#2646: Morbius



“Michael Morbius, the living vampire, prowls the night tortured by his life-sustaining thirst.”

Originally slated for last year, and now (hopefully) on the slate for this year, alongside a lot of other displaced films, is Sony’s Morbius.  It follows the lead of Venom in spinning a Spider-Foe off into his own exclusively Sony-produced solo flick, but this time around, the ties to the actual Spider-Man films are more tangible, if Michael Keaton’s appearance as Adrian Toomes in the trailers is anything to go by.  As of yet, there’s not direct merchandise tie-ins for the film, but Morbius’ comics counterpart is getting another appearance in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, so I guess that *sorta* counts?  Hey, it means less Jared Leto to deal with, right?  Silver lining?


Morbius is the first figure in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends, the Venom-themed assortment for this year.  Well, it’s technically for this year, although it actually started showing up in October/November of last year, because to hell with the schedules, it was 2020.  Things were just gonna happen when they happened and we weren’t gonna stop them. Morbius being in a Venom assortment is iffy at best, and he’s certainly the figure with the least reason to be here, but he’s not horribly far removed, at least thematically.  While the last Legends Morbius was very definitely based on his classic ’70s appearance, this one is instead based on his design from his solo series in 1992.  It’s…certainly different.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s based on the Spider-UK body, albeit with a lot of new parts, including a new head, torso, pelvis, and hands, as well as add-ons for the cape and wrist bands.  The ’92 design is a very stylized one, and this figure is himself very stylized in turn.  There’s a lot of detailing going into his outfit, and all of its various straps and such.  It’s certainly visually interesting if nothing else.  The head’s a pretty extreme piece, with the hair flowing back dynamically, and the face shows off his fangs in a screaming expression.  The cape piece matches this dynamic set up, with a notable flair to it, though it honestly never really looks natural to my eye.  In terms of paint work, he’s accurate to the ’90s color scheme, which means he kind of ends up looking a bit washed out, especially when compared to his prior incarnation.  I also find that the face really could use some sort of accenting or something.  As is, he seems really devoid of any detail there. At the very least, some extra shadowing around the eyes would help.  Morbius lacks any accessories of his own, but does include the right arm and alternate hand for this assortment’s Build-A-Figure, Venompool.


I was initially skeptical about the first Hasbro Morbius, but that figure wound up being one of my favorites out of his particular series, so there’s precedent for me being wrong about Morbius figures.  I kept that in mind when I was likewise skeptical about this one.  Unfortunately, unlike the last figure, this one winds up leaving me feeling rather cold, not unlike one of those not-living Vampires that Morbius isn’t one of.  This particular design just doesn’t fell as clean or bold as the last one, and generally doesn’t do anything for me.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#0887: Morbius




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.


Morbius2Morbius 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.


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.