If Morbius is the hero of this title, and he is at odds with Spiderman, what does that make Spiderman? In my book that makes Spiderman the villain in this issue. The reality is that all Morbius wants is a bit of Spiderman’s blood, because the last time he drank the blood of the Web Slinger, he was cured for a short time. The only problem is, Morbius is a little on the creepy/crazy side, so when he approaches the whole thing (in a dark alley meeting set up by dropping a corpse at the feet of Peter Parker) he goes about it the wrong way.
I mean really Morbi, bare fangs and say, “I Want…SOME OF YOUR BLOOD,” in 72 point dripping blood evil font. I wonder if he wouldn’t have found that sitting down for coffee and discussing the whole situation would have gone better for him. Instead he finds himself embroiled in fisticuffs with Spidey.
There is more to the situation though. Morbius is being hunted by another, Stroud has been hunting for Morbius since the last time he slipped through his fingers, and a battle with Spidey is a perfect chance to take him down while he is distracted. Stroud takes them both out, but is double crossed. There is yet another player in the game, a Doctor Paine, and now he has Morbius in his hands.
The dynamic of hero and anti-hero is full on brilliant in this one. Spiderman is flip and silly where Morbius is desperate. He is driven to madness by his need to be cured of the disease that has taken so much from him. He almost seems like he doesn’t have the ability to be rational, or to come to Spiderman in a way that is even remotely amicable. He just needs that blood, he just needs his cure, and he is more than willing to cross the lines of normalized morality to get that blood. He is a monster trapped in the mind of a much more intelligent man.
These 90’s titles don’t flinch from getting dark and gritty. This is not the Marvel of Marvel Now, and Morbius is no hero. Interestingly he is both the villain and the hero of his own book.