This .1 issue puts a spotlight on the character of Morbius the Living Vampire, as we see what happens with him after the Doctor Octopus debacle from last issue. This is another obvious attempt to kick off a new solo series, so it very much reads like a #0 issue in that way. Here, we get a glimpse of how writer Joe Keatinge’s upcoming ongoing series will be, as Keatinge and co-writer Dan Slott recap Michael Morbius’ origins for new readers.
By now, these .1 issues have become the norm for Marvel, serving as jumping on points for various characters and storylines. This story spins directly from the prison break sequence in issue #699. As Morbius escapes from his cell, his memories flash back to his days growing up in Greece and the unusual circumstances leading up to the experiment which turned him into the bloodsucking creature he is today. Keatinge and Slott deliver a pretty straightforward history for Morbius and expertly weaves his past with his life in the present. While all of this is probably old hat for longtime Marvelites, there are a few retcons that were a nice touch, such as how Morbius’ parents helped to mold him and adding his childhood friend, Emil, into the picture.
Artist Valentine De Landro, who is probably most known for his work on X-Factor, adapts a noticeably different style here. While his noirish renderings are still intact, they take on a more retro, Silver Age appearance, which is perfect for the setting. Artist Marco Checchetto also provides the opening pages, which were dark and foreboding, meshing well with De Landro’s style.
All in all, this issue doesn’t really serve the current “Dying Wish” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, but it is a good start point for readers looking forward to the new Morbius series and should satisfy fans of the character, even if they don’t plan on picking up his new book. We all win. 8/10