Headmaster was a member of the Star Chamber during the Shadow War.

The Shadow Cabinet's leader Dharma recruited Headmaster because of his ability to control the minds of others. Headmaster quickly proved to be one of the team's most valuable operatives and was well regarded by his teammates. He even befriended the team's youngest member, Plus (secretly Dharma's sister).[1]

However, this was not enough for Headmaster, whose ambitious nature caused him to increasingly resent both Dharma and his goals. In recent years, he concluded that beings as powerful as the Shadow Cabinet were wasting their abilities protecting inferior humans. Instead, they should openly rule the world with of course Headmaster being head of this global regime. His views were shared by several other operatives in the Cabinet, who eventually called themselves the Star Chamber.[1] With Headmaster appointing himself leader, these dissidents soon split from the Shadow Cabinet, leading to the covert metahuman conflict known as the Shadow War.

Under unrevealed circumstances, Headmaster established a secret base from which the Star Chamber would launch its plan of global domination. Since the Cabinet would naturally oppose their goal, the Chamber needed to quickly bolster their ranks. The key to doing so was Dakota City, which saw a major increase in metahumans due to the "Big Bang" event. Dharma had extensive files on Dakota's metahumans, information which the Chamber secretly copied before they left.[2] Thus, the Shadow War quickly escalated as Shadow Cabinet and the Star Chamber vied to get these metahumans to join their side.

Headmaster had a two prong strategy for this recruitment effort. Many of Dakota's metahumans were either superheroes or at least had such inclinations. So, Headmaster sent various teams of Chamber members to appeal to their sense of morality to gain their allegiance. He was also wanted to recruit Hardware, Harm and Holocaust, metahumans of more dubious character whose abilities would still be useful to the Chamber. Since the trio would likely reject persuasion, Headmaster ordered his operative Transit to kidnap them via her teleportation powers so he could then sway them to join the Chamber.

Initially, the Star Chamber had setbacks. After kidnapping Holocaust and Harm, Transit was defeated by Hardware and then arrested by Dakota's authorities.[3][2] Later on, the metahuman gang known as Blood Syndicate violently rejected offers of membership from both the Chamber and the Shadow Cabinet.[4]

Still, the Star Chamber was overall successful in their efforts. Even the loss of Transit was offset by Harm and Holocaust ultimately joining the team. The Chamber then began the next phase of their plans, the acquisition of Quantum Juice or "Q Juice", the mutagenic substance responsible for the Big Bang. The only known stockpile of Q Juice belonged to the malevolent conspiracy S.Y.S.T.E.M., who stored it in a vault hidden in an American casino. Headmaster convinced the new Chamber recruits that stealing the Q Juice from SYSTEM was necessary lest it fall into the hands of the "evil" Shadow Cabinet. Headmaster also desired to capture Q Juice's creator, Dr. Nathan Flack, but the Chamber had so far failed to locate him.[1]

However, this well-crafted plan seemed in jeopardy when Headmaster was confronted by Holocaust, who suspected that the Chamber's motives were not so heroic. Now exposed, Headmaster admitted that Holocaust was correct, but was surprised when the crimelord applauded the Star Chamber's ambition. Nevertheless, to earn his silence, Holocaust demanded something of great value from Headmaster. The leader of the Star Chamber then revealed a personal supply of Q Juice he somehow acquired. If Holocaust did not reveal the Chamber's plans to the other recruits, Headmaster would give him 15 percent of the mutagen once the Chamber won the Shadow War. Holocaust eagerly agreed to the deal.[1]

With that resolved, Headmaster picked several Star Chamber members including Holocaust to be teleported by Funyl into the casino to steal SYSTEM's Q Juice. The Chamber operatives easily broke into the vault and defeated the armored SYSTEMatics guarding it. However, the Chamber was then faced the just arriving Shadow Cabinet who ultimately captured the Q Juice after a fierce battle. With the Q Juice in enemy hands, the Chamber teleported back to headquarters and reported their failure to Headmaster.[1]

However, Headmaster had planned for this possibility and implemented a new strategy. He informed the Star Chamber that they would make their own Q Juice by using the superconducting super-collider in Luoyang, China to process certain radioactive materials into the mutagen. These materials were available in only three fusion reactors on Earth: Benterai Research Center (Tokyo, Japan), the Einstein Institute (Tel Aviv, Israel) and L'institut Des Recherches Atomiques (Paris, France). Headmaster split the Chamber into three teams, each one assigned to a fusion reactor. These simultaneous strikes would increase the odds that at least one team would be successful.[1]

Headmaster personally led Slag and immortal recruit Xombi to raid the Benterai Research Center, where they clashed with Static, Plus, and Iota of the Shadow Cabinet. Plus pleaded with Headmaster to end the fight peacefully, but the Chamber leader informed her that their "friendship" was just a sham. To underscore the point, Headmaster then took control of Plus' mind and forced her to attack her comrades. However, the battle became deadlocked when Static defeated Slag in single combat while Headmaster began losing control over Plus. Headmaster and Xombi retrieved Slag and promptly ordered them to retreat to base.[1]

