By George Bate
Sony’s latest addition to their expanding Spider-Man universe arrives this week, making it a perfect time to prepare for the new Jared Leto-film. Morbius comes from director Daniel Espinosa (Life, Safe House) and follows Dr. Michael Morbius (played by Jared Leto), whose attempts to cure himself of a deadly blood disease inadvertently afflicts him with a form of vampirism. Morbius, the Living Vampire made his first appearance in 1971’s The Amazing Spider-Man #101 and has since been a staple in a range of Marvel comics. Here’s what to watch in anticipation of the character’s live-action debut.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
To many, the 1990s animated series is the definitive version of Spider-Man. The series introduced a number of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains, including Morbius. The character first appeared as a Empire State University biologist before transforming into a vampire in the episode “Morbius”. He later appeared in the episodes “Enter the Punisher”, “Duel of the Hunters”, “Blade the Vampire Hunter”, “The Immortal Vampire”, “The Vampire Queen,” and “Secret Wars Pt. 2,” in which character crosses paths with Blade, Black Cat, and more.
Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six
Michael Morbius also appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six animated series. This version of the character is a HYDRA scientist specializing in symbiotes. He appears in the episodes “Anti-Venom” and the three-episode arc “The Symbiote Saga,” where he interacts with Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, the Carnage Queen, Agent Venom, and more.
The Blade Trilogy
Morbius does not appear in any of the three Wesley Snipes-led Blade films, but these Marvel classics are worth the re-watch nonetheless. Not only do they showcase vampires in the Marvel universe, but Morbius actually appears in a deleted scene in Blade that can be found on YouTube and on the DVD release. Guillermo del Toro even tried to incorporate Morbius into Blade II, but was denied the opportunity.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Morbius takes place in the same universe as Venom and Venom: Let Be Carnage, which makes sense given the film is a Sony project. The trailers for Morbius make several explicit references to Venom and it is likely these two characters will cross paths in the near future.
Michael Keaton’s Vulture is the main antagonist in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and, despite a tease of what’s to come with his character in the post-credits scene, has yet to be seen since. However, Keaton’s villain does play a role in Morbius as confirmed in promotional material, making catching up with Vulture worthwhile ahead of the new Sony/Marvel film.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
No Way Home cracks the Marvel multiverse wide open and does so in spectacular fashion. The post-credits scene with Tom Hardy’s Venom directly links the Sony/Marvel universe with the MCU in intriguing ways that will surely be explored in subsequent films.
Morbius is in theaters April 1st.