Morbius VS Venom

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Morbius VS Venom

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
It's an anti-hero battle royale! In this installment of Versus, we're determining whether Morbius or Venom is the better anti-hero. We'll be looking at everything from their origins to their powers to see which character reigns supreme.
Transcript

Morbius-VS-Venom


Welcome to WatchMojo and in this installment of Versus, we’re determining whether Morbius or Venom is the better anti-hero.

For this showdown, we’ll be looking at everything from their origins to their powers to see which character reigns supreme. If you haven’t seen the “Venom” films or “Morbius” movie, prepare for a few light spoilers ahead.

Which of these anti-heros is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!


Round #1: Origins


On an alien planet called Klyntar, a collection of beings known as symbiotes lived together as part of one hive. But one of these beings was rejected by his brethren and forced to wander the cosmos. After bonding with several people and losing his memories a few times, the symbiote finally found Spider-Man. Although the alien made Peter stronger, the hero was worried about the negative side effects. Spider-Man eventually forced the symbiote off its body by exploiting its weakness to sound in a church. Angry at being cast off yet again, the alien found its way to Eddie Brock. Since they both resented Spider-Man, the two decided to team up. Their teamwork and bond created a new superpowered being known as Venom.


After being diagnosed with a life-threatening blood condition at a young age, Michael Morbius became a brilliant doctor with a handful of close friends. He eventually developed an experimental way of curing his illness. Unfortunately, the doctor’s use of vampire bats and electricity on a boat backfired and transformed him into a being with a craving for blood. An uncontrollable Morbius immediately attacked his best friend to fulfill his hunger. Horrified at what he’d done, he threw himself into the ocean in hopes he wouldn’t attack anyone else. But Morbius came across a boat where he fed on cruel men. Although he heavily regretted his actions, it was only the start of the living vampire’s journey.



While Venom’s space travel story makes for a fun sci-fi adventure, it’s definitely easier to relate to the sympathetic Morbius origin story. His desire to heal himself tragically cost the life of his friend and filled him with conflicting emotions that are still intriguing to explore today.

WINNER: Venom 0/Morbius 1

Round 2: Relationship/Rivalry With Spider-Man


Since Peter Parker taught Venom how to handle complex emotions and think like a hero, the alien wasn’t thrilled about being separated from Spider-Man. The symbiote spent a lot of time trying to make the hero suffer. Their epic battles consistently brought each of them to the brink of death and destruction. After they went a few rounds, the two reached a mutual understanding and agreed to stay out of each other’s ways. But extraordinary events would eventually bring Venom back to Spidey’s neighborhood. Although they didn’t love each other, the duo was able to see past their differences and team up on a few occasions. While their relationship has improved over the years, there’s always the chance they’ll be at each other’s throats again.


Shortly after a newly turned Morbius arrived in New York, he decided that Spider-Man would make a delicious first snack. Coincidentally, Peter was dealing with a weird mutation at the time that could be cured with enzymes from the living vampire. But the confused and frenzied Morbius wasn’t willing to help the hero so quickly. After a tense confrontation, the living vampire fell into the ocean while Spider-man got the enzymes he needed. Morbius would go on to emerge from the water and hunt the hero several times. But after a few encounters, the vampire decided to focus his energy away from the webhead. Unfortunately, Morbius has been manipulated into fighting Spider-Man several times. The two almost seem destined to be on opposing sides.


For better or worse, Spider-Man has played a big role in the lives of Venom and Morbius. While it’s fun watching him battle the vampire, it’s more interesting to see the hero bond with his former symbiote. Their emotional connection and willingness to team up gives their relationship more intriguing layers.


WINNER: Venom 1/Morbius 1


Round #3: Abilities


Being a symbiote allows Venom to shapeshift his body in all kinds of unique and creative ways. While that’s pretty impressive on its own, the symbiote becomes more formidable after it finds a good host. Its relationship with Spider-Man allowed versions of Venom to retain some of the webhead’s abilities and transfer them to other hosts. As the alien has jumped from being to being, we’ve seen it shoot webs, regenerate its body, pull off tremendous feats of strength and more. Although Venom is tough, it has a few major weaknesses. Both sounds and high temperatures could spell doom for symbiotes. Fortunately, aliens like Venom can get better at coping with their shortcomings with practice. Knowing its weaknesses alone won’t guarantee you’ll beat this incredible alien.

