MATT SANTORO (MORPH): No relation to the AOA Morph/MU Changeling. Matt's a teenage boy with a devastating power and a pretty tough limitation: he has total control of any organic tissue he can touch. Matt also came from an abusive family, poor Italians in Brooklyn. They beat on each other (both his parents) and they beat him, and he hit them back, so they beat him some more. When his mother finally had enough and smashed his father in the head with a frying pan, when he was 13, he flipped out and tried to choke his mother. Only his mutant powers kicked in, and he killed her. His father, dazed and reeling, saw his son kill his wife horribly, and tried to kill *him* with the frying pan. Matt killed him too. And then he came to himself and he realized what he'd done, and he used the powers he'd just developed to heal them, only they were still dead, not a mark on them but dead, dead, dead. In a daze of grief and horror and guilt, Matt ran.
He was a pretty young boy. Slim, compact, red hair, a handsome face. Chickenhawks picked him up. They gave him drugs, and he didn't know how to use his powers to compensate yet. Then they raped him. The drugs slowed him down, but they didn't, in the end, stop him from killing them too.
Alana Wade (see below) saw this, and thought Matt would be the perfect solution to her problems. She recruited him to be her "bodyguard." She was older, smarter (Matt was actually a very intelligent boy, though by now severely messed up in the head, but Alana was a genius), and well experienced in the ways of the street. She'd suffered as he had-- and worse-- but she'd gotten even. Matt respected her, and looked up to her, and eventually fell in love with her, but Alana made it clear she didn't want to be touched. She wanted to just be friends. This rankled, but she was his best friend and his source of income and it was just the two of them against the world, so Matt let it go.
Any number of people are likely to try to hire the team of Morph and Mindseye. They're young to join the Marauders, but Sinister would *love* to get his hands on Matt, and Matt's powers, and so would very likely persuade the two to come work for him. Matt is a lost soul, and getting more lost all the time. he's not an evil boy, but it's so very easy for him to kill, so much harder to heal, and he's surrounded by people who are at best amoral and at worst monsters. He's very intelligent, but a follower, and he has a sadistic streak that's getting worse all the time. If someone doesn't save him from himself, there won't be much left of Matt Santoro's soul.
Powers: Matt controls all organic matter he can touch. Including his own. By the time he is 16, he's a reasonably accurate shapechanger (people only, and he won't do women) and he's learned how to leave his healing factor on all the time to take care of drugs, blows to the head, and other things that would otherwise incapacitate him before he could think to heal himself. He can also heal flesh wounds and minor diseases on other people, and he's learning more all the time. But, far more often than he heals, he knocks people unconscious-- he can do it with a touch, now-- and sometimes, when he's angry, he kills. Unlike his MU counterpart (who is an original character who will appear in my series Twin Poles, and *has* appeared as an adult version in that story), Matt's no acrobat. He was playing sports, not doing gymnastics like Meg Santoro was. So he's a bit less effective as a fighter, but he's fast and he's strong and he can knock most people out by touching them-- or kill them... His power works through organic material. He can touch the target's flesh, or he can touch their cotton shirt, but if they're wearing spandex he's out of luck because it isn't organic. He himself wears leather, and his feet and arms are bare. He's a very good looking 16-year-old (he's a shapechanger; he started out pretty, but by now he's gorgeous), but since his only contact with other people is Alana he mostly doesn't date. He doesn't go to school, but he reads voraciously.
Timeline: Matt is 16 when Kit Pryde is 14.
Creator: Alara Rogers