Membership: Chondu the Mystic, Gorilla-Man (Nagan), Ruby Thursday, Shrunken Bones
Purpose: To rule the world
Affiliations: A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Circus of Crime (Bruto, Clown/Eliot Franklin, Princess Python, Ringmaster/Maynard Tiboldt), Doom-bot, Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Caroline Le Fey, MODOK, Mysterio (Quentin Beck), Orrgo, Pandemonium Axles, Quicksand
Enemies: Angar the Screamer, Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Celestial Mind Control Movement/Bozos, Defenders (Doctor Stephen Strange, Hellcat, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Nighthawk/Kyle Richdmond, Jack Norris, Red Guardian/Tania Belinsky, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Valkyrie/Brunnhilde, Valkyrie/Samantha Parrington), Defenders (Elsa Bloodstone, Clea, Misty Knight, Moonstar, Valkyrie, Warrior Woman), Hercules (Heracles), Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-Chi, Tarantula/Maria Vasquez, Colleen Wing), Billy Delfini, Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Iron Fist (Danny Rand), Irwin, Ludberdites, Lyja Lazerfist (as Alicia Masters), Nebulon, Sally and Stevie, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters), S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man (Peter Parker), George and June Teekle, Venom (Flash Thompson), Wally, Werewolf (Jack Russell), X-Man (Nate Grey)
Base of Operations:
First Appearance: Defenders I#21 (March, 1975)
(Defenders I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Arthur Nagan (whose head had been transplanted on a gorilla's body) and Dr. Jerrold Morgan (whose facial bones had been shrunk in a chemical accident) allied and set up a base in Westbury, CT, to develop a deadly serum.
(Defenders I#21 - Morgan finished the serum, and the two traveled to New York where new ally Chondu the Mystic (whom many considered to be a charlatan) had the serum injected into his brain, allowing him to tap into an other-dimensional black rain that caused all sleeping New York citizens to rampage. After doing some looting, the three allies fled the city and the rain died down. The home of George and June Teekle, near to the Headmen's headquarters, was destroyed by the passing Hulk.
(Defenders I#31) - The Headmen captured Nighthawk and transplanted Chondu's brain into Nighthawk's body. Chondu attacked the Defenders, and was defeated. Pedestrian Wally watched Nighthawk's plane crash as the Headmen captured him.
(Defenders I#32) - Ruby Thursday (who had replaced her head with an organic computer) joined the team, and she defeated Dr. Strange, Hulk, and Valkyrie.
(Defenders I#33) - The Headmen did not realize that the Nighthawk among them was secretly Jack Norris's mind in Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body. While they used brainwashing equipment on the captive Defenders, they worked to make further plans, but 'Chondu' staged an argument that delayed things. The Headmen took time to restate their goals. The Defenders awoke and the Headmen battled them, 'Chondu' escaping with Nighthawk's brain. Their headquarters destroyed, the Headmen escaped.
(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As a result of the brainwashing, the Defenders began acting bizarrely without realizing it. The Hulk attacked people more often, the Valkyrie lost control of her emotions, and Dr. Strange struggled with the inner peace he needed to use magical forces.
(Defenders I#35) - Chondu's brain was finally returned, but his body had been altered into a monstrous one by his allies, who thought it was a good change for him. Chondu did not agree and flew off in a fury, soon defeated by Valkyrie and arrested.
(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Posing as Dr. Ruhart Gnaan, Nagan set up a Parisian advertising company called the Compagnie de Lux, and became involved in all aspects of society that he could, including agriculture, oil, computers, steel, food processing, population control, and automobile production. The Headmen attempted to buy out the Celestial Mind Control Movement in Paris, but only made enemies of the Movement instead.
(Defenders Annual I#1) - Morgan moved against the Bozos' Parisian headquarters and shrunk the entire place with a blast from his shrinking gun. When Nighthawk tried to attack him, Morgan shrank the hero as well. In India, Nagan worked to shrink down the population of New Delhi by shrinking down the people one at a time, causing the papers to proclaim a string of mass murders across the country. Power Man and Valkyrie attacked, and Nagan did battle with Power Man before shrinking him and then Valkyrie. In California, Ruby Thursday's political party was infiltrated by Jack Norris, who exposed her before being captured by her. The Headmen reduced Dr. Strange, the president, Nebulon, and the patrons around the White House, along with the White House itself, and put all their subjects into one place where the Headmen could observe them and study society. Hulk arrived and freed the captives, who were returned to normal size by Strange. The Headmen were quickly defeated and arrested. The Defenders planned to undo the Headmen's political and economic machinations over time.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Chondu had had struggles with maintaining his sanity with his new transformation, the other Headmen sought to procure a new body for him. They hired the Circus of Crime for three million dollars to test the She-Hulk's strength.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1) - The Circus of Crime sought to use She-Hulk for their own means. Though Morgan continued to be skeptical of the plan, Nagan disguised himself as a gorilla (using a gorilla mask) and released She-Hulk from the Circus's hypnotized control. The Circus was arrested, and the Headmen sought to have her tested through other means.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen hired Mysterio to test her powers as well, offering him three million dollars but planning on giving him fake cash. Just in case, Nagan developed a piece of equipment that would interact with Spider-Man's spider-sense, tracking him to Mysterio if necessary. By these means, Nagan hoped Spider-Man would kill Mysterio before Mysterio found their money was fake.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#2) - Mysterio captured She-Hulk after using an elaborately constructed attack of the alien Toad-Men and some gas. They paid Mysterio in false bills after Mysterio turned down their offer to join their team, and Nagan arranged for Mysterio to be unable to find them for revenge. Nagan and Thursday consoled Morgan, then used a buzzsaw on She-Hulk's neck.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Morgan took a sample of She-Hulk's skin and cloned a body with a tiny head that sat inside a conductor unit, to allow them to put Chondu's head on the body.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3) - Spider-Man attacked Mysterio, as planned, but found out where the Headmen were located. Chondu grew agitated and seemed he was going to attack until Thursday roped him down with her head. Spider-Man attacked and evaded attacks by all the Headmen until the cloned body subdued him. They then removed Chondu's head and placed it on the cloned body. When he became aware, he was furious and started attacking his teammates, but Spider-Man soon dislodged his head. The Headmen attempted to escape in an armored tank, but She-Hulk and Spider-Man teamed up to stop them.
(Web of Spider-man I#73) - The Headmen tracked Spider-Man in order to provide a body for Chondu, who'd gone slightly mad. They attacked Spider-Man at a gala party being held by Alicia Masters (secretly Lyja Lazerfist) and ended up fighting the Human Torch and Spider-Man. Despite the Headmen using good teamwork, they were quickly defeated and imprisoned.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4) - The Headmen plotted their newest scheme in the Bar With No Name. They got caught up in a bar brawl until Angar the Screamer knocked them all unconscious.
(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen pieced together myths of an ancient space god, Orrgo, who'd once ruled the Earth. Nagan tracked down an idol that would control the god, Chondu used his mystic senses to find the god's burial place, and Morgan reconstructed the mystic Star of Capistan. They realized that they would need to kill anyone besides themselves who'd touched the artifact, so as to limit control over the space god.
(Defenders II#10 (fb)) - The Headmen traveled to Arizona and aided MODOK in escaping from another dimension. MODOK pledged his aid, and that of A.I.M., for a time to the Headmen.
(Defenders II#5) - The Headmen stole a figurine from a New York museum only to be attacked and swiftly defeated by some of the Defenders (Hellcat, Nighthawk, Valkyrie (Parrington)). They awoke and teleported away with the figurine.
(Defenders II#7 - BTS) - An A.I.M. agent murdered Sally, one of those who'd touched the idol as her boyfriend Stevie walked away.
(Defenders II#9) - The Headmen used the assembled idol, with the Star of Capistan, to raise Orrgo from the Earth. In control of him, they ordered Orrgo to conquer the Earth. A.I.M. murdered Irwin, another of those that had touched the idol, leaving only Nighthawk, Valkyrie, and Hellcat, who defeated the A.I.M. agents who'd attempted their assassinations, free from Orrgo's influence. They recruited Dr. Strange, Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Sub-Mariner to aid them, and they remained free from Orrgo's influence as they had been off-planet. They let MODOK know of their triumph.
(Defenders II#10) - In control of the world, the Headmen utilized their opportunities to further their own personal interests. When the Defenders attacked, Nagan had Orrgo turned many of the world's super-villains against them, and the Headmen grew distracted by the mighty battle, allowing Nighthawk the opportunity to seize the idol, giving him control of Orrgo. The Headmen were then quickly defeated.
(Heroes for Hire II#6 (fb) – BTS) – The Headmen stole a Doombot from a young boy, Billy, in New York’s homeless district and reprogrammed the robot to serve them. They chased Billy away, and the boy hired the Heroes for Hire to aid him.
(Heroes for Hire II#6) – Billy brought Humbug back with him, and the Headmen attacked, quickly fending off an infestation of bugs and capturing Humbug and Billy.
