With the Marvel Cinematic Universe going strong and the DC Extended Universe still producing hits, comic book movies remain some of the biggest titles in Hollywood, and the folks at Sony Pictures have been working hard in recent years to develop their own franchise featuring characters from the pages of Spider-Man stories. It all kicked off a couple of years ago with the release of VENOM, which turned into a monster hit in the fall of 2018, and now that world is set to expand even further with the release of MORBIUS.
Of course, Morbius not being the most famous comic book character in the world, not everyone is already super familiar with his story and abilities. But that’s where we come in to help. In the hopes of getting you ready for the blockbuster, set to arrive in a couple of months, we’ve put together this guide with all of the basic information you need to know. So, start becoming an expert now!
When Was Morbius Created?
Morbius as a character was first created for Marvel Comics in 1971, gracing the pages of "Spider-Man #101," written and illustrated, respectively, by the team of Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. The issue was part of an arc where, due to some genetic experimentation, Peter Parker accidentally grew a set of four extra arms out of his torso. But that’s far from his only problem, as he learns of a man with an undeniable thirst for human blood…
What Is Morbius’s Origin Story?
It was in Morbius’ second appearance, "Spider-Man #102," that Marvel Comics fans had the chance to learn the backstory behind the character. Born and raised in Greece, Dr. Michael Morbius was originally a Nobel Prize-winning biologist who had been motivated in his work by a lifetime of suffering from a rare blood disease that resulted in him having a deformed appearance. His desire to cure himself unfortunately led him to perform experiments on himself, and doing so transformed him into a Living Vampire: a being technically still alive, but with an intense aversion to sunlight and a never-ceasing desire to consume blood.
What Are Morbius’s Powers?
Morbius is a lot like the vampires of common myth and legend, but with a fair number of exceptions. He doesn’t possess many of the powers of the undead bloodsuckers, such as the ability to transform into a bat, but he does have supernatural strength, echolocation, enhanced night vision, a powerful healing factor, and he can draw extra power when he feeds. Unlike normal vampires, he’s not affected by garlic, crosses or holy water, and he can enter places uninvited. But he is diminished by sunlight and pretty much exclusively stays active at night.
Is Morbius a Hero or a Villain?
Morbius was definitely a villain when he was first introduced and served as an antagonist primarily for Spider-Man. But over the years, his role has changed, and he has become more of an antihero in the comics. Obviously, it’s still a serious problem that he requires human blood to sustain himself, but he has been known to team up with heroes and fight for the side of good. This has included him working with other monstrous characters like Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing and Ghost Rider to form the hero team Legion of Monsters.
Who Is Playing Morbius in the Movie?
Set to bring Morbius into live-action for the first time ever is Jared Leto, the Academy Award®-winning star of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. It was just a few years ago that the actor took on his first comic book movie role, signing up as part of the DC Extended Universe to play the Joker in SUICIDE SQUAD. But now the SPIDER-MAN franchise has him, and should things go well with MORBIUS this summer, it could be a character that we wind up seeing Leto play for many years to come.
MORBIUS will be in theatres on March 19, 2021. Set a reminder to get tickets and check back on the AMC Scene often for updates.