Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments)

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror

Group Membership: Monster Island's monsters (Abominable Snowman, a Blip, Brute That Walks, a Flora Colossus, Gog, Goom, Gorgolla, It the Living Colossus, a Lizard Man of Tok, Moomba, Rorgg, Xemnu, Zzutak and others)

Affiliations: Yucoya-Tzin

Enemies: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Woman/Sue Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Eddie Kane, Mole Man (Harvey Elder), unidentified warden and prison guards, X-Men (Magik/Illyana Rasputin, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde)

Known Relatives: None (see comments)

Aliases: That two-headed thingie, Double-Header, you Mole Man reject, Mr. Two-Heads-Are-Better-Than-One, Two-Face, Ol' Twin-Peaks, Brone (see comments) (all as called by Thing/Ben Grimm); temporarily took on the appearances of a tall tree, a giant alligator, Eddie Kane, and a giant horse

Base of Operations: Currently Monster Island;
   formerly the Museum of the Monstrous and Strange, SoHo, New York;
   formerly near a prison located somewhere in America (see comments);
   originally from Earth's core

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#95/1 (April, 1962)

Powers/Abilities: Apparently long-lived (if not immortal), the Two-Headed Thing (2-HT) had great strength--it was able to dig through countless tons of earth and smash the stone wall of a prison. The 2-HT was a shapeshifter, although it usually appeared as a 20 foot tall humanoid with two heads and craggy skin (not unlike that of the Fantastic Four's Ben Grimm).

Although having two heads (and presumably two brains), the 2-HT originally seemed to think with only one mind; however, later appearances depicted it as having two independent personalities. The 2-HT's brain was so powerful that its thoughts could be sensed telepathically by humans.

Its power of shapeshifting seemed to be limited to replicating living organisms (including plants and animals). To change its appearance, the 2-HT would stand before its target and project some form of undefined energy at it; the energy caused the target to seemingly vanish (see comments), while the 2-HT absorbed the essence of its target atom by atom, until it took on the appearance of the target. When it relinquished the form of the target it had impersonated and returned to its natural appearance, the target would reappear. Although the 2-HT would sometimes retain its stature and distinctive craggy skin when it changed forms, it could alter its size, shape and color to completely resemble its target (as when it impersonated Eddie Kane). When it took on the appearance of other life-forms (e.g. a tree, an alligator, a horse), the 2-HT retained its gigantic size, although it was somehow able to displace its mass when it assumed a smaller human form.

The 2-HT's armored hide was impervious to bullets, but it was seemingly killed when it was struck by a bolt of lightning. It later proved to be vulnerable to an assault by a swarm of ants that had crawled between its armored plates and caused it pain; later still, it was rendered unconscious by an intense bombardment of heat.

Height: 20'; variable
Weight: Unrevealed, presumably variable
Eyes: Unrevealed, presumably variable
Hair: Not applicable

History:
(Strange Tales I#95/1 (fb) - BTS) - Its origins unrevealed (see comments), the Two-Headed Thing (2-HT) spent "countless ages" tunneling up from the core of the planet.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 (fb) - BTS) - While digging toward the surface, the 2-HT passed through the subterranean kingdom of the Mole Man, who unsuccessfully attempted to enslave the giant creature; the 2-HT continued tunneling upward.

(Strange Tales I#95/1 (fb) ) - It was a dark and stormy night when the 2-HT came digging out of the ground, outside an American prison (see comments), where it was seen by convict Eddie Kane. The 2-HT brushed its arm against the prison building and accidentally smashed the wall, which freed Kane from his cell. As the monster wandered off into the surrounding wilderness, Kane discovered he could clearly sense the thoughts from the creature's powerful brain, and he followed after the 2-HT, keeping a safe distance behind it.

   As it roamed the forest and thought of how it would conquer the vast surface world, the 2-HT was concerned that its shapeshifting ability would not work in the open, so it prepared to test its power. Eddie Kane watched in disbelief as the 2-HT stood before a tall tree and made it disappear, even as the giant creature altered itself into the likeness of the tree--having confirmed that its power still worked, the "tree" walked onward, with Kane following it.

   But not satisfied with its arboraceous shape, the 2-HT wished to take the form of a more intelligent creature; in a nearby body of water, the 2-HT saw a swimming alligator (see comments) coming ashore and sensed that it had a brain, so the 2-HT returned to its natural form, then used its power again--the alligator disappeared as the 2-HT turned itself into a gigantic duplicate of the reptile. Standing upright, the transformed 2-HT happened to see Kane, so it pursued the panic-stricken convict; as he fled, Kane tripped and fell, and he could only scream in terror as the monster "alligator" came closer...

