Wildcard (Strikeforce Morituri) accusingly pointing his finger


(John Crenella)


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: John Crenella.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Strikeforce Morituri.
  • Base Of Operations: Morituri Mountain.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Orange

Powers and Abilities

In addition to the normal Morituri physical enhancements, Wildcard had the ability of duplicating the powers of any Morituri nearby. He only ever duplicated one person’s powers at a time, and died before he ever had a chance to see if he could copy multiple people’s powers at once.


John Crenella was born in New Jersey where he worked in his father’s clothing store until the Horde came. They took his father as a slave and Wildcard vowed to make them pay. Unfortunately, he was the first of his generation to succumb to the Effect, only weeks after gaining his powers.


His first team’s first (and his only) mission was to bring in the previous team which the government viewed as having gone renegade. In reality, they had struck at the Horde treasureship out by Jupiter. But they had disobeyed orders to do so and reacted badly when local police informed them they were under arrest.

Wildcard died without ever getting the chance to fight a single Hordian. Yet his death was not entirely useless. Not only did it stop the fighting between the two teams, but somehow he managed to absorb Blackthorn’s power as he died, dying her death, which gave her the additional time she needed to allow her baby to survive.


Wildcard was a medium-sized man with short orange hair. He had a black diamond painted over his right eye, and wore a purple shirt with blue pants. He was one of the few Morituri who carried a hand weapon as part of his costume, but he never used it.


Wildcard didn’t live long enough to make much of an impression. He seemed to be a typical, brash native of the East Coast, eager for revenge against the aliens.


Toxyn: “We should not be fighting each other !”
Wildcard: “Uh-huh. That’s exactly what a bunch of traitors *would* say.”

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: 05 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: n/a
Init: 014 HP: 050

Mimic: 14

Bonuses and Limitations:
Mimic can only duplicate the Powers of Morituri, and only those of one person at a time (-2). Range of Mimic is only 5 APs (-1).

Weaponry: 05

Credentials (Padeia Institute, Low), Headquarters (Expansive), 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.