Morbius and Spider-Man have a long relationship of battling each other and even teaming up in some instances. However, neither seems to gain the upper hand. Seeing that the MCU is likely setting up a Morbius/Spider-Man crossover in the future, fans are wondering: who would win in a fight, Morbius or Spider-Man?
A fight between Morbius and Spider-Man would be very hard and close, as both have wins against the other in their comic book fights. However, if Morbius is well-fed and at the top of his strength, he’d likely win against Spidey more often than lose.
There’s evidence in the comics that supports this claim. I’ll dig into their powers and abilities and compare them to see who is stronger and what powers would eventually give one the upper hand. We’ll also go through their encounters in the comics to get a more educated answer.
Origins & Physiology
Michael Morbius was a brilliant, Nobel prize-winning biochemist, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971. Morbius had a very rare blood disease that made him extremely weak and injury-prone. He tried to find a cure using vampire bats and electroshocks, but the treatment backfired, turning him into a pseudo-vampire.
It healed his blood disease and gave him superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, and a healing factor – but with dire consequences. Morbius developed a thirst for human blood and killing. He earned the nickname The Living Vampire, as he has the physiology of a vampire, but instead of being undead, he lives.
That’s why he’s unaffected by most things that usually make vampires weak, such as religious symbols, wooden stakes, silver, garlic, etc. Although it can’t kill him, he has a weakness in sunlight, making him extremely uncomfortable. However, when he doesn’t drink blood, Morbius goes crazy, losing his sense of self in a wild rage and thirst for blood and murder.
Michael needs no sleep or regular food to survive – when he drinks blood, he grows stronger.
Opposingly, Peter Parker was just a teenager when a radioactive spider bit him and changed his physiology completely, turning him into Spider-Man. He gained incredible superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes, along with his spider-senses, allowing him to feel danger, predict his enemies’ movement, and react at an incredible speed.
Also, he can shoot spider webs out of his wrists, which can be surprisingly strong yet elastic. With all his powers, however, Spidey remains close to human; he needs food, sleep, and other physiological needs fulfilled to survive.
Peter ages normally, and he is extremely durable, meaning it’s very hard to hurt him (he took some punches from the Hulk without getting injured). When he does get hurt, though, he has accelerated healing abilities, but not on Morbius’ level. That’s what possibly makes Morbius’ physiology slightly superior to his.
Both were regular humans before a life-changing event gave them superpowers. They have superhuman physical abilities, senses, and reflexes, but the only thing separating Morbius and Spider-Man in terms of physiological superiority is the healing factor.
It’s a close call, but Morbius gets a point in this department.
Point: Morbius (1:0) Spider-Man
Morbius’ Vampiric Senses Vs. Parker’s Spider-Senses
Morbius and Spider-Man don’t have similar powers, apart from the common physical attributes such as superhuman strength, speed, or durability. However, they have one similar trait that they both use in battle constantly: their enhanced, superhuman senses.
Morbius has powerful superhuman senses resembling those of a vampire. He has extremely fast reflexes, allowing him to stay one step ahead of his opponents most of the time. That’s only the beginning, though.
Being a pseudo-vampire, Michael operates at night. He doesn’t need light to see – he can see clearly in the dark as well. Sometimes, Morbius uses echolocation – sending high-frequency waves through space to determine the location of objects or persons around him – similar to what bats do to orient themselves in the dark.
At other times, he had shown a thermal vision. Meaning ha can see one’s body heat emitting even if it’s pitch dark. That could play into his hand against Spiderman, who doesn’t have that kind of enhancement.
However, Spidey has something that Morbius doesn’t, and that’s his spider-senses – you know, the thing that his auntie calls the “Peter tingle” in the MCU movies. His spider-like abilities give him incredible coordination and balance, but he gets precognitive abilities, too.
Peter can somewhat predict what’ll happen in the next few seconds into the future. He can sense danger, where it’s coming from, and how to avoid it. It’s a spectacular ability that allows him to predict his opponents’ moves in advance, regularly helping him defeat much stronger opponents.
That being said, I believe the “Peter tingle” is superior to Morbius’ vampiric senses – even if they fight in the dark, Spidey might not see Morbius, but he can sense and predict his attacks. Remember the Mysterio hallucinations in Spider-Man: Far From Home? It allowed Peter to sense what’s real and what’s not, even when it’s almost impossible to differentiate.
Point: Spider-Man (1:1) Morbius
Speed & Strength
Morbius is faster than Spider-Man – he can move so fast it almost seems like he’s teleporting. The Living Vampire has incredible reflexes as well, and he used those reflexes to beat Spidey up several times. However, Spider-Man is no slouch himself.
