One of the main reasons I love Marvel Comics is their characters not being perfect. Even the biggest superheroes are flawed, battling mental issues (Scarlet Witch) or alcoholism (Iron Man). It gives them another dimension of humanity, allowing us to connect with the characters easier. The same thing goes for Marvel’s next big thing, Morbius. So, is he a hero or a villain?
Marvel’s Morbius is neither a hero nor a villain. He’s classified as an anti-hero, who feels remorse for his evil actions, and does everything he can to do good and destroy his villainous side. He even has suicidal thoughts after losing control and killing innocent people.
I believe that the new Marvel movie dedicated to the character will largely play into that narrative. Morbius – having an immense urge to kill and drink blood but doing everything in his power to avoid harming innocent people and trying to use his powers for good. Let’s break down both sides of the character in the comics to determine if he’s more of a hero or a villain.
Morbius: A Villain
I’ll start with Morbius being a villain because that’s what he was first after becoming the Living Vampire.
Dr. Michael Morbius was a Nobel prize-winning biochemist with a very rare blood disease, slowly killing him and making him extremely injury prone. His condition worsened with time, so Morbius had done everything he could to find a cure, including experimental treatments and procedures on himself.
However, the experiments with vampire bats and electroshocks backfired, turning Michael into a pseudo-vampire. His disease had been replaced with another condition, giving him vampire-like traits.
Morbius has superhuman strength, incredible speed, enhanced reflexes, and new senses, such as echolocation. Also, he has hypnotic abilities and a powerful healing factor, but it all comes with a price.
The Living Vampire grew fangs, claws, a horrifying pale appearance, and an insatiable thirst for human blood. That’s what makes him act as a villain. Morbius completely loses his mind if he doesn’t feed on blood. The hunger gets so strong that he starts having hallucinations and simply cannot control the beast inside of him.
It led to him killing his business partner and drinking his blood right after the experiment turned him into a pseudo-vampire. Morbius lost his cool numerous times, but not because he wanted to – the hunger for blood and murder simply took over.
To conclude, the thing that makes him act as a villain is his insatiable bloodthirst. In the beginning, Morbius didn’t know how to control it, so the hunger took over often, making Michael completely lose his mind and willful thinking. Still, as time passes and Morbius learns more about his new condition and how to control it, his villainous side fades.
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Morbius: A Hero
Let’s set things straight right away – Morbius kills people to drink their blood, so he definitely isn’t a clear-cut hero. However, there’s a reason why the Living Vampire is not classified as a supervillain but rather an anti-hero. Simply put, an anti-hero is a character who has villainous traits and does the wrong things sometimes, but feels remorse or tries to do the right thing.
When Morbius first became a pseudo-vampire, he lost control over the hunger numerous times. However, he felt guilty so much that he wanted to kill himself numerous times to prevent himself from harming anybody else. Morbius hates who he is and even tries to find ways to cure the pseudo-vampiric condition.
When he fails to do so, there’s no other option but to learn how to live with it. So, Morbius vows never to harm innocent people again, drinking only the blood of the evil and murdering only those who deserve it. He goes out of his way to save innocent people in countless situations because he’s genuinely a good guy with an addiction he simply can’t get rid of.
Morbius also joins superheroes in their quests to beat evil and other villains. For instance, he teams up with Venom and Spider-Man to try and defeat Carnage. Doctor Strange recruits Morbius, Blade, and several others to form the Midnight Sons and fight Lilith, the Mother of Demons, etc.
Therefore, Morbius has villainous traits, but he feels great remorse and does his best to use his newfound powers and abilities to do good rather than evil. That doesn’t necessarily make Michael a hero, but I believe that he’s one of the best examples of an anti-hero you can find, fighting his evil side to try and do good.
The Bottom Line: Is Morbius Good or Bad?
Morbius is definitely more good than bad. He never planned on becoming the pseudo-vampire he became. Sure, he made many mistakes, and the bloodthirst made Michael kill innocent people to drink their blood, but it was never a willful act. Simply put, the hunger was stronger than Morbius, until he learned how to control it.
Now, Morbius saves innocent people and drinks blood only from those who deserve it. Sometimes, that puts Michael in harm’s way – for instance, when he drank blood from a crooked drug addict, and it led our anti-hero to fall into the Dream Dimension, where he had to fight a powerful entity called Nightmare.
To conclude, Morbius is bad in terms of needing to drink human blood to survive. Sometimes – mostly at the beginning of his powers – the hunger was too strong, making Michael lose his mind, even killing people he loves. But, he felt huge remorse after that and even had suicidal thoughts, hating the creature that he became.
Morbius slowly learned how to control his hunger, so he drinks only the blood of those who deserve it – criminals, villains, murderers, rapists, etc. He’ll do everything in his power to save innocent people and use the pseudo-vampiric powers to do good – even if that means teaming up with heroes he once fought.
The bottom line is, Morbius has some “bad” in him, but he fights it constantly. The Living Vampire is certainly more “good” than “bad,” and I am eager to see how Jared Leto will portray the character in the upcoming movie in January 2022.