Death's Head (Marvel)(02 - Bounty Hunter)
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Death's Head has a number of different powers. These include, but are not limited to: great strength, detachable limbs and near invulnerability. His limbs, when detached, are still connected to his cerebral cortex, allowing him some degree of control over them.
He also displays great prowess with a number of different weapons. His left hand is specifically designed to be removed, to allow "slot fitting" of most weapons. Additionally, he can fly for brief periods of time due to jets in his feet.
Death's Head was essentially a cyborg bounty hunter, who is not overly fond of that description of his existence. He is more inclined to call himself a "freelance peacekeeping agent".
For a character with a relatively low number of total appearances — easily less than 100 — he has an extraordinarily complex history.
This is because he sits in the middle of three otherwise discrete Marvel Universes: Transformers-Earth, Doctor Who-Earth and mainstream/mainstream UK-Earth.
Though ultimately a part of the "normal" Marvel universe, it is all but impossible to speak of the character without mentioning the Transformers and the Seventh Doctor. Indeed, his presence pulls both of these licensed properties into the regular Marvel universe, if only briefly and somewhat negligibly.
A good summary of the character can be found online.
It should be pointed out that although the character hasn't significantly appeared in comics for over 20 years, recent interest in the character in the mainstream Marvel (US) market may actually lead to further developments in the chaacter's history. Simon Furman, the character's creator, has expressed an interest in writing a follow-up to his 21st-century re-imagining —Death's Head (03) — in which an explicit and significant link between the third version and the first will be given.
Trying to determine the first appearance of this character is problematic. The official party line from Marvel is that he first appeared in a one-page strip called "High Noon Tex". This apparently appeared for the first time on the back of most September, 1988 issues of Marvel UK titles. The apparent reason for Marvel's insistence on this point is that it establishes the character to have existed prior to his initial use in The Transformers. If true, that would make him a Marvel character who crossed into the Transformers' universe.
However, the truth of the matter seems to be that he had no fewer than five appearances prior to September 1988 — four in The Transformers and a later one in Doctor Who Magazine.
We know September 1988 to be a definite appearance of "High Noon Tex" because of visual inspection of Dragon's Claws #3.
However, this does not eliminate the possibility that "High Noon Tex" was being re-printed on that occasion.
So, either there's an earlier printing of "Tex", or Marvel's assertion is incorrect. In any case, Hasbro (owner of the Transformers license) has not seen fit to argue the point in court — even in light of the publication of stories featuring the 21st century Death's Head.
Barring actual, hard evidence to the contrary, then, comicbookdb.com will take the position that Death's Head actually made his first appearance in The Transformers (UK).
Update on first appearance direct from the writer. The character first appeared in Transformers but was going to be killed off in #120. But after seeing Geoff Seniors art Simon Furman rewrote the stories & then had the character turn up in soem more stories. Marvel UK then came up with a plan to make US size comics & needed some characters for the comics. They picked Death's Head so needed to get him out of Transformers & set him up as Marvel - re the High Noon Tex story.
First Appearance: The Transformers (UK) (1984) #113
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#3 Avenging Spider-Man (2012)
- 'Copperhead to Ethan Edwards'
Death Metal (1994)
Death's Head (1988)
#1 Death's Head Graphic Novel (1990)
- 'Death's Head Revisited'#2
- 'Contractual Obligations'#3
- 'High Stakes'#4
- 'Plague Dog!'#5
- 'Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling!'#6
- 'Sudden Impact!'#7
- 'Shot By Both Sides'#8
- 'Time Bomb!'#9
- 'Clobberin' Time!'#10
- 'The Cast Iron Contract'
TPB Death's Head II (vol. 1) (1992)
- 'The Body in Question'
#1 Death's Head II (vol. 2) (1992)
- 'The Wild Hunt, Part One: Mergers and Acquisitions'
Doctor Who Magazine (1979)
Dragon's Claws (1988)
TPB Fantastic Four (1961)
- 'Dragon's Claw'#3
- 'Heroes' Welcome! / Tales From A Post-Apocalyptic World! Reverend P. Gunn!'#4
- 'Wild In The Country! / Tales From A Post-Apocalyptic World! - Reverend P. Gunn!'#5
- 'Here's Death's Head! / Tales From A Post-Apocalyptic World! - Reverend P. Gunn!'
#338 Heroic Age: Heroes (2010)
- 'Kangs For the Memories!!! or, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner!'
Iron Man (2013)
Special 01 Marvel Bumper Comic (1988)
- 'No End in Sight Part 2 of 3: Faking It'#6
- 'The Godkiller 1 Of 3'#7
- 'The Godkiller 2 Of 3'#8
- 'The Godkiller Conclusion'#9
- 'The Secret Origin Of Tony Stark Prologue'#13
- 'The Secret Origin of Tony Stark: The Best Offense: Part One'#14
- 'The Secret Origin of Tony Stark: The Best Offense Part 2'#16
- 'The Secret Origin of Tony Stark: The Best Offense Part Four'
Marvel Comics Presents (1988)
Marvel Heroes (2008)
#33 Marvel Legends (2014)
- 'Hulk Vs. Death's Head'
Marvel Masters (2007)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
HC vol. 03 Revolutionary War: Death's Head II (2014)
- 'Captain (Nextwave) to Elements of Doom'TPB vol. 03
- 'Captain (Nextwave) to Elements of Doom'
One-Shot Revolutionary War: Omega (2014)
- 'Part Four: Synchronicity II'
#1 Revolutionary War: Warheads (2014)
- 'Part Eight: No More Heroes'
#1 S.W.O.R.D. (2010)
- 'Part Seven: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)'
Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures (1995)
#115 Strip (1990)
- 'Spidey's Worst Nightmare'
The Incomplete Death's Head (1993)
#1#2 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Mind Meet'#3
- 'Death's Head Battles Dragon's Claws'#4
- 'High Stakes'#5
- 'Death's Head Revisited Part 5 of 12'#6
- 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling!'#7
- 'Sudden Impact! / Framing Sequence'#8
- 'Shot By Both Sides / Framing Sequence / The Deadliest Game'#9
- 'Time Bomb! / Framing Sequence / The Deadliest Game'#10
- 'Clobberin' Time! / Framing Sequence'#11
- 'The Cast Iron Contract / Framing Sequence'#12
- 'Framing Sequence: The End... Yes? / Party Animals / Priceless'
HC The Sensational She-Hulk (1989)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The Transformers (UK) (1984)
Annual 1987 Uncanny X-Men (2013)
- 'Transformers Annual 1987'#113
- 'Wanted - Galvatron Dead or Alive - Part 1'#114
- 'Wanted - Galvatron Dead or Alive - Part 2'#117
- 'Hunters! - Part 1'#118
- 'Hunters! - Part 2'#120
- 'Fire on High! - Part 2'#133
- 'Headhunt - Part 1'#134
- 'Headhunt - Part 2'#146
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 1'#147
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 2'#148
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 3'#149
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 4'#150
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 5'#151
- 'The Legacy of Unicron! - Part 6'
Special 01 What If...? (1989)
- 'No End in Sight Part 1 of 3: Breaking In'
- '...What If Minion Had Not Killed Death's Head?'
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