Halloween is a time of year when a lot of people, both kids and adults, dress up like monsters and comic book characters so why not shine a spotlight (but not too brightly) at a character that reflects both: Morbius: The Living Vampire.
Introduced as a villain in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, Morbius has over the years became a sympathetic anti-hero of sorts due to the tragic circumstances that led to him having to rely on the blood of others to survive. After trying to cure a disease affecting his blood, scientist Micheal Morbius instead was turned into a creature that mimics what we know as a vampire: he required blood to survive and became sensitive to sunlight, but also gained the abilities of flight and super strength. Most probably first didn’t hear about Morbius from his debut in comics, but rather in the 90’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series where censorship issues required to drain “plasma” but not through a puncture wound made by fangs, but through suckers in his hands.
If you want to know how many people remember his craving for plasma, I was actually at an EB Games very recently that had one of the new Morbius figures on the shelf, and the clerk said “oh, wasn’t he that guy who had to drain plasma through his hands?”
Around the time that Morbius made his debut in an animated series for the first time, he similarly made his first appearance in a video game as one of the summonable heroes in Spider-Man-Venom: Maximum Carnage. The next time Morbius would appear in a video game would also be a Spider-Man and over a decade later, as a boss character unique to the PS2/PSP/Wii SKU’s of the game based on Spider-Man 3. Ironically enough, Shriek, one of Carnage’s lieutenants in Maximum Carnage, would also make her second debut in Spider-Man 3 and as the wife of Dr. Micheal Morbius no less. In the first the The Amazing Spider-Man game, Morbius would again be mentioned in various documents but never seen.
Despite the fact that there have been several Blade and Ghost Rider games that have dealt with the super natural side of the Marvel Universe, as well as dozens of Spider-Man games, Morbius’ video game appearances compared to other characters who have fought Spider-Man has been very slim. To date there’s been no console games that have allowed people to play as Morbius, however you can play a kid-friendly version of the character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. The only other game that featured Morbius in a more adult friendly way, Marvel Avengers Alliance, shut down at the end of last month.