Real Name: Cleavon Twain, unidentified father
Identity/Class: Human, technology user
Group Membership: Thunderbolts (Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff posing as Yelena Belova), Ghost, Grizzly, Mr. X, Paladin, Scourge)
Affiliations: Osborn's Avengers, Enforcers, Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), H.A.M.M.E.R., Lucky Lobo
Enemies: Agents of Atlas (Gorilla-Man, Human Robot, Marvel Boy, Namora, Venus, Jimmy Woo), Luke Cage, Deadpool, Doc Samson, Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Barack Obama, Phobos posing as Nick Fury, Songbird, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Taskmaster (posing as Deadpool);
formerly Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)
Known Relatives: Cody Twain (brother)
Aliases: Green Goblin, Vassal
Base of Operations: The Cube
Manhattan, New York
First Appearance: Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8 (April, 1996)
Powers/Abilities: The Headsman wore a power pack which enhanced his strength. He also wielded an immense axe, and flew on a disc-shaped hovercraft.
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 291 lbs.
History: (Thunderbolts II#140 (fb)) - As a child, Cleavon's father killed Cleavon's dog Duke because it snapped at him.
(Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8) - The Headsman was equipped with technology devised by Norman Osborn so that it could be tested in the field, although the Headsman never knew who his employer was. Osborn sent the Headsman to Benson's Department Store where Spider-Man was fighting the Enforcers so that he could help them escape capture. The Headsman held Spider-Man back, and presented the Enforcers with an address, telling them to meet him there at 10 PM that evening and to exit the scene while he took care of Spider-Man. The Headsman slashed his axe at Spider-Man's face, and tore open his mask. Fearful of being recognized, Spider-Man fled the scene.
The Headsman met the Enforcers at Osborn Chemicals, apparently to rendezvous with Norman Osborn, but Norman's son Harry saw them approach the factory, and set off a flare gun that brought Spider-Man to the scene. The four villains attacked Spider-Man together, but were unable to strike him. Spider-Man managed to short out the Headsman's power pack, rendering his axe useless. The Headsman fled the scene, while the Enforcers were defeated and recaptured.
(Untold Tales of Spider-Man#18)- Having repaired his power pack, the Headsman allied himself with the criminal Lucky Lobo, and promised to kill Spider-Man for him in order to prove his worth. The Headsman believed he had slain Spider-Man after burying him under the rubble of a building, but Spider-Man survived. He set after Spider-Man again, and their battle led to an artist's studio, where the Headsman nearly crushed Jason Ionello, Flash Thompson and Liz Allan under a sculpture. While Spider-Man saved them, the Headsman prepared for another attack-- only to be assaulted by the Green Goblin, who revealed himself as the Headsman's employer. Annoyed at the Headsman's use of his technology, the Green Goblin destroyed his power pack and knocked him unconscious. He was later found by Spider-Man and turned over to the police.
(Thunderbolts II#128) - In a plan to discredit Leonard Samson, the only person that could prove that Norman was still a lunatic, the Headsman as the Green Goblin attacked Air Force One.
(Thunderbolts II#129) - Green Goblin took out several security guards and then used a neural scrambler to knock out the rest. When Obama regained consciousness Norman Osborn saved him in a staged attack from the Green Goblin by tossing him from the plane. Thanks to an antigravity device given to him by Osborn the Goblin aka. Headsmen never hit the ground and was picked up by Paladin with the Thunderstrike jet.
Headsman still in the Green Goblin costume returned with with the Thunderstrike to the Thunderbolts' new HQ the Cube. Inside their leader Black Widow (Belova) showed them info on their next target -- Deadpool.
(Thunderbolts II#130 (fb) - BTS) - Osborn ordered the Thunderbolts to find out what Deadpool had told Nick Fury about his operation without killing him.
(Deadpool IV#8) - The Thunderbolts waited for Deadpool in Avengers Tower and attacked him when he arrived at the top floor.
(Thunderbolts II#130) - Headsman failed miserably against Deadpool and had to be saved by Ghost within seconds in the fight. Deadpool took his glider to escape into a lab where Deadpool stole a teleporter to finally escape the Thunderbolts like it was planned by Osborn.
