- Real Name: Dr. Paxton Page.
- Other Aliases: Death’s Head.
- Marital Status: Married.
- Known Relatives: Karen Page (daughter, deceased), Penelope Page (widow).
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base of Operations: Fagans Corner, Vermont.
- Height: 5’11” Weight: 167 lbs.
- Eyes: Blue Hair: White
Powers & Abilities
Dr. Page is an accomplished physicist and a capable technologist. He knows “atomic secrets”, as was the style of the day, pertaining to cobalt bombs. He’s also an adept equestrian.
As Death’s-Head, he generates large amounts of cobalt radiation. That translates as :
- Being a ghastly, fiercely glowing figure.
- Hurling explosive fireballs.
- Hurling faster, but not explosive, scimitar-shaped burning projectiles.
- Having a peak human speed, strength and durability.
The latter seemed to be a mix of radioactive vigour and insanity-driven strength. Death’s-Head thus could fight Daredevil (Matt Murdock) toe-to-toe, especially when mounted. Daredevil commented that Page had the strength of a dozen men, which for once seems mathematically correct. Good show, Matt.
Furthermore, his gear included :
- A cobalt-mutated horse with glowing, transparent flesh. This horse is agile, well-trained and abnormally powerful. For instance it could leap over a car, or ignore the sound of gunshots. It died within days, though. Don’t irradiate horses, please.
- A vocoder to give his voice an eerie, otherworldly sound.
- Glowing bola. These are heavy enough to be used as a powerful melee weapon.
- A decoy balloon, glowing and clad in a replica of the Death’s-Head costume. It also has a small, built-in speaker.
- Page likely could have crafted other simple supplies. He had an entire atomic research lab hidden under a nearby abandoned mill, after all.
Back during the 1960s, Dr. Page was a famous scientist. He had perfected the cobalt bomb technology, but then refused to divulge his research. He stuck with this decision even when threatened with contempt of Congress.
(Back then, cobalt bombs were a prime example of Cold War dirty bomb, meant for maximum fallout. Unlike with the real world, several were built in the Marvel Universe. For 1960s readers, it was obvious that Page refused to tell his secrets for fear that such a horribly destructive weapon become part of Cold War arsenals.)
Page returned to his family home. In 1969, he resumed his experiments. The US government sent a bodyguard, who infiltrated the Page household, to keep enemy spies at bay. However, further exposure to cobalt radiation quickly eroded Dr. Page’s mental and physical health.
The insane Paxton decided he was now another person, called Death’s-Head. This persona was based on an ancient “Aztec” mask kept in his house.
(It presumably was Nahua, since “Aztec” is an exonym that doesn’t mean something precise. But I don’t know enough to be sure.)
Years before, this horrible-looking curio gave recurrent nightmares to his daughter Karen. In these, a burning rider wearing the mask hunted her down.
(Maybe little Karen remembered this ghastly enemy of Tintin ?)
Death’s-Head pretended that he had kidnapped Paxton Page. He then tried to scare everyone away from his house. He also altered a horse and built equipment to supplement his persona.
Days later, a grown-up Karen Page returned home, seeking the quiet of rural Vermont. Both she and Daredevil, who came looking for her, ran into Death’s-Head.
Leave me alone !
Though he only sought to scare Karen and her mother away, Death’s-Head attempted to kill Daredevil. He didn’t do a bad job of it, wounding the crimefighter in both shoulders.
Death’s-Head even captured DD for a short while. He clad him in a replica Death’s-Head costume and sent him galloping at cops, so the crimefighter would be shot dead. But Murdock survived. The horse, on the other hoof, soon died of radiation poisoning.
The government man, shadowed by Karen, then discovered Page’s hidden lab. Death’s-Head again attacked Daredevil therein, gaining the upper hand. But when Karen was in danger, Death’s-Head dove to her rescue. This resulted in him being crushed and burned to death by molten cobalt.
An eerie figure looking like a glowing Nahua mummy. Albeit one wearing a cape, for… Nahua fashion reasons.
Death’s-Head appears at night, where the glow from cobalt radiation is intense. When forming cobalt radiation fireballs, he can make them glow cobalt blue.
Death’s-Head was an articulate, grandiloquent Gothic Horror-style villain
“‘Dream’, mortal ? I am no dream — but one who haunts the darkened byways of reality — and who makes of the waking world more fearful than the deepest nightmare !”
“I bring a message… from the powers that walk the night ! Leave this forbidden tract, on the same path by which you came ! Disobey my command, and not all the forces of Earth shall save you from the hordes of Hades !”
DC Universe History
He could have been a brief encounter for any published-in-1969, not-too-powerful DC character.
For instance, it’d work for Robin (Dick Grayson), the Atom (Ray Palmer), Hawkman or Aquaman. But the best solution is to make him an old Wildcat (Ted Grant) foe. Wildcat fought a character masquerading as the “Headless Horseman of Central Park” way back in Sensation #16.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 08||Str: 06||Bod: 05||Motivation: Psychopath|
|Int: 04||Wil: 05||Min: 03||Occupation: Madman|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 03||Spi: 04||Wealth: 007|
|Init: 019||HP: 025|
Flame project: 08, Flash (steady illum. only): 05
Bonuses and Limitations:
Flame project can have a 0-AP Area of Effect, but that lowers the AV by one CS. Unless the projectile being slower and easier to read wouldn’t affect the shot.
Animal handling (Horses): 05, Gadgetry: 04, Scientist: 05, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 09
Bonuses and Limitations:
Weaponry is a Powered Skill, and Contingent Upon his DEX.
Area Knowledge (Fagans Corner), Expertise (Atomic physics, Cobalt bomb technology), Headquarters (Expansive – mansion and hidden lab), Lightning Reflexes.
Serious Psychological Instability, Minor Rage, Strange Appearance, Misc.: Page is reviled as a traitor by many Americans.
- HORSE. See below.
- Decoy balloon [BODY 01].
- Heavy bola [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 07)]. These presumably also have APs of Snare when thrown (06 ?) but that was never demonstrated.
I’ve a horse outside
How Page’s horse remained alive for days is a mystery. But it seems enhanced in the same ways as its rider.
|Dex: 04||Str: 06||Bod: 06||Motivation: Equine|
|Int: 01||Wil: 01||Min: 03||Occupation: I say thee neigh|
|Inf: 02||Aur: 00||Spi: 01||Wealth: N.A.|
|Init: 010||HP: N.A.|
Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 02, Density Increase: 03, Enhance (AV): 01 (cap is 10), Enhanced Initiative: 03, Extended hearing: 02, Flash: 07, Jumping: 01, Running: 05, Ultra-vision: 03
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Enhance (AV) only to boost melee attacks by the *rider*. Said rider can only get the bonus if they have 4 or more APs of Animal Handling applicable to horse-riding. This denotes that they are experienced enough to leverage riding to strike at nearby footmen.
- Flash is Steady Illumination Only, and is Always On.
Evasion (Ranged only): 05
Bonuses and Limitations:
Evasion is only effective in low light, as the horse glows too brightly to really aim at. This also protects the rider. It is Contingent Upon Flash, and a Powered Skill.
Strange Appearance (0 pts).
Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG
Name of character — Averaged PL8.6
|02 (05)||02 (03)||01 (03)||01 (04)||02 (06)||03||01||01|
Cobalt wraith-like apparition ● 35 points ● Descriptor: Cobalt radiation, and (presumably) mutate
– Enhanced Strength 3, Enhanced Stamina 1, Enhanced Agility 2, Enhanced Dexterity 3, Enhanced Fighting 4
– Enhanced Advantages (Close Attack 3, Ranged Attack 3)
– Fierce glow — Environment 1 (Light 1)
– Enhanced Skills (Athletics 4)
Excellent equestrian ● 3 points ● Descriptor: Skill
Close attack 2, Enhanced Dodge 2, Enhanced Parry 2 (all Limited 1 – only on horseback)
Cobalt flame death ● 22 points ● Descriptor: Cobalt radiation, and (presumably) mutate
- Scimitar-shaped fire projectile — Ranged flame Damage 7, Accurate 1.
- Slower but explosive fireball — Ranged Burst-Area 1 flame Damage 7.
Close Attack 3 (+6), Defensive Roll 2, Improved Initiative 1, Ranged Attack 3 (+6).
Benefit 1 (Wealthy), Benefit 2 (Remote mansion, estate, hidden lab), Benefit 1 (Knows the Fagans Corner area backward and forward), Equipment 8.
Athletics 4 (+9), Deception 3 (+4), Expertise (Atomic physics) 9 (+12), Expertise (Horse riding) 7 (+10), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Fire scimitars) 1 (+13); Technology 5 (+8).
Heavy bola used as a flail Strength-based bludgeoning Damage 3 ● 3 points
Decoy balloon ● 1 point
|Unarmed +12 (+14 on horseback), Close, Damage 5|
|Fireball +10, Ranged, Damage 7|
|Fire scimitar projectile +13, Ranged, Damage 7|
|Heavy bola +14 (+16 on horseback), Close, Damage 8|
* Without Defensive Roll
** On horseback
- Insane in the brain Death’s-Head is plainly, murderously irrational.
- Strahlt Wellen zum Empfangsgeraet Paxton is obviously mutated and radioactive.
- Prejudice Paxton is reviled by many Americans as a traitor.
- Relationship Death’s-Head does not wish to harm the Paxton family.
- Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort/Will PL 6.
- Points total 141. Abilities 26, Defences 18, Skills 16, Powers 60, Devices 0, Advantages 21. Equiv. PL 10.
The bola may also be throwable (Snare 5 ?) but that was never demonstrated. The horse is counted as equipment (32 points of it) since it has no small-i initiative.
I’ve a horse outside
STR 4 (5) STA 4 AGL 1 FGT 2 AWA 1
Being a horse ● 15 points ● Descriptor: Equine
Growth 4 (Permanent, Innate), Senses 2 (Extended vision, Low-light vision), Speed 4
Being a radioactive horse ● 5 points ● Descriptor: Equine, cobalt radiation
Enhanced Strength 1, Leaping 2, Enhanced advantage (Improved Initiative), Enhanced Dodge 2, Enhanced Fortitude 5
Cobalt radiation 1 ● 4 points ● Descriptor: Equine, cobalt radiation
Environment 1 (Light 1), Enhanced Dodge 5 (Limited 1 to low-light conditions, Quirk (requires Environment to be on), Feature (also applis to the rider))
Offense: Init +5, Attack +2 (Close, Damage 5)
Defenses: Dodge 4 (9 in low light w/Environment on), Parry 2, Fortitude 9, Wil 1
Source of Character: Daredevil Vol. 1 #56-57.
Helper(s): Doug Barnes, Darci.
Writeup completed on the 1st of February, 2018.