Morbius’ Powers In Sony’s Spider-Verse Explained
Morbius, the Living Vampire has long been a shadowy figure within the Marvel universe. As an anti-heroic character, Morbius is equal parts protector and terror of the night. Now, as we’re sure many of you know, the character is receiving his own movie in Sony’s own Spider-Verse (sans the actual Spider-Man), starring Jared Leto as Morbius.
This is great news for two major groups of people. The first is those who are unfamiliar with Morbius and his powers. Though he may look and act like a typical vampire, there are some important distinctions that newcomers may not immediately recognize. The second group is, of course, Morbius’ comic book fans, who will be delighted by the fact that Sony seems to be going for a faithful representation of the character. Nevertheless, there are some slight differences between Leto’s Morbius and the Michael Morbius we know from the comics. As such, here are his powers in the Spider-Verse explained.
What do the trailers reveal about Morbius?
Based on the official trailer that Sony released in early November (along with the teaser trailer from 2020), we can see that Morbius’ origins and powers do greatly resemble what he has in the comics. In the midst of dying from a rare blood disease, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Dr. Michael Morbius performs an experimental procedure on himself using vampire bats. The results of this procedure grant Morbius multiple powers, which he details in both trailers. He has increased strength and speed, the ability to use echolocation or “bat radar,” some sort of increased visual sense, enhanced healing powers, and can either fly or glide. He also seems to have a degree of control over bats.
These seemingly vampiric abilities come with a downside, however. Like all other vampires, Morbius has an almost irresistible urge to drink human blood. This creates a great internal struggle in Morbius, who, as a doctor and decent human, tries to “do no harm,” but is nonetheless compelled by instinct to feed on others. For as vampiric as Morbius seems, however, he actually isn’t a vampire, and this distinction is made very clear within the comics.
What can we learn about Morbius from the comics?
In the comic books, Morbius’ powers are ostensibly identical to what we have described above. However, the comics have gone to greater lengths to describe the mechanics of his abilities, and how they can be distinguished from true vampirism. The name “the Living Vampire” is no oxymoron. While most vampires are classified as undead, and therefore cannot be alive, Morbius’ abilities were granted through a scientific process, not a magical one like Marvel’s other bloodsuckers. This creates a few differences in Morbius’ abilities.
The first difference between Morbius and true vampires comes in his resistance to sunlight. Since he is still technically alive, Morbius is not affected by sunlight in the same way as most vampires (via Marvel Wiki). Even so, he is still sensitive to it. Similarly, religious icons, wooden stakes, and garlic bear no ill effect on the good doctor.
The comic book Morbius also possesses a few abilities that the film has not yet revealed. These include the ability to hypnotize others and the ability to create other “pseudo-vampires” by draining his victims’ blood entirely.