Morbius is right around the corner, releasing exclusively in theaters on January 28th, 2022. Before the film arrives, join The Illuminerdi as we explore just where Morbius fits into the Marvel multiverse.
Originally created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Michael Morbius first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #101. The character served as an antagonist to Spider-Man before eventually becoming an antihero of sorts. He suffered from a rare blood disease which threatened his life and sought to cure it with an experimental treatment that involved electroshock therapy and the use of vampire bats.
Surprising no one, the procedure went awry, and Morbius was turned into “a living vampire”. He suffered from a thirst for blood and an aversion to sunlight, but he gained the powers of a vampire. He’s stronger than the average vampire, he isn’t quite as vulnerable to sunlight, and he isn’t weak to garlic, crosses or other classic vampire weapons.
MORBIUS IS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE IN VENOM’S UNIVERSE
A solo film adaptation for the character was announced in 2017, and Jared Leto became attached to the titular role shortly thereafter. Morbius was revealed to be part of Sony’s new franchise of Spider-Man characters, which was modeled after the success of the MCU. Following the failure of The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise as two separate universes.
They would work alongside Marvel Studios on Spider-Man solo films in the MCU, and they would work independently on films in their own, separate universe. These projects included the current one, Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and a Kraven The Hunter movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. While Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home briefly united elements of their Venom universe with the MCU, they were seemingly re-separated by the end of the film.
If that was all there was to the story, everything would be much more simple. Unfortunately, promotional material for the film makes the situation far more confusing.
SONY’S MARKETING IS DOWNRIGHT CONFUSING
Several confusing elements exist within the main trailer for Morbius. Morbius walks past a wall mural of Spider-Man, with “Murderer” sprawled across him. The Spider-Man on the wall seems to be Tobey Maguire’s version of the character. This is confusing, because that Spidey was not a murderer in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Furthermore, does the public simply believe that Spider-Man (and not Peter Parker) killed Mysterio due to Dr. Strange’s spell? The ending of No Way Home threw a wrench at theories around Morbius, and things likely won’t become clearer until the day of release. There is also the issue that Eddie Brock, a reporter, doesn’t know who Spider-Man is, so why is his mural on a random wall in Eddie’s universe?
MORBIUS FEATURES OSCORP, VULTURE, MENTIONS OF SPIDER-MAN & VENOM
Adding fuel to the fire, the Morbius trailer reveals the Oscorp building, which is confirmed not to exist in the MCU during Spider-Man: No Way Home. Is the Vulture capable of reality hopping now, or did Oscorp just pop up now?
To cap things all off, there is the confirmed appearance of Michael Keaton as The Vulture in Morbius. His character is intrinsically tied to the MCU, not the universe of Morbius, so unless he’s playing a variant, somehow the MCU and this world are tied together.
Where does Morbius fit into the Marvel multiverse? Who knows. Hopefully Sony and Marvel Studios do a good job of explaining that later this month, but only time will tell.
Where do you think Morbius exists in the multiverse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!