(Strange Tales I#95/1 - (fb) - BTS) - The Two-Headed Thing utilized its power to make Eddie Kane vanish, while it transformed itself into the perfect likeness of Kane.

(Strange Tales I#95/1) - The warden of the penitentiary was alerted that Eddie Kane wasn't in his cell, so he took a group of prison guards to investigate. They found the wall to Kane's cell shattered open, and right outside the cell was a giant tunnel that was so deep they couldn't even see the bottom. They followed Kane's trail into the wilderness with great difficulty, for his tracks were all but washed out by the pouring rain; they finally came upon "Kane," who seemed to be in a state of shock. The dazed "Kane" related the account of "his" encounter with the Two-Headed Thing to the warden and the guards.

   The escaped convict's incredible story was met with skepticism, and the guards asked him how he escaped the monster--"Kane" only replied that he didn't... then the Two-Headed Thing relinquished its human appearance (causing the real Eddie Kane to reappear) and resumed its natural gigantic form. The guards fired their guns at the gargantuan creature, to no effect, as it menacingly approached them, threatening that they would be its next victims...

   But mankind was saved by the fury of nature, for a random bolt of lightning from the storm above struck the Two-Headed Thing and seemingly killed it (see comments).




(Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 - BTS) - Frank Johnson collected the remains of the Two-Headed Thing and several other monsters to display at his Museum of the Monstrous and Strange.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#7) - Johnson's old enemy, Yucoya-Tzin, led his group of Aztecs to the museum, where they performed certain rituals which revived the monsters. The 2-HT and the other monsters (Fizzle, Grottu, and Rorgg) battled the visiting Fantastic Four (minus Reed Richards, plus Ant-Man/Scott Lang).

   As it fought with the Fantastic Four's Thing (Ben Grimm), and their fight spilled out into the street, the 2-HT mentioned its earlier encounter with the Mole Man; then the 2-HT mimicked the form of a nearby mounted-policeman's horse. The Thing jumped upon the transformed 2-HT's back and went for a wild ride as the gigantic "horse" tried to buck him off; but Ant-Man sent a swarm of ants to burrow under the transformed 2-HT's natural armor--greatly irritated from the pain caused by the insects, the 2-HT resumed its natural form and tossed the Thing aside.

   Shortly afterward, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) hurled torrents of flame at the 2-HT, while the Invisible Woman (Sue Richards) entrapped the creature in a force-field that was porous enough to let in oxygen, to keep the fire going, but not to let the raging heat escape--within seconds, the 2-HT collapsed unconscious.

(Uncanny X-Men III#33 - BTS) - Officials of the U.S. government removed the Two-Headed Thing from Johnson's custody; at some point, the 2-HT was relocated to Monster Island in the sea of Japan.

(Uncanny X-Men III#33) - The Two-Headed Thing was one of the many monsters who witnessed the arrival of Magik (Illyana Rasputin) and Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde) of the X-Men, who came to Monster Island to save a little mutant girl named Bo. The Two-Headed Thing got into a fight with Magik alongside other monsters.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Jack Kirby (artist).

The presence of that alligator (whose form the 2-HT replicated) implied that the prison was located in one of the southern states of the U.S., possibly Florida.

The true nature of the Two-Headed Thing has never been revealed. Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters featured an e-mail from Frank Johnson to Jacob Hathaway, wherein Johnson pointed out that although the 2-HT came from Subterranea, which could suggest some connection with the Deviants and their mutate slaves, the 2-HT never made reference to any such masters.

After the 2-HT was seemingly killed by that coincidental lightning bolt, the warden closed out the story by remarking "How little men know about the workings of fate! How little we truly know!"--perhaps the Fates were somehow involved in stopping the monster the first time.

Fantastic Four Unlimited#7: When the 2-HT transformed into the form of a horse, and Ben Grimm referred to it as "Brone"--That was probably an error by the story's letterer, and it should have actually been "Bronc," short for bronco (an unbroken horse).

Perhaps the Two-Headed Thing had some connection to the Space Phantom (Avengers I#2)--similarly, whenever the Space Phantom assumed the form of another being, that being would vanish into Limbo until the Space Phantom relinquished its form.

Or perhaps the 2-HT had some connection to the shape-changing X, the Thing That Lived--Charles Bentley, the creator of X, had earlier created a "flying two-headed radioactive demon from outer space" with his magic typewriter.

