Characters Appearing: Morbius
Vampire Tales #10-11
Issue(s): Vampire Tales #10, Vampire Tales #11
The first story has Morbius renting a room in an isolated cottage where he can work for a cure away from the temptation of blood rich human necks, although he barely manages to avoid biting the landlady and she catches him eating a rat later.
It turns out that the cottage is on a rich ore of copper, and some local miners are trying to scare her off the land. They accidentally kill her and Morbius kills them. After licking all her blood off the floor, naturally.
The story touches on the theme of faith. In this story it's not necessarily religious faith; it's just faith that he'll eventually be able to find a cure.
The story is broken into three parts, with the usual fare of vampire stories in-between, including one where a vampire disguises himself in the clothes of a blind victim to avoid human pursuers on his tail, and then walks out into the sun because the blind man's sunglasses made him forget it was daytime.
The inside cover of issue #11 looks like it's imagining Abraham Lincoln as a vampire, although i'm sure that wasn't the intention.
I think this should be the next step after Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter: an entire world of Lincolns, some vampire hunters, some vampires, locked in endless war.
The Morbius story in #11 has him traveling by boat, sleeping in a box of pineapples, and of course waking up and killing the first poor crew member he sees.
After getting chased by the rest of the boat's crew, Morbius is saved by a Morgana St. Clair.
Morgana brings Morbius to a costume party on the boat. She tells him that she's a vampire hunter, seeking a cabal of aristocratic vampires that are controlling society (they'll be called the Brotherhood of Judas).
She tells Morbius that there is a vampire from that cabal, a real vampire unlike Morbius, on the boat. Morbius investigates that but runs afoul of the crew again, and has to flee the boat and swim to shore.
Morbius is actually traveling because he's seeking the help of an old colleague of his, a Dr. Samuel Harkins. But Harkins turns out to already be a member of the Brotherhood. They invite Morbius to join them.
Morbius declines, and they attack him, and he flees and winds up finding Morgana again. They disguise themselves and infiltrate the group. Morbius has to restrain himself when he sees the Brotherhood torturing a priest that won't join them. Then it turns out that Morgana is really a vampire and a member of the Brotherhood, and she rats Morbius out.
Morbius fights and kills all the vampires. He then goes to the dying priest, who gives him a cross that Morbius uses to prevent the priest from becoming a vampire.
Hilariously, though, Morbius' series ends as it "must", with him hunting down an innocent victim for her blood.
When i read Fear #29, where Morbius announced that he believed in God, i wondered if that were established somewhere else, like maybe in his Vampire Tales issues, which i hadn't read yet. There's nothing conclusive here, but the talk of "faith" in the story in #10 and the use of the priest and the cross in #11 are potentially hints.
The Morbius story is longer than usual and leaves room only for one additional short story, wherein an army of hobo vampires fight some bare-chested cross-wearing police officers.
There's no indication that the series is ending with issue #11. There's an ad for the Blade story that will instead appear in Marvel Preview #3 ("Three issues in the making!"). The cover of the issue said that Morbius would fight a "Legion" of the undead, and i briefly hoped that it would be the same Legion of the Damned that Blade was involved with.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: There are two separate stories in these issues, but i'm keeping them together so that i don't have to (further) break up my trades. The MCP place both of these stories after Morbius' run in Fear is over.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Vampire Tales Digest Vol. 3
The reason why issue 11 has to take place after Fear 27-31 is that Morbius doesn't believe in "true" vampires in those issues.
Posted by: Michael | May 27, 2016 6:39 PM
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