Written by Dan Slott and Christ Yost
Illustrated by Matthew Clark
Inked by Tom Palmer
Colored by Rob Schwager
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
THE PLOT:Peter and Uatu Jackson become increasingly curious as to the identity of Number 6, the mysterious worker at Horizon Labs. As Spider-Man, Peter sneaks into #6’s secret laboratory to learn that it is none other than Morbius, the Living Vampire!
LONG STORY SHORT:Morbius and Max Modell have been working on a cure for Morbius’ vampirism through the cure Reed Richards developed for Spider-Man. Spidey and an armored Uatu bust in and destroy everything trying to stop Morbius. Modell assures everyone that Morbius was just trying to cure himself and tells Spider-Man he is no longer welcome at Horizon Labs.
MY THOUGHTS:I’m unsure on how much I could precisely discuss regarding this issue, as it’s very straightforward. I’m left wondering what sort of story point the whole Morbius thing will play out in “ENDS OF THE EARTH” and if there was anything here hinted that will show up later on. I’m also curious about Max Modell’s involvement, and if he will play a bigger part down the line. But when I feel as though a better story is just being hinted at here, there’s little left for me to consider regarding this issue.
This isn’t a bad issue by any means. It’s a very linear, by-the-numbers Spider-Man story involving a classic villian. I’ve always had a soft spot for Morbius myself seeing as how he was the focal point of most of the entire second season of the 90s Spider-Man show , so it’s always fun for me to see his real nature in the comic books. Like the Vulture story, he’s done a decent amount of service here. I do wonder about the nature of Morbius stories in that the ones I’ve read all involve the smae basic idea of him trying to cure himself, but this was still decent. The one thing I paused at was Max Modell being described as one of his oldest friends. I really feel that was a contrived bit of writing, as Modell’s still a fairly new character and Morbius has been around since ASM #101. It’s nothing new to comics, but it was so stark a reveal to me that it was hard to just take at face value. What I did like about it was Modell’s loyalty to Morbius at the end which apparently set some people within Horizon Labs off a bit. I thought that was more of an honest bit of writing in how people didn’t just blindly follow what he said and questioned his sanity.
The Uatu bits in the issue were interesting. I was left wondering the entire time exactly how old he’s supposed to be, as he seems anywhere between the ages of 12 and 15. I found the whole Uatu Jackson: VAMPIRE HUNTER thing to be silly, but he is still a nerdy kid so it’s not so unbelievable.
The art by Matthew Clark was perfectly tailored for this type of story, and looked very 90s to me which wasn’t a bad thing. I will say on the “NEXT PAGE” page where Uatu and Peter arrive at Horizon simultaneously, their clothes change repeatedly in each panel, which drove me nuts. It made me wonder whether we’re supposed to read this as several days throughout the week, but there’s not written indication of that. It’s not a coloring mistake either, because Uatu has three specifically different caps on his head which each successive panel. That’s just lazy, honestly. It didn’t ruin the issue for me, but that’s something that both the artist and editor absolutely had to have noticed. What’s going on there?
Overall, that’s really all I have to say about the issue. Spidey was fine characterization-wise, Morbius was fine, the story was decent. It felt like a set up story by the very nature of the numbering, but it was a decent read.