axe hand morgan

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Want to read about X-Drake taking a bite out of Foxxy?  Click HERE!

Want to read about Morgan getting a dial off of Shura?  Click HERE!

and without further ado:  Their Round2 Battle!

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Morgan’s feet hit the ground, his toes grasping and stretching over the moist grass.  He was outside, on the furthest reaches of the Battle Mansion’s property, the enormous house was over his back shoulder and if he squinted he could make out tiny figures fighting in the distance, little blurs clashing in the afternoon sun.  He checked his enormous metal axe for the affixed dial at its base.  A dry laughter escaped from behind his iron jaw, examining his new toy. 

“I’m going to call you … the Devil’s Edge.”  He ran his fingers over the dial, careful not to press the button.  The heated axe would surely burn his skin if he left it on too long, and he was in no hurry to harm himself in the middle of a combat tournament.  The former marine took a moment to observe his surroundings.  He was at the bottom of a hill, sprouting up ankle-high grass all around him and fenced in by a simple wooden wall about five feet high.  This wooden wall ran up the hill and into a squat, long structure with brilliant candy red paint along its sides.  Either end of the structure was open, leading Morgan to believe it was a stable used to house horses.  He had spent some time with horses on his base at Shells Town and knew how to ride pretty well.  A quiet mechanical whirring started up and drew his attention to the roof of the stable.

A den den mushi had been risen from within the structure and its booming voice filled the field with an announcement: “‘Axe-Hand’ Morgan!  X-Drake!  Congratulations on your victory in the first round!  And welcome: To the BATTLE MANSION: STABLES ARENA!  Continue to the next round by defeating the foe before you!”

He ran a hand through his sand blonde hair and looked around the empty field.  “What ‘foe before me’?” 

The answer came to him in the form of an explosive crash and a chorus of cracking and splintering wood.  The roof had creaked and then given way, tearing off of the stable’s top and sending it soaring into the sky in splintered pieces.  The candy-red walls lost their stability and fell as well, collapsing with a flat crash, opening the gates for a small stampede of sprinting young stallions fleeing the demolished structure as fast as they could.  In the wreckage of the broken wood stood a titanic lizard, with exposed rows of glinting teeth the size of Morgan’s arm.  The dinosaur before him took one of its heavy scaled legs and stepped over the wrecked stables, raising its disproportionate head towards the sky and letting out a ground-shaking roar. 

Morgan was shaken to the core at the terrifying sight, but he had no time to fret; there was a stampede headed his way.  He leapt onto a charging horse, bracing himself and jerking its mane in place of reins.   To his relief the beast responded to his physical commands and he was able to veer it to a speedy gallop along the wooden fence.  The dinosaur was not the only one capable of using the horse’s fear as a motivator; Morgan clicked on his burning hot dial.  He rode and dragged the Devil’s Edge against the dry wood, carving a deep fiery cut into it.  As if it were built out of kindling the wood was lit and burning quickly.

The fleeing horses were turned and bucked in terror at the newly born inferno.  Morgan rode his away from the encroaching flames, taking a moment to admire his handiwork; a herd of terrified horses riding towards the lizard atop the hill.  Morgan’s steed chirped, made nervous by the nearby flames.  The iron-jawed man kicked its sides and broke off in a gallop up the hill to clash with his opponent. 

Drake glared down at the little man on horseback, turning the stampede back at him was a pretty clever move.  The dinosaur braced himself and a stallion crashed into his leg, it hurt quite a bit, but he did not fall.  He gave a quick mental apology to the horses, but their use was not through yet.  The foe with an axe for an arm was charging towards him, and Drake crouched down.  He spun his enormous body, letting the reptilian tail behind him sweep upwards, tossing three stampeding horses high into the sky.  They kicked their legs and cried and crashed down towards Morgan.

“You’re throwing horses at me?!”  Morgan roared in outrage, climbing into the back of his steed as two horses crashed into the earth to his sides.  “Sorry boy, this is where we depart!”  He braced himself and leapt up off the back of his mount.  Morgan soared through the sky on a collision course with a flying horse projectile.  His Devil’s Edge axe came down, and with the ease of a master samurai he cleaved through it, leaving two half-horses to fall to the ground with a loud thud.

