It is said that Matthew Burke has been around long enough to see Arachnos rise in power and influence in the Rogue Isles. He is also smart enough and skilled enough to stay slightly out of their radar.
Much of Matthew's past is a mystery, and rightly so for his own protection.
His mother, Ruth Burke, was an influential citizen of Mercy Island. She was often considered the voice of reason for the ordinary people of Mercy Island, often resolving many of the local disputes before they became Arachnos problems.
Matt was already a young man when his mother took in infant Crystal and raised her as her own daughter. He was very protective of his adopted sister, especially when it was discovered she was a natural conduit for dark magics. Unfortunately, his mercenary operations kept him too busy to understand why Crystal would seemingly join with Arachnos, or why she quickly fled the Isles a few years later. But after Crystal's departure his mother asked that he - or one of his associates - make sure that the Fateweaver's Mu Codex be stolen from Ghost Widow's tower before Ghost Widow can read it. He was never told why he needed to do that, and he never tried to figure out.
Years later, Crystal Burke, now operating as the registered superhero Midnight Arachnia, was forced to flee from Paragon City and returned to her childhood home. Matthew took her in and used his connections to get her a change of clothes and a place to stay. He also helped her figure out the reason behind their late mother's request for him to steal the Mu Codex before Ghost Widow can read it.
Although he was helpless to watch Crystal face Ghost Widow and be killed in the process, he knew that his adopted sister wouldn't make such an apparent sacrifice without a way out. He was relieved to discover that her associates in the Guardians of the Dawn would find a way to bring her back to Paragon City. They have stayed in touch since then through video conferencing set up with help from Architect Entertainment.
Matthew Burke was initially one of two contact options for all new arrivals to the Rogue Isles. Burke would offer a choice of missions that will put one at odds with Arachnos, including a mission to steal the Mu Codex from Ghost Widow.
With Longbow taking over Fort Darwin, however, Burke was forced to move inside Mercy City itself and operating outside one of the many safe-houses used by his contacts. He is still active in certain operations, though.
(See his Paragon Wiki entry for more information.)
Matthew Burke first appears in the two-part "Limelight" storyline in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" series. He also served as a contact for John Cole during his freelance time as a former member of Arachnos.