Membership: Deadhead (Rick Shea), Headgear (Dwaine Hess), Headmistress (Eileen Snakard), James Largo, Thunderhead (Greg Herndon);
Purpose: Group of cyborgs seeking revenge on the Leader
Affiliations: Hulk (Bruce Banner), Betty Ross
Enemies: Leader (Samuel Sterns), Matt Talbot
Base of Operations: Hidden base near Sunville, Florida
First Appearance: (As a group) Incredible Hulk II#437 (January, 1996); (Frost) Incredible Hulk II#395, (July 1992); (Largo) Incredible Hulk II#427 (March, 1995)
(Incredible Hulk II#437 (fb) - BTS) - The Headshop were humans who were dying from exposure to gamma radiation. The Leader lured many such people to his hidden base, the Freehold, with the promise that he could help cure them. Once there, the Leader performed horrific experiments on these people. He decapitated them and grafted their heads onto cyborg bodies. Six of these individuals escaped and formed the Headshop.
(Incredible Hulk II#437 (fb) - BTS) - One of the Headshop members, Frost, later left the group to pursue a life of crime in Las Vegas.
(Incredible Hulk II#427 - BTS) - Eventually, the Headshop established a base near Sunville, Florida. One of their members, James Largo, eventually became the police chief in Sunville.
(Incredible Hulk II#427) - Bruce Banner and Betty Ross Banner, under the assumed aliases "Bob Danner," and "Betsy Danner," settled in Sunville and tried to lead a normal life, outside the notice of the authorities.
(Incredible Hulk II#427-430) - James Largo, in his capacity as chief of police, had several encounters with "Bob Danner" and "Betsy Danner." (See Largo's upcoming profile).
(Incredible Hulk II#436) - The army located the Hulk and Betty in Sunville, Florida and surrounded the couple's house while the Hulk was away. The commanding officer in charge of the operation, Major Matt Talbot, entered the house and took Betty into custody. Largo arrived at the house and confronted Major Talbot. Talbot informed Largo of the couple's true identities, and also told Largo that the siege of the Banners' house was a government operation, and ordered Largo to stand down. Largo then left the house, telling Betty that he would not allow the situation to continue indefinitely, and that he had some "resources" at his disposal that could help. The army then succeeded in luring the Hulk into a trap and taking him into custody.
(Incredible Hulk II#437) - Largo met Betty Ross at the hospital where she was being treated and told her that he and his "associates" were going to rescue the Hulk. He then brought Betty to the Headshop's headquarters and introduced her to the group. Largo explained that they planned to rescue the Hulk from the military, and in exchange they would seek the Hulk's assistance in their struggle against the Leader. A short time later, Largo and the Headshop assaulted the military installation where the Hulk (in his savage Banner persona) was being held prisoner. The Headshop made quick work of the military and rescued Banner from his cell. However, during the group's escape, Banner was seriously wounded by an exploding grenade.
(Incredible Hulk II#438) - The Headshop brought the wounded Bruce Banner onto their plane and escaped from the military installation, with Betty acting as their pilot. Shortly thereafter, Banner transformed into the Hulk and seemed to be recovered from his wounds. Headgear scanned the Hulk's body and detected that shrapnel from the grenade was scattered throughout the Hulk's body, including fragments embedded in his brain. Consequently, shifting back to human form would likely kill him. The Hulk decided to go to the Leader's base, the Freehold, to use the technology there to remove the grenade fragments from his brain. The Headshop protested, telling the Hulk they had only freed him so he could help them against the Leader. The Hulk informed the Headshop that the Leader was already dead (much to their surprise). Largo insisted that the Headshop accompany the Hulk, but the Hulk refused, telling them he was not a team player. The Hulk then tossed Thunderhead aside and jumped out of the Headshop's plane.
(Incredible Hulk II#439) - Headmistress became angry and confrontational toward Betty Ross for not telling them earlier that the Leader had already been killed. Largo intervened to defuse the situation. Largo then escorted Betty Ross back to her home.
(Incredible Hulk II#440) - Headgear tapped into a United States Air Force plane's cameras to view the Hulk's battle against Thor in the arctic. Headgear, Largo and Betty Ross watched as the military dropped a nuclear weapon on the Hulk. All assumed the Hulk had perished in the explosion.
Comments: Created by Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks).
It is not clear to me whether or not the Headshop were survivors of Middletown, which the Leader destroyed with a gamma bomb in Incredible Hulk II#345. I assume they were not, as the end of that issue showed the Leader driving away with the few Middletown survivors, who would later become the Leader's Riot Squad. Then again, the Headshop could always have survived off panel. The Headshop did not reveal how they were exposed to gamma radiation.
The Leader was thought to have been killed in Incredible Hulk II#400. And he did indeed stay absent from the stories for over a decade. The Headshop were unaware of the Leader's apparent demise, and were later angry that Betty Ross Banner had withheld that information from them, as they had only risked themselves to rescue the Hulk under the impression that it would help them in their struggle against the Leader.
Their real names were revealed in the Gamma Mutates profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z HC#4.
Profile by Stunner
The Headshop have no known connections to
Deadhead could fire lasers from his right hand and sonic blasts from his left hand.
--Incredible Hulk II#437 (Incredible Hulk II#437-438
Headgear seemed to be the group's technology expert. He was able to hack into computer systems, and seemed to be able to interface with computers with his body. He moved on roller skates and threw ball bearings to trip his opponents.
--Incredible Hulk II#437 (Incredible Hulk II#437-438, 440
Headmistress had superhuman strength sufficient to destroy an armored tank without exerting herself. She carried a large hook on the end of a chain as a weapon.
--Incredible Hulk II#437 (Incredible Hulk II#437-439
Thunderhead had a chest mounted cannon which could unleash large and powerful blasts.
--Incredible Hulk II#437 (Incredible Hulk II#437-438
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p7-8 (main image)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p9, pan2-4 (Betty questions the Headshop's name)
Incredible Hulk II#438, p2-3 (carrying Bruce Banner)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p17, pan1 (Deadhead)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p14, pan1 (Headgear)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p15, pan3 (Headmistress)
Incredible Hulk II#437, p13, pan4 (Thunderhead)
Incredible Hulk II#437 (January, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#438 (February, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#439 (March, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#440 (April, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Last updated: 02/10/17.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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