Backhand (Strikeforce Morituri)


(Greg Mattingly)


Strikeforce Morituri was an intriguing 1986-1989 Marvel series, taking place in its own universe. It was a military sci-fi saga, centred on superhuman soldiers fighting to repel alien invaders who very nearly crushed Earth.

The main twist was that the treatment giving powers to volunteers was invariably fatal, leaving little life expectancy to the super-soldiers. Hence the name, derived from the famous Latin phrase morituri te salutant  (“those about to die salute you”).



  • Real Name: Greg Mattingly.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Strikeforce Morituri.
  • Base Of Operations: Morituri Mountain.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond

Powers and Abilities

In addition to the normal Morituri physical enhancements, Backhand could reflect and divert any energy aimed at him. He claimed to have more control over his power than Vyking did, but never really demonstrated why this was the case.


Greg Mattingly was originally an actor hired to play Vyking in the Morituri holoshow. Once Vyking died, he lost his job only to find out he was eligible for the Morituri Process. Studying Vyking and the other Morituri while on the show made Backhand realize how important what they did was, and he promptly volunteered.

Backhand was a good soldier, always ready to follow someone else’s lead. Never one to come up with his own ideas, he did the best he could with his abilities. He typically shielded others so that those with more offensive abilities could take the lead.


During an attack on the team by super-hordians, the Strikeforce was losing badly. Backhand found himself being crushed and strangled by two hordians while his teammates were faring equally poorly.

He used his powers to summon up the Morituri Effect inside him and amplify it, taking out his attacks and giving the rest of the Strikeforce the opportunity to turn the tables on their attacks. He sacrificed himself so that the rest of the team could live.


A tall, handsome blond man with short curly hair. He wore a white body suit with a blue V-shape on his chest and shoulders.


Backhand always felt a little over his head on the team. His method of compensating was to talk like a holoshow character, spouting hokey clichés and speeches whenever he felt nervous. He had a serious panic attack the first time one of his teammates succumbed to the Effect, but after that managed to pull himself together and carry his own weight.


Backhand: “We’re Morituri — the champions of Earth — and we’re going to give them a show they won’t soon forget !”
Brava: “Don’t lay it on with a trowel, Greg !”
Backhand: “Sorry. I keep slipping into what I think superheroes should sound like !”

DC Universe History

As written, the Morituri were in their own stand-alone universe.However, the idea of the Morituri process works in any universe. Perhaps a new, more determined alien invasion attacks and earth’s normal superheroes are outmatched. STAR Labs or Lexcorp could develop this process to help turn the tide.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 08 Str: 09 Bod: 10 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: n/a
Init: 016 HP: 050

Energy Reflection/Deflection: 14

Weaponry: 05

Credentials (Padeia Institute, Low), Expansive Headquarters, Leadership, Limelight, Popularity.

Strikeforce Morituri (High).

Public Identity, Morituri Effect.

FLIGHT SHOES [BODY 06, Flight: 07].

The Morituri Effect

All Morituri have a lifespan of 1 year (23 APs) or less from the time they undergo the Morituri Process. Starting 1 month after the Process, the Morituri must roll against their R# each day. For the first six months the RN is 5. The next three months the RN is 11, and for the last three months the RN is 18. The Effect automatically occurs at the end of a year.

Each Morituri experienced a power surge shortly before the effect took place. Add 2 APs to their Powers (or STR, if that was their primary ability) when they fail their R# roll. The number of APs of their highest Power after this addition is the number of phases they have until the effect takes place.

The precise manifestation of the Morituri Effect varied from person to person, but was related to their powers. Scaredycat’s superspeed increased so greatly that she overheated and died. Snapdragon, Vyking, and Marathon exploded, with Snapdragon’s explosion affecting little more than herself while Marathon’s explosion destroyed a Horde mothership.

The GM should select an appropriate fate based on the powers in question and the dramatic potential of the moment.

By Andrew Ross.

Source of Character: Strikeforce Morituri (Marvel).

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.