Hob

Real Name: Hob

Identity/Class: Extratemporal (Earth-5555 circa 8162 AD) robot

Occupation: Servant

Affiliations: Josiah W. Dogbolter, various subordinate defense robots

Enemies: Death's Head (Freelance Peacekeeping agent), Tuck, Death's Head (Minion), the Doctor, Angus "Gus" Goodman

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Maruthea;
formerly the headquarters of Intra Venus, Inc., Earth 8162

First Appearance: (BTS) Doctor Who Monthly#84 (January, 1984); (seen) Doctor Who Magazine#86 (March, 1984)

Powers: Originally Hob had no special powers for a robot. However, after being caught in the explosion of the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket, he acquired a more horrific form which granted him greater strength.

History: (Doctor Who Monthly#86) - Hob summarises the state of the interstellar stock market for his owner and master Josiah W. Dogbolter. He also informs him that they are on the planet Celeste where one of Dogbolter's companies is mining rubies. According to Hob the miners are rioting and Dogbolter's enforcers, the Gaunts, have sent in a combat robot known as a Wrekka to subdue them. Meanwhile the fifth incarnation of the time traveller known as the Doctor arrives in the mines. The Wrekka captures the Doctor and his travelling companion Gus Goodman, and takes them to face Dogbolter and Hob. Hob carries out the interrogation, refusing to believe the travellers are not part of a conspiracy against the corporation. Displeased with the Doctor's response, Hob threatens to have the Wrekka behead Gus unless the Time Lord tells him where they are from. When the Doctor admits they arrived in a time machine, Dogbolter finally speaks, clearly intrigued by the possibility.

(Doctor Who Monthly#87) - Hob, ever the toady, agrees with Dogbolter's reasoning that if time is money, then more time is more money, and a time machine is the key to an eternity of time. Dogbolter demands the Doctor name his price for his craft, the Doctor replies it is no more for sale than the rings of Saturn, and Hob responds that Dogbolter owns the planets Mars, Jupiter and Venus. He then reiterates the request to the Doctor: name his price. Before things can progress much further the rioting miners crash a hijacked digger truck through the wall of Dogbolter's office, and in the confusion, the Doctor and Gus make their getaway. After he has been freed from the rubble, Dogbolter orders that the freelance bounty hunter known as the Moderator be set on his trail. He catches up with them on Earth in 1966, where he kills Gus, but is gunned down by the dying man in return. The Doctor drops the injured killer off for medical treatment at the nearest civilised outpost.

(Doctor Who Monthly#84 - BTS) - Hob listens to the Moderator's report dictated from his hospital bed about his hunt for the Doctor and his TARDIS.

(Doctor Who Monthly#87) - The Moderator concludes his report to Hob by telling him that while he is currently wired up to life support, he has been told he should pull through. Hob replies that Dogbolter still wants the Doctor's time machine, that if he can't have it, no one can, and that his master won't rest until he has the Doctor's head on a pole. He then switches the Moderator's life support off and rips out the wires to make sure. As the dying man in the hospital bed screams his last Hob calmly walks out, stating as he goes that Dogbolter also said that after Hob finished his visit he didn't want anyone to disturb him again, and to tell him "Goodbye."

(Doctor Who Monthly#89) - Frobisher, a shape-shifting Whifferdill, locates the Doctor, now in his sixth incarnation, and invades his TARDIS in order to take him to Venus to claim the reward Dogbolter has put on his head. When it arrives, landing on the Headquarter's of Dogbolter's Intra Venus Inc., Hob informs Dogbolter of this fact. Suspecting a trap, the paranoid magnate orders it knocked off the roof ...with a nuclear missile. The TARDIS survives unscratched, though the building isn't so lucky. When the explosion has passed, a message is thrown out and delivered to Hob, who reads Frobisher's offer to hand the Doctor over to his master for 250,000 Mazumas. Dogbolter agrees. Shortly afterwards the Doctor is forced out of the TARDIS at gunpoint, and Hob throws the briefcase containing the reward to the bizarre looking figure who had been pointing the gun. However it turns out that Frobisher and the Doctor had struck a deal, and that the Time Lord was the one with the gun, and the shapeshifter the one handed over. Frobisher easily evades his guards and reunites with the Doctor, leaving Dogbolter without either the TARDIS, the Doctor, or his quarter of a million Mazumas. 

