Headsman (comics)

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Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8 (Apr 1996)
Created by Kurt Busiek and Pat Olliffe
In-story information
Alter ego Cleavon Twain[1]
Team affiliations Thunderbolts
Notable aliases Green Goblin

Headsman is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. His apparent real name is Cleavon Twain (a play on the words "cleave in twain") though it's unclear if this is his actual birth name or simply an alias.

Fictional character biography[edit]


As a child the Headsman and his brother grew up in the forest, where they used to capture chickens and then kill them for food, by tying them up on a tree trunk and chopping their heads off with an axe. The Headsman had a pet dog that he loved a lot but his brother didn't like the dog. The dog always tried to bite his brother and his brother would say "if that dog tries to bite me one more time I'll cut his head off with my axe" as a joke. One day the Headsman's dog actually bit his brother, and his brother put the dog on the chopping block and beheaded the dog with the axe. The Headsman was so angry he wanted to cut his brother's head off with the axe in revenge, but he couldn't bring himself to kill his own brother so instead he left home and took out his anger on random people, beheading them with the axe instead.[2]

After a lengthy killing spree, he made his way to New York, where he was tracked down by the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) and given advanced technology, including a high-tech adamantium vibro-axe that could cut through anything and a hover platform for transportation. He also had a strength boosting harness that made his axe swings even more powerful and deadly. He was sent to help the Enforcers escape from Spider-Man, which he accomplished by forcing Spider-Man to flee. Harry Osborn alerted Spider-Man to the criminals' meeting place, and the Headsman was forced to flee after the ensuing battle after Spider-Man damaged his power pack.[3] After repairing his pack, Headsman teamed with Lucky Lobo to kill Spider-Man. Believing he had killed Spider-Man, he left the hero buried under a pile of rubble. Facing Spider-Man again, he was assaulted by the Green Goblin, who revealed himself to Headsman as his employer. The Green Goblin destroyed the Headsman's equipment and knocked him out, allowing Spider-Man to turn him over to the police.[4]


Many years later, the Headsman joined Osborn's Thunderbolts black ops team. He helped discredit Doc Samson by attacking Air Force One disguised as the Green Goblin. Osborn saved the President in a staged attack by tossing the faux "Green Goblin" from the plane.[5] The team's next objective was to kill Deadpool, at which they failed miserably.[6][7] His teammate the Ghost revealed to him that the gravity-grip he used on his first mission was faulty and that he had fixed it, suggesting that Osborn had meant for him to die in his fall from the plane.[8] He battled new teammate Mister X, but was spared from death by the Black Widow.[9] When the Thunderbolts capture Songbird and Natasha Romanov, they are ordered to execute them. However, the consciences of Headsman, Ghost and Paladin get the better of them; they allow the prisoners to escape, knocking out their teammates and erasing their memories of the event.[10]


The Uranian of the Agents of Atlas later implants a suggestion in the mind of Scourge to execute Osborn when he next sees him; after the mission, a hologram of Obsorn appears before the Thunderbolts, which triggers Scourge to shoot, but the bullet passes through the hologram and hits Headsman in the head.[11] His brother was given his high-tech axe by Ant-Man.[12]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Headsman wears a power pack which enhances his strength. He wields a high-tech adamantium vibro-axe and has a disc-shaped hovercraft for personal transportation. Even without these devices, he possess exceptional strength and endurance for a normal human, and has incredible skill with an axe.

In other media[edit]

Headsman appears in the Spider-Woman motion comics.[citation needed] In this series, he is voiced by Jesse Falcon.


  1. ^ Thunderbolts #134
  2. ^ Thunderbolts #139
  3. ^ Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8
  4. ^ Untold Tales of Spider-Man #18
  5. ^ Thunderbolts #128-129
  6. ^ Deadpool Vol. 4 #8-9
  7. ^ Thunderbolts #130-131
  8. ^ Thunderbolts #132
  9. ^ Thunderbolts #134
  10. ^ Thunderbolts #136
  11. ^ Thunderbolts #140
  12. ^ Thunderbolts #143

External links[edit]

  • Headsman at Marvel.com
  • Headsman at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe