Morbius: The Living Vampire (Vol. 2) #9

Background

Last issue, Morbius began his final battle with the Rose when he blew up the abandoned movie theater. Luckily, the residents of Brownsville were taken underground by the Legion of Monsters so they weren't harmed. The short fight took a turn for the worse for Morbius when the Rose used his Ultimate Nullifier on Morbius...

Story Details

  Morbius: The Living Vampire (Vol. 2) #9
Summary: Morbius ends...FINALLY!
Editor: Sana Amanat
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Richard Elson
Cover Art: Marco Checchetto
Lettering: VC's Clayton Cowles
Colorist: Antonio Fabela

Since this story is a blend of two different times, I will simply tell the events in chronological order:

After being zapped by the Rose’s Ultimate Nullifier, Morbius fall onto a car, unconscious. (Don’t question it.) Becky watches the whole thing and has to be restrained by Black Lagoon of the Monster of Evil from running up to Morbius. When random rubble drops in front of them, Black Lagoon sends Becky down into the sewers and finds that Morbius’ body is gone.

On top of the rooftop, the Rose leaves in his helicopter, rambling, “This was all so stupid. So empty.” (Hey, Keatinge is already reflecting on his run on Morbius and the final issue isn’t even complete! Rose enters his hideout to have a drink alone. Morbius, with a savage look on his face, rises from the ocean in front of the Rose’s hideout and walks to the entrance.

A group of guards gather around him and they are all astonished that he isn’t dead. (Frankly, after being zapped with the Ultimate Nullifier, so am I.) Morbius viciously rips the guards up while Chondra, Rose’s assistant, is talking to Morbius’ dad on her phone. She is planning on his arrival, but he reveals that he is not coming. Their time is over, he explains. They’re on their own.

Chondra frantically tells Rose inside that they must evacuate, but he lets her go and raises his glass. “Here’s to the next life,” he says. Mobius rushes into Rose’s room and Rose shoots him five times. Morbius, on the floor, must listen to Rose as he assures that his mother is safe and he starts ranting. Morbius reveals that he really watched his Mother die years ago. Morbius manages to get up and thrashes Rose. Morbius tells him that he is just a typical pawn.

Then, Morbius savagely bites into Rose’s neck, killing him.

Once Rose’s dead body has dropped to the ground, Morbius picks up the phone which Chondra was talking to his dad on. His dad tells him that he is only an investor and is already working on rebuilding Brownsville, where property values will skyrocket and new tenants will move in. Morbius’ father informs Morbius that he cannot return to Brownsville and asks him about what he is going to do now.

One year later, Becky is holding an art show of her pictures of Brownsville. She certainly doesn’t look homeless anymore. Wanda and Henry greet her and Henry rushes off to the picture she painted of him. Wanda and Becky talk about how they never heard from Morbius again. Afterwards, Becky has an interview with a reporter about her art. Becky gabs about how she hasn’t figured out what she wants to do next, but it’s time she lived her own story.

Once the show is over, Becky walks out and talks to a shadowy figure about how she hates keeping him a secret. As they walk away, Becky asks him what they are doing next. “Who knows? I’m enjoying our current plan. The one thing I’ve liked more than anything else I’ve tried,” the figure speaks.

Becky and the shadowed figure who is revealed to be Morbius walk away as he says, “Living.

General Comments

Blah. This wasn’t an enjoyable conclusion. Firstly, I was unhappy at Morbius’ savage slaughter of Rose. At the beginning of the series, he was depicted as the polite vampire who apologized for biting Noah’s neck. Obviously for the reason to bump up sales, he became ridiculously savage and now it has come to him ripping out the Rose’s neck. Bad characterization!

Secondly, I was unhappy over how Morbius isn’t even the star of the last issue of his own book. Out of the 94 panels in the book altogether, Morbius is only in featured in 41 panels, which isn’t even half of the comic book. That’s just pathetic.

Thirdly, I was disappointed with the final battle. Keatinge never gave us any combat between Morbius and the Rose that we can really look back on as the climax of the series. Either the Rose is beating the snot out of Morbius or Morbius is ripping out Rose’s neck. In fact, this actually applies to all of the other fights within the span of this series.

Lastly with my complaints, I found Keatinge’s follow-up to the cliffhanger to be downright horrendous. First of all, Morbius wasn’t even affected by the Ultimate Nullifier. Keatinge cannot go with his excuse last issue that the Ultimate Nullifier isn’t fully powered because even then, it blew up a movie theater. Then, once he was zapped, Morbius just fell onto a car and Rose simply flew away in a helicopter.

The one part about the writing I did like is the epilogue. Even though it took up too much space in the story, I was satisfied by the fact that Becky is now a renowned artist and Morbius is trying to live like to its fullest. Sometimes, people take happy endings for granted and this may be the first comic book conclusion I have read for a long time that doesn’t just set up new stories. I was also impressed at how well this segment intertwined with the current story. (Or is the future the current story…? I hate time travel.)

As always, Elson’s art is great, but he gets very few dynamic sequences to draw. I hope that now that Morbius is over, Marvel puts Elson on a book worth a crap. I was thinking something that included a more dynamic character like Spider-Man or Captain America…

Overall Rating

One-and-a-half webs. One web for the epilogue and half for the art.

When I look back at the series of Morbius, I feel sorrowful for Keatinge. Although I wasn't impressed with Keatinge's writing, I think he had some cool things planned for the series. Sadly, he had to cut and rush it when he learned within his first arc that the series was being cancelled. In result, it became very mixed and sloppy.

I think the main problem of this series was that Keatinge didn't portray Morbius as a strong enough character. Morbius was written as an introvert vampire that constantly complained about how bad of a person he was. Although this is Morbius' personality, Keatinge didn't give him any edge that would make him interesting. Therefore, it was up to the supporting cast to entertain the readers, but none of them are particularly noteworthy. So the series ultimately failed.