’s biggest fan boy, I should be writing up a review for #700. Don’t worry, it’s coming. I’d planned on smashing #700, Avenging Spider-Man and Superior into a nice little compact package, sort of like a dung beetle rolls his perfect little balls of poo. Does that mean it was a train wreck? I don’t know, does it? I guess you’ll just have to wait and see now won’t you? Calm down and chill people because I have other offerings for the four color gods.

Sure I was “excited” to gobble up the end of Amazing, but the first comic I grabbed out of my stack upon returning from my local funny book store was in fact not Spider related at all, but involved a different sort of tormented science geek.
The living Vampire is actually a scientist named Dr. Michael Morbius P.H.D. You probably already knew that, but do you know who created him? Stan Lee? Nope. Jack Kirby? Nope. Roy Thomas? Yes and no. You see Morbius first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man issue # 101 (which I own) circa 1971. Do you know why that matters? Well there are a couple of reasons that I will gladly fill you in on here.

#1. Issue #101 of Amazing Spider-Man happens to be the first issue of Marvels flag ship comic written by someone other than Spidey’s co-creator, the legendary Stan Lee.

#2. 1971 was the year the ass holes at the CCA (Comics Code Authority) lifted its ban on Vampires and certain other supernatural creatures of the night. Thus, my “man” Morbius was comicdoms first pointy fanged devil.

#3. Because I said so.

Morbius isn’t a “true” vampire so to speak. You see Morbius was a Nobel Prize winning biochemist who had attempted to cure himself of a rare blood disease with an experimental home brew involving vampire bats and large doses of electricity. And just like that, poof, pseudo-vampirism.

After Morbius’ debut, he more or less just appeared as a supporting character in various Marvel titles until 1992 when Marvel gave him his own title. It was a middle of the road series and only ran for thirty some issues (most of which I own). Morbius is just one of those characters that I feel compelled to follow. So needless to say, I was super excited for this new series and all that it entails.
The first issue was good. Damn good. The writing was more or less what I expected. I mean Keatinge was good in Hell Yeah, so I expected nothing less between these covers…..the art, which was my real concern. I mean let’s face facts; the early artist’s renderings of our beloved blood sucker were horrible. He looked way too cliché with his tattered half cape thingy, long black unkempt hair, red eyes, pale white skin, and his wack job fingers all bent at weird angles like some kind of 90 year old man with a serious case of arthritis. In fact my only real complaint about this book was Gabriele Dell’otto’s cover which has cliché oozing off of it.
But not here, not now. Elson really turned that around and brought Dr. Morbius into modern times and made him suck (get it) a whole lot less. Even though the writing is pretty damn good, it is really the art that sold me on the book as it has a new home on my pull list (having just dumped most of the Marvel Now titles I have ample room).

Other than that, it is what it is, If you’re looking for something heroish with a little bite (snicker snicker) pick this title up and support the fact that the living vampire is back in a big way…..Twilight fans need not apply. No glittery nipples or inter-species love affair……at least not yet.

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