One of Spider-Man’s most poignant stories began with a stolen vial of the blood of the hero of Marvel’s deadliest gang.
It’s famous that Spider-Man has one of the most colorful rogue galleries in all of comics. More than a decade after its initial release, “The Gauntlet” remains one of the most memorable showcases of its villains, as many of its most iconic villains tried to bury it one after another. However, while most of his enemies were searching for Spidey’s head, Morbius the Living Vampire was seeking to shed the hero’s blood for a very different reason.
The trouble began when Spider-Man enlisted the help of Black Cat to carry out a daring heist during the 2010s. Amazing spider man # 621, by Dan Slott and Michael Lark. Mister Negative had recently developed his Devil’s Breath, a poison specifically designed to kill Spider-Man, and the key ingredient was Peter Parker’s own blood. With so much at stake, the heroes sneaked into Mister Negative’s stronghold only for Spider-Man to face off against a small army of Inner Demons. Fortunately, Black Cat was able to steal what they had come for while her partner escaped. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and before Peter knew it, his blood was back on the market.
The next day, Spider-Man woke up to find that Black Cat had already sold his blood to a group of would-be vampires. During his own investigation into the matter, Peter was hypnotized by a mysterious woman who somehow knew both what she was looking for and where she was. Before long, Spider-Man had broken into Morbius the Living Vampire’s lab, and his enigmatic admirer was right behind him. After being invited, the woman was revealed to be Morbius’ former assistant turned vampire-obsessed villain Martine. She had simply used Spider-Man as a means to hunt down Morbius herself, though she would ultimately lose her life in the fray.
As Martine’s influence faded, Spider-Man gradually came to understand what had happened to him, although he still did not know what the end of Morbius was. As it turned out, his old enemy was simply searching for a cure for the increasingly prominent werewolf affliction suffered by Jack Russell, the werewolf of the night. In a moment of despair over the death and destruction his actions caused, Morbius destroyed the last remaining sample of Spider-Man’s blood.
Seeing that harm had never been intended, not to mention the dire situation Morbius found himself in, Peter openly offered more samples of his blood to the cause. Peter’s blood did not end up healing Jack, but his empathy brought this exciting chapter of “The Gauntlet” to a surprisingly smooth ending.
For a story so often fraught with heartaches, this particular part of “The Gauntlet” highlighted Morbius’ tenuous place in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery as a villain who is rarely truly a villain and is a far more sympathetic figure than the other members of Spider-Man’s Gallery of Rogues. Not only did it give Spider-Man a certain amount of closure regarding the dominance that Mister Negative exerted over him, but it also gave readers an idea of how much good the wall-crawler could do without having to shoot a web or throw one. punch.
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