I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s Morbin’ time. This is a Morbhead’s world and we’re all just living in it. Eat, sleep, Morb, repeat. We all live to worship the sex god that is Michael Morbius. He’s a genius, and the protagonist of the greatest comic book film in existence. I’m sorry but it’s the truth, and you're a fool for failing to see it.
To be honest, I haven’t even seen the film, but I know more about it than I ever could have expected because the surrounding community is so ridiculous. Morbius isn’t just a forgettable Marvel film thrown together by Sony in order to capitalise on its failing cinematic universe, it’s a cultural force of unknown magnitude that has brought the internet together in a strange, ironic celebration of all things Michael Morbius.
I think this all began because Morbius was a disaster so magnificent that none of us could have expected it. That Jared Leto was set to play a vampire scientist was funny in itself because he’s a bit of a weird dude with an even weirder reputation. Doctor Who was also there, along with the comic relief from the Fast franchise. Surely it couldn’t be that bad, right? Turns out it was, and this mediocrity helped develop a massive viral fascination.
Social media trends such as #MomsForMorbius and hilarious TikToks that combined a robotic voice describing Michael Morbius, his extreme attraction, and love of pilates were so absurd that you couldn't help but laugh at them. Normally this would stop at a few innocent jabs at Sony’s expense, but fans took it one step further and turned Morbius into a phenomenon. Was Sony in on the joke? Do they know this movie sucks ass? Are they also Morbheads? So many questions with so few answers, so we pushed onward with our cause.
Despite the film being out for months at this point it feels like the memes have only increased, with a simple scroll through TikTok revealing a number of brilliant jokes that paint the film as an almost holy piece of art, something that will go down in history as a cinematic legend that deserves all the sequels, praise, and fans in the world. There’s an honesty to the memes and this ironic love of the film that gets me every single time. It’s also the best marketing Morbius could have ever asked for.
Things reached a fever pitch this week with fans sending the entirety of Morbius to their friends on Discord in the form of a 47MB file that feels like you’re watching it on a Nintendo DS or PSP, which is definitely how Jared Leto would want his work to be seen. Instead of sending nudes, you send Morbs, infecting your friends with the majesty of Michael Morbius and a comic book film so epic it must be seen to be believed. Deep down we know it’s rubbish, but we’ve built up this internet culture around the film and its apparent failure to such a degree that it will likely outlive the picture itself. Monthbius is no longer a quartet of weeks, it has become eternity. Time is Morbius.
Earlier this week saw a swarm of accounts streaming the entire film on Twitch to their bloodthirsty viewers. Sony was quick to issue copyright strikes but they were powerless to stop the spread of Morb. Copycat streamers cropped up in their wake, with dozens of accounts eager to share the film’s excellence with the world. The Morbius meme landscape has become so powerful that even aggressive copyright enforcement can’t stop it. Legal repercussions aside, all of these jokes are innocent fun, finding joy in a bad film that supersedes its forgettable nature to create something equally absurd and evocative.
The internet is so often a toxic place filled with toxic debate and bigotry, with so many jokes being made at the expense of others. Memes often cross over into that territory, and as a trans person it can make it a very unpleasant place to be at the best of times. But with Morbius, it feels like everyone involved is having a great time and welcoming all those into the fold who wish to heap praise upon Jared Leto’s filmic marvel. For that we actually owe Morbius a lot, and how it was able to turn an otherwise vitriolic place into one where all are again. Well, so long as you’re willing to drink the red and pledge yourself to the Morb.
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