Issue(s): Morbius #9
The Martine Nightmare entity that lured Morbius away last issue has been restored to her proper coloring, at least until she starts swapping bites with Morbius.
I don't know if Len Kaminski had any future plans for Martine or if he truly intended to kill her off in Morbius #1, but this dream form might be considered an impetus for what Morbius does to bring Martine back for real not far from now in Wright's run.
Dr. Strange, also in the Nightmare realm, seeks out Morbius and tries to convince him that this Martine isn't real. Note his reference to "the nine"; he's talking about the Midnight Sons that he recruited to fight Lilith (i.e., Morbius, the Darkhold Redeemers, the Nightstalkers, and the Ghost Riders).
Morbius repels Strange, and the illusions continue. Eventually Morbius encounters Nightmare (Morbius was in Nightmare's presence earlier in the story, but he was high on Jazz at the time).
Nightmare tells Morbius that he's going after him because it turns out that Morbius is immortal thanks to the fact that he's been infused with Lilan blood. So Nightmare can torture him forever and ever. Morbius is basically ok with this as long as he can stay with Martine, which Nightmare grants.
But Dr. Strange seeks him out again. Strange isn't just trying to help Morbius; he's also got a problem because he absorbed some of Morbius' essence in the last chapter. I thought Strange was just feeling the effects of the drugs, but it seems Strange has actually become somewhat demonic.
And it also seems that Morbius is still affected by the drug. But they wear off during the fight, and Morbius realizes that "Martine" is really a delusion.
Morbius comes to his senses and Strange tries to take him back to the real world. But only Morbius makes it out. Nightmare is able to keep Strange in the Nightmare realm, since he's taken control of his physical body.
Morbius wakes up in his dialysis coffin and leaves to try to help Strange. And that's the set-up for the final part of this crossover.
The other news in this issue is that Victor Slaughter wakes up from his coma in the hospital and is clearly no longer human.
Since this is the final Morbius part of this crossover, a couple of thoughts. I said a couple issues back that i didn't think the new Basilisk was particularly interesting, but that i didn't think it was such a bad idea for Morbius to have a few generic adventures at this time. To expand on that, i think it made sense to have Morbius in what the creators would consider to be "normal" stories for the character. We can see what sort of opponents he'd be fighting, and there's opportunity to develop the character and supporting cast and to develop some subplots. By contrast, we're now in heavy crossover mode. First with Doctor Strange, then with the Nightstalkers, then a pair of larger crossovers with the entire Midnight Sons line without much space between them. That's not to say that there isn't still some stuff unique to Morbius going on, both in the crossovers and between them (and at least the crossovers are all within an appropriate corner of the Marvel universe; e.g. there's no interruption by Infinity Crusade). But there's certainly less time for it, and that means we already have to be pretty invested in Morbius for this stuff to work. And i don't think the creators have accomplished that yet.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Doctor Strange #52 and continues into Doctor Strange #53.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Ron Wagner did an interview in Wizard 22 shortly after this where he completely trashed Len Kaminski. Wagner said that it was his philosophy that fights without stories sell better than stories without fights and complained that Kaminski's scripts had little action and just "talking heads". He said the way he saw Morbius was different than the way Len saw him- he claimed Len saw Morbius as the "1970s Roy Thomas thing, with Morbius whining a lot" while he saw Morbius as vicious and scary. Wagner claimed that he rewrote several scenes in Morbius 2-8 but got in trouble with the Comics Code, who he described as a bunch of old ladies. He claimed that Morbius would get darker and scarier now that Gregory Wright was the writer, starting with the drug trip storyline.
Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2016 9:43 PM
Kaminski further claimed that his original proposal made it clear that he intended to portray Morbius as a mixture of savage beast and tormented soul and he doesn't know why Wagner took the books in the first place if he disagreed with that approach so vehemently- unless it was his intent to force him off the book from the start. He also claimed the drug trip plot was his idea, not Gregory Wright's. Kaminski finished by saying that he had looked forward to working on Morbius with Wagner, who he had respected, but that was no longer the case.
Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2016 10:56 PM
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