Morbius: The Living Vampire #2 (April – 2013 – Marvel)

Morbius: The Living Vampire #2

I was none to kind to the inaugural issue of this Morbius reboot. I probably won’t be to kind to this one either.   In general this just isn’t the best thing that you could be picking up month to month, but I’m hoping against hope that this will turn into the kind of awesome title that it was when I was a kid.  Last issue was left with a cliffhanger.

Morbius shotgun blast to the chest, laying on the ground in the throes of death, this is going to be the shortest run of a comic book ever.  But he has super healing powers (like we didn’t know that), so he “dies all the time.”  In his ressurection, because if he dies all the time he ressurects all the time too, he meets a young homeless woman who offers to take him in after watching him take a swing at Noah St. Germain, the bad guy.

I would like to take a moment to thank the writer of Morbius for acknowledging that St. Germain looks like, “An 80’s punk fever dream reject.”  I get that he is a bag guy, and that he is supposed to be the head gangster in charge of the shittiest suburb of New York City ever, but really?  I just don’t get why he had to look like the punk on the bus in Star Trek IV.

Naturally the issue moves towards another fight with Noah St. Germain, when the homeless girl tells Morbius that her friend’s little boy is hanging out with St. Germain.  Morbius goes to get him back, and the gang of thugs and punks tries to attack.  So Morbius goes fangs out on St. Germain, pretty ending the issue in a wash of blood and teeth.

This title just isn’t satisfying at this point.  Part of it is the silliness of the characters.  Part of it is the idea that this is going to just build up into tougher and tougher crime bosses.  Part of it is that all of the supernatural elements have been taken out.  Part of it is that Morbius is literally just some bum in a movie theater.  Part of it is that the art just doesn’t have that dark feel, it feels just like any other super hero book at this point.

A letter in the second issue illustrates this point perfectly, albeit with a very different opinion on the results:  “I really enjoyed the art in this issue.  Elson seems to have done this in such a way that it is dark and moody but, at the same time, is not completely depressing due to the drab environment ”  It is dark and moody, but not too dark and moody, exactly the problem.  I’m not asking for it to be depressing, but it is a title about a man who has to drink blood to survive because of a disease.  It is horrific, it is dark, it is serious business.  As a writer I understand the need for levity to make the dark moments darker, but this is something else.  This is horror lite.  I love the Morbius character and I really want this title to turn around.

Next Time:  R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #1