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How The Nineties Spider-Man Cartoon Beat The Censors With Morbius

FOX Kids

For those of us who were around in 1994, an utter delight hit TV screens in the form of Fox Kids' Spider-Man.

With season-long narratives and a whole array of characters featured - much like what was likewise happening in Fox Kids' X-Men show of the day - Spider-Man was responsible for so many fantastic childhood memories and for introducing so many to the world of Marvel Comics. And one such character who the show gave a first glimpse of to a large chunk of its audience, was Michael Morbius.

Up until Morbius debuted in the show's second year, the majority of the series' young audience had likely never even heard of this tragic villain. Given the restrictions in place on a children's animated show, just how did show creator Bob Richardson and lead writer John Semper get round the issue of introducing a bloodsucking vampire?


On the series, Broadcast Standards and Practices had made it clear that Spider-Man had to steer away from anything deemed too violent. So, instead of having the vampiric Morbius taking a bite out of a victim's neck, Messrs Richardson and Semper decided to have the character absorb people's "plasma" via some mutated sucking devices that were attached to each of Morbius' hands.

From what we've seen in the first trailer for Sony's Jared Leto-headlined Morbius movie, expect full-on terror as Leto's tortured soul chows down on the neck of some poor fools once the film hits the silver screen this July.