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He hit the ground and rolled onto his feet, still sprinting.  His foe was big but Morgan’s weapon was deadly hot now.  Thick plumes of twisting air, distorted by the heat, were dancing off of the wide blade.  He could feel burning agony in the flesh attached to his brutal arm, but the adrenaline of combat was overshadowing the sizzling skin.  He reached the dinosaur and jumped again, dragging his Devil’s Edge through the air to cut the colossus down.

The broad green target that had existed a moment ago was shrinking.  Reducing and wrapping itself in soft, pink flesh.  Two iron bars that had previously hung from the giant’s waist like useless accessories were now in the hands of a very human X-Drake.  They now became deadly weapons, he crossed them across the air and caught Morgan’s killer blow, shocked by the wake of searing hot air that struck him all at once.  But Drake grunted and kicked out in front of him, striking Morgan back.  The huge man with the iron jaw fell to the earth on his back with a loud crash, groaning and climbing back onto his feet.

“I heard a rumor once,” Drake started, keeping his weapons leveled, “Of a Marine Captain with a giant axe in place of his right arm.  But then again, he’s a criminal now.”

Morgan laughed, hearty chuckles dancing cross the air.  Fire had consumed the entire fence and most of the wrecked stables.  They were now standing in a circle of towering flames.  Morgan’s flesh was audibly sizzling, hissing out smoke.  He was drenched in sweat and desperately wanted to turn off his heat dial, but he just needed to cut the man before him, first.  Orange death creeping in from all around him, the ex-captain grinned and managed to not show his agony.

“That’s funny, ‘cause I heard about a rear admiral who left the navy to play pirate in the new world.”  He coughed, shuddering and standing tall, against the hellish metal he was attached to.  “But you know rank isn’t everything…”

“You’re right.”  Drake nodded.  He charged forwards, Morgan raised his axe, but Drake’s own four-sided weapon knocked it away with ease.  The iron-jawed Morgan’s reactions were delayed by his fiery agony and Drake casually slid his saber up into his opponent’s ribs.  “However, in this case Rank shows quite clearly, my friend.”

Morgan hit the ground like a ton of bricks, eyes rolled back into his head.  Then as if he was being judged for his sins his right arm burst into flames, igniting the grass it rested on.  His whole body was burning in the next instant, sending acrid smoke into the air around them.  Drake let out a sigh and looked around the arena at the hellish landscape.  “It’s a shame, Morgan.  An ex-marine running from the organization he once served.  We would have had a place for you on my crew.  Your resourcefulness and might would have gone a long way.”

The victor watched and as if someone flipped a switch and the fire stopped growing.  Drake exhaled and the flames dropped, quelling down to a low burn and then turning to harmless smoke like a doused candle.  He looked around, suspicious of the sudden charred smoking landscape.  Before he could investigate he was grasped by a hidden force, slipping him into a forced sleep.

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Drake is not done yet!  He battles valiantly in Round3, just click on this LINK

What I Like About Coby

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t like Coby the first time I watched One Piece. I guess having seen the wimpy-kid-learns-to-be-brave scenario EVERYWHERE, I must have written him off and then didn’t really care about his character development after that.

But then I read the first few chapters, and–surprise, surprise–I found something I completely missed the first time around. 

 So yes, during the Axe Hand Morgan Arc, Coby is still “the wimp,” however, he shows two distinct characteristics that not only turn this trope on its head, but represent something huge in OP.

1. In spite of his fearful nature, Coby is genuinely compassionate. 

What’s significant about these two panels is that Coby doesn’t just say “Oh, that was mean of Helmeppo” and move on. He has to go to Rika and make sure she is okay. You can tell from the way he looks in these panels how affected he is by others’ pain. It shows that in spite of his fearful nature, Coby’s primary concern is others’ well-being. 

I’m pointing this out because you don’t normally see wimpy characters with this trait. This is probably because fear naturally makes us think of ourselves, and so high-strung/fearful people have a greater tendency to be self-centered. Characters like this might be keenly aware of others’ emotions, but they don’t always act on these observations. 

Instead, we see Coby going beyond deep concern to risking his life to help someone.

This scene really struck me because Coby, without any superhuman strength, was probably in excruciating pain here, yet he insists on staying to free Zoro. Let’s not forget that there’s still a gun aimed at him, or how only an hour or so earlier, he thought Zoro was the cruelest villain he’d ever met. Sure, he trusts Luffy, but it’s not like he’s risking his life for his bff here. 

2. Coby’s passion is never snuffed out by the corruption of other marines.

Coby enters with a very idealized view of the marines. But OP shows time and time again how corrupt the WG is, and most individual marines we encounter are no different. 

It’s no surprise when only a few pages into the Axe Hand Morgan Arc, Coby is already questioning his views.

But what I like about Coby is that instead of being bitter and saying that all marines are evil, he persists. Why? Because his dream is based on what the marines stand for, not what individual marines choose to do. 

One reason this works is that while Coby is easily affected by the actions and choices of individuals, his people-oriented nature probably allows him to understand that we’re all human and that one individual’s choice is not necessarily a reflection of the group they represent. 

This sheds light on his confrontation of Akainu in Marineford. I always assumed he did it because of his haki, when if you think about it, his belief in what the marines should be played an equally huge role. He wasn’t just calling Akainu out for basically murdering people, but for straying from the marine’s cause to make the world a safer place. 

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A WEEK WITHOUT REGRETS => Day 7: What if... Ace and Luffy had complied with their grandfather's wish for them to become Marines?

Or what if the brothers’ dream was not to become the Pirate King, but the great Fleet Admiral? Become the strongest Marines ever sailing the Grand Line and the New World… (and the worst plague for the Marine’s food supplies :D)

The storyline wouldn’t be sooo different then… it would probably start with Luffy meeting a young boy, Coby, who’s secret dream is to become the Pirate King. Unfortunately for him, he’s been forced to enlist in the Navy by a Marine called Alvida, whom he can finally get rid off thanks to Luffy’s help. The both of them then head to Shells town, in order to meet Roronoa Zoro, a well-known Pirate-Hunter (much to Coby’s distress). There they end up fighting the terrible Axe-hand Morgan, a pirate who took over the town and rules both the inhabitants and his own crew by fear. Luffy soon finds in Zoro an ally, and the both team up, etc. etc. etc.

(the story ends the same for Ace though, when the poor Marine got killed on the battlefield by the Yonko Sakazuki, better-known under the alias Akainu. RIP Captain Firefist Ace & Admiral Edward “Whitebeard” Newgate)

space-mouse  asked:

You've referred to the Marines as the only major peacekeeping force in the world. Would you explain that in more depth? To me, it seems that the central power where the commands come from works in the interest of the WG, not the people, and it is smaller authority figures like Smoker and that ratty man from Nami's island who decide whether the people under their jurisdiction are actually at peace. In that sense, aren't they similar to individual pirate crews like Whitebeard and Big Mom?

I think I’m in agreement with your idea here, though I think it is a matter of framing. It’s true, the Marines are similar to pirates in that there are good Marines and good pirates who care about helping other people–Luffy, Smoker, T-Bone, etc–and there are Marines and pirates who are very much horrible people–Arlong, Nezumi, Ax-hand Morgan, etc. That’s a point that I’ve tried to convey in my posts about morality in One Piece–that neither the Marines nor the pirates are all good or all bad. The Straw Hats are our series’ protagonists, but that doesn’t mean that on the whole pirates are better, more righteous people than the Marines in the series. Both are highly diverse groupings that have the ability to do good and to do evil. 

But I do think that the Marines are the primary major peacekeeping force in the world. The Marines are literally a global force–East Blue, North Blue, West Blue, and the Grand Line–they cover most of the planet. The only place where most power is held by pirates or non-World Government affiliated nations is the New World. That’s where nations like Wano and Elbaf are strong enough to remain independent, and the Yonko rule most of the rest. 

