Be cautioned that if I stick with this blog, then ultimately there will be lots of stories about bullying, which is an overly-discussed buzzword, I know. But I was bullied a lot as a kid. I’m a happy and accomplished adult now who talks a lot, so it all ends well.
When I was in seventh grade, I had to ride the bus, just as many middle schoolers do. The kids on my bus were not the most compassionate or enlightened individuals. We were all white trash, but I was skinny and could use words greater than two syllables, so my existence simply could not be tolerated. I would keep to myself and read comic books (surprise!), and one morning a particularly nasty kid who smelled of chewing tobacco and urine set his sights on me. He grabbed the comic book from my hands (which will eventually get its own entry), crumpled it, called me a “faggot”, and threatened to pound me, which was just rude since he hadn’t even offered to buy me a juice box first.
Later that day on the same bus, an eighth grader with glasses and long hair sat in front of me and asked me if I liked comic books, apparently having witnessed the event from earlier. He explained that he really needed cigarettes and that he had a box of comics I could have for $10. I hit up Gramma for the money, telling her about my destroyed comic, and the next morning the eighth grader and I made the transaction. Within the box was a stack of Ghost Rider, Punisher, and the first issue of Morbius, which made my middle school eyes light up; “WOW, a #1! This will be worth a lot of money some day!”
The boy who smelled of urine tried to harass me again while I flipped through the new books, and to my surprise the eighth grader grabbed him by the collar and growled, “I just sold him those comics. That means I think he’s cool. If you fuck him with him again, you’re dead.” Urine-soaked boy cowered in his seat. He tried to insult me a bit later when he thought my new protector wasn’t looking, but the eighth grader smacked him across the head with a rolled up Hustler magazine and said, “What did I tell you?”
Urine-soaked boy never picked on me after that.
That original Morbius was eventually sold when I desperately needed money, but I recently found a copy for a $1 in its original bag, as you can see above. I would eventually try to grow a soulpatch just like Morbius’. This comic will always remind me of that bus ride, the kindness of the eighth grader who stood up for me, and the fact that urine-soaked boy was eventually arrested for Meth.
Morbius and friends from his past try to find a cure for his vampirism, which results in tragedy. The Living Vampire then makes a vow to Ghost Rider that if he must drink blood to survive, then he would only drink from the guilty.
Writer: Len Kaminsky
Artist: Ron Wagner
Condition of My Copy: Unopened for twenty-two years and counting