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Comic Collection Monday #42: Morbius: The Living Vampire #1 (1992)

In today’s Comic Collection Monday, I'm taking a look at “Morbius: The Living Vampire” #1, with a cover date of September 1992.

In Comic Collection Monday, I'll post the cover of a comic book from my collection, along with a brief note about the issue -- what I thought about it, where I got it, whatever comes to mind. Guest spots are also available. If you want to talk about an interesting comic in your collection, send me an e-mail at mprice at Oklahoman.com.

The issue: For Halloween, I thought I’d take a look at a hero in the horror vein.  Morbius, first introduced in "Amazing Spider-Man" #101, with a Sept. 1971 cover date, was a scientifically created vampire.  As the Comics Code had banned vampires up until 1971, Morbius was one of the first horror characters introduced following the lifting of the ban.

Morbius had been appearing mostly as a backup character following the cancellation of his title in the 1970s, but was brought back with a vengeance as part of the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover in "Morbius" #1.  Len Kaminski is the writer for the issue, which is pencilled by Ron Wagner with inks by Mike Witherby.  The letterer is Janice Chiang and the colorist is Gregory A. Wright.

Here's Marvel's description for the issue:

In search for her missing fiancée, Morbius, Martine Bancroft seeks the aid of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, and Dr. Langford. When things take a turn for the worse, Martine learns the true color of her fiancée…blood red!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Morbius is battling the bloodlust that comes with his vampire-like state. His former fiance, Martine Bancroft, searches for Morbius, as she thinks she has found a cure.  Working with Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze, she finds Morbius.  Doctor Langford says he can cure Morbius - but he's given a cure mixed with demon blood that's intended to kill him. Langford is working for Lilith, who is attempting to destroy the Midnight Sons who could rise against her.

Morbius mutates and escapes the lab. Meanwhile Martine learns of Langford's treachery, and he shoots her.  When Morbius returns, he finds Martine. Her blood drives him to drink, but he's disgusted and ashamed.  He attacks Langford and his guards, drinking Langford's blood and escaping with the supposed partial cure. 

Ghost Rider and Blaze confront Morbius, who says while he must still drink blood, he is determined to only drink the blood of the guilty, thus keeping him from Ghost Rider's vow to prevent innocent blood from being spilled.

Lilith, seeing that she's failed to stop Morbius, moves to the next player in her game, and in the final pages of the issue, Peter Parker finds out about the bloodless bodies being found, which tells him Morbius is back.

How it got in my collection: It was polybagged!  But seriously, folks: I was interested in the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider who was part of the "Heroes for the 1990s" launch, and that led me to the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover.  Each issue of"Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover shipped polybagged with a mini-poster. All six of the mini-posters put together would form a larger image.  Collectible bonuses like these were pretty common in the 1990s to signify that an event was supposed to be a big deal.

"Rise of the Midnight Sons" was set to reinvigorate characters from Marvel's horror line as they teamed up to battle Lilith, Mother of Demons. 

The original Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, joined up with current Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch in the new series Spirits of Vengeance.  Also launching out of this crossover were Morbius, in this issue, and the Nightstalkers (featuring Blade) and the Darkhold Redeemers, in the comic "The Darkhold."

Going on in the world:  According to Mike’s Amazing World, this September 1992-dated comic would have gone on sale July 21, 1992.

The top-rated show of the 1991-1992 season was “60 Minutes.”   The No. 1 film at the box office was “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.”  And the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

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Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›

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