Death's Head

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Death's Head was a metallic life-form who worked as a "Freelance Peacekeeping Agent" (effectively, a mercenary, bounty hunter and assassin, though he hated being called any of those things) in a number of dimensions and time zones. Death's Head described himself as a mechanoid, a designation not related to the Mechanoids, an enemy of the Daleks.

Death's Head did not take pleasure in killing, merely in being professional and financially astute, and possessed a rather pedantic personality. He was a habitual traveller between alternate realities, spending most of his career in universes other than the main one. At the time that he first encountered the Seventh Doctor, Death's Head had been enlarged to nine metres in height.

Death's Head was eventually killed and absorbed by an advanced mechanoid known as Minion. Minion's mind possessed copies of every person he had killed and Death's Head's personality managed to become predominant. This created the entity known as Death's Head II, who would also encounter the Doctor.



Death's Head was created as a cyborg body in a realm called Styrakos by Lupex and Pyra. An unknown party stole the body, programmed it with a “killer instinct” and dumped it on Scarvix, (COMIC: The Incomplete Death's Head) where Death's Head made a living as a bounty hunter. (COMIC: Death's Head!, Death's Head Revisited)

After some months, the Doctor transplanted Death's Head through a warp gate to a parallel universe of massive warring robots, where he was subjected to major restructuring surgery and replacement of living metal components, resulting in him being greatly enlarged. During the final battles of the war, he was caught in the gravitational well of a collapsing planet and flung into the Time Vortex. (COMIC: The Incomplete Death's Head)

While travelling through the Time Vortex, Death's Head collided with the Doctor's TARDIS, forcing both to materialise. At first, Death's Head intended to kill the Seventh Doctor, but was shot with a Tissue Compression Eliminator and returned to his original size apparently uninjured. Wishing to return to his own time, Death's Head let the Doctor lure himself into the TARDIS, from where the Doctor sent the mechanoid through time and space to the planet Earth in the year 8162. (COMIC: The Crossroads of Time)

Upon arriving in 8162 in the 'Pool, in Northern England, Death's Head was found by Rob and Bob Jones, who mistook him for a member of the Evil Dead. After she saw him defeat them, Death Nell hired Death's Head to work for the Evil Dead to neutralise Incinerator Jones and his gang. However, Dragon's Claws also responded to the scene, and cornered Death's Head into a stock of explosives, destroying his body. (COMIC: Watch Out – Dragon's Claws Here's Death's Head!) Death's Head was found and repaired by Spratt, who gave him a new body with blue armour. During this he remembered his time on Scarvix. (COMIC: Death's Head Revisited) He then helped the Chain Gang attack Dragon's Claws. (COMIC: Contractual Obligations)

He later had an adventure with met up with Keepsake, a salvage dealer that had once crossed the Seventh Doctor's path, and Bahlia. (COMIC: Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling!)

Death's Head later attempted to claim the price put on the Doctor's head by Josiah W. Dogbolter, using a prototype time machine to track him down. However, Dogbolter meant to double-cross the mechanoid, hiding a nuclear device in the time travel unit to kill both him and the Doctor. The Doctor saved Death's Head from the bomb and in return the mechanoid decided not to complete the contract on the Time Lord, this time. (COMIC: Time Bomb!)

Death's Head and the Doctor raise a glass to one another. (COMIC: Party Animals)

On a different occasion, Death's Head, while counting money, raised his glass in acknowledgement to the Doctor at Bonjaxx's party. When a drunk Beep the Meep started a fight, Death's Head happily joined in. (COMIC: Party Animals) On the way out of the party, Death's Head was attacked by Dogbolter's old servant Hob but was saved by teaming up with a version of himself from the future, Death's Head II. He attempted to kill his future self, but the Doctor stopped him with a modified TCE. The Doctor erased the memory of this encounter from Death's Head and returned him to the party. (COMIC: The End... Yes?)

