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Meet Michael Morbius: The Man

Writer Joe Keatinge provides insight into the most tragic hero of Marvel NOW!

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By Tim Stevens

MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE writer Joe Keatinge knows that the protagonist of his new series has more to him than a set of pearly fangs and a propensity for neck biting. While his current existence has been defined by his unconventional hungers, Morbius remains very much a man, and a brilliant, drive one at that.

Morbius: The Living Vampire #1 preview art by Rich Elson

“Morbius is a guy who relentlessly wants to do good, who relentlessly wants to better himself, who relentlessly wants to overcome his faults,” Keatinge asserts. “For as dire of circumstances he continually faces, he keeps getting up and trying again. We're going to be getting a lot more into this—into just who this guy is and why he still strives to be a better man despite facing so many horrors.

“He's someone who could probably be one of the nobler heroes in the Marvel Universe, if fate wasn't so damn cruel to him.”

Despite how his disease has twisted his appearance and caused for unnatural hunger pangs, the Living Vampire cannot escape the all too human desire for contact and relationships. Illuminating this oft-ignored side of the doctor stands as one of Keatinge’s early goals with the series.

“Absolutely [Morbius can and wants to connect with others],” he states emphatically. “We get into this immediately.”

However, the doctor has never proven particularly lucky and that bad fortune has defined not only his life but often that of those around him. Most recently, he saw his attempts to heal himself nearly destroy Horizon Labs and decimate his relationship with the company’s founder, his longtime friend Max Modell. That, however, represents only the most recent in a series of hardships that began with the night he transformed into his monstrous state.

“The vampiric elements to him are a side effect of an experiment gone wrong—a bad decision he made that cost him the life he knew and killed his best friend,” Keatinge reminds. “It's already cost him the love of his life.

“He's a guy who relentlessly fails, relentlessly falls into past mistakes, caves into addiction.”

Morbius: The Living Vampire #1 cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto

These tragedies continue to derail Morbius’s very simple, yet nearly impossible to realize, goal.

“He wants to atone for doing a whole lot of bad.” Keatinge reveals of Michael’s motives.

All of this reality and seemingly unrealizable aims have left Morbius emotionally battered and beaten over years and never as badly as of late.

“He's in a very, very bad place when the series starts off and it's my personal goal to make his life even more of a living hell,” the writer promises.

Pick up MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE #1 on January 2 and rejoin us later this week for more with Joe Keatinge!

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