(Death's Head I#8) - Hob was a servant robot of the apparently alien, green-skinned corporate giant Josiah W. Dogbolter in the year 8162. Dogbolter, head of Intra Venus Inc., had developed a time travel device called the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket. Since Dogbolter had a grudge against the time-travelling Gallifreyan the Doctor, he decided to hire "a skilled assasin who's not only spectacularly stupid, but psychotically agressive, amoral, and lacking any kind of imagination whatsoever"....so Dogbolter hired Death's Head. Death's Head also hated the Doctor due to a previous encounter. Dogbolter provided Death's Head with a prototype of the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket.

Death's Head hunted down the Doctor, and invaded the Doctor's time machine the Tardis. However, the Doctor's Geiger counter showed that the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket Death's Head was using had a thermo-nuclear device concealed within it-and that Dogbolter had triggered the detonating device to the bomb. Angered, Death's Head told the Doctor to take them to the year 8162. After managing to pry off the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket, Death's Head threw it on the roof of the headquarters of Intra Venus, Inc. The Dogbolter Temporal Rocket exploded, and Dogbolter and Hob were caught in the blast.

(Incomplete Death's Head#1 (fb) - BTS/Incomplete Death's Head#9 (fb) - BTS) - Though Death's Head surmised that the explosion had destroyed Hob and Dogbolter, in fact at least Hob survived. Flung across space and time, Hob was somehow transformed by the explosion. Nevertheless, Hob remained a Dogbolter sycophant. Hoping that Dogbolter may also have somehow survived the explosion, Hob resolved to locate him even if it entailed sifting through every iota of the universes. Hob went to Maruthea, a world beyond normal space-time, to investigate and record every moment of Death's Head's existance. To that end, Hob created the Death's Head Interactive Archive. He hoped to use the information in it to find Death's Head and the Doctor, to force them to find Dogbolter.

Hob managed to find information on Death's Head's creators Lupex and Pyra, and of his time on the mechanoid populated planet Scarvix. However, Hob ran into difficulties in recording Death's Head's subsequent abduction, enlargement, and displacement to Earth-Transformers UK. Negative distortions in the vortexial scan resulted in a smeary, discolored image of Death's Head battling Galvatron. Other temporal distortions also affected the process such that Hob did not acquire information about Death's Head's battle and defeat of Lupex, and temporal interference prevented Hob from learning of Death's Head's subsequent destruction and assimilation by Minion in 2020. Thus, Hob did not learn that Minion was now the current Death's Head.

Despite these problems, Hob continued his activities for at least three million years.

(Incomplete Death's Head#1 - BTS) - The Doctor discovered Hob's activities on Maruthea. Deciding that Hob must be stopped, the Doctor transported the new Death's Head with his partner Tuck to Hob's base. Death's Head and Tuck, unaware that the Doctor had transported them and of where they were, attacked Hob's defense robots, quickly defeating them. Death's Head then patched into Hob's databanks, but became trapped in virtual reality. Tuck could not revive him.

(Incomplete Death's Head#2 - BTS) - Tuck watched various images from the original Death's Head's adventures on a computer screen as the current Death's Head remained comatose.

(Incomplete Death's Head#3) - Death's Head communicated with Tuck from another computer screen. He stated that he was trapped in v.r. and informed Tuck as to their location on Maruthea. Death's Head disappeared from the screen, as Hob advanced on Tuck.

