Spectacular Spider-Man 7 & 8

Michael Morbius Is A Good Man But Peter Parker Is Even Better


Technically, this is part of a three-issue story arc starting with issue 6. Having only issues 7 and 8 is enough, issue 6 is a badly done flashback issue that we are all better off not reading.

Moving on, let me direct your attention to the cover of issue 8 - the second one shown below. Morbius and moonlight really go well together and the layout of the cover is superb. Inside, Archie Goodwin adds in a stormy night, helping evoke the perfect mood for a vampire story.

For those of you new to Morbius, he's Marvel's play on the popular Dracula myth. Unlike the supernatural Count however, Michael Morbius' condition is a product of a scientific experiment gone wrong.

Issue no. 7 begins and I turn the pages, everything's pretty ho-hum so far then I come across  this panel:

morbius materializes on a rooftop

This is when the story starts becoming interesting for me, with this panel. Look at it : Michael Morbius materializing on a neighborhood rooftop. Sal Buscema does it just right. Shadowy, mysterious, supernatural. Having the Living Vampire's back to us just adds to the mysterious mood.

I always like it when Spidey fights his weight class. Morbius is a good match for someone with the proportionate strength of a spider. Issue 7 is where you'll find Morbius pummeling on Spider-Man; issue 8 for the shots of Spidey showing Morbius some spider-strength. All of these shots are page wide action art by Sal Buscema - you can almost feel the punches.

Towards the end of issue 7 we are introduced to the Empathoid and I get worried. Evidently, the Empathoid has possessed Morbius and that is why the Living Vampire is attacking Spidey. Corny. I don't have high expectations for issue 8 but writer (and editor)  Archie Goodwin saves the day. At some point in this tale it is Spider-Man who gets possessed by Empathoid; this allows us to compare his reaction to this predicament to Morbius' reaction to exactly the same circumstance. And this is when issue 8 becomes gold. Peter's cool-headed handling of the situation contrasted with Morbius' quiet desperation really shows up the Spider as a hero worth more than his powers. The arc's subtle commentary about Spider-Man's character is a wonderful surprise, and, together with the other positives I listed out, earns these two issues a recommendation.

Posted by  Pete Albano - July 9, 2011

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Other Spectacular SPIDER-MAN Stories

1-3 : Tarantula, Lightmaster, Kraven

4-5 : The Vulture

7-8 : Morbius the Living Vampire

17-18 : The Angel and Iceman

21 : The Scorpion

22 : Moon Knight

26-28 : Daredevil

47-48 : Belladonna and the Prowler

61 : Moonstone

64 : Cloak and Dagger

67 : Boomerang

69 : Cloak and Dagger

72 : Doc Ock's Greatest Fan

80 : J. Jonah Jameson - Reporter

83 : Punisher

85 : Hobgoblin

87 : Spider-Man unmasks before the Black Cat

89-90 : Black Cat powers

91 : Unus and the Blob

99 : The Spot

103 : Blaze

104 : Rocket Racer

113 : Thugs break into the Parker house

114 : The Spider-Man costume gets stolen

116 : Sabretooth

117 : Dr. Strange

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