Death's Head's death[[edit]]

Death's Head II in cyberspace with his past self. (COMIC: The Incomplete Death's Head)

At some point, a cyborg from the year 2020 was programmed by Doctor Necker to hunt down 106 targets and kill them in order to absorb their abilities and instincts. It destroyed Death's Head -- who was 105th on its list -- but due to his robotic nature, his memories and personality survived the absorption and eventually took control of the body. This allowed the cyborg, now known as Death's Head II, to break free from Necker's control and continue on his adventures, where he met Tuck. (COMIC: The Incomplete Death's Head)

Physical appearance[[edit]]

While explaining to Death's Head that humans supposedly couldn't think of mechanoids as people, Doctor Evelyn Necker referred to him as "an Atari with feet". (COMIC: Clone Drive (part 3) [+]Loading...{"part":"3","1":"Clone Drive (comic story)"})

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Death's Head first appeared in 1987 as part of a comic in the UK's version of The Transformers, Wanted: Galvatron — Dead or Alive!. In that story, Head was a "peacekeeping agent" native to the future year 2007. After a bounty for Galvatron was put up by Autobot leader Rodimus Prime, Death's Head learned the Decepticon had traveled back in time to 1987 and traveled there to find him. Head's mayhem was so damaging that Rodimus traveled back to 1987 himself to try and stop him.

Death's Head was meant as a one-off exclusive to the series, but proved so popular that he eventually was spun-off into being a stand-alone character. After vanishing from the Transformers comic during a battle with Unicron in The Legacy of Unicron!, he suddenly collided with the TARDIS mid-flight, (COMIC: The Crossroads of Time) causing his first encounter in what we define as The Doctor Who Universe. The Doctor shrunk Death's Head from the size of a Transformer to roughly 7-feet-tall using The Master's Tissue Compression Eliminator and threw him into the future. Death's Head next appeared in Dragon's Claws, set in the year 8162.

Death's Head thus was swept through numerous comics and series, appearing as an antagonist or ally to such characters as the Hulk, She-Hulk, (two versions of) Spider-Man, (two versions of) Iron Man, Thor, the Beast, the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Avengers, Novas, Guardians of the Galaxy, Young Avengers, and even Galactus -- a Marvel equivalent to Unicron.

Initially, in the 1980s, the clear intention was that both Doctor Who and The Transformers took place in Earth-616, as no mention of universe-hopping was ever made. In most of the Doctor Who sections in these stories, references to the greater Marvel universe tended to be subtle. For instance, COMIC: Time Bomb! ends with Death's Head on top of a building which fans might recognise as the home of Fantastic Four, which was only made overt in the next, non-DW issue of the Death's Head comic series.

However, Party Animals and The Incomplete Death's Head controversially made the connection between the Doctor's universe and the Marvel universe very explicit.

Over time, the Transformers comics eventually began to be treated as a separate reality, even more so after Marvel lost the license in 1991. Future comics would strongly insist that Death's Head was not native to the "robot universe," with 1992's The Incomplete Death's Head stating that the Seventh Doctor himself had transported him there to set his life in-motion. Eventually, when Marvel lost the rights to Doctor Who comics in 1999, that series was also retconned as being an entirely different universe. 2006's All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z issue 7 would list the character of Merlin the Wise (and thus the Doctor) as originating in Earth-5556.

Other universes Death's Head has been native to include Earth-5555 (year 8162) and Earth-8410 (year 2020). However, very few comics featuring Death's Head mentioned trans-universe travel explicitly, instead just showing Death's Head jumping through time with whatever time machine available. Because of this, our wiki presumes all Death's Head stories take place in one universe unless explicitly stated otherwise inside the narrative of something we cover.

Interestingly, Panini Comics maintains the rights to reprint much of the stories published by Marvel UK, meaning there have been numerous compilations after 1999 to feature both Doctor Who and Marvel Death's Head stories, such as Death's Head: Volume 1 and Death's Head: Volume 2.

The character of Death's Head has had several major revivals post-1992. This began with the introduction of Death's Head 3.0 in 2005, as well as both Death's Head 4.0 (an antagonist) and Death's Head V in 2019. On top of this, the original Death's Head is often depicted in modern Marvel comics, typically believed to be the character before being thrown into the world of The Transformers by the Doctor. For obvious reasons, none of these stories are represented on the wiki.

External links[[edit]]