The failed experiment Morbius conducted did succeed in giving him a few convenient abilities. Not only does he have traditional vampiric talents like super strength and echolocation, but he can also glide. And thanks to his rapid healing abilities, it's extremely difficult to keep Morbius down for long. His appearance leads most opponents to assume their old-school knowledge of vampire weaknesses will do the trick. Unfortunately for any enemies of Morbius, stereotypical things like crucifixes and garlic won’t do much to stop him from attacking. And although sunlight weakens him, it’s not enough to slay him either. The true weakness Morbius has always had is his constant need to feed. But if his opponent has blood, the doctor can easily replenish himself and keep fighting.

As impressive as Venom is on his best day, he still has to worry about two incredibly easy to access weaknesses and needs a host to really shine. While you don’t want Morbius on your side at high noon, he’s typically a force of nature with a major weakness that can quickly become a strength.


WINNER: Venom 1/Morbius 2

Round #4: Live-Action Portrayals


Comic book fans were pretty excited to hear that the talented and intimidating Tom Hardy would be playing the vicious Venom. Throughout his live-action outings, the actor has done a fantastic job at giving the symbiote an intimidating voice. Hardy’s also great at making it appear like he’s sharing a body with an alien creature. While those aspects of his performance are great, fans quickly noticed that the actor leaned more into humor than his darker comic counterpart. Hardy’s Eddie Brock and Venom are much goofier than most interpretations of the character. And the movies he’s appeared in aren’t exactly flawless. But despite a lack of critical praise, his two financially successful solo “Venom” films prove audiences are a fan of his interpretation.

From the moment Jared Leto appeared in the first “Morbius” trailers, it became clear that he was going for a more traditional take on the Marvel character. The actor did a great job of portraying the pain of the living vampire before and after the fateful transformation. Leto was also able to drop the brooding persona at times to make biting and sarcastic comments. While Morbius’ distant personality helped sell the terrifying vampiric scenes, he wasn’t always the most likable. Maybe Leto’s character will grow into a more well-rounded vampire that gets to focus more on his conflicted nature. While we don’t know if a direct sequel will happen, it would be cool to see this Morbius in another part of the Spider-Verse.


Leto definitely deserves props for going for a faithful adaptation of a classic character. And while Hardy’s Venom is unconventional, he’s also ridiculously entertaining to watch. His strong dual performance and the energy he brings to the screen has been rewarded with two box office hits and praise.

WINNER: Venom 2/Morbius 2


Round 5: Character Evolution


Although Venom’s far more complex than it was when it served as Spider-man’s suit, it can still go back to its evil ways if it bonds with a bad host. The alien’s struggle to not lose itself as it finds new ways to live has always been the most compelling aspect of his character. Despite giving into rage or hunger a few times, the alien’s pulled off some truly heroic feats along the way. Venom has risked his life to fight evil symbiotes, saved innocent bystanders and was willing to sacrifice himself to protect hosts. The being who was once an accessory is now a more well-rounded alien who keeps trying to be better.

Michael Morbius has consistently tried to make the best of his bad situation. As he pursued a way to become human again, he helped people during his journey. Morbius has a soft spot for outcasts that find themselves at the mercy of wicked people. The vampiric man also teamed up with heroes like Blade several times. At one point, Morbius was even recruited to work on a team called the Midnight Sons alongside other heroes. Despite the vampiric anti-hero’s good deeds, he has been known to backslide when he gets hungry. Morbius has even attacked allies when he hit particularly low points. To this day, he struggles to not let his own needs get in the way of helping others and himself.


Morbius and Venom have both come a long way from the days when they were just seen as monsters of the week. However, it feels like the symbiote has gone through a more significant transformation. While Morbius has to battle his instincts, Venom has to overcome his hunger, the influence of others and his own kind to preserve his personality. The alien’s impressive evolution is frankly marvelous.


WINNER: Venom 3/Morbius 2

With a score of 3 to 2, Venom proved itself to be the most amazing anti-hero in this matchup.
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