MORBIUS – VILLAINS OF THE NIGHT
MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES
Following Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, which was published to warn the public of the connection between immoral comics and the delinquency of young adults, the comics industry as a whole was forced to make some changes. These changes manifested as the Comics Code Authority. There were fairly strict standards which had to be met in order to acquire the Comics Code Authority seal. While comics could be published without the seal, those without it wouldn’t be carried by newsstands, and therefore had no actual market. Amongst the things forbidden by the code were any sorts of undead monsters or creatures that weren’t directly based on literature. So, while you could have Dracula, or Frankenstein’s Monster, generic vampires or zombies were not allowed. In order to use these sorts of characters, work-arounds had to be created, such as Morbius, the Living Vampire, who wasn’t in violation of Code, because he wasn’t undead. And thus, a classic Spider-Man foe was born. Morbius has had a decent amount of success over the years, which has netted him his fair share of action figures, including a recently released Marvel Legends figure, which I’ll be reviewing today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Morbius is the third figure in the latest series of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series line. He is the other half of the “Villains of the Night” title introduced with Jack O’Lantern. This is actually Morbius’ first time as a Marvel Legend, and only his second 6-inch figure, with the first being part of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man line, a whopping 14 years ago. Morbius uses his original, 70s appearance, rather than the more amalgamated look of the prior figure. The figure stands about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. He uses the Bucky Cap body as his base, which seems a good fit for a proper classic Morbius. He also makes use of the clawed hands from Spider-Man 2099, as well as brand new pieces for his head and upper torso. The head is a pretty great piece, and a fantastic improvement over the guaranteed-to-deteriorate rubber-face of the last figure. The new upper torso adds his oh-so-70s popped collar, and generally looks pretty sharp. I don’t know if it’s already on the books, but this piece would be a good starting point for a classic Iron Fist, should Hasbro feel like updating that figure. The paint on Morbius is good as a whole, but does have a couple of standout issues. The red/black changeover on the collar is rather sloppy, as is the application of the finger nails. However, I quite like that his skin isn’t a straight white, but rather has a slight bit of grey brushed over it, to simulate some texture. The shiny black of the jumpsuit is also quite striking, especially in contrast to the skin. Morbius includes two different cape pieces: one outstretched, like wings, and the other hanging straight down. Both are nice pieces, but I prefer the straight one; it works for more than one pose. Morbius also includes a second pair of arms for Absorbing Man.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I wasn’t initially sold on Morbius. I don’t dislike the character, but he’s never really been one of my favorites (I blame the horrible figure from the 90s for that). Plus, he wasn’t even a necessity for completing the Build-A-Figure. However, with the whole set available, my completist nature kicked in, so I got Morbius. I’m glad I did, because he’s right up there with Venom in terms of quality and definitiveness. He may very well be the best figure in the set.