Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #101. Morbius and the Lizard

Amazing Spider-Man #101. Morbius - first appearance and origin
(Who wouldn't want to read a comic with a cover like this? From October 1971.)


Written by Roy Thomas.
Drawn by Gil Kane.
Inked by Frank Giacoia.
Lettering by Artie Simek.

What happens:
Peter Parker soon realises that his only hope of curing the affliction that's given him six arms is to seek the help of Curt Connors, the scientist who grows an extra arm when he becomes the Lizard. He phones the man, who agrees to loan him the use of an isolated house he owns which has a fully equipped lab.

But, when Spider-Man gets there, he's attacked and knocked out by Michael Morbius, a living vampire who's just come ashore after killing everyone aboard the ship on which he was previously hiding. As Morbius closes in for the kill, Curt Connors walks in - and the threat posed by Morbius causes him to transform into the Lizard. When Spider-Man regains consciousness, he finds The Lizard and Morbius squaring up for a fight - with him as the prize!

The Verdict.
So Spider-man goes all Hammer Horror as he finds himself in a creepy old house with what's basically Dracula in a costume. Even Morbius' method of arriving - by ship - echoes that of Vlad himself. Still, despite that, Morbius is a distinctive creation in his own right and there is something genuinely threatening about the vampire. It's a tale that's always felt not quite like other Spider-tales, which might be down to the fact it was written by Roy Thomas and not Stan Lee; and, if you stop to think about it for even one moment, there's an inherent ludicrousness to the story as we get the tale of a six-armed man, a human reptile and a vampire all stuck together in a haunted house. Probably all it needs is a guest spot from Abbott and Costello to make it into a Universal creature feature.

Either way, never the most conventional of artists, Gil Kane's in his element with his portrayal of the scenes in and around the old house and you have to love the single-panel page where the vampire flings our helpless hero from a balcony.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails