Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
He brings wild vengeance on a black steed: The Headless Horseman
Appearances in Heroclix: Wheels of Vengeance
First Appearance: Uncanny Tales #22 (April 1954)
Team Affiliations: N/A
Powers/Abilities: Hellfire; Superhuman strength; Enhanced Speed; Flight; Indestructible
Created by: Washington Irving – Dick Ayers
Little is known about the Headless Horseman before he is resurrected as a Spirit of Vengeance. What is known is that he was a Hessian Soldier working for the British Army during the American rebellion who was killed when his head was struck by a cannonball. In 1801, he returns to Sleepy Hollow possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and wielding a flaming skull that may or may not be his own decapitated head. The Horseman haunts the area around Sleepy Hollow for decades, leading to author Washington Irving writing a story based on local legends in 1820.
Over a century later, two investment brokers impersonate the Horseman in an attempt to scare the other away from a common love interest. One succeeds, with the love interest’s help, and the couple intend to leave Sleepy Hollow with their ill begotten wealth. However, as they are about to leave the Horseman arrives and throws his skull at the car. The broker swerves off of a bridge resulting in the pair’s deaths.
Years later, a crooked attorney named Bones Bullinger impersonates the Headless Horseman in order to extort protection money from local businesses. Bullinger kills a police officer who is close to exposing him. When the officer’s wife hires a private investigator, Duke Durbano, Bones hires hitmen to blow her up and then impersonates the Horseman to cause the hitmen to die in a car crash. Soon after, Bones also harasses Duke as the Horseman. Soon after, Duke breaks into Bone’s office and finds the Headless Horseman costume.
The Horseman is enraged at the impersonation and literally scares Bones to death, by causing the lawyer to die from a heart attack. When Duke takes a shortcut through Sleepy Hollow, he is also confronted by the real Horseman. Duke believes this Horseman to merely be Bones in disguise and uses his car as a weapon, racing the Horseman and attempting to force him off the side of an upcoming bridge. The Horseman throws his skull at Duke, causing the investigator to swerve into the Horseman’s steed and off the bridge.
Duke survives and swims back to the river bank. The police soon arrive to take Duke’s statement as well as tell him of the death of Bones, revealing to Duke that he had narrowly survived an encounter with the real Headless Horseman.