Morbius: The Living Vampire #1
When the Marvel NOW! line up started to unfold and we got the news that a Morbius ongoing series would be coming out, I thought there must have been some mistake. If there is one thing you can count on Marvel to do, it’s to stick to the kind of cape comics that everyone is used to and not stray from the norm. I was excited though, Marvel’s doing something different for once. It seems that they were really paying attention with DC’s New 52 and have decided to try out a horror comic book.
Morbius: The Living Vampire retells the story of Michael Morbius’ origin, but also starts him off on the path of his new story. Those who aren’t familiar with the character will get a taste of what he’s like, but may not want to stick around afterward. The execution of the debut issue is fine, explaining the ins and outs of the character, but I’m afraid the spark of plot for the rest of the arc just isn’t interesting enough to retain everyone’s attention. Not to say that writer Joe Keatinge does a poor job, it’s not a poorly written story, it’s just not engaging. He does have my respect for trying something new over at Marvel and getting it published though.
The thing that sticks out about this story though is this weird self aware sense it has. It knows it’s not a superhero comic, but it also acknowledges that it’s not a ‘typical vampire’ story. This comic is different from other modern vampire stories, but I can’t quite figure out if that’s a good thing here.
While the comic sometimes feels like a ‘regular’ Marvel book visually, artist Richard Elson does a great job of establishing the tone of the series through his art. The weak story is enhanced by his depictions of ‘Brownsville’ and it’s inhabitants, not to mention the retelling of Morbius’ origins is handled in the best possible way. The action sequences, though few and far between, look great and they aren’t muddled like other hero comics.
I was pumped for Morbius, and while it’s an interesting start, overall I was let down by it. It’s not that I got so worked up about the comic that it didn’t meet my expectations, it’s just kind of boring. Some of the things in the comic are a lot of fun, but the plot threads and retreads inside it just didn’t do it for me.
Rating: 5.5 / 10
Go to page 2 for our New Avengers review!