(Incomplete Death's Head#4) - Tuck watched footage of the Doctor's encounter with Keepsake, but Hob continued to advance on her.

(Incomplete Death's Head#5) - Death's Head talked with a v.r. representation of the original Death's Head. From cyberspace, he observed Hob advancing on Tuck.

(Incomplete Death's Head#6) - Hob hurled Tuck across the room.

(Incomplete Death's Head#7) - Hob picked up Tuck, who exhorted Death's Head to wake up. Upon hearing her refer to her partner as Death's Head, Hob felt puzzled. Hob had no knowledge of this Death's Head's existance.

(Incomplete Death's Head#8) - Hob asked Tuck to explain why Death's Head no longer resembled his old self. Tuck demanded to know who Hob was.

 

(Incomplete Death's Head#9) - Hob showed Tuck footage from his past and explained his desire to find Dogbolter.

(Incomplete Death's Head#10) - Tuck confronted Hob with the possibility that Dogbolter died in the explosion of the Dogbolter Temporal Rocket, and thus that Hob's efforts to locate him were in vain. Hob could not accept that his master was dead, and lashed out at Tuck.

(Incomplete Death's Head#11) - The current Death's Head, still stuck in virtual reality, drew on the memories he had assimilated from the original Death's Head. Using them, he recalled that the original Death's Head had visited Maruthea for a party thrown by a satyr-looking being called Bonjaxx, but could not understand why Hob did not know about it and had not tried to acquire the original Death's Head then. In addition, the original Death's Head could not remember what had happened immediately after the Bonjaxx party on Maruthea, so the current Death's Head also had a blank memory there.

To his horror, the current Death's Head now saw the original Death's Head arriving on Maruthea for the party; due to the peculiar nonlinear nature of Maruthea, the event was now happening right before their eyes. Hob himself also detected the Bonjaxx party, and stopped attacking Tuck when he saw the original Death's Head there.

(Doctor Who Magazine#173 - BTS/Incomplete Death's Head#12) - Hob observed as the Doctor arrived at the Maruthea party, with the original Death's Head present. Meanwhile, the current Death's Head managed to escape virtual reality and return to his body. After the Doctor left the party, Hob attacked the original Death's Head, but the current Death's Head came to his rescue. Together, the two of them destroyed Hob.

Then, the Doctor returned, and wiped the original Death's Head's memory of meeting his future counterpart. The Doctor explained to the current Death's Head how he had sent him and Tuck to Maruthea to thwart Hob. The Doctor watched Tuck and the current Death's Head leave.

Comments: Created by Steve Parkhouse and Art Wetherell.

Dogbolter, Maruthea, and many other characters and concepts in Hob's history originated in strips in Doctor Who Monthly and Doctor Who Magazine. Dogbolter appeared in Doctor Who Monthly#84, 86-87, and#88-89. Marvel UK no longer publishes Doctor Who Magazine-Panini does-but Dogbolter has actually shown up in a Doctor Who audio drama called The Maltese Penguin. By the way, while the name of the series is Doctor Who, the person himself is called the Doctor. Nobody ever refers to him as Doctor Who, anymore than John Constantine is ever called Hellblazer.

The Incomplete Death's Head was a mini-series that reprinted stories of the original Death's Head, with a new framing sequence for each issue by Dan Abnett and Simon Coleby.

The original Death's Head's initial encounter with the Doctor took place in Doctor Who Magazine#135. His trip to the party on Maruthea was shown in Doctor Who Magazine#173. Many guests from both the Doctor Who Magazine stories and the regular Marvel Multiverse, as well as other sets of characters, appeared there. The framing sequences from Incomplete Death's Head#11-12 add even more guests. Among the people at the Maruthea party are Captain Britain, Captain UK, Rocket Raccoon, the Hulk, Random, the Scarlet Witch, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, Namor, the Crazy Gang, Thor, Doctor Octopus, the Human Torch, the Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, Apocolypse, and Conan (who wears a "Crom Rules" hat). Due to the peculiar nature of Maruthea, we cannot say as to whether these were the Earth-616 versions of these characters, or even if we were, we cannot place their appearances chronologically. Still, this significantly raises the number of Marvel characters who have met Doctor Who characters.

