6011 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Morlun the devourer of totems (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Morlun, Devourer of Totems


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Morlun is a powerful Spider-Man enemy, who appeared in 2001. He is tied to the possibility that animal-themed superhumans (and particularly Spider-Man and most of his classic enemies) may derive their powers from supernatural totem creators. Unfortunately, Morlun hunts and destroy such totems across multiple realities.

Morlun has played an important role in various Spider-Man-related comic book events.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 175 lbs.
  • Eyes: White/Red. Hair: Black (white when weakened).


Advertisement


Powers and Abilities

Morlun is incredibly strong and durable, and has existed for centuries. However his strength varies according to how recently he’s fed, and on the quality of his meal.

He prefers to absorb the life force by contact with his victim, but can do so to multiple victims nearby. While lesser source can maintain his existence, his primary prey are beings with pure totemic powers. He needs to consume such prey every so often to maintain his long life. A pure totem can allegedly sustain him for a century.

After making physical contact with a victim, he can sense their presence when near from then on, tracking them as part of his hunt ritual.

He can jump around 40‘ vertically, and can climb walls by pushing finger holes in them (although there is one scene where he may actually be sticking to a ceiling).


History

Having walked the Earth for centuries, Morlun is one of the few remaining Ancients. These are vampiric beings who prey on humans with access to totemic power, although lesser lives will sustain them for a while.

Morlun came to New York on the trail of Spider-Man, his totemic power emblazoned on his uniform. As a final meal before beginning his hunt, he devoured the essence of a German super-hero, Bundesadler (Sigismund Bismarck). Morlun had kept him captive on the boat that had brought him to New York.


Advertisement


He stalked Spider-Man for a while, as he worked through the rituals he’d grown used to doing before a hunt. He had an unwilling servant during this time, Dex, who served due to his fear of Morlun.

Finally prepared, he drew Spider-Man out onto a city street, where he quickly proved overwhelmingly superior. However he then let Spider-Man run, to provide some sport. Having touched Spider-Man in combat, he had no trouble finding him afterwards. Thus, he confronted him as Spider-Man tried to escape in his civilian clothes.

The hunt is over

Spider-Man continued to flee, but, realizing he couldn’t escape Morlun, finally faced him again. Morlun had nearly beaten his prey when Ezekiel, possessing powers similar to Spider-Man but not himself a pure totem, leapt in to Spider-Man’s aid. Morlun drained the interloper, seemingly killing him, and left. This allowed Spider-Man a brief reprieve.

Morlun vs. Spider-Man

When he next hunted Spider-Man, a short while later, Morlun tracked him to a nuclear power plant. This is where he finally managed to begin draining Spider-Man’s life force.

He found himself burning, though. Spider-Man had increased the amount of radiation he’d taken into his system for this reason. Spidey revealed to Morlun that radiation had played a part in his creation, so he wasn’t an entirely pure totem.

Morlun was greatly weakened by this, but Spider-Man hesitated from finishing him off. Dex didn’t, shooting the weakened Morlun, who appeared to die.

Eternal return

He returned months later to continue his hunt. Morlun stalked Spider-Man for a while before again revealing himself, taunting his prey but not engaging him. When he finally confronted his prey, he beat him, badly, leaving him broken and missing an eye. However, the police arrived before he could feed. Morlun decided to find Parker later when he could feed in peace.

Morlun with eyes in his palms

Morlun tracked him to his hospital bed, where his only opposition was Mary Jane. She could do little against him, but as he threatened her, Spider-Man rose from his coma. This time the spider was in control, and Morlun found himself overwhelmed by its sheer ferocity.

The feral Spider-Man turned the tables on him, seeming to devour his essence.Morlun apparently died, crumbling to dust.

Panther spirit

Returned to life by a group of African mystics who performed a ceremony to restore him, he fed on them to nourish himself. He then travelled where they’d indicated, to Wakanda, where the current Black Panther (T’Challa) was at death’s door.

Morlun kills two cops

Travelling there, he passed through the lands of the Man-Ape, tearing through their defences and devouring the spirit of the Man-Ape himself.

Finally reaching Wakanda, he had little trouble with their defences, breaching the palace with little difficulty. There he found a new Black Panther, T’Challa’s sister Shuri. She fought him, leading him on a chase away from the city.

They ended up at the home of the witch-doctor who was trying to save T’Challa, Ororo (Storm) being about to give up her life to rescue his. They managed to trick Morlun into the spirit realm where T’Challa and Ororo were. They left him there in their place, to face an embodiment of death, and its hordes.


