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The Major Way Marvel Fans Think Morbius' Flop Will Affect The Comics

By now, it's fairly common knowledge that "Morbius," Sony's newest villain centric film, did not do particularly well at the box office. It wasn't the total bomb many expected, for sure, but Jared Leto's antihero isn't breaking any financial records. Hilariously, the main reason that something so insignificant to the common citizen — a failed movie, that is — has now become a well-discussed fact is because the studio made the awkward decision to rerelease the film in theaters, only months after it initially flopped. More specifically, said awkwardness came down to the reasoning behind that decision — which is that in the wake of the movie's failure, a joke began to circulate online about the titular character trying out the (fake) catchphrase, "It's morbin' time." The joke rapidly grew and quickly overshadowed any other digital conversation about "Morbius." 

To be explicitly clear, the meme was never a compliment. Fans were looking for joy in an otherwise barren space, and they found it. Unfortunately, so did the studio, which misconstrued the intent behind the meme (and the continuing online chatter in general), and flung "Morbius" right back into theaters, presumably after ignoring the opinion of everyone who has ever used social media, ever. To this end, the re-release of "Morbius" went exactly how everybody suspected — that is, it flopped once again – taking the hilarious meme with it to the grave. 

Now, fans are speculating that the meme, much like the vampire, will continue to thrive in dark places.

Fans are positive that the meme will make an appearance in the comics

In a subreddit dedicated to all things Spider-Man, u/SuperAllowBerseker asked the question of how the decidedly negative reception to "Morbius" will impact the actual comic book character, who had been something of a fan-favorite. It's a fair thought because, historically, these seemingly separate mediums influence the creative decisions of the other. For reference, consider how for Marvel's Ultimate comics, which were released in 2000, Nick Fury was redesigned to look like Samuel L. Jackson, eventually leading to Jackson actually being cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and, in an even more circular way, the contemporary non-Ultimate Nicholas Fury Jr., who also resembles Jackson, replaced the original character's role altogether.

With that in mind, the suggestions which cropped up in the comments on the Reddit post, which are far less weighty, will seem practically confirmed before launch.

"Michael will start saying 'it's morbin time'," commented u/Amazingspiderwriter. In response, u/Mongoose42 countered that "Deadpool will start saying 'It's morbin time'." Which does seem likely, given that Deadpool is famously known for breaking the fourth wall, both in the comics and in the Ryan Reynolds films. 

The rest of the comment section went on to say much of the same, with a few, like u/davidisligman, who noted that the reference to the meme will probably only take place long after the internet has forgotten about it, thereby making it far too late to effectively cash in on its social capital. Considering the half-life of any given meme feels like approximately five business days in 2022, it's almost a guarantee that any further usage of the joke by professional hands will inevitably miss the mark. But, hey, that won't make it any less funny to see.

It's possible that Sony is using the meme to fill a void

Here's a fun thought question, though: Why did Sony think that the internet teasing their movie so ferociously was a sign of affection, much less a reason to re-release it in theaters? 

Well, aside from the aforementioned circle of influence, even a silly joke will stir headlines, and headlines — of any variety — stir sales. This is perhaps the most obvious answer. u/Need2GetBetrr mentioned something in the "Morbius" thread that deserves note, as in regards to Sony's recent films, they said, "I think these movies having [a] heavy anti-hero focus can be more successful (and I am desperate to see more of them), but half the appeal of an anti-hero isn't just them fighting full-blown villains but also how they interact with a paragon hero like Spidey."

This does point toward the biggest issue with Sony's approach to their non-MCU movies so far, which is that they are relying on jokes and memes to buoy an inherently incomplete film structure. Think about it — since Sony's new crop of movies, both the released and announced, are all based on the villains of a singular hero who has no official plans to appear. With no Spider-Man to fall back on, they have to get their currency from somewhere, and it seems that their intent is to act like they're "in" on the joke. 

That said, Sony could still save their universe, but they'll have to rely on either finding a Spider-Man for it (there are rumors that Andrew Garfield's "Amazing Spider-Man" iteration of the wall-crawler will see a resurgence) or telling a bigger and more logical overall story that everything fits into.