Morbius: Bond of Blood is a recap of Marvel’s Living Vampire, which doesn’t bring much new to the fan-favorite antihero.
While Morbius fans will have to wait until January 2022 to see the film adaptation of the fan-favorite antihero on the big screen, Marvel’s Living Vampire rises from the grave once again in Blood bond. The comic book one-shot, by Ralph Macchio and Tom Reilly, reminds Michael Morbius of his monstrous origins while a familiar face from his tragic past needs his help. And while the creative team brings a timeless sensitivity to revisiting the vampire, especially evident in the artwork from the one-shot special, this is a Morbius adventure that fans might be able to skip in favor of different stories starring the tortured creature of the night.
As Morbius patrols, he stops criminals who terrorize the innocent in New York City with their trademark bloodthirsty sense of justice. However, Morbius ‘world is shaken to the core when he discovers that Christos Nikos, the young son of his old friend and research partner Emil, who tragically became the first victim of Morbius’ insatiable vampirism, suffers from a terminal blood disease. of your own. As Morbius desperately searches for a way to save the boy before it’s too late, he calls up his own history with Emil and his impact on shaping Morbius’s life when he first became a living vampire all those years ago.
While he is one of Marvel’s most prolific editors, Macchio is no stranger to writing numerous superheroes across the Marvel Universe, and he wrote a special one-shot of Black Widow last year. Similar to that special, Macchio leans toward the classic aspects of the character that have come to define them; In the case of Michael Morbius, his constant sense of guilt and self-loathing for the vampire he has become has cost those around him. And although Macchio has a low Morbius voice, too much of that voice is used: practically every page is crammed with his protagonist’s long-winded internal monologues. For a visual medium, it is important to remember the value of showing and not telling and Macchio’s penchant for exhibition kills the rhythm and overloads many of the panels rather than letting the art speak for him.
Fortunately, the artistic side of the story is the strongest aspect of the one-shot special, with Reilly working with artist of color Chris O’Halloran. The art team imbues the images with a pulp horror sensibility that really underscores the timeless qualities of the overall narrative; practically making the comic sit and smell like newsprint; that’s a compliment, of course. There isn’t that much action on the subject to talk about and most of the vampiric activity is off the panel and left to the imagination of the readers, but the most introspective sequences in the story, of which there are many, are when The Work de Reilly and O’Halloran stands out among the best, enhancing the story’s tragedy in Morbius’s quieter moments.
Those unfamiliar with Morbius’ previous exploits and interested in catching up in time for next year’s movie are better suited to look elsewhere in the character’s comic book history to read. Similarly, there is a lot of wasted territory for Morbius fans who will find that this issue perhaps doesn’t bring anything new to the table for the character. The creative team intuitively knows what makes the antihero so attractive, but there is too much exposure, stepping on narrative water, and lack of action to keep them engaged. Morbius is definitely capable of taking center stage, but this particular story can’t decide whether he wants to forge his own path or take a journey down memory lane.
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