Friday, December 13, 2013

Review- MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE: THE MAN CALLED MORBIUS

MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE: THE MAN CALLED MORBIUS (Marvel, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man No. 699.1 and Morbius The Living Vampire Nos. 1-9 (cover dates March- November, 2013).
Writers: Joe Keatinge with Dan Slott ( Amazing Spider-Man #699.1)
Artists: Richard Elson (#1-5, 8, 9), Valentine De Landro, Carlos Rodriguez, Felix Ruiz, and Marc Checchettio
Colorist: Antonio Fabella

This was the first series that I followed via monthly installments since late 1989 or early 1990 (hard to remember exactly when I quit buying monthly comic books). This felt radically different in a marathon reading session when compared to the monthly fix. In some ways it was better, in other ways it lacked the anticipation that I felt waiting to see what would happen next. Binge consumption of entertainment is a respectable pastime here in the 21st century, so luckily for me I don't have to enjoy comics responsibly. It was a nice experiment reading single issues again, but I don't see me ever going that route over trade paperbacks. 
 
Things start out with Dr. Michael Morbius escaping from the Raft, the superhuman prison in New York. We see his early life in a series of flashback sequences. Morbius ends up hiding out in Brownsville, a depressed urban area not unlike my local major population centre, Detroit. Brownsville is every bit as desolate and poor as the worst parts of Detroit, and so when I read this I imagined Morbius living near Van Dyke and 7 Mile or something. Morbius immediately, if inadvertently, causes trouble by way of crossing local crime lord Noah St. Germain.
Things go from bad to worse for our poor Living Vampire. Morbius is like the Charlie Brown of the vampire set, trying to do the right thing and running to kick that football, only to have it always yanked away from him at the last minute. The Rose enters the picture, and just when Morbius thinks that he's got that figured out, another layer is revealed. Morbius is played for a sucker and loses everything, only to find out that he already has everything that he really needs. Think of this as It's A Wonderful Life for the vampire set. 
Morbius has much appeal...to me.
This series was about the man called Morbius. Now that we have established that, we need to have another series about the monster called Morbius. We need balls to the wall Horror, with Morbius teaming up with the Living Mummy and Brother Voodoo to fight...well, whatever, some monster or demon or something. Morbius could team up with Werewolf By Night to try and stop some faux-Satanic cult from using the statue from It! The Living Colossus to transport some demon entity into it, resulting in a triumphant return of It. It would be sweet to see It in comics again. We got to see a bit of the Manphibian in this series, which was cool, because you can never have too many monsters. 
With the holiday gift giving season upon us, you might find yourself wondering what to get that certain special someone for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or Festivus. May I recommend getting them a copy of this book? If enough people give the gift of Morbius this holiday season then we might get more new Morbius comics. If this book moves some 3-4,000 copies like Hawkeye or Saga trades then this could happen. It's all up to you, folks. I've already bought my copy...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Variant covers not included as part of the extras: The 2nd printing to issue 1 with the blue colored logo. The #1 blank cover variant. You might say that I am being a bit too anal, but this is The OCD zone for chrissakes. It's what we do.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: All are one full page.
#1 variant cover by Ed McGuinness and Marte Gracia.
#6 Wolverine Through The Ages variant cover by Patrick Zircher.
#1 variant cover by Skottie Young.
#2 variant cover by Marcos Martin.
#3 variant by Tomm Coker.
Marvel AR (Augmented Reality) legend. Has anyone actually gotten this stupid app to work? I downloaded it and followed the instructions and...nothing. Waste of time if you ask me.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. This book has a good weight coated stock paper with a slight sheen to it. It's nicer than the paper used in the floppies. It has that stupid wavy effect that many recent Marvel trade paperbacks suffer from.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Standard perfect bound glued binding.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. The waxlike lamination seems cheaper. Also, it is one of those covers that is slightly narrower than the pages inside, resulting in a really minor ding on the corners of the front and back pages, all of which could have been avoided if the cover were a millimeter wider. I guess that the printer saved .000000000008 on it or whatever. It's like the self cover of trade paperback covers. The cardstock cover itself was marginally thinner as well.
Decontenting is the death knell, babe. Vinyl records were made cheaper and cheaper throughout the '80s. My first print of Kiss Asylum on vinyl was 80g weight, which would actually wobble when you took it out of the sleeve. As demand for paper shrinks and paper mills try to maximize profits, books are going to be made more and more with inferior materials. Then once it hits bottom they will reintroduce physical books as novelty deluxe items, not unlike vinyl is today, and charge top dollar for them.

http://www.instocktrades.com/TP/Marvel/MORBIUS-LIVING-VAMPIRE-TP-MAN-CALLED-MORBIUS/AUG130886



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