By 1974, Marvel Comics already had a very successful series starring a vampire- THE vampire- Count Dracula, with their “Tomb of Dracula” title. So- why did the company feel the need to inflict their readership with this fifth-rate “test tube” vampire?? Actually, the “Morbius” character bears a VERY high resemblance to another laboratory-created vampire character, the defunct Dell Comic’s “Dracula”. The resemblances were highly aesthetic, as well as the details of their origins. But this series bombed, and was cancelled after only a few issues, which apparently emboldened Marvel to attempt their own spin on it, especially since Stan Lee was hot to launch a vampire character which skirted the tenets of the Comics Code Authority. If only he could have waited just one more year- in 1972, the Comics Code Authority relented their strictures against classic supernatural monsters like vampires, werewolves, and zombies, giving us “The Tomb of Dracula”, “Werewolf By Night”, “The Frankenstein Monster”, “The Zombie”, etc., and which would have totally negated the “need” for Dr. Michael Morbius. By the end of the Seventies, the entire “monster” line of comics and magazines had all died off, ( how appropriate ) and there was no room on the market for even ONE vampire, let alone several! Morbius’ most recent appearance prior to this issue was in the legendary ‘Marvel Team-Up’#4, where, following his defeat at the hands of the X-Men, he found himself in their custody. ( a BLATANT violation of his civil rights! ) Morbius mentions early in this issue, ( Fear#20 ) that he managed to escape from those “meddling mutants”- it would seem to me that escaping from the custody of the X-Men is quite an achievement, but no explanation was provided as to how he actually accomplished it! I’d appreciate some sort of flashback explanation as to how he accomplished this! If the authorities were counting on Professor X and his X-Men to incarcerate dangerous superpowered threats, mutants, etc., then THIS must have been quite an embarrassment! ( “Yeah, Fred, we, uh, had a vampire locked up here with us, but, he, uh, kinda got away, there! Sorry! Our bad!” ) No wonder the Government wanted the X-Men to lay low during this period of time! Sheesh!
The 1974 morbius series wasn’t that bad. But you’re right that Tomb was excellent.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.