His spider-senses allow him to virtually see the world in slow-motion. His reaction time is unfathomable, and predicting the moves of his enemies allows him to counter their attacks, regardless of how fast they are. He might not be able to run or levitate as fast as Morbius, but it would be extremely hard for the vampire to use that speed against him.
When it comes to their strength, Morbius has the upper hand once again. He broke free from metal restraints, powerful restraining devices from the X-Men, and tore through Spidey’s webs with ease numerous times.
Parker is extremely durable, taking punches from the Hulk on occasions, but Morbius was able to knock him out cold (Spider-Man #78). Even Venom was impressed with his strength when they fought in Venom: Enemy Within #2, and we know that Venom is stronger than Spider-Man in terms of pure physical force.
But, of course, there’s a “but” with Morbius. It seems that his strength is directly correlated to how well-fed he is. When well-fed and in full power, he battles Venom with ease and beats up Spidey several times. However, when hungry and deprived of blood, he loses his sanity and his strength.
In Morbius the Living Vampire #1, he was quite hungry and weak, getting beat up and seemingly killed by a gang of regular humans. The hunger-strength correlation theory is substantiated in the Morbius: Bond of Blood storyline, where Morbius himself states that drinking one’s blood gives him a portion of that person’s strength.
Finally, even if he’s hungry, Morbius can gain strength with rage – as shown in Morbius the Living Vampire #4.
Spider-Man is tough and superhumanly strong, but whether he’s stronger than Morbius depends solely on the vampire. If he’s well-fed or drank blood from someone very powerful, he would crush Parker strength-wise.
Point: Morbius (2:1) Spider-Man
One thing that Morbius can use to get a clear-cut advantage against Spider-Man is his mesmerism and hypnotic abilities. If you look him in the eyes long enough, you’ll succumb to his will, and Morbius will gain complete control over you. Spider-Man would have difficulty resisting the hypnotic gaze, but he could avoid eye contact to render it ineffective.
But, one thing that Spidey can’t avoid is Morbius’ brilliance and intellect. Parker, although highly intelligent, is still just a teenager, whereas Morbius is a Nobel prize-winning scientist. He’d probably outwit Spider-Man in most of their battles, even if they don’t collide directly in hand-to-hand combat.
On the other hand, Spider-Man can use his webs to incapacitate Morbius. The Living Vampire broke free of the web restraints many times, but it might be enough for Spidey to slow him down and beat him that way.
Also, while Morbius can levitate short distances, Spider-Man can cling to any solid surface, meaning he can climb virtually anywhere.
In the end, Morbius’ hypnosis is something that Spidey can’t fight or counter, which is why Morbius gets a point in this category.
Point: Morbius (3:1) Spider-Man
Finally, if there’s still any uncertainty about who would win a one-on-one fight between Morbius and Spider-Man, all we need to do is look at their comic book encounters.
Morbius came out as the winner in a one-on-one battle with Spider-Man more often than not. In their first encounter in The Amazing Spider-Man #101, Morbius outpowered Parker and knocked him out, but Dr. Connors walked into the room at the right moment to save Spidey.
Next, in Spider-Man #78, he knocked out Parker once again, only this time, an angry mob attacked both of them and virtually saved Spider-Man from being killed. On another occasion, he beat Spidey and went in to bite him, only to get stopped by fate, as a thunderbolt struck him just before he did it.
Spider-Man did beat him several times, too, but he usually had the help of others, such as the X-Men, The Lizard, Blade, etc.
Although he is a pseudo-vampire, Morbius tries as hard as possible to use his powers for good, making him more of an anti-hero than a villain. He and Spider-Man teamed up occasionally, most notably in The Gauntlet storyline, Peter Parker: Spider-Man #77-80, and others.
All in all, both had their fair share of wins against each other, but when there’s a clear-cut, one-on-one battle between them, where both are at maximum strength, Morbius wins more often.
Point: Morbius (4:1) Spider-Man
Morbius Vs. Spider-Man: Who Would Win and Why?
In the end, the results are clear – Morbius would win against Spider-Man in a one-on-one match more often than not. The problem is, Spidey is such a good guy, he feels a lot of empathy towards Morbius, so when they fight, Spider-Man mostly tries to find ways to hinder Morbius rather than defeat him completely.
They have similar speed, strength, and durability, but Morbius can heal quicker and more effectively than Parker – if he drinks blood, he heals almost instantly. Although Peter’s spider-senses are superior to Morbius’ vampiric senses, the Living Vampire has hypnotic abilities that Spidey can’t battle against – not without help, at least.
In the end, it would be a hard-fought battle, but I’d give Morbius at least 6/10 wins. Eventually, it all depends on the storyline and what the writers want, so it will be interesting to see whether they’ll collide in the MCU and what that collision would look like.