"Axe-Hand Morgan" is a former Marine captain and the first significant Marine officer to be seen in the series. He is the third antagonist of the Romance Dawn Arc. After his defeat at the hands of Zoro, he was stripped of his status that he had been abusing for three years.
Morgan is an extremely tall, muscular man with tanned skin, blonde hair, and a steel jaw etched with the word Möwe (the German for "seagull"). As his epithet suggests, his right hand has been replaced with a huge steel axe, the handle of which seems to have been bolted through the bones of his forearm.
Like most Marine officers, he wears a large, ornate overcoat. However, this coat notably lacks the "Justice" (正義?) insignia, and is completely sleeveless; it is also worn conventionally, instead of being draped over the shoulders like a cape.
In peacetime, he can often be seen smoking a cigar.
After his defeat and arrest, Morgan was put into a standard striped prisoner's uniform, and shackled around the arms and legs. While he eventually rid himself of the shackles, the prisoner's uniform has remained his last known outfit to date.
When Morgan is first introduced, he is governing over the small island of Shells Town, where his naval base is located. He is a cruel man who did little but spread terror on the town's citizens. He is ruling by fear, abusing his rank to make people pay taxes, and even going as far as killing his own men if they do not obey his commands.
He has a very spoiled son named Helmeppo, who is almost as bad at using his father's rank to get what he wants from the island's inhabitants. Although Helmeppo thought that he could get away with whatever he does because his father would protect him, in truth Morgan shows not even the slightest of fatherly love for Helmeppo. Morgan's lack of love goes as far as stating that before he punched Helmeppo, he never hit him because he's a foolish son not even worth hitting.
Morgan's obsession with rank is proven in his battle against Luffy, where, despite not being able to land a single blow on the rubber man (and having taken several), he would not accept defeat.
After his defeat, dismissal, and escape from arrest, Morgan became rather carefree, as he was napping nonchalantly on his boat as it sailed through the sea.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As a Marine captain, Morgan had command over lower-ranking subordinates and citizens. However, he heavily abused this authority to get whatever he desired. He was eventually stripped of his rank and authority after he was easily beaten by Luffy and Zoro.
Morgan is quite strong, being able to carry around his large axe hand all the time with ease. He was also durable, as he is the sole survivor of Kuro's wrath five years ago, although the reason for his survival was later revealed to be a plot planned by Kuro. He also has knowledge of Devil Fruits despite their rarity in the East Blue, and saw through Monkey D. Luffy's rubbery body as a result.
In battle, Morgan has a massive axe installed in place of his right arm, which was strong enough to slash through an entire fence with one swing through a shock wave and create a small fissure in the ground.
Morgan led a largely unremarkable life in the Marines, until the fateful night his crew attacked the Black Cat Pirates, incurring the wrath of the infamous Captain Kuro. With his superhuman speed and deadly claws, Kuro easily massacred all of Morgan's crewmates, leaving Morgan himself just barely alive with a broken jaw and a maimed arm. The defiant Morgan refused to beg for his life, but was spared anyway, as Kuro had long schemed to retire from piracy undisturbed; Morgan, deemed an ideal pawn for this scheme, was hypnotized by Jango into believing that he had captured Kuro, and sent off with a lookalike pirate (hypnotized into believing himself Kuro).
After "Kuro" was executed, Morgan - a mere chief petty officer at the time - was given sole credit for the capture and quickly promoted to lieutenant commander. Within the next three years, his obsession with rank and power carried him even higher, until he was appointed captain of the 153rd Branch and given absolute authority over the surrounding community of Shells Town.
Romance Dawn ArcEdit
By the time Roronoa Zoro arrived at Shells Town, Morgan had become an outright tyrant, extracting high taxes from the townsfolk (who grew to fear the mere mention of his name) and building monuments to himself. None dared challenge his authority, as he had no qualms about killing "traitors", up to and including his own men. His son Helmeppo regularly exploited this, forcing the townsfolk to grovel and cater to his every whim.
When Zoro refused to follow suit, even killing Helmeppo's pet wolf for threatening a local girl named Rika, Morgan indulged his son's request to have the bounty hunter arrested and starved for a month. After nine days of starvation failed to break Zoro's defiance, however, Morgan and Helmeppo decided to instead execute him as a warning to the townsfolk.
Around the same time, reports of the arrest led rookie pirate Monkey D. Luffy and aspiring Marine Koby to Shells Town, partly in hopes of recruiting Zoro. Shortly after arriving, the pair deemed Morgan's rule unjust and resolved to free Zoro, Luffy in particular "introducing" himself to the captain by (accidentally) breaking a newly-finished statue.
