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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Morbius Key Issue Comics

This was requested, and although Morbius doesn't really have a strong supporting cast of recurring characters or villains, I have no problem talking about more Marvel stuff. So, this is basically for fans of Morbius, and I'll only deal with key issues.

As usual, some will be major ones, and I'm pretty sure a lot of them will be minor ones. So, on with Marvel's popular Living Vampire.

1st appearance of Morbius

Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Morbius was definitely a different approach to the vampire monster character. Instead of being part of the undead and super-natural traditions of vampires, Morbius is actually living and was created from a scientific formula rather than a super-natural or magical curse.

Morbius and his vampire-like abilities is actually a side-effect of this formula, which was initially created as a cure for a rare and fatal blood disease that the Nobel Prize winning biochemist, Michael Morbius, had somehow developed. Although an antagonist for Spider-Man, there were also differences between Morbius and traditional vampires as well. He was not pure evil and strangely a sympathetic character.

Morbius would go onto become a tragic anti-hero of sorts in his own features and even teamed up with other popular super-natural characters like Werewolf by Night and Ghost Rider often. The 1st appearance of Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man #101 is still one of the more sought out Bronze Age Spider-Man keys.

Amazing Spider-Man #101 has the cover date of October, 1971.

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2nd appearance of Morbius
Origin of Morbius

Continuing with the story line from issue #101, Amazing Spider-Man #102 sees the 2nd appearance of Morbius and also tells the character's origin. This is shown via flashback, of course.

Like issue #101, this 2nd appearance issue is also pretty valuable in high grades. The most recent CGC 9.8 sold in March of 2013 for $2,050. Back in 2011, it sold for $3,600.

That's kinda crazy since a CGC 9.8 of his 1st appearance in issue #101 sold for $2,900 back in 2013. So definitely a well-known and sought out key issue as well, Amazing Spider-Man #102 has the cover date of  November, 1971.

3rd appearance of Morbius

Carrying on as a foil for Spider-Man, Morbius makes his 3rd appearance in Marvel Team-Up #3, and both Spidey and the Human Torch team up against Marvel's famous Living Vampire. Script is by Gerry Conway and pencils are by Ross Andru.

Gil Kane does the cover for this issue, and the story does carry over into issue #4. Marvel Team-Up #3 has the cover date of July, 1972.

4th appearance Morbius
1st meeting with X-Men
The 4th appearance of Morbius sees the bloodsucker meet the X-Men for the 1st time. This is a Spidey and X-Men team up comic as well.

However, I have no idea why this comic is doing better than Marvel Team-Up #3 for high grade CGC 9.6s. Last one sold for $540 in 2015, while the highest sale of Marvel Team-Up #3 CGC 9.6 sold for $374.99. Both were sales in 2015.

Marvel Team-Up #4 has the cover date of September, 1972.

1st Morbius solo story
1st Morbius featured series
5th appearance of Morbius

Ah, and here we are with the comic magazines. Don't like 'em but are a fan of Morbius, you'll just have to suck it up. Pun intended.

So this magazine-format comic is actually the 1st Morbius solo story, and the character does star in this horror comic series. If you're into that, you may want to consider this one. If you're looking to snag all the character's early appearances, this issue holds the 5th appearance of Morbius.

Although this series didn't run for very long, it is a Morbius key worth noting and knowing about, especially if you're a fan of the character or a horror comic fan as well.

Great artwork by Pablo Marcos without a doubt, Vampire Tales #1 has the cover date of June, 1973.

1st appearance of Tara
1st appearance of Daemond
Morbius begins in title
1st Paul Gulacy published work

Looks like I made a bit of a mistake with this one, thinking it was the first solo Morbius story when the 1st solo Morbius story and back up series is in Vampire Tales. I greatly apologize, but I'm only human here.

Regardless, this issue also seems to be the 1st published work by Paul Gulacy. Paul Gulacy is most hailed for his work on Masters of Kung Fu starring Shang-Chi, as well as his work on DC's Catwoman. He is hailed as a fan-favorite artist for the Catwoman volume 3 series.

So, Morbius begins in the titled series and Paul Gulacy's 1st published artwork is in the story "Morbius the Living Vampire" in this issue. Still not a bad key issue at all to have.

This issue also sees the 1st appearance of Tara and Daemond. Daemond is the big bad in the comic titled series, but he would only pop up here and there over-all. 

Awesome cover by Gil Kane. February, 1974 is the cover date for Fear #20 or Adventure into Fear #20.

1st meeting of Morbius & Blade

It's pretty strange that Morbius and Blade would meet quite soon, but Morbius and Dracula wouldn't. Considering that both are in the vampire realm of Marvel and Dracula like all Marvel vampires even ties to Werewolf by Night, it strange that the Lord of Vampires doesn't meet Morbius during the early Bronze Age.

Vampire Tales, a comic magazine devoted to vampire stories, has Dracula's daughter Lilith in one issue I think in that titled series, but no Dracula whatsoever. I think it's odd. I also think it's odd that Morbius never crossed over into Tomb of Dracula neither.

Oh, well, but Blade and Morbius do meet and go at it, and this Adventure Into Fear #24 is the thrilling that sees this happen. Two points for fans of both Blade and Morbius, Adventure Into Fear #24 has the cover date of October, 1974.

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1st appearance of Simon Stroud

Simon Stroud is known for being an antagonist for both Man-Wolf and Morbius. This former CIA agent would become the main hunter for Morbius in his first headlining and on-going comic series in the 90s.

So, I figured I'd put this one on here, though Morbius is  not in this issue and it pertains to Man-Wolf. Simon Stroud was created by Goerge Tuska and Doug Moench, and Creatures on the Loose #30 has the cover date of July, 1974.

Well, not many surprises here, but I didn't expect there to be. In terms of Morbius key issue comics, there aren't really that many worth mentioning concerning his over-all mythos.

Morbius is still a fun character to talk about. Like Werewolf by Night, Morbius is desperate to find a cure for his vampire-like state. 

He's also a tortured character and constantly wrestles with his humanity and thirst for blood. His mythos would be further expanded in the Modern Age, so we got a few more key comics pertaining to Morbius.

Stay tuned...


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    I like that Bloodsucker, I really do, however Marvel didn' t put him in the spotlight in the past, so I don' t see that big things are in store for him. Right now I have JLA 64 on my mind (Red Tornado II) plus I got to have Lois Lane 70. Is that really the first appearance of Catwoman? Wow! Mega key, that I haven' t heard of before plus not unaffordable.

    Speculation Jones

  2. Hi S. J.,

    concerning Catwoman, yes, it is her first Silver Age appearance. Good choice for

    Max Rebo