Former Captain Morgan, called "Axe-Hand Morgan" since he literally has an axe for a right arm, is the first Marine officer of significant rank 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 3 years.
Morgan is a very tall and slim, intimidating man with blonde hair (white-blonde in the anime) and a steel jaw. As his epithet suggests, his right hand is replaced by a huge steel axe, the handle of which seems to go right through his forearm. Like most marines of high rank in the series, he wears a large, billowing coat like a cape. His coat however does not have "Justice" on the back. He can also normally be seen smoking a cigar.
After he was arrested, he was put into prisoner clothes, which consisted of a white and blue striped long sleeve shirt and matching striped pants. He also had chains around his hands and legs. Five years ago, Morgan looked much like he does in the present storyline, except without the axe hand and the metal jaw. He had a slimmer build than he does in the present storyline, and his hair is seen being slightly longer than it is at this point of the story.
Prior to "capturing" Kuro, Morgan seemed to be a brave man who was not afraid of death. After his promotion, Morgan was corrupted by his power and became who he is today.
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. Morgan shows no sort of fatherly love for Helmeppo, despite him thinking otherwise. Morgan's lack of love goes as far as stating that Helmeppo was a worthless 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.
Powers and Abilties
As a Marine captain, Morgan had command over lower-ranking subordinates and citizens. He heavily abused this authority to get what he desired. He was eventually stripped of his rank and authority.
Morgan was durable enough, 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.
Five years ago, when Morgan was still a mere chief petty officer, he and his crew attacked the Black Cat Pirates one night, only to incur the wrath of their captain, Kuro. Morgan was the only survivor on board of his ship, which left him with a broken jaw and the loss of his arm. Refusing to beg for his life, Morgan challenged Kuro to bring him death. However, Morgan surviving the pirate's deadly claws was deemed impressive, and Kuro used Morgan as part of his plan to escape the pirate life. Morgan was hypnotized by Jango into believing that he had captured Kuro (actually a lookalike pirate), gaining him immediate fame and possibly setting him on the path to his current obsession with rank and power. While Kuro's assault broke his jaw, causing him to get his brace, it's unclear how or when he got his trademark axe hand.
Romance Dawn Arc
He was left in charge of a Marine base on an island. As a high ranking and famous Marine, none dared challenge his authority, not even his own men as he had a habit of punishing those who disobeyed him (even killing his own men).
This all changes however when Luffy comes to town to help Coby fulfill his dream, and possibly recruit Roronoa Zoro into his crew. After Luffy accidentally breaks a newly finished statue of Morgan, the captain immediately sets after him, (considering that he was about to have one of his men killed for just scratching the statue, this is rather humorous as it occurs just as he was about to do the deed) confronting Luffy in the courtyard of the Marine base. Morgan is defeated by Luffy without even landing a single blow, though he is finished off by Zoro as Luffy has to deal with Helmeppo holding Coby hostage. Morgan is defeated by Luffy and actually finished by Zoro.
Diary of Coby-meppo
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 Coby 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 Paradise
He was seen again as a cameo in Jango's Mini-arc taking a nap in the ocean as Jango unknowingly passes him. He has not been seen since.
- Morgan vs. Kuro
- Morgan vs. Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro
- Morgan vs. Monkey D. Garp
- Morgan vs. Helmeppo and Coby
Early One Piece
Helmeppo was drawn before his father and early drawings of Morgan greatly resembled Helmeppo's own appearance. One example had him almost identical to Helmeppo, with just a crazier hairstyle. He was given his final design after the editor told Oda he looked lame.
Morgan's original name was going to be 'Captain Chop'. Oda explained that he did not have the nerve to actually use this name (his name also apparently was similar to a wrestling move by a famous Japanese wrestler called Giant Baba).
Manga and Anime Differences
In the anime, Morgan is seen in his prison cell at the 153rd Branch Marine Base, when a marine soldier of the same branch showed him Luffy's $30,000,000 bounty. This scene did not appear in the manga.
Translation and Dub Issues
While Morgan still retains his murderous tendencies in the 4Kids dub (ordering a marine to kill Rika, preparing to kill her himself after he refused, and almost killing another subordinate for denting his statue), when his men hesitated to attack Luffy and Zoro, instead of commanding them to kill themselves for disobedience, he instructed that they will attack, or else they'll have to "shake hands" with his ax-hand.
- 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 ironically belonged to two world-renowned pirates: the Yonko, Whitebeard, and his subordinate and son of the late Pirate King, Portgas D. Ace.
- Oda intended to give him an onion styled hair style resembling his son Helmeppo, but the idea was soon discarded because of comment on the character as "Ugly".
- The word "Möwe", which appears on Morgan's metal jaw, is German for "seagull", which is the symbol of the Marines.
- Oda admitted that Morgan was based on a real-life pirate, most likely Henry Morgan, who also began his career as a law-abiding seafarer.
- "Captain Morgan" is a brand of rum.
- He and Saga are so far the only main villains to have been defeated by Zoro and not Luffy.