Enraged, Morgan sent the rest of the 153rd Branch against Luffy, Zoro, and Koby with orders to kill, only to see his men beaten in a matter of seconds. Unsympathetic, he ordered all of the "defeatists" to commit suicide, and tried to fight Luffy one-on-one, but found his great strength useless against the younger, faster pirate. With his father so easily overpowered, Helmeppo tried to take Koby hostage with a pistol; while this diverted Luffy's attention (and fists), Zoro swiftly cut Morgan down before he could take advantage of it.
On seeing their captain defeated, Morgan's men immediately began celebrating, overjoyed to be free of his tyranny at last. Subsequently, Morgan was imprisoned in the very base he once commanded, while one of his former lieutenants took charge of the 153rd Branch.
Upon the issuance of Luffy's 30,000,000 bounty, one of the Marines that guarded his cell returned with the pirate's bounty poster in hand. The Marine then snickered and showed Morgan the poster, to which Morgan became agitated.
Concludes non-canon section.
Diary of Koby-MeppoEdit
Morgan was later seen in the series in a chapter title page mini-story, as a prisoner stripped of rank on Vice-Admiral Garp's ship, where both Koby and Helmeppo also happen to be serving. However, Garp had suddenly fallen asleep and was slashed by Morgan, who escaped the ship by using his own son as a hostage. Helmeppo disowned him shortly thereafter  and returned to the Marine ship, leaving Morgan alone and drifting on the ocean.
Jango's Dance ParadiseEdit
- Morgan vs. Kuro
- Morgan vs. Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro
- Morgan vs. Monkey D. Garp
- Morgan vs. Helmeppo and Koby
Early One PieceEdit
Eiichiro Oda initially went through several designs intending for Morgan to look like a "crazier" version of Helmeppo, especially in chin and hairstyle. After an editor belittled these early designs as "lame," Morgan was redesigned to look more sober and intimidating, though he still shared a number of his son's physical traits.
Oda had originally conceived the name 'Chop' for Morgan, but claimed that he "didn't have the nerve" to actually publish it (as "Sailor Chop" (水兵チョップ Suihei choppu?) would have sounded identical to "Horizon Chop" (水平チョップ Suihei choppu?), the latter being a signature move of professional wrestler Giant Baba).
Manga and Anime DifferencesEdit
In the manga, Morgan is shown openly maiming Rokkaku for refusing to pursue Rika, his axe-hand leaving a visible gash in Rokkaku's side. The anime somewhat censors this, omitting any visible blood and re-framing the blow to look like it was delivered with the axe's blunt handle.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
While Morgan's overall brutality is retained in the 4Kids dub (including all of his threats against Rika, as well as his own men), the specific dialogue is softened in many areas. For instance, his command that his men kill themselves for hesitating against Luffy and Zoro is changed to a veiled threat for them to "shake hands" with his axe-hand.
Like most of the anime's tobacco depictions, his cigar is digitally removed in the 4Kids dub.
- One Piece: Become the Pirate King!
- Grand Line Dream Adventure Log
- One Piece: Going Baseball
- One Py Berry Match
- One Piece Treasure Cruise
- Birth of Luffy's Dream Pirate Crew!
- Aim! The King of Berry
- One Piece (Game Boy Advance)
- One Piece Romance Dawn: The Dawn of the Adventure
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
- In Gintama Episode 50, an Axe-Hand Morgan look-alike is seen charging towards one of the characters to fight, along with Crocodile and characters from other anime and manga.
- When Morgan was explaining Devil Fruits to his men, he used two examples: the ability to breathe fire, and another to cause tsunamis, both of which belonged to two world-renowned pirates: the Yonko, Whitebeard, and his subordinate and son of the late Pirate King, Portgas D. Ace; both of which were the first Devil Fruit users to die in the series.
- Oda has stated that he drew Morgan's name from a real-life pirate. This pirate is most likely Sir Henry Morgan (namesake of the famous rum brand), who also began his career as a law-abiding seafarer.
- Oda explained in an SBS that had Morgan been a Marine on the Grand Line he would have held the rank of Lieutenant, as there is a three-rank difference between the Headquarters Marines and Auxiliary Marines (Marines stationed in one of the Four Blues).
- He is the first character in the series to call Luffy by his nickname, "Straw Hat".
- His favorite food is Haute Cuisine.