1994 Spider-Man: “The Immortal Vampire” Review

The final battle with Morbius comes to a head when both Felicia Hardy and Aunt May are kidnapped! Can Blade and Spider-Man rescue them in time before the hostages are turned into vampires?

Written By: John Semper and Meg McLaughlin
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Toyko Movie Shinsha (TMS)

THE PLOT: Dect. Terri Lee gets added in the mix as Spider-Man and Blade get closer and closer to stopping Morbius from turning all of humanity into vampires. But, horror upon horror, their plans go awry once Aunt May is kidnapped!

LONG STORY SHORT: Spider-Man uses all of his strength to save Aunt May from the rays of the neogenic recombinator while Morbius is turned into a full bat-creature. He flies away from New York, as Terri Lee and Blade bid each other a fond farewell.

“Come’on! I wanna hold the crossbow gun now! Quit hogging!”

MY THOUGHTS: After the flat-out bad previous episode, this one sees the much needed end of the Morbius arc. Of course the Neogenic Nightmare is STILL not done, but we won’t be seeing Morbius for a good long while. It’s interesting, because so much of the Neogenic Nightmare seems to go hand in hand with the Morbius saga in this season. He became a vampire due to Peter testing his blood for a cure for his disease, and Spider-Man fought Morbius throughout various mutated stages. There’s not even really a mention of Spidey’s mutation disease in this episode, which makes sense because this takes place in the same night as the previous one. It’s basically the same day, so Spidey wouldn’t need a trip to the Connors’ lab for another 18 hours at least.

I must admit despite my dislike for the last episode, I was looking forward to seeing this one again. I haven’t seen it in years, and I always remember really liking it for one reason or another. All things considered, those good feeling were well founded. This is a very solid episode that tightly finishes off Morbius’ story. There were so many aspects of the past several episodes that played into the plot and it all worked out pretty seemlessly. Not only that, but I thought the climax was rather exciting. When looking back at the previous episode for comparison, what was really memorable about that one? Okay, we meet Blade and Whistler for the first time but outside of that it was rather dull. For one thing, this episode has MUCH better animation all around. It’s a different style than what usually is used in the show, as there were much more usages of shadows and dark lighting effects. It was simple yet effective, especially considering the supernatural theme.

“Whaddyu mean my soulpatch is out of style?!”

 Granted, certain shots of other episodes were stolen about twenty times again like in the last episode (once again, I counted) but even then I thought that said shots were used to less blatent effect. The models all looked really nice and proportionate, and I thought there were times when both Blade and Morbius looked really cool.

The action stepped up a notch as well, with physical contact looking much more intense and less considerate of each person’s feelings. Spider-Man got to kick Morbius around a little, and the was one instance where Blade either threw or shoved Morbius into a pipe where his head slammed pretty hard into it. That was fun to see.

I think what carries the first 2/3rds of this episode is, again, the continuity. The remark made by Peter to the press that he was tracking Spider-Man and taking his pictures was honestly a throwaway line to give an explanation of his whereabouts in the last episode, so I was very surprised that they went back to that with Jameson and Robbie calling him on his BS and nearly firing him here. It’s just as well because it had been a while since we had seen those two, with their last appearance being in “Enter the Punisher”. Even better was the use of the romantic subplots to further the cliche “Parker Luck”. I say cliche; I loved how they had Peter foricbly break his own heart by lying to MJ in order to save her life. She’s been going after him in the entire season, and I felt that her little subplot was really well done to where her scenes with Harry played into the plot of her dumping Peter. At the same time, if this is the same night as the last episode, does she go on two dates with him in the same night?

I thought ending the Morbius arc with Felicia’s involvement was a nice touch as well. Granted, I really haven’t liked Felicia all that much in this season after she completely threw Spider-Man under the bus for really no apparent reason, and jumps into his arms at the end of this episode. But it added pathos to Morbius’ story and brought him back from that stupid plot of turning people into vampires.

“Whatchu lookin’ at boi?”

Conversely, while I didn’t enjoy Felicia’s character but did kind of like her involvement with Morbius, the opposite can be said for the “romance” between Terri Lee and Blade. I thought that was completely tacked on and pointless, with the only real reasoning that I can even begin to think of being that Blade needed someone to tell him to stop killing people while Spider-Man was busy…which didn’t work since the last bit of action Blade does is try to slice Morbius in half anyway with his Lightsaber. I didn’t mind Terri Lee’s role in the episode, gradually learning more about Blade and even becoming attracted to him, but the scene of them kissing was stupid. There’s really no reason Blade would even be attracted to her besides her being female, and why her? Why now? To this day, it really makes no sense, especially since Peter carried most of the romantic baggage in the episode anyway.

That was another thing that quickly became repetitive, people telling Blade to not kill Morbius. Spider-Man nagging at him was obvious and in character, but it really got old after a while. Terri telling him not to was dumb because, hey, she’s a COP. It was as bad as Microchip whining at the Punisher to not kill criminals because after a while you really aren’t going to change these guys’ minds if you didn’t the first thousand times.

I have to say though, the climax with Morbius permanently changing into a bat-monster and Spidey using all his strength to save Aunt May always gets me. When I first saw Spidey use his full power to break out of Morbius’ grip, I became so excited. To me, it was like ASM #33 without having read it. It’s not as exciting now that I’m older, but it is still a really awesome moment. I also didn’t expect Morbius changing forever into a monster despite knowing it was going to happen. The way the story worked out, in a horror movie maybe you could see it coming. But in the context of the show, I think most people were expecting more of a Curt Connors scenario where he’s cured at the end. It’s very sad, and very well done in my opinion.

I enjoyed this episode, very much so. It’s not perfect, but I found it to be a satisfying conclusion to Morbius’s story arc. If this was a season finale, this would be a solid one. That doesn’t turn out to be the case however, as there are four more episodes left in the season. Stay tuned.


Best Quote Contender:

*Blade strong-arms Peter*

Terri Lee: “Wait! He does know Spider-Man! He’s cool!”

Blade: “Knowing Spider-Man does not…make him…’cool’…”

All images taken from marvel.toonzone.com and drg4.wariocompany.com respectively.

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