Morbius has proven to be a critical disaster following its delayed release in early April 2022. However, the low ratings have little to do with the character Mobius and a lot to do with the Living Vampire’s portrayal in the film.
Michael Morbius, played by Jared Leto, is a famous scientist who’s lived with a rare blood condition. He’s determined to find a cure, and his last hope lies in a serum containing bat D.N.A. The serum partially cures his disease but turns him into a pseudo-vampire with fangs and an insatiable desire for human blood.
Morbius was originally a villain but reformed into an anti-hero
Morbius was created in the early ‘70s by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane as a Spider-Man villain. The pseudo-vampire was undoubtedly a villain in his early days.
He killed Emil, his only friend, to spark his transformation into the Living Vampire. Unable to control his desire for human blood, Morbius targeted innocents, placing him on Spider-Man’s naughty list.
However, as time went by, Morbius started to reform. He showed a willingness to fight his urge for human blood, but the monster inside him craved the power it drew from blood: it boosted his strength, agility, healing, and reflexes.
Morbius could also sail with the wind and use echolocation to decipher his surroundings accurately. Jared Leto’s Morbius, an artificially made vampire, is immune to traditional vampire weaknesses, including garlic, sunlight, and religious relics. However, sunlight weakens Morbius from the comics.
In the comics, Morbius joined a team of monsters and heroes called the Midnight Sons. The group, consisting of the Ghost Riders, Blade, Hannibal King, Morbius, and Doctor Strange, fought against Lilith and her offspring.
Morbius then worked with Blade and Doctor Strange to battle supernatural vampires. He also joined S.H.I.E.L.D. in trying to stem an uprising by the undead of the Marvel Zombies Universe. The pseudo-vampire eventually settled in Brooklyn, where he became a vigilante.
Morbius did all this good while battling his inner demons. The character isn’t perfect, but he’s committed to staying reformed, unlike other Spider-Man villains.
Morbius’ dark thoughts continue to plague him and might lead him back to villainy
In the comics and the film, Morbius’ heroism is unquestionable: In the movie, he saves New York from his evil counterpart, the vampiric Milo; in the comics, he helps other superheroes fight villains.
However, there’s always a feeling that Morbius will snap back into villainy due to his desire for human blood. By the end of Morbius, the anti-hero has yet to find a cure for his bloodlust.
Given the failure of Morbius, it’s unlikely that we’ll see another Morbius film. We’ll rely on the comics to determine whether Morbius gives in to his dark urges. As the film’s synopsis read:
“Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?”