John Morrison AKA Soldier 76 is a hero from the 2016 game Overwatch. He was the former commander of Overwatch and currently a vigilante.
John "Jack" Morrison grew up in rural Indiana. The young Morrison has been described in many different ways. He was a rambunctious youth. A humble, salt-of-the-earth farmer's son. But those asked all agree that Morrison was never destined to live out his days in the land of rolling plains and deep blue skies.
At eighteen, Morrison packed his bags and joined the military. He had planned to serve a brief stint in the armed forces and then return home to the family farm, but his work ethic and courage caught the eye of the military brass. Before long, he earned a coveted position in the government's controversial and still-classified (but widely acknowledged) "soldier enhancement program." Military scientists shaped Morrison and other inductees into the perfect soldiers, blessed with superhuman speed, strength, and agility.
Morrison and his fellow augmented soldiers would soon put their abilities to use with the advent of the Omnic Crisis. As governments tried and failed to neutralize the omnics, the United Nations was busy forming an international task force called Overwatch. This small, experimental group would bring together the best and brightest from around the world to wage asymmetrical warfare against the robots. Overwatch's short list of prospective agents included two members of the soldier enhancement program: Morrison and Gabriel Reyes, a senior officer. Reyes and Morrison became fast friends, despite their different backgrounds, and decided to join Overwatch together. Leadership of Overwatch fell to Reyes, but Morrison would have a greater impact on the group in the long term. He brought out the best in the people around him and helped mold Overwatch's diverse (and sometimes conflicting) agents into a cohesive fighting force. In unity, they found the strength to defeat the robots and end the Omnic Crisis.
The UN rewarded Morrison for his contributions by making him Overwatch's first official commander. Reyes was passed over in the process, and it created a rift between the two men that would lead to tragic consequences. After the Omnic Crisis, Overwatch experienced a meteoric rise in prominence. New funding and resources gave the now-public organization far-reaching global influence. The world celebrated Overwatch's agents as heroes, but none more so than Morrison. He became the face of Overwatch, a symbol of hope and promise, from the cobblestone streets of King's Row to the sweltering night markets of Bangkok. Morrison envisioned a bright new future for humanity. Under his leadership, Overwatch served as a global peacekeeping force and an engine for innovation, making advances in scientific fields as varied as space exploration and medical research. But even as Overwatch grew in power, Morrison stayed dedicated to the people around him. He trained new agents, instilling in them Overwatch's noble goals and ideals. At some point he was stationed at Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
It was not to last however. Decades after the Omnic Crisis, Overwatch was shaken by a series of allegations, and its agents became targets of derision for the media. Morrison did his best to hold Overwatch together, but he was facing an internal rebellion led by Reyes, whose motives were unknown, but remained bitter that Morrison had been given the position of Overwatch's commander, and the rift that had started there had grown ever since. One year before Overwatch's disbandment, Morrison and Reyes came to blows at Overwatch's Swiss HQ. At some point, their fighting triggered an explosion that destroyed the facility.
Morrison was supposedly buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Reinhardt Wilhelm, one of Overwatch's original members, spoke highly of him at his funeral. Statues of him continue to be frequented. In truth, however, Morrison's body was never recovered. He considered the blast the fault of his enemies, and reflected how they believed him dead. A truth, but in his mind, part of him did die that day.
Five years after the end of Overwatch, a series of attacks was made on financial institutions, shadowy corporations, and former Overwatch facilities, all carried out by an unidentified male called "Soldier: 76." in each case where he stole some Overwatch tech. This included Watchpoint: Grand Mesa, where he stole a pulse rifle. Helix Security International personnel attempted to engage him, but 76 escaped apprehension. None of the personnel were killed, though some were treated for non-threatening injuries. One of them stated (under conditions of anonymity) that the assailant possessed strength and speed beyond anything a normal person should possess, and that he likely had military training. The United States turned its attention to apprehending him, and indeed, Soldier: 76 became the target of an international manhunt.
In truth, Soldier: 76 was Jack Morrison. Thanks to his raids, Morrison was now equipped with an arsenal of cutting-edge technology. Here, he used it to wage his personal war to expose the truth behind Overwatch's collapse: to find those responsible, and bring them to justice.
Soldier: 76 displays a grouchy and serious demeanor, occasionally grumbling about his old age. He insults his opponents by saying that they've got a lot to learn and, according to himself, doesn't play by the same fighting rules that he used to. He's obsessed with bringing criminals to justice, even if it means taking extreme measures to hunt them down. Even though he sees no point in bringing back Overwatch to combat the Second Omnic Crisis, he still misses being able to fight alongside them.
In spite of this behavior, Soldier: 76 is willing to protect the innocent, even at the cost of letting his adversaries get away. A prime example is in the Hero animated short where he shields Alejandra from the explosion of a grenade rather than immediately chasing after the Los Muertos gang. He also seems to commend his team once in a while, as shown by his positive comparisons of Pharah to her mother.
- Soldier: 76 was originally designed for a cancelled comic series.
- Soldier: 76 appears in his own cinematic short, a short about him (Hero), he also makes a brief appearance in the 'We are Overwatch' short as well as making a cameo on a photo in the 'Recall' short.