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What's the deal with Morbius?

Here we go, it's Morbius time.

I wasn't going to write this one, all Morbius content was going to be saved for the upcoming cloven hoof podcast, but here we are. I don't think Morbius is going to be a good movie at all, in fact I'm fairly confident that it will be actively bad, but with no Morbius there would be no Cloven Hoof podcast so I'm grateful for its existence.

Morbius is less than two weeks away and, much like Moon Knight, the details are still a little unclear. Unlike Moon Knight, it feels more like this is down to sheer confusion than the studio trying to maintain a sense of mystery.

Morbius is about a biochemist called Michael Morbius who turns himself into a vampire when he attempts to use an experimental cure for his rare blood disease. Usually Morbius is a Spider-Man villain but in recent years he has become somewhat of an anti-hero. In stories where Morbius is the anti-hero he usually winds up fighting actual vampires (you know because he's an artificial vampire) but in the case of the movie I don't think that's what's happening. To be quite honest, I have no idea what's happening in the movie, is Matt Smith's character the villain? Is it Tyrese Gibson? Is it Adria Arjona? Who is it? I honestly don't know what the plot is. I've tried to look for a good synopsis, a revealing trailer, maybe an interview, just something to tell me what is going on in Morbius. Since I have literally nothing to give you about plot let's move on to characters.

I've already spoken about Michael Morbius but let's look at his powers. Morbius, in most adaptations, can fly, has nightvision and echo location, he has super strenght and speed, and he has an accelerated healing rate. Like all comic book characters these change from year to year so who knows whether every power will make it into the movie but it seems like it would be a pretty safe bet to say that they will.

Michael Keaton will be playing Adrian Toomes, otherwise known as the Vulture. He will be reprising the role for the first time since Spider-Man Homecoming in 2017, it's very unclear what his role in the plot is or how he jumped to a different cinematic universe but it definitely adds to the rumours that we might get a Spider-Man appearance (hopefully of the Andrew Garfield variety).

Matt Smith is taking on the role of Loxias Crown, or Hunger. Loxias Crown is, in most incarnations, an agent of Hydra but it's very likely this won't make it into the movie. In the movie he will likely just be an agent of some generic suit wearing organisation that wants to hunt down Morbius. Crown is also very similar to Morbius and holds a very similar set of powers as he is also what Marvel calls a "pseudo-vampire" (which is also what Morbius is).

Tyrese Gibson is Simon Stroud who is a CIA agent and this will likely be it, I don't think that this character will have that much to do to be honest.

Adria Arjona is playing Martine Bancroft who is Michael Morbius' girlfriend. Will she have anything other than that to do? Probably not. These films have a habit of being heavily male dominated and immediately fridging the girlfriends, Morbius will probably kill her in vampire form and that will be his tragic backstory.

Morbius is set in New York so it's not doing anything unique or new but it does leave plenty of room to throw in some character and location references. We probably won't see Venom with that being set in the West Coast in San Francisco, maybe we'll get an Eddie Brock cameo though. Weirdly we also get a look at an Oscorp tower in the trailer with the same logo as the Oscorp tower in The Amazing Spider-Man series, it isn't the same tower exactly but maybe they've had renovations. There is every chance that the Oscorp tower is just a little reference rather than a hint at something bigger but it would make no sense to just throw that into the movies first trailer.

Speaking of Oscorp and Spider-Man, what universe is this set in? Venom is mentioned in the trailer so we can assume it's in that universe (although the Venom Symbiote exists both the Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland films too now and also in that weird villain basement at the end of TASM 2). Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man is the one in the graffiti in the trailer (shown at the top of this article). Adrian Toomes is from Tom Holland's series, unless he's just a variant but hopefully not because that would just be a bit pointless and annoying. As we've mentioned, the New York skyline with the Oscorp tower is from Andrew Garfield's series. Is there any chance they've just sort of thrown all of this in for a quick bit of meaningless fan service in the hope of this movie at least breaking even? Yes. Knowing Sony, yes there is. We'll have to wait and see though, but recent reshoots after Spider-Man No Way Home have led people to believe that Andrew Garfield could well feature.

To be quite honest I have nothing more to say about Morbius, it's a confusing movie and concept and the trailers give me nothing to work with. There will be a review and discussion on the upcoming podcast so check that one out in April.

Before I go let me leave you with a reading list. Homework if you will. Here are three

Morbius shows and comics to have a look at before you watch the movie:

  • Morbius: The Living Vampire: Midnight Son is the comic that I think this movie will draw most heavily from, it's an antihero story and is probably the most read modern Morbius comic.

  • Spider-Man the animated show: Season 2: Episode 6 you can probably just find this one on youtube or something, anyway it's classic Morbius and the show itself is great. Check it out.

  • Morbius: Legion of Monsters #1 this one's a much more grounded story and is only a one shot so perfect for a quick read on the bus (especially because it's digital). It probably isn't anything like what the movie will be like but it's pretty good.

We'll see how good Morbius turns out to be but hopefully the introduction of Vampires into modern Marvel Cinema (I know Blade did it but I said modern) is something that could be really cool if done right so fingers crossed.

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