Loxias Crown was a character created in the aftermath of Spider-Man’s infamous “Clone Saga.” And from the get-go, they tied his vampiric origins to that of Michael Morbius. Now, with Morbius getting his own solo film, it stands to reason that Loxias Crown, a.k.a. Hunger, would enter Morbius’ cinematic world. But as far as we know, Hunger isn’t on any cast or character listing for the film. But what if the Morbius villain is hiding right beneath our noses, as the character of Milo, played by Matt Smith? There’s some strong circumstantial evidence to support this. But first, regardless of Matt Smith’s involvement, here’s an explainer on just who Morbius’ enemy Loxias Crown/Hunger is in the Marvel Comics universe.
(Editor’s Note: IMDb lists Smith’s character as Loxias Crown already, however that appears to be the only place that exists.)
Loxias Crown’s Origins: An Agent of HYDRA
Loxias Crown first debuted in 1996’s Spider-Man #76, created by writer Howard Mackie and artist John Romita Jr. Introduced as a HYDRA agent, he was experimented on and given “dark energy” powers. The scientist who developed those powers for him fled HYDRA, feel guilt at what he’d created. Crown then tracked down that scientist, named William Fields, who now had created a revolutionary type of energy generator called S.H.O.C. (Sub-dimensional Human-based Occultechnic Conduit). Also drawing energy from dark dimensions, Crown wanted to know its secrets. When Fields refused to hand over his research, Crown followed him to his home on Christmas Eve, killing him.
Despite killing the scientist, he spared Fields’ wife and young son, Todd. But the young boy then swore revenge against Crown. Seven years later, Todd kept his vow. He created S.H.O.C. armor himself, and together with Spider-Man, defeated Crown. After his defeat, Crown became romantically involved with Dr. Andrea Janson, a hematologist and molecular biologist. On her private island, she was doing experiments to see if she could cure Michael Morbius of his vampiric affliction. While there, Crown became obsessed with the living vampire, and the power he possessed.
Hunger, Morbius’ Rival and the Other “Living Vampire”
Later, Spidey villain Hammerhead kills Andrea Janson, and in retaliation, Crown attempts to kill him by overloading S.H.O.C.’s armor until it goes critical. Crown escapes with Morbius as his captive, and experiments on him as a way of infusing himself with his powers. This causes Crown to become a “living vampire” just like Michael Morbius. Loxias Crown now has similar powers. He possesses vampiric strength, agility, speed, and acute senses to go with his bloodlust. He also is immune to most supernatural methods of killing vampires, with mostly sunlight as his lethal enemy. And he can create other vampires like himself.
Crown flees into the sewers beneath New York City. Not long after, he starts using the name “Hunger,” and begins abducting people and taking them down to his lair in the sewers. His idea was to store these people as “cattle,” to use as sustenance later. Among his so-called cattle were several Morlocks, the mutant community that lived in the sewer tunnels of the city. Included amongst his captives was Callisto, the leader of the Morlocks, and frequent X-Men adversary.
Hunger vs. the Wall-Crawler and the Daywalker
When this sudden rash of disappearances becomes new, the Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson assigns Peter Parker and Betty Brant to investigate. With the help of the Morlock (and occasional X-Men member) named Marrow, Spider-Man freed Hunger’s captives. Crown escapes, however, free to do more damage. It’s not long after that Hunger takes on the Kingpin’s criminal empire. He takes out several other mafia families, including the Maggia, and begins transforming some of the mob enforcers into his pseudo-vampiric army. Crown quickly became a new major threat in New York’s underworld, as a sort of Vampire Godfather.
With this new vampiric threat, Spider-Man teamed up with the vampire hunter Blade to bring Hunger down for good. But Hunger gave them a run for their money. Loxias Crown even tries to turn both Spider-Man and Blade into “living vampires” like himself, in an effort to add them to his army. But even with Hunger’s deadly armies, the two heroes ultimately defeat him. But they didn’t kill him, and Hunger is still out there, waiting to sink his claws into a new victim.
Is Morbius’ Matt Smith the New Hunger/Loxias Crown?
So why do we think Matt’s Smith’s character is actually Hunger? Morbius officially gave him the name Milo, or alternatively, Lucien. But there have been several clues provided in interviews from those involved with Morbius‘ production, According to Sony Pictures, Milo steals the cure from Morbius, turning himself into the same type of monster. That’s in keeping with Loxias Crown/Hunger’s comics origins. However, according to Smith while”Morbius is afraid of his powers, Milo embraces them.” That right there sounds like Loxias Crown to us.
Matt Smith also says of his character “They both get the same power. One goes one way, and one goes the other way. The lust for more blood, for more feeling, more power. Milo doesn’t shy away from it.” Which also sounds accurate to Matt Smith portraying in Hunger/Loxias Crown. More recently, however, Matt Smith shared the following thoughts about his upcoming Morbius villain. He shared with Screen Rant:
The truth is, I wasn’t aware of the great big history of the character in many respects. Because the script I was presented with doesn’t really delve into the past of him – or indeed the future. And isn’t someone else playing him? It’s all a bit confusing to me, to be honest with you. I took as my Bible just the actual script, is the honest truth of it. And it was all a bit odd whether it was Loxias [Crown] or not. I’m still not quite sure, to be honest.
All this to say, Matt Smith doesn’t seem very clear on if he plays Loxias Crown or not himself. He possibly seems to think maybe someone else does. But, in truth, Smith may not even really know if he is playing this big character. Or, perhaps he does know, but he simply wants to keep the secret hidden until the movie’s release.
All that said, if Smith is playing Hunger, we have to wonder why they changed the name from Loxias Crown to Lucien/Milo? It could be that no one really knows how to pronounce “Loxias.” Though we wouldn’t be surprised if Crown was still his secret surname. If Morbius succeeds, we could see a big future for this long-forgotten ’90s villain both on screen, and in the comics too. We’ll have to wait until Morbius releases on April 1 to see if Loxias Crown’s Hunger makes an appearance as Matt Smith or anyone else.