Writer: Vita Ayala
Art: Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: November 13th, 2019
Michael Morbius, aka the “living vampire”. What exactly is a “living vampire”?? Let’s dive in, and hopefully, we’ll find out!
My experience with Morbius is literally zero. I’ve never read a solo book or any book that he’s ever been in. The extent of my research was to find out that he first appeared as a Spider-Man villain way back in 1971. And with a Marvel Legacy number of only 42, he hasn’t made too many appearances at all in the last almost half-century.
Being a huge fan of the 1970’s Tomb of Dracula series I was excited to see this release and was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a “new ongoing”. However, if you’re familiar at all with Marvel lately that means that after four issues or so they’ll likely decide how “long” of an ongoing it will actually be. I’m personally a fan of the five to six-issue mini-series. If done well they can tell a whole story and set up a possible other future mini. Symbiote Spider-Man is a great example of this.
So, as I sat down to read this the first thing that struck me was the art. Holy cow!! It’s amazing.
As Gene Colon did with Tomb of Dracula, Marcelo Ferreira has created a great atmosphere for a “horror” comic. The shadows and colors create a real sense of tension and fear. I’m not familiar with the inker or colorist, Roberto Poggi, and Dono Sanchez-Almara, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on this whole art team.
As far as the story goes this whole issue is pure setup. Not that that’s bad by any means. We have a whole lot of thought bubbles about virtue and Aristotle. Then through flashbacks, we finally get some answers to how Morbius became a vampire. Unfortunately, his actual name, Michael Morbius, isn’t given until the last few pages. That’s a bit disappointing. And the fact that the person giving his name is a female vampire hunter of sorts, who is also nameless at this point, is also disappointing to this reviewer. She’s very similar to Rachel Van Helsing in the Tomb of Dracula series. Right down to her crossbow.
What makes him a “living vampire” is kind of explained in the credits page which is at the END of the issue. I’m a fan of Marvel’s recap pages. I realize you can’t have a recap on an issue #1, but to put the page with some very important info on who the character is and what his abilities are at the END of the issue, while also not really explaining much of any of it IN issue, doesn’t work very well.
With that being said, I’m fascinated by this series. While I love Marvel’s “superhero” books as much as anyone, a little variety never hurts. And being a fan of the “horror” genre, I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes.
Some mention needs to go to Kyle Hotz’s variant cover as well, it really sets the tone to where and what I hope this series will be.
Although the introduction of the characters could have been handled better, the premise of this story and the artwork have me really looking forward to issue two. Give this a chance, I have a feeling we’ll all be pleasantly surprised. At least I hope so!