Legion of Monsters: Morbius

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Jim Beard
The mighty monsteriffic LEGION OF MONSTERS mini-series continues, and though three's the charm for you the fortunate reader, the doomed and destructive individuals in this third tome of terror are anything but lucky. Scientist Michael Morbius, "vascular theorist," had a good life once upon a time. Winner of the Nobel Prize, engaged to be married to a beautiful girl and his work rewarding and successful, he had everything…including a rare and incurable blood disease. Morbius turned his research on himself, developing a new enzyme to strengthen his blood count, but instead created one of the most unique monsters ever: a living vampire! Now cursed with all the frightening characteristics of an undead nightdweller, Morbius searches for a cure to his affliction while valiantly resisting his vampiric urges to attack his fellow man and spread evil. LEGION OF MONSTERS: MORBIUS also delivers a new story of another bombastic bloodsucker, a gentleman who's not only a real vampire, he's the King of the Vampires! Count Dracula, the famous Prince of Darkness, cursed hundred of years ago to walk by night and sleep by day, disperses his malice across the globe in a bid for destruction and domination. Many have challenged him and many have fallen beneath Dracula's juggernaut of horror, but the world has never seen the likes of one who presents a rather personal bulwark to his plans and schemes: Lilith, the daughter of Dracula! Your friends at Marvel.com, never ones to shirk responsibility and always diligent in bringing you the inside information on the biggest events, no matter the affront to our own personal safety, went looking for trouble. To the far ends of the Earth did we search for minutiae on these denizens of the night and their tales of terror, and in a ruined section of dark and foreboding Cairfax Abbey we struck gold…or rather blood. Sitting on a shifted and displaced marble mausoleum slab, drinking and playing dice, we stumbled across writers Brendan Cahill (SABLE & FORTUNE) and C.B. Cebulski (THE LONERS). Trying not to look at the thick, crimson liquid they were imbibing and the chalky, bone-white dice they were throwing, we pulled up a tombstone and asked them for a few words on LEGION OF MONSTERS: MORBIUS. Marvel: Gentlemen, good evening. What can you tell us about how you both got involved in LEGION OF MONSTERS? A curse? Dark rites? Strickfaden generators? Cahill: Pretty simple, really. Editor John Barber called and asked me if I wanted to do a monster story and I said yes! When he told me he was thinking about me for Morbius, I was even more excited because I thought it would be a lot of fun to do a vampire story, even though it's not the sort of thing I would do on my own. Cebulski: Last year, artist David Finch and I had a fantastic time collaborating on our Spider-Man/Black Cat story in SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED. We had such a blast, we've wanted to work together again on something since then but have both been busy elsewhere. However, we've always said if the stars align and there's another chance to do something short together, we'd take it. That chance came with LEGION OF MONSTERS. Marvel: That's right, you both have fantastic and frankly, perfect artists for your stories: Michael Gaydos on Morbius and David Finch on Dracula! Listen, both these characters are legendary and have a lot of history at Marvel…what are your takes on them? Cahill: My take on Morbius is pretty much in line with his legacy, I think. His better nature is constantly at war with his demons, and he tries to cling to his humanity even though he's essentially made himself into a monster. Marvel: In your story, how do you see Morbius' affliction? Cahill: I chose to look at his vampirism as an addiction--he constantly desires blood, but he knows that if he gives in, that's when everything goes to hell. So it's essentially the same thing an alcoholic or drug addict has to deal with. Marvel: C.B., you have a character on your hands, Count Dracula, who came to Marvel already rich with drama and passion and had a long, uniquely terrifying run in TOMB OF DRACULA. Where do you go from there? Cebulski: Well, the dynamic between Dracula and his daughter Lilith is a fascinating one. They hate each other but share a mutual respect for each other at the same time. Every father/daughter relationship has its problems, but Lilith tries to take her "rebellion" to new heights. But when your father is the immortal Prince of Darkness, how far do you have to go to get a rise out of him? Marvel: Yeah, it's probably not as simple as a "I'm going to stay out late and you're not going to stop me!" kind of thing. Cebulski: Right. That's the question that we're going to try and answer in this story. Marvel: So, did you both get the monster bug while writing these stories? Would you want to open these particular coffins again? Cahill: Sure! (Got any?) Yeah, the monster thing is great, and I would say it's probably something I'm better at than superhero stuff. While I think superheroes tend to be a way to create a metaphor around peoples' noblest qualities, monsters are a way to put that metaphoric lens on their most vile secrets. Which is much more fun. Marvel: C.B.? More monsters? Cebulski: I'd love to! While being known primarily for superheroes myself, Marvel has a rich history of monster and horror comics and characters, and it's a genre I would love to explore more of some day! Marvel: Thank you, gentlemen. This has certainly been illuminating. We have to get going now…no, no, don't get up! We'll just be toddling along…have to see a man about his demonic daughter…heh heh…you guys, always joking…plastic fangs! Classic! Wait! No! Why are you looking at us like that? YAHHHHHH!!!! Well, suffice to say your ol' buddies here at Marvel.com made a clean getaway. The blood came out in the laundry just fine and those marks on our necks barely show. We just hope LEGION OF MONSTERS editor John Barber doesn't mind us driving stakes through two of his favorite writers… Alas, LEGION OF MONSTERS: MORBIUS, sporting a beautiful and strangely alluring Greg Land cover, is scheduled to appear out of the fog on June 27 in fine comic shops and sepulchres everywhere. Bat-wing on over and dig yourself up a copy!

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