What Disease Does Morbius Have Before? An In-Depth Look
Dr. Michael Morbius the enigmatic antihero of the Marvel Universe is known for his vampiric powers abilities but what many might not know is that he suffers from a rare blood disease that eventually leads him on a path to becoming the Living Vampire.
The Origin of Morbius’ Disease
In the original comic book storyline Morbius is a biochemist who suffers from a rare blood disorder. He is searching for a cure when he conducts an experimental treatment on himself which has disastrous consequences. The treatment involves injecting himself with a serum made from vampire bat DNA hoping to cure his condition. However the serum turns him into a living vampire complete with fangs superhuman strength an insatiable thirst for blood.
The Real-Life Disease that Inspired Morbius’ Condition
The disease that Morbius suffers from is called porphyria a rare inherited disorder that affects the production of heme an essential component of hemoglobin the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood. There are eight types of porphyria each has its symptoms complications.
Porphyria can cause a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain photosensitivity skin rashes seizures psychiatric issues. Some types of porphyria can also cause disfigurement of the face hands similar to what Morbius experiences in the comics.
The Pop Culture Depiction of Porphyria
Porphyria has often been associated with vampirism as the symptoms of the disease such as extreme sensitivity to sunlight disfigurement of the face were thought to resemble those of vampires. Furthermore a number of aristocratic families in Europe such as the House of Habsburg were rumored to suffer from porphyria which added to the connection between the disease vampire legends.
Morbius is one of several characters in pop culture that has been depicted as having porphyria. Other examples include the titular character in the 2000 horror film Shadow of the Vampire the protagonist in Anne Rice’s novel The Vampire Lestat.
While Morbius may be a fictional character his underlying condition of porphyria is a real often misunderstood disease. By shining a light on this rare complex condition Morbius has brought attention to the challenges faced by individuals living with porphyria the importance of continued research education to help those who suffer from this debilitating disorder.
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