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Exclusive Interview: Joe Keatinge Talks Marvel NOW! Morbius The Living Vampire

Posted: 12/07/2012 - 21:38 COMMENT

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4541:]]Ever since the days in which he was comics’ first Comics Code-approved vampire, Morbius has held a strange curiosity for readers of Marvel Comics. Spidey villain, anti-hero or horror character, Morbius the Living Vampire has certainly known his share of immortality.

In January, Marvel NOW! will present a different look at Morbius through the eyes of writer Joe Keatinge and artist Rich Elson.

Recently, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively discussed the coming ongoing comic with its writer, best known for Image’s Hell Yeah.

Cosmic Book News: For those unfamiliar with the character, tell us the basics of Morbius.

Joe KeatingeMorbius: The Living Vampire was Morbius: The Dying Scientist. In an effort to cure his life-long disease, Dr. Michael Morbius and Dr. Emil Nikos conducted an experiment involving a vampire bat serum. When Morbius expedited experimenting on himself, the results were disastrous, turning him into a "Living Vampire." He's relentlessly attempted to repent for this over the years, but it always goes horribly wrong. Now he's on the run in the parts of the Marvel Universe no one ever sees. 

Cosmic Book News: Dan Slott has been pulling a lot of story out of  the character in his most recent return to the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Any of those threads going to find their way into your ongoing?

Joe Keatinge: Yeah, absolutely, especially in Amazing Spider-Man 699.1. Dan's given us an awesome set up for us to run with. I'm honored to be part of his historic run in some small way.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4546:]]Cosmic Book News: Morbius has been a villain, an anti-hero and a horror character. What is your take on the Marvel NOW! Morbius?

Joe Keatinge: I don't think he's really any of those things, certainly not a villain. I think he's a good person who constantly messes up, despite pure intent. He makes Peter Parker look like the luckiest guy in the Marvel Universe. 

CBN: Will we be seeing the new Superior Spidey any in your stories?

Joe Keatinge: That would be cool, wouldn't it?

Cosmic Book News: Tell us about the world you will be portraying in the book and how it may be different from past incarnations?

Joe Keatinge: It's a side of Marvel's New York I don't believe we've seen before. A side that goes forgotten, even in the real world. I don't want to say too much.

CBN: Will Morbius' constant search for a cure to his vampiric condition be a part of the book?

Joe Keatinge: Oh, it's going to be a huge part of him, much less the book. He wants to overcome this, once and for all, despite the consequences.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4547:]]Cosmic Book News: Will we be seeing any of Morbius' fellow Marvel monsters make their way here? Werewolf by Night, Man-Wolf, Son of Satan?

Joe Keatinge: I want to keep the focus on Morbius for the foreseeable future, but as afterward … ?

Cosmic Book News: Are you enjoying working with artist Rich Elson?

Joe Keatinge: Yes, absolutely. I love Morbius, but working with Rich was one of the biggest aspects of this project I was extremely excited about. Dude's a masterful storyteller. I'm loving everything he's done.

Cosmic Book News: Both of you were once slated to work on a Thanos book together. Any news on this project?

Joe Keatinge: We are both all-Morbius, all-the-time.

Cosmic Book News: Any other projects under way for you that you would like to mention?

Joe Keatinge: I have two series at Image Comics, Glory and Hell Yeah. Glory is on the verge of wrapping up its run, but it's definitely -- especially issues #29-34 -- the purest message of intent in terms of what I want to do in comics. Hell Yeah was the first comic I've ever written, warts and all, but it comes from a place of passion. That said, both are available in trade paperbacks, so folks should definitely catch up.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Joe Keatinge for taking time out of his busy holiday schedule to chat with us as well as Marvel Comics publicity maven Arune Singh who helped make this interview possible.

"Morbius: The Living Vampire" #1 hits shelves in January!