This April has seen Sony’s latest Spider-Man Universe movie drop in the form of Morbius. Starring Jared Leto in the title role, the horror-tinged superhero film introduces audiences to Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant scientist with a rare blood disorder who accidentally transforms himself into a “Living Vampire” when searching for a cure.
Morbius is releasing at an interesting time for the wider Marvel multiverse as Marvel Studios is also about to tackle Blade, the iconic vampire hunter, with Mahershala Ali set to take on the role made famous by Wesley Snipes in the original Blade trilogy of the late 1990s/early 2000s. In fact, Ali already made a vocal cameo at the end of Eternals.
So with a living vampire and a vampire hunter both appearing on the big screen, it’s interesting to ponder the connection between the characters. But are Morbius and Blade enemies? What is their history in the comics? And, the most important question of all, could they get to meet in the movies?
Morbius and Blade’s comic book rivalry, explained
After Morbius was written into The Amazing Spider-Man in 1971 and Blade was created for Tomb of Dracula in 1973, it didn’t take Marvel long to have the bright idea to pit the vampire against the vampire slayer. The pair first battled it out in October 1974’s Adventures of Fear #24. As you would expect, they started out as bitter enemies, with Eric Brooks being Morbius’ number two nemesis after Peter Parker. Over time, however, their relationship got much more complicated…
Though Blade despises all vampires, after his mother was killed by one while giving birth to him, he eventually overcame his prejudice towards Morbius due to his origins being of scientific, not supernatural, origin. They even served together on the darker-edged superhero team the Midnight Sons. But when Morbius fell under the sway of supervillain Hunger, he became a rampaging monster. In 1999’s Peter Parker: Spider-Man #8, Blade set out to hunt him down and was bitten by the vamp in the process.
In the same year’s Blade the Vampire Hunter #1, it was revealed that Morbius’ bite had had a surprising effect on Brooks and turned him into a Daywalker — this was Marvel’s way of bringing the character closer to the movie version. Blade’s origins were later retconned, however, establishing that the bite Deacon Frost gave his mother is the real source of his powers, thereby removing Morbius from the equation.
Morbius and Blade almost faced off on film
While we wait to see if Morbius and Blade’s complex comics history could ever be replicated on screen, it’s worth noting that the duo almost came fang to fang in Blade II.
1998’s Blade was originally set to end on a major tease at what was to come in the sequel, with Morbius dropping by for a cameo. The deleted ending was even shot, and a low-quality print of it later emerged online (which you can watch above). As you can see, the Living Vamp was only supposed to stand on a rooftop and look menacing, but Marvel fans in the late ’90s would’ve lost their minds at this, considering that world-building and sequel-baiting were not typical in superhero movies at the time.
As for why Morbius was cut, we, unfortunately, have Guillermo del Toro to blame for that. When he signed on to direct Blade II, he wanted to draw from his own impressive imagination rather than the established Marvel universe so he turned down the opportunity to use Morbius. That meant his cameo in the first film’s final moments had to go.
Can Morbius and Blade meet in the MCU?
23 years on from this deleted scene, and we’re still waiting for that Blade/Morbius showdown. But could it finally happen soon? That’s a tricky question to answer…
First of all, the two categorically exist in separate universes, with Leto’s bloodsucker dwelling in the Sonyverse and Blade operating in the MCU. However, Morbius builds on both Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home establishing that travel between the two realities is possible, so a crossover isn’t impossible. In fact, Morbius may be about to join the Sinister Six. The villain group will likely be based in the Sonyverse, but they could feasibly hop over to the MCU to battle Spider-Man. Maybe Morbius could tussle with Blade while he’s there.
Alternatively, perhaps the pair could become uneasy allies instead. Moon Knight’s Oscar Isaac has teased that the Midnight Sons are about to form in a future project — with Blade among them. While Isaac didn’t list Morbius as a potential team member, he has been part of the roster on the page so the option is there to bring him aboard.
Though it’s been critically mauled, Morbius has performed well at the box office so Sony will no doubt be keen to do more with the anti-hero. Who knows whether that will involve Morbius and Blade coming to blows, but history has shown us the stakes would be high if they ever did.