A Monster Called…Morbius!
Scripter: Roy Thomas
Artist: Gil Kane
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Artie Simek
Originally published: October 1971
Some interesting firsts in this issue. First issue of Amazing where Stan Lee doesn’t have a writing credit! I guess after 100 issues he deserved a break. Also, the first time I’ve seen Morbius.
Well, after that exciting ending to issue 100, I’m super stoked about this! Let’s hope it’s good!
Things start off good with Peter having a bit of a panic attack about his extra appendages. Even amongst this anxiety, he manages to slip in a sweet Kafka reference. Peter finds himself in an awkward situation when Gwen calls and he has to avoid her. Also, I totally misread Gwen’s first line here:
You know, about the R-RATED FLICK. I was shocked (shocked!) when I saw it out of the corner of my eye. On the other hand, maybe that’s just what Peter needs. I actually think this may have been an intentional visual pun. Gwen suggests seeing “I am Curious (Yellow)” a movie with actual explicit real sex in it. I’m pretty sure the movie was banned in the US, so I’m not even sure it could have been playing. Seems like a pretty racy little thing to have in there.
Anyway, Pete tells Gwen he’s going to be out of town for awhile and, frankly, he’s kind of rude about it. He then gets a call from the Bugle and blows them off too. Trying to sort out his bind, Pete calls Dr. Curt Connors and gets permission to stay at Connor’s summer home, which just happens to be equipped with a lab. When Spidey arrives at the home, he finds a huge sea-side mansion, haunted house stylez.
Off-shore is a ship, on which crewman have been disappearing since picking up a strange man they found adrift. This is a pretty cool nod to Dracula, which has the vampire killing off crew on a boat voyage he makes. The crew has had enough of this, and they go to the hold to beat the crap out of their passenger. The man – Morbius – manages to escape them and hide out until nightfall…and when night does fall, he kills them all. Internally conflicted, Morbius jumps overboard just as dawn approaches. He makes his way to shore and, under the light of the newly risen sun, seeks sanctuary in the Connors mansion (with a wee Zola reference – sweet).
Meanwhile, back in said mansion, Spider-Man has been working on a cure for his affliction. After two days, though, he’s still nowhere and frustration is starting to get the better of him. As the day comes to a close, Morbius rises and finds Spidey. He makes some cryptic comic about recognizing him (has Morbius been around before? I didn’t think so…), but decides he needs to quench his thirst by drinking Spidey’s blood.
Morbius attacks and quickly overpowers Spider-Man, who realizes what he’s up against a little too slowly. Just as Morbius is about to dig in, Spider-Man is rescued by the sudden appearance of Doc Connors himself! When Morbius lunges at him, the adrenaline rushing through Connors’s body instantly transforms him into the Lizard! As the issue ends, Morbius and the Lizard are facing off over the right to kill Spider-Man.
This issue was pretty bad ass. It had some sex (sort of), it had a vampire that actually kills people, it had sweet literary references and let’s not forget that it had a six-armed Spider-Man. This was a hell of a lot of fun.