In any case though, the Marines are stretched pretty thin. They are a massive and powerful force, but they can’t be EVERYWHERE. Right now the story is taking place during what is literally called the “Great Age of Pirates.” Presumably, there are more pirates active right now as a result of Roger’s final words than at any point prior in history. Marine resources are tied up fighting pirates in the Grand Line, in the New World, fighting the Revolutionary Army, etc. Little places like Nami’s village are so much more likely to be overlooked. But even then, despite corrupt Marines like Nezumi letting Arlong pay him off, other Marines still tried to help 

And what did they get for their efforts? They were all killed. 

Marines and pirates have fundamentally different concerns. Marines care about peace and stability. Pirates care about freedom–typically their own freedom and not anyone else’s. Too often the Marines efforts toward stability leads to tyranny, and too often pirates’ sense of freedom leads to them slaughtering innocent people for profit or fun. I wrote a post that was all about speculating what Corazon would be like (after we learned his name but before we met him), but much of the content was about analyzing the Marines (here’s said post). I’d like to repeat some of that here: 

“Do you remember how the world reacted when Whitebeard died?

Roger and Whitebeard were not heroes to the majority of the world. They were criminals and villains, and the world was thrilled to have them dead. As the readers—people on the outside looking in—we know what an important and caring person Whitebeard was. He was a man who took charge and protected many islands and literally millions of people with his name. But at the same time, preserving life was hardly what Whitebeard cared about most. If Whitebeard had won at Marineford, the Marines would have been crippled horribly. They would have lost the fighting force of all of their Admirals and Vice Admirals and thousands of other high ranking soldiers. Pirates would have ceased the opportunity and attacked formerly protected places by the thousands. The same destruction that followed Whitebeard’s death in his protected lands would have happened the same way in the lands the WG protected (which is a LOT more than what Whitebeard held). And Whitebeard was willing to let all that happen just to save Ace, just as the Marines were willing to let it happen just to kill Ace (and prevent him from ever becoming Pirate King and posing the same threat to them his father did).

Now tell me, who was in the right during Marineford? The ones willing to let thousands die to eliminate the potential future threat of a single man, or the ones willing to let even more people die to save that one man’s life? In my opinion there is no “right” in a situation like this. Just different sides fighting for what they care about and believe in, with no one absolutely right and no one absolutely wrong.” 

SO. The Marines are not the ONLY peacekeeping force in the world. The Yonko in the New World keep the peace in their territories. Whitebeard even did things like claim possession of Fishman Island in order to help keep it safe. But here’s the thing… who was Whitebeard keeping Fishman Island safe from? He was protecting it from other pirates. And Big Mom? She doesn’t care about protecting anything–she kills entire islands if people don’t pay her the candy tribute she demands. There are very few pirates like the Straw Hats, Whitebeard, and presumably Shanks–pirates who take issue with other’s suffering and act to protect people from whoever is hurting them–pirate, Marine, or other. There are corrupt Marines–Marines like Axe-Hand Morgan, who taxed the people of the town he was based into poverty, Marines like Nezumi who let people die so he could make a profit. But fundamentally, the philosophy of the Marines is Justice–upholding law and order, and eliminating those who oppose it. It is a peacekeeping philosophy, and they do act in the interest of protecting the peace on a global scale, even if their protection is primarily concerned with protecting the nations affiliated with the World Government (which do make up the majority of the world). But pirates don’t have any kind of peacekeeping philosophy. They just do what they want. And sometimes they want to do good things, but most of the time the things they want tend to be pretty bad. 

There are problems in the Marines. The institution they work for is corrupt. They overlook slavery when it happens to the people of nations who won’t join them. There are corrupt individual officers. And they can be so unyielding in their views that their desire to stamp out evil spills into evil itself. But again… think about this from the view point of the average citizen of a WG affiliated nation. If you wanted to fight to protect people, fight to keep the peace… who would you join? Would you become a pirate, declare yourself outside the law, and become one of the vast minority of pirates who are concerned with helping innocent people? Or would you join the Marines with the hope of fighting against pirates who regularly attack and slaughter innocent people on a daily basis? As we saw in the pictures I included above, the people of the world love the Marines. The Marines protect them, while pirates hurt them. There are some areas where Pirates are the peacekeeping force, but on the whole pirates are the problem that results in there needing to be peacekeeping in the first place. That’s the point I’m trying to make here–that to the average person in the world of One Piece, it is the Marines who are the peacekeepers of the world. 