Despite this defeat, the Star Chamber team in Israel acquired the radioactive material so the entire group teleported to the collider, leading to the final showdown with the Shadow Cabinet. However, the battle was a diversion so Ash, Funyl and Slag could take over the the collider's control room. When the battle was fiercest, it appeared that the Cabinet would prevail before the Chamber could create the Q Juice. Noticing this as well, Holocaust decided to renegotiate his deal with Headmaster by demanding half of the latter's Q Juice supply. Headmaster initially rebuffed Holocaust, who then threatened to desert the battle, spelling certain defeat. Headmaster begrudgingly took out a vial of Q Juice that he had on his person and gave it to the crimelord.[1]

This exchange was witnessed by Xombi and fellow Chamber recruit Rocket, who were disgusted at being deceived and promptly switch to the Shadow Cabinet's side. However, this change in loyalties came too late since Ash, Funyl and Slag successfully created the Q Juice, which they loaded onto a missile. The trio then launched the missile, whose loud roar was so startling that it brought the fight between the Cabinet and the rest of the Chamber to a halt.[1]

Headmaster informed all present that in minutes the Q Juice-bearing missile would reach geosynchronous orbit. The rocket was rigged to be detonated by a remote in Headmaster's hand, thus releasing its payload into Earth's atmosphere and killing countless millions. The missile was Star Chamber's trump card in case any superhero tried to thwart their conquest of the world.[1]

However, Headmaster's gloating was short-lived when his remote was suddenly snatched by an invisible observer: Dr. Nathan Flack, who now called himself Dr. Nemo. Nemo gained his cloaking powers by exposure to Q juice, and he now wanted to similarly "bless" humanity by repeating his experiment on a global scale. After observing the Shadow War for days, Nemo realized that the Star Chamber's scheme for world conquest was the perfect way to accomplish his dream. Flack then detonated the missile to the horror of those assembled.[1]

Fortunately, the Cabinet's ally Hardware had secretly flown off to intercept the Star Chamber's missile as Headmaster explained its purpose. Hardware boarded the missile and then escaped with its Q-juice payload just seconds before the missile exploded. Thus, the world was saved from Flack's genocidal plans.[1]

The Star Chamber promptly surrendered while the new recruits joined the Cabinet except for Holocaust, who fled the scene. After securing the new Q-juice, the Shadow Cabinet left the rest of the Chamber to be picked up by the authorities. Headmaster and his teammates soon found themselves in maximum security prison with lengthy sentences.[1]

Headmaster would still be incarcerated if not for an unexpected turn of events. During the infamous Utopia Park Riots, several Shadow Cabinet members disobeyed Dharma's explicit orders to not get involved so they could save endangered civilians and police.[5] Due to this mutiny, Dharma concluded that his Cabinet operatives had too much free will and thus were less effective in his eyes. So, he declared that operatives could no longer leave the Cabinet's headquarters, the Shadowspire, except for missions. In short, Dharma had become the very insane tyrant that Headmaster had portrayed him as during the Shadow War. This irony was not lost on Donner, Blitzen and Iota, who fled the Shadowspire to form their own public superhero team, the Heroes.[6] Perhaps anticipating such a rebellion, Dharma had earlier arranged for the release of the Star Chamber including Headmaster, who having no where else to go decided to rejoin the Cabinet.[6]

Months later, many of Dakota's Big Bang survivors or "Bang Babies" were kidnapped by the Traffic Men, mysterious figures who used energy staves to temporarily disrupt their victims' powers.[7] For unknown reasons, Headmaster was in Dakota at this time and was also kidnapped by the Traffic Men, who likely thought he was a Bang Baby.[8]

Headmaster's captors secretly served John Tower, the legendary superhero turned supervillain who sought to boost his own powers with a serum derived from the blood of his metahuman captives.[9] The Heroes and Hardware discovered Tower's hideout thanks to information shared by the Shadow Cabinet's Iron Butterfly, who joined her former allies in the rescue effort.[10] While his allies fought the Traffic Men, Static freed Tower's captives, including Headmaster. Soon, Tower found himself alone and without his serum he was soon defeated by Headmaster and his fellow captives who were aided by their rescuers. Heroes member Gloria Mundi then absorbed the souls of Tower and the Traffic Men into her collective intelligence.[8]


  • Mind Control: Headmaster has the ability to project a surge of psionic energy that overwhelms his victim's conscious mind. He can then project mental commands into the mind of the victim, who will then follow them without question. While under Headmaster's influence, the victim's higher brain functions revert to diminished levels, similar to a dreamless sleep. When Headmaster releases his control, the subject is left with no memory of being mentally influenced.[1]



  • Power Limitation: The degree of Headmaster's influence is determined by how many people he is trying to control. Headmaster can completely dominate the mind of an individual, but his control over multiple subjects is fragmented as he shifts attention from one to another. If he tries to influence too many people as once, he risks suffering a painful psychic feedback.[1]


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This article is related to Milestone Media, a sub-division of DC Comics, that published the self-contained "Dakotaverse" under its own logo. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Milestone Media" category.

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