This January, Writer Joe Keatinge will relaunch the blood-sucking adventures of “Morbius: The Living Vampire” as part of Marvel NOW! Keatinge, along with editor Sana Amanat joined members of the press for the fifth of Marvel’s Next Big Thing calls of this week. Keatinge and Amanat chatted about the difficulties of putting a new spin on the vampire mythos, what horror means in the modern Marvel U and just who Morbius as a character.
Keatinge began by reminding fans that his run on Morbius actually begins in “Amazing Spider-Man” #699.1, which leads readers into Dan Slott’s much talked about “ASM” #700…which is totally changing everything…like…forever. Keatinge said that 699.1 will set the stage for what we can expect to see during his run on the scientific vampire’s story, but was quick to say that his title will not be directly tied into Slott’s “ASM” #700 and upcoming “Superior Spider-Man.” He said that “Morbius: The Living Vampire” will concentrate on developing the one-time villain as an individual who struggles with his hunger for blood while being on the run as a fugitive following his escape from The Raft in “Amazing Spider-Man.” Amanat said that this new title will examine just how exactly someone lays low while being a blood-sucking vampire.
Keatinge discussed how Morbius’ history as “mostly” a villain will impact his story, saying how Morbius has always walked the line between villany and simply being misunderstood. Morbius is an addict, according to Keatinge, and his struggle to not cave in to that addiction and find the inherent humanity within himself is where the drama derives. The story essentially boils down to a man’s battle with himself to be good. Morbius is a monster who is fighting a monster within.
He’ll be seen mostly as a loner, though there will be a supporting cast introduced including (perhaps) a guest spot from Spider-Man. But that’s not for a while. Amanat said she and Keatinge were uncertain how Spider-Man would be introduced into the story. Would he be a foe or an ally? The team is uncertain at this point. Frequently, they repeated that they’re making a concerted effort to develop Morbius as single character and not involve him directly in anything other than his own battles. Including battles with a rogue’s gallery that will be unique to his comic.
When asked about the glut of vampire material currently in pop culture, Keatinge and Amanat said they discussed in detail just how to create something that hadn’t been done before. Keatinge said that he didn’t think of vampires as a genre but as a delivery system to tell stories, functioning the same way superheroes do. It’s all a different reflection of humanity. He views Morbius’ struggle with the decaying human in himself as the root of the horror in this series. He said that Marvel is known for its being relatable and Morbius’ plight is no different. Keatinge said he found the personal aspects of his main character and dropped them into a horror setting. As far as what horror means in the modern Marvel U, both Keatinge and Amanat say the landscape has changed post-AvX, he said “It’s kind of a different universe. There was a lot of looking over to what the playing field was and where a guy like Morbius would fit in.” Though hesitant to give anything away, the team is certain that they found a place for him and are eager for fans to find out where that is.
“Morbius: The Living Vampire” #1 hits in January. Check out some preview pages from the issue right here.
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