AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100-102 (1971): 1st Morbius; Spidey gets 6 arms


Co-written by Stan and Roy Thomas and illustrated by Gil Kane, is the “one where he gets six arms.”

There’s no way this should work, but it’s actually pretty damn good.

Peter Parker wants to spend the rest of his life with Gwen Stacy, but his spider-powers keep getting in the way, so he invents a potion to cure him of having powers but, instead, it gives him eight limbs.  

So, he borrows an abandoned Curt Connors laboratory where he meets Morbius.

A year before Marvel starts publishing Tomb of Dracula, they introduce Morbius the Living Vampire.  

He looks a lot scarier than Dracula.  

His appearance paved the way for a full line of Marvel monsters in the next couple years, including Werewolf by Night and Frankenstein.  Their stories will be loosely tied to Marvel continuity.

Anyhow, then Lizard shows up and things get really nuts.

Gil Kane puts in some serious psychedelic work in this story.

In the end, we get an origin story for Morbius that forces us to have compassion for him–his kid is dying of cancer.  

I kind of wish they hadn’t done that.  It would have been nice just to have an evil vampire.

Still, in all, this is a solid tale.  And of course it has a happy ending.

13 thoughts on “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100-102 (1971): 1st Morbius; Spidey gets 6 arms”

  1. This is the single-best ‘Spidey’ epic of all time, an opinion that puts me in the majority of Spidey-fandom. This entire adventure is a primer for how a real man copes with crushing, overwhelming, titanic adversity. EVERYTHING goes wrong for ol’ Spidey in this epic, and yet, he refuses to surrender to despair. Everybody needs to re-read this at least once a year. As he notes a couple of times herein, if there is any advantage to having six arms, it enables you to literally fight extreme adversity off of you! I couldn’t imagine trying to cope with the Lizard AND Morbius, simultaneously!! Both these monsters are just as powerful and tough as Spidey- the Lizard, even more so. The second/third worst disadvantage of having all those extra limbs is, of course, the strain on the heart, having to keep all those extra limbs furnished with blood, as well as the body having to generate the blood to feed them. I figure if Spidey hadn’t been able to lose the extra limbs, these issues would have eventually caught up with him. Logically, he shouldn’t have been able to lose them, anyway. I don’t see extra limbs magically disappearing back into the body, regardless of who cooked up what formula. It was a “Beast” moment, where Parker made a stupid decision which should have carried permanent repercussions, like it did for the Beast, beginning in ‘Amazing Adventures’#11. As for Morbius, I don’t think he’s “more terrifying than Dracula.” I don’t think ANYONE is “more terrifying than Dracula.” Count Dracula is six-foot-five inches of pure Death. Morbius, in contrast, is almost cartoonish-looking, especially in his red-and-blue bodysuit, which he never seems to tire of wearing. ( like-Has it EVER been WASHED-???!!! ) Also, in your review, you mention that Morbius’ motivation for making HIS big mistake was that “his kid” was dying from the blood disease. His KID-??? That’s factually incorrect! Morbius HAS no “kids”!! It’s been a while since my last reading of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’#101, but 1) Morbius has no kids, and 2) He turned himself into a “living” vampire in order to cure HIMSELF! But, we’re all entitled to an occasional brain-fart, so don’t lose any sleep. The important thing is, I think we are all in general agreement that “The Spider, or the Man??”/”A Monster Called……Morbius!!” and “Vampire At Large” , from ‘Amazing Spider-Man’s#100-102 is the most exciting, and most inspirational, Spidey-read of them all!! Excelsior!

  2. YES!!! ( what are YOUR ideas on the matter??? ) Remember, this contention is maintained by the majority of Spidey-fandom, and with good reasons! 1) Stan Lee at his best. 2) Gil Kane at HIS best. 3) Morbius AND the Lizard! 4) Four extra arms!! What an epic for Stan to go out on!!! “The Amazing Spider-Man” just doesn’t GET any better than this!! Word!!

    • Stan Lee at his best is about 5 years before this story. This is a good story, no doubt, but it’s not even in my top 10 Spider-Man arcs. Stack it against Kraven’s Last Hunt, Death of Captain Stacy, Death of Gwen Stacy, Sin-Eater, Amazing Spider-Man 39-40 (Green Goblin), The Gift by JMS, Dan Slott’s Gauntlet story, etc. It’s just not up there with the best. But for it’s time (i.e., early ’70s), it’s certainly one of the best.

  3. I think we are more in agreement than not. Some of your choices ARE good. Kraven’s Last Hunt, and the Death of the Stacys definitely belong in the Top Five Best Spidey Stories. My personal favorite run on ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ is issues#100-150. Issues#121-125- the deaths of Gwen Stacey and the Green Goblin, and Parker’s subsequent attempts to cope by trying to go about his normal, daily routines, which, of course, fail miserably, immediately followed by the initial rampage of the Man-Wolf, he and the Human Torch’s adventure with the Spider-Mobile, and, of course, the first stage of the Clone Saga, are the character’s most memorable storyarcs. Just opinion, of course, but highly-educated and well-fed opinion. It should be further noted that these issues were written by Gerry Conway, who was a master of the craft. Conway wrote these issues while he was preparing for his career as a television playwright. He wrote at a level which refused to condescend to the material. I’d rather read Gerry Conway comics than anything else in the world. No slight intended to the Giants- Shakespeare, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Williams, etc……..but, it is what it is. So- there’s usually a reason why a legendary run of comics IS so legendary, and Gerry Conway was that reason. My thoughts, exactly.

  4. Hey! I just noticed something! The name “Morbius” on the above representation cover of “Spidey”#102 is spelled CORRECTLY!!!! On the cover of MY copy, as well as every OTHER copy of “Spidey”#102 I’ve ever seen, ‘Morbius’ is incorrectly spelled “Moribus”! No shit! Wallopin’ web-snappers!

  5. I’m afraid not, but the next time you’re cruising your favorite comic emporium, ask to view a copy of it, and see what you see!


Leave a Comment