Yes, that smeary image from Incomplete Death's Head#1 was Galvatron from the Transformers. We know it was Galvatron due to the barrel on his arm. The original Death's Head made most of his earlier appearances in the UK version of Transformers, starting with issue#135.. Technically, he appeared earlier in a one-page strip called High Noon Tex, which appeared on the back cover of many Marvel UK periodicals, which immediately preceded his first Transformers appearance, but this basically only served as a preview. This one-page preview was only done so that, since Death's Head would not technically debut in Transformers, Hasbro (owners of the Transformers) would not own him. (The Doctor shrunk Death's Head down from Transformers size in their initial encounter in Doctor Who Magazine#135.) Incomplete Death's Head#1 places the events of High Noon Tex during Death's Head's time on Scarvix.

In the recent Titan reprints of Simon Furman's Transformers work, many fans expected that, since Death's Head is rather solidly owned by Marvel, a discolored or otherwise altered version of him would appear; however, in advertisements and solicitations for these reprints, Death's Head appears unchanged, and referred to by his proper name.

The Doctor first encounters Dogbolter while travelling with Gus Goodman, a man from 1966. The Moderator, hired by Dogbolter, catches up with them as the Doctor is about to drop Gus off back in his own time - specifically "Same time, same place" as they met (although the Doctor's been known to be wrong about that kind of thing before). The Moderator can't have access to time travel technology or else why would Dogbolter need to steal the Doctor's time machine? He could just take the Moderator's.

So if we take it that the Doctor had managed to drop Gus off at his point of origin, then Dogbolter first met the Doctor at or prior to 1966. Which means that by the time his scientists manage to create their own time machine and send Death's Head after the Doctor in 8162 it has been at least 6196 years since they first met! Dogbolter is either very long lived, has spent time in cryo-sleep or perhaps has been repeatedly cloned and his brain transplanted in order to stay alive. Hob's looking pretty good for his age too.

Over 6 millenia - hell of a long time to hold a grudge. - Loki

This entry would not have been possible without the help of the site Death's Head's Diary, which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore--Markus Raymond.

By Per Degaton

Clarifications:
No known connection to:

Death's Head


image:
Death's Head I#8, p2, pan4 (main image)
Doctor Who Magazine#89, p32, pan2 (black & white in Doctor Who)
Incomplete Death's Head#10, p23, pan1 (new look)
Incomplete Death's Head#12, p34, pan2 (head shot, new look)


Appearances:
Doctor Who Monthly#84 (January, 1984) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), Art Wetherell (artist)
Doctor Who Magazine#86 (March, 1984) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), Steve Dillon (artist), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Doctor Who Monthly#87 (April, 1984) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), Steve Dillon (artist), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Doctor Who Monthly#89 (June, 1984) - Steve Parkhouse (writer), John Ridgway (artist), Alan McKenzie (editor)
Death's Head I#8 (July, 1989) - Steve Parkhouse (writer/inks), Art Wetherell (pencils), Steve White (editor)
Incomplete Death's Head#1 (January, 1993) - Dan Abnett (plot), John Freeman (writer), Simon Coleby (artist), John Freeman (editor)
Incomplete Death's Head#2 (January, 1993) - Dan Abnett (writer), Simon Coleby (artist), John Freeman (editor)
Incomplete Death's Head#3-12 (March-December, 1993) - Dan Abnett (writer), Simon Coleby (artist), John Freeman (editor)
Doctor Who Magazine#173 (June, 1991) - Gary Russell (writer), Mike Collins (pencils), Steve Pini (inks), John Freeman (editor)


Last updated08/24/13

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