Personality

Calm and implacable, Morlun rarely seems bothered by anything, apart from irritation when his hunts are interrupted by outsiders. He seems to savour the hunt, going through an elaborate ritual beforehand. The ritual seems to include buying a new suit for the confrontation. He often takes his time on the hunt itself, allowing his prey to run for a while.

His focus is on hunting and slaying totems. He has exhibited little interest in any other goals, viewing others as either snacks, or means to help him continue his hunt.

Following his second return, he seems more feral, losing the calm composure of his previous incarnation as he rips through all opposition. He drained anyone who got in his way, and dispensed with the formality of the hunt when he found his prey. He also showed a more aggressive and easily angered side as he tried to sake his hunger.

This could likely just be a result of his resurrection leaving him starving.


Quotes

Morlun: “Do you know why humans are a people of hope ? Because you make things like croissants and pastry. Pastry in particular. You make something of astonishing beauty, carefully decorated, fragile, lovely, knowing that the person who receives it will appreciate that beauty for only about two seconds before devouring it. In that, we have something in common. Carefully decorated. Fragile. Lovely. Doomed. Sad, really. But then it’s always sad. Always has been, always will be. It’s your lot, you know, to be things of beauty, here for a moment, a flicker, and gone. So sad. How was the croissant ?”
Dex: “Fine.”
Morlun: “Good.”
Dex: “Kill me.”
Morlun: “Not today.”
Dex: “Soon, though ?”
Morlun: “We’ll see.”

“I like you. You’re funny.”

“Here is how it will happen. You will run. I will pursue. I do not tire. I do not grow weary. I do not give up. You may get ahead, but eventually I will catch up. Now that I have found you, I will always be able to find you, wherever you may hide. This may take hours or days. The longest was a week. But in time you will tire. And then you will die. But I give you my solemn word. It’s nothing personal.”

“If it’s any consolation, know this : you’ve fared better than most of your kind. And I’ve killed many.”

“Now… we can at last finish this. The consummation. of consumption. To take all your strength… all your power… all you are… all you have ever been… and all you would ever have become… for my own.”


DC Universe History

Morlun has encountered Vixen, and former wielders of the Tantu Totem, but generally tries to avoid them. Part of the reason Anansi created the Totem was to have a champion to hunt down Morlun’s kind, and the Totem wielders have been largely responsible for the decline in Morlun’s kind.

He has also targeted Hawkman during his totemic phase (the Hawkman series directly following Hawkworld).


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Morlun

Dex: 08 Str: 13 Bod: 13 Motivation: Nihilist
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Devourer of Totems
Inf: 07 Aur: 07 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 023 HP: 070

Powers:
Cling: 05, Jumping: 04, Life Sense: 10, Power Reserve (STR, BODY): 08, Vampirism: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Clings through digging his fingers into surface (-1).
  • Life Sense is only usable on targets he’s touched (-1).
  • Vampirism has No Range (-1), and draining a radioactive target damages Morlun (-1, see below).

Skills:
Thief (Stealth): 08

Advantages:
Near Immortal, Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
None demonstrated.

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.


Totem Feeder

Morlun’s blood is an amalgam of every kind of cell: animal, bird, human and insect. But the cells break down over time and require recharging.

He lives by draining the life force from others. But while normal humans sustain him, he must devour one totemic life force from the other categories at least every century, to ensure his continued survival. Totemic life forces are those individuals (primarily super-powered) with a strong connection to a totem (such as Spider-Man, Man-Ape, or Black Panther).

Not everyone with powers based on totems are pure totems. Many are too far from the totemic source to truly nourish him. It seems that those who’ve received powers directly from the totem, or through a ritual invoking a totem, are considered pure (GM’s discretion).

The life force of a pure totemic soul can increase his abilities, making him stronger and tougher. (Allows him to use his Power Reserve for a length of time equal to the total RAPs drained from his target).

Morlun can only devour pure life forces though. And is apparently unable to devour those heavily affected by radiation. Trying to do so results in the RAPs drained actually being taken as Damage, which also reduces his Physical RV by a like amount.


Design Notes

The boost he gains from draining totemic victims is purely speculative.

While he generally only uses his Vampirism at a Range of Touch, in his Black Panther appearance there’s a scene where he appears to be draining everyone in close proximity. Thus I’ve given him the No Range Limitation (0 AP, or 10 feet), rather than Range of Touch. His personality was also notably different in the later appearance.


By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Marvel.com , Frank Murdock.

Writeup completed on the 10th of January, 2010.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

You can learn more with the writeups.org FAQ.