Thanks to Loki for the Fantastic Four Unlimited images.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Two-Headed Thing has no known connections to:

Eddie Kane has no known connections to:


Eddie Kane

Convicted murderer Eddie Kane (AKA Prisoner 17554) was incarcerated in a penitentiary located somewhere in America (see comments); he was due to be executed the following week.

One stormy night, Kane was looking out the barred window of his cell and saw the Two-Headed Thing (2-HT) as it came tunneling out of the earth's core. The monster brushed against the prison building and shattered the wall, unintentionally giving Kane a means of escape.

Kane telepathically sensed the thoughts coming from the monster's powerful brain, and he followed it into the wilderness. He was startled when he saw the shapeshifting creature demonstrate its power by duplicating the form of a tall tree. When the 2-HT later took on the form of a giant alligator, it spotted Kane and pursued him; Kane tripped as he ran, and the 2-HT used its power to make the escaped convict vanish, even as it transformed itself into the perfect likeness of Eddie Kane.

The warden and the prison guards were searching for the missing inmate, and they finally caught up to what they believed was Kane; but the 2-HT relinquished its human disguise and resumed its natural form, causing Kane to reappear. Before it could attack, the Two-Headed Thing was seemingly struck dead by a bolt of lightning from the storm, and Kane was escorted back to the prison.

Eddie Kane's final fate is unrevealed--unless he received a reprieve, possibly he was eventually executed.

--Strange Tales I#95/1 (Strange Tales I#95/1, Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 (fb)


Unidentified warden and prison guards

They were the administrator and staff of a penitentiary located somewhere in America (see comments).

One night, a thunderstorm was brewing over the prison--the warden hated storms because they always caused power failures in his prison.

The warden was in his office when the lights went out; moments later, the power returned and the lights flashed on again, but one of the guards ran into the warden's office to report that death-row inmate Eddie Kane was gone from his cell.

While investigating Kane's disappearance, the warden and his men found the wall to Kane's cell shattered, and outside was a bottomless tunnel.

The warden and his men began to follow Kane's trail into the wilderness, but it was difficult, for the pouring rain had all but washed Kane's tracks away.

When they finally caught up with Kane, the convict seemed to be in a state of shock; the dazed escapee told them the story of his encounter with the shapeshifting Two-Headed Thing (2-HT), which had tunneled up from the subterranean depths of the earth. The warden and the guards doubted the fantastic claim, but "Kane" later revealed himself to be the 2-HT in disguise. The prison guards fired their guns at the 2-HT, but the giant monster proved itself to be impervious to their bullets, and the gargantuan creature menacingly approached them...

But suddenly, a bolt of lightning from the storm just happened to strike the Two-Headed Thing and seemingly killed it.

As the guards escorted the real Eddie Kane back to the prison, the warden thought about what a fool he'd been to hate the storm, for it had just saved mankind from the threat of the Two-Headed Thing --the warden attributed that random lightning bolt to the mysterious workings of fate (see comments).

--Strange Tale I#95/1


images: (without ads)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Two-Headed Thing)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p3, pan7 (Headshot - Two-Headed Thing emerges from ground)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p6, pan2 (Two-Headed Thing assumes form of giant alligator, as real alligator vanishes)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#7, p11, pan1 (Two-Headed Thing on display in Frank Johnson's Museum of the Monstrous and Strange)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#7, p42, pan1 (Two-Headed Thing transformed into giant horse, as swarm of ants attack it; Thing (Ben Grimm) riding upon its back)
Tales to Astonish I#20/1, p6, pan2 (Charles Bentley's flying two-headed radioactive demon from outer space)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p3, pan5 (from the barred window of his prison cell, Eddie Kane sees Two-Headed Thing emerge from ground)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p4, pan2 (Eddie Kane escapes from his cell after Two-Headed Thing smashes prison wall)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p2, pan7 (two prison guards and warden find Eddie Kane missing from his cell)
Strange Tales I#95/1, p7, pan6 (warden and prison guards after "death" of Two-Headed Thing)


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#95/1 (April, 1962) - unidentified writer, Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#7 (September, 1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Carmen Imperato (inks), Nel Yomtov (colors), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Uncanny X-Men III#33 (June, 2015) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Kris Anka (artist), Antonio Fabela (colors), Joe Caramangna (letters), Mike Martis (editor)


First Posted: 03/21/2019
Last updated: 03/21/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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