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The man with an iron jaw and an enormous metal axe for a right arm was not happy.  He was standing in the simple arena, looking at the bleak surroundings.  Was this some kind of new prison?  Was there a reason he was transferred?  He had only killed one or two other prisoners.  A smile crawled over his face, remembering the prison brawls that have been keeping him sharp even when incarcerated.  They were the only thing that kept him going; a new challenge.

Then a screeching noise pierced the air above his head.  Morgan looked up, snapping out of his bloody daydreams.  In the sky, descending quickly, was a huge red bird, feathers wild like flame, being ridden by a man dressed in a heavy jacket with a lance.

“Hey there!”  The man swooped down, his bird landing on the sand, kicking up a gust of dirt around the arena.  Shura, the former priest of Enru, stood atop his bird named Fuza, glaring down onto Morgan.

“What say you, Blue Sea man?  Well, right now it’s more like… dirt-sand man.  Ah hahaha, funny because you’re coated in varse, eh?”

Even the bird made no noise.  The awkward silence was broken by the sudden voice entering the arena:

“TO BATTLE!  THE LAST ONE STANDING IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO FREEDOM.”

“To the skies!”  Shura and Fuza took off.  The pair circled feet above the arena, merely out of reach of their former-marine opponent   They mocked down at him, “You there, blue seas man!  Perhaps if you were capable of sky combat you’d fare better against Fuza and I!”

“Maybe if you weren’t a pussy, flitterin’ around on'a bird.”  Morgan, put a hand on his hip and glared up, unimpressed by the Skypiean.

“I’ll show you my attack, maybe that will shut you up!”  Fuza dove, his beak pointed towards Morgan.  The bird pulled up at the last second, opening its beak and firing a plume of flame at their grounded foe.  The Axe-Handed man did not flinch.  He kicked off the sand, leaping into the air, and slashed upwards.  His cut was not deep, but it left a nasty gash across Fuza’s chest, causing a panic in the large bird.

Fuza took off for the sky, turning and fleeing from Morgan.  The intense fear from his brutal attack, urging Fuza to flee as far as he could.  The bucking bird sent Shura falling down, landing on his back with a loud thud.  He coughed and recovered, climbing to his feet and shouting at Morgan, “Don’t think that spooking Fuza will gain you victory!  I still have my Heat Javelin!  With the heat dial attached to the point I can burn through you with … with… where is my Javelin!?”

“This?”  Morgan smiled, his left hand holding Shura’s weapon, that had landed a few feet from its wielder   "And you say that … this thing heats the point?“  With a muted snapping noise Morgan removed the odd-looking device with a button from the metal weapon.  He then stuck the simple dial to his axe-arm.

"Give that back!”  Shura dove at Morgan to retrieve his dial, but with a strong sweep of his arm the aggressive attacker was tossed aside, slamming him into a stone wall.  

“And it works by … !?”  Morgan was surprised  he pressed the only button on the dial and a powerful jet of heat blasted out of the simple shell.  He adjusted the dial so it ran along the blade of his axe and smiled up at the recovering Shura.

Shura got up and grabbed at his old, discarded, javelin   He gripped it and charged at Morgan, screaming a war cry of rage.  But Axe-Hand Morgan did not care.  He spun and sunk his new burning-hot weapon into Shura’s chest, dodging the boring normal javelin with ease.  Morgan’s axe caused Shura’s jacket to catch fire immediately  causing the deep axe cut to leave a burning wound in the sky priest.

Morgan stepped away from the pitiful pyre and smiled at the open sky.  "Freedom, you say?  I can go for some of that.  And with this new toy, I may really enjoy the journey.“  He snarled, as the sand shifted under his feet, dropping him into the next arena.

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Want to read about Morgan taking on Round2?  Click HERE!