(Heroes for Hire II#7) – The Headmen transplanted Chondu’s head onto Humbug’s body, and Humbug’s head to a life support system. Humbug’s allies Shang-Chi and Orka arrived and attacked them, but the Doombot fired a lethal blast that left a gaping hole in Orka’s chest.
(Heroes for Hire II#8) – After Orka passed, Shang-Chi furiously tore through the Headmen’s ranks, knocking out Gorilla-Man and Shrunken Bones and knocking Ruby Thursday’s head off. She briefly battled with Humbug’s head, and Chondu surrendered. He aided them in reversing the transplant, and SHIELD was called in to arrest the Headmen.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched the Headmen for Norman Osborn.
(Fearless Defenders#9) - The Defenders (Valkyrie, Clea, Misty Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, Moonstar, Warrior Woman) battled the Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Quicksand, and the Headmen (Arthur Nagan, Chondu the Mystic, and Ruby Thursday, who were seeking to reanimate some ancient entities who'd taken form in statues, called the Pandemonium Axles, hired by Caroline Le Fey to do so. Chondu's head was on a massive mechanical snake-like body. To defeat the Axles, the women were joined by Iron Fist, Werewolf, Hercules, X-Man, Venom, Cannonball, and Dr. Strange.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema, and Sal Trapani.
The Headmen received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#5.
Special thanks to DB Sommer for pointing out the Headmen were assembled by Steve Gerber after all but Ruby Thursday had their original appearances reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales#7.
Thanks to Brandon Nash for pointing out Billy Delfini's las name from Shrunken Bones' profile in Defenders: Strange Heroes (2012).
Profile by Chadman.
The Headmen have no known connections to:
George and June Teekle
(Defenders I#21) - A family in a small home in Westbury, Connecticut, George and June lived a quiet life with their daughter. George left to play golf while June cleaned house until George noticed his daughter and other children playing with the monstrous Hulk on their lawn. George, frightened, tried to scare the Hulk off, and the Hulk hit the ground with a blow that destroyed their home. The Hulk bounced away as the family recovered from the shock.
(Defenders I#33) - George and June watched the Hulk knock over another house, and George was pleased it wasn't the foundation he'd started for his new home.
(Defenders I#34) - George
ridiculed the Hulk and his
allies, Dr. Strange and Valkyrie, for being stuck, but Hulk freed
himself and tossed a piece of plaster that destroyed the new home,
causing George to despair again.
--Defenders I#21 (Defenders I#21, 33-34
(Defenders I#31) - Wally and his
Nighthawk crash in the park and quickly fled before Arthur Nagan
Sally and Stevie
(Defenders II#7) - Stevie and Sally were in love and partying until Sally took a job dating artifacts at a museum, which frustrated Stevie immensely. He stormed out and Sally answered the door, only to be shot by an A.I.M. agent.
(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) -
Sally was revealed to
been murdered due to touching an ancient artifact.
--Defenders II#7 (Defenders II#7, 9 (fb) – BTS
(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) -
While working at a
museum, Irwin handled an ancient artifact.
(Defenders II#9) - While
ruminating about his lack of
a love life and the demands of his job, Irwin answered the door to an
A.I.M. agent who murdered him due to his having handled the artifact.
--Defenders II#9 (Defenders II#9 (fb) – BTS, 9
Defenders II#5, p12, pan1 (main)
Sensational She-Hulk I#1, p21, pan1 (group with Chondu in cage)
Defenders I#21, p7, pan5 (George and June)
Defenders I#31, p5, pan3 (Wally)
Defenders II#7, p22, pan2 (Sally and Stevie)
Defenders II#9, p7, pan3 (Irwin)
Defenders I#21 (March, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler). Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Defenders I#31-33 (January-April, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#35 (May, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders Annual I#1 (October, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#1-3 (May-July, 1989) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Web of Spider-Man I#73 (February, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4 (December, 1992) - Sholly Fisch (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Defenders II#5,7 (July, September, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer) , Erik Larsen (writer/penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#9 (November, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Ron Frenz (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#10 (December, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Erik Larsen (penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#6 (March, 2007) – Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (writers), Alvaro Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish, Tom Palmer (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#7 (April, 2007) – Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Zeb Wells (writers), Al Rio (penciler), Tom Palmer, Terry Pallot (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#8 (May, 2007) – Zeb Wells (writer), Al Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Fearless Defenders#9 (2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Will Sliney (artist), Ellie Pyle (editor)
Last updated: 09/03/16.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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