Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 1: The Living Vampire

morbius epic collection volume 1 cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 1/10

Love '70s Marvel supernatural-horror comics

Morbius is still finding his footing in the stories

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1)/Marvel Team-Up (Volume 1)/Giant-Size Super-Heroes/Adventure Into Fear/Vampire Tales/Werewolf by Night (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer:  Steve Gerber/Don McGregor/Roy Thomas/Gerry Conway/Mike Friedrich/Doug Moench

Artist:  Pablo Marcos/Tom Sutton/Luiz Dominguez/Virgil Redondo/Gil Kane/Rich Buckler/Ross Andru/Paul Gulacy/P. Craig Russell/Mike Vosburg/Frank Robbins

# of Issues: 21

Release Date: 2020

amazing spider-man #101 cover 1st morbius

Amazing Spider-Man (1) #101

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man (1) #101-102, Marvel Team-Up (1) #3-4, Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1, Adventure Into Fear #20-26, Vampire Tales #1-8, and Werewolf by Night (1) Giant-Size #4 (October 1971-April 1975).  Plagued by a fatal blood disease, Dr. Michael Morbius finds a potential cure…but quickly determines that the cure might be worse than the disease!  Morbius has been transformed into a living vampire with a lust for blood.  Now, Morbius find himself on a quest to cure his bloodlust and stop the deaths surrounding him.  From Spider-Man, the X-Men, Blade, and the menace of a man named Daemond, Morbius discovers he has become a reluctant hero as he fights the urges to kill.

Written by Steve Gerber, Don McGregor, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Mike Friedrich, and Doug Moench, Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 1:  The Living Vampire is a Marvel Comics horror superhero comic book.  The collection features the earliest appearances of Morbius and features the art of Pablo Marcos, Tom Sutton, Luiz Dominguez, Virgil Redondo, Gil Kane, Rich Buckler, Ross Andru, Paul Gulacy, P. Craig Russell, Mike Vosburg, and Frank Robbins.  Issues in the collection were also collected as part of Adventure Into Fear Omnibus, Morbius:  Preludes and Nightmares, Morbius the Living Vampire Omnibus, Man-Wolf:  The Complete Collection, and Werewolf by Night Omnibus among other collections.

I love Marvel’s jump into horror that they took in the early 1970s with titles like Ghost Rider, Tomb of Dracula, and Man-Thing.  It blended superheroes and monsters and the combination wasn’t that big of a stretch.  Morbius was one of the more grounded “horror” comics in his creation, but quickly travelled down a path of supernatural destruction.

adventure into fear #20 cover morbius

Adventure Into Fear #20

The early issues of the collection were involved Spider-Man and the X-Men.  Morbius was the typical Marvel Comics antihero or the tragic villain.  He’s driven by a hunger that kills, but at his core, he’s not a bad person.  His battles with Spider-Man however makes him a villain and there is more ambiguity to the character’s future.  He feels more like a villain that a comic book lead…but the writers soon take Morbius in a different direction.

While I like Morbius as a lead, I don’t love his initial run in Fear that much.  The whole Caretakers and Daemond story line is a struggle to read (despite being shorter than more stories since Fear also contained horror reprints at the time).  The stories which appear in Vampire Tales are much more developed and feature great black-and-white art.  It is a weird contrast that existed in many of Marvel’s books at the time since the magazines were targeted to adult and featured more adult storylines while the characters fit in both.  With the horror and potential gore, I like these entries more, but I don’t think Marvel could have even pushed it further with the Vampire Tales issues.

Morbius is an interesting creation that doesn’t quite work here.  Marvel is still trying to find its footing with the character which is often a problem for new characters…sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Morbius is close, but not quite there.  Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 1:  The Living Vampire is followed by Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 2:  The End of a Living Vampire.

Related Links:

Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 2:  The End of a Living Vampire

Vampire Tales—Volume 1

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

2 Comments on "Morbius Epic Collection—Volume 1: The Living Vampire"

  1. Jim October 24, 2021 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Hi, how’s the production value on Morbius vol 1? I know some of the epics were printed on very thin (almost see-through) paper and cover that curl easily…

    • JPRoscoe October 24, 2021 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      I felt both volumes are pretty good. I know that to get a ton of pages in that they do you sometimes very thin paper. I think the covers potentially “curl” or what I’d call “slide” (when you get spine gets off instead of a right degree with whatever it is sitting on) comes a lot from storage…I also find the shipping kind of jacks them up often.

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