Osborn critized the property damage caused by the Thunderbolts and Headsman tried to defend their actions because their fight with Deadpool had to look real. Osborn now ordered Deadpool's death as soon as Ghost had taken all the data from Deadpool's communications rig. Headsman promised to bring Osborn Deadpool's head. When they arrived at Deadpool's place Headsman failed to take down Deadpool once again, but the other didn't fare better.
(Deadpool IV#9) - Headsman and Ant-Man had a good laugh when Paladin was too afraid to go through with mocking Belova for taking some personal interest in Deadpool. She sent them down to the street when a plane passed by with a love message for Belova from Deadpool. Though she was still on the phone with Deadpool, it was actually Taskmaster she was talking to, and Deadpool was on the plane shooting at the other Thunderbolts. Headsman was the first to get injured under the gunfire. After another attack the Thunderbolts seemingly caught Deadpool (actually Taskmaster again) when Black Widow tricked him to go onboard the Thunderstrike and gassed him. Headsman watched.
(Thunderbolts II#131) - Headsman was willing to decapitate Deadpool when Osborn demanded his death, but shortly before he did the deed the real Deadpool arrived. Osborn wanted him dead and after Deadpool had saved Taskmaster they worked together to take down the Thunderbolts. Taskmaster took care of Headsman, but Headsman soon caught up with Osborn, Deadpool and Black Widow and finally decapitated Deadpool.
(Spider-Woman IV#5) - Norman Osborn sent the Thunderbolts, including Headsman, after Spider-Woman and they found her on a roof in New York City.
(Spider-Woman IV#6) - The Thunderbolts, includign Headsman, hunted Spider-Woman through NYC. When Headsman found her he was beaten up by her. In the end she escaped the Thunderbolts in their own plane.
(Thunderbolts II#132) - Paladin, Ant-Man
and Headsman were having lunch and talked about their other teammates.
Headsman later brought Ghost something to eat and asked him why it was
the second time Ghost had saved him life during the fight with
Deadpool. Ghost let Headsman into his quarter and revealed to him that
the gravity-grip on their first mission was faulty and that Ghost had
fixed it. Headsman was shocked to learn that Osborn wanted him dead all
The Thunderbolts later flew to Madripoor to offer Mister X membership on their team in Osborn's name. Though Headsman didn't participate in the mission he later asked Mister X about his motivation to join the team and learned that X was just looking for some challenge.
(Secret Warriors#7) - Norman Osborn sent the Thunderbolts, including Nuke, after Nick Fury when Baron Strucker asked Osborn for help.
(Thunderbolts II#134) - At the Cube, Headsman came to see Mister X while the latter was practicing, asking him about where he learned to fight. Mister X explained how his powers gave him the ability to adopt people's fighting styles then asked where Headsman's came from. Headsman revealed he learned to fight in biker bars alongside his brother. Mister X asked to see his skills in a fight but when Headsman refused, Mister X insulted his brother to make him angry; Headsman attacked Mister X, only to be quickly beaten; the Black Widow intervened to stop Mister X from going too far, concerned he might kill Headsman; Headsman tried to throw his knife into Mister X while his back was turned, but Mister X caught it then promised to return it at a later date.
When former Thunderbolt Songbird began openly fighting against Osborn, the Thunderbolts were dispatched to Oregon to capture her, unaware the Black Widow was working with Songbird as a double agent for Nick Fury.
(Thunderbolts II#135) - The Headsman joined the Thunderbolts in pursuing Songbird and the now-turncoat Black Widow as they fled to one of Nick Fury's secret bases where they caught both heroes and, seemingly, Nick Fury himself (actually Phobos in disguise); HAMMER, Osborn and Osborn's Avengers were brought in to deal with the captives, with Osborn ordering the Thunderbolts to execute Songbird and Black Widow.
(Thunderbolts II#136) - Scourge commanded Headsman to decapitate Songbird first, as Mister X gleefully mocked Headsman for showing hesitation while Paladin and Ant-Man objected to their orders. Instead of killing Songbird, Headsman brought his axe down on Scourge, exposing him as a cyborg. While Paladin fought Mister X, Black Widow and Songbird fled. Headsman removed one of Scourge's arms, but with his remaining limb, Scourge stole the axe and prepared to kill Headsman, only for Paladin to shoot Scourge in the back. Mister X, having defeated Paladin, prepared to kill Headsman, reminding him how he "owed" him a blade, but Ghost suddenly appeared and phased through Mister X's head, knocking him out. Paladin, Ghost and Headsman discussed fleeing Osborn, but Ghost revealed he could remove Scourge and Mister X's short-term memory with his abilities; the trio agreed to a cover story for how their prisoners escaped.
(Thunderbolts II#137 (fb)) - Headsman joined Scourge and Osborn in raiding the Rand Foundation, where Headsman defeated Daniel Rand, knocking him unconscious. Osborn arranged to have Rand brainwashed so his skills as Iron Fist could be utilized.
(Thunderbolts II#137) - The Thunderbolts and Iron Fist captured Luke Cage and attempted to brainwash him as well, but Cage escaped his restraints and fled the Cube. Headsman tried to stop Cage, but Cage broke through Iron Fist's brainwashing and the reunited duo escaped, thanks to the Ghost letting them through the Cube's security.
(Thunderbolts II#138) - When Mister X went to the Venezuela/Colombia border to find a challenge, Headsman joined the other Thunderbolts in pursuing him and wound up battling guerillas in the jungle. Headsman found Mister X first and tried to subdue him, but Mister X attempted to steal his axe and murder him; Scourge intervened to save Headsman; Headsman tried to slash Mister X with his axe, only to hit Scourge when Mister X ducked. The inter-team squabble ended as Colombian soldiers arrived, causing the team to join forces against them; during the fight, Headsman beheaded at least three soldiers. Finishing the fight, the team returned to the USA and Osborn ordered them on their new assignment: to bring down the Atlas Foundation's Agents of Atlas.
(Thunderbolts II#139) - Osborn met the Thunderbolts just over the Gulf of Mexico at an airbase and introduced them to the Grizzly, their newest teammate because of his experience against the Agents of Atlas, telling them how Atlas cheated the USA out of an arms deal. Grizzly briefed the Thunderbolts on the Agents of Atlas as they set a course to Baou Choupique, Louisiana, site of an Atlas Foundation facility. After Ghost and Ant-Man had the facility destroyed, the Agents of Atlas arrived via Marvel Boy's flying saucer, correctly guessing Osborn was behind the assault. Venus briefly subdued Headsman with her siren's call, but Scourge resisted its effects and disrupted her power; Headsman tried to defeat Gorilla-Man, but Namora quickly bested him.
(Thunderbolts II#140) - The fight began to turn against the Agents of Atlas when Scourge felled Marvel Boy; beliving her teammate dead, Venus' emotion-controlling powers were unleashed in rage, dredging up Headsman's painful memories of his past. With the Thunderbolts defeated, the revived Marvel Boy planted a psychic message in Scourge's brain to kill Osborn the next time he saw him. Regaining consciousness, Headsman told Ant-Man about his brother, having had a chance to think about his past. Headsman told Ant-Man he wanted to see his brother Cody again and let him see how he turned out; Ant-Man opined Cody would be impressed to see him as the Headsman. The Thunderbolts returned to their craft and flew back to the Cube, when a holographic transmission from Osborn arrived to give the team their next assignment; at the sight of Osborn, Scourge's conditioning kicked in and he fired his gun at the hologram; the bullet passed through the hologram and hit Headsman in the head, killing him instantly.
Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Pat Olliffe, Pam Eklund and Al Milgrom.
Headsman has an entry in the Spider-Man - Back in Black Handbook. His real name was revealed in Thunderbolts II#134.
by Prime Eternal
The Headsman should not be confused with:
Images taken from:
Untold Tales of Spider-Man#8, page 8, panel 5
Thunderbolts II#131, p4, pan1 (head shot)
Thunderbolts II#129, p22 (as Green Goblin)
First Posted: 08/29/2004
Last updated: 03/29/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters