Defenders writer Steve Gerber formed the Headmen from 1950s anthological horror-story characters appearing in the reprint title Weird Wonder Tales #7 (Dec. 1974). That comic's five reprinted stories included the introduction of Dr. Arthur Nagan, the Gorilla-Man, from Mystery Tales #21 (art by Bob Powell); Chondu the Yogi, from Tales of Suspense #9 (art by George Evans); and Dr. Jerry Morgan, a.k.a. Shrunken Bones, from World of Fantasy #11 (art by Angelo Torres).
In The Defenders #32 (Feb. 1976), the Headmen were joined by Gerber's newly created Ruby Thursday (Thursday Rubinstein), who ran for President of the United States and was the instigator of the death of another Gerber creation, Omega the Unknown. In the same issue, Doctor Strange declared that Chondu's real name was Harvey Schlemerman, and Jack Norris, husband of the woman whose body was being used by Valkyrie, claimed to have seen him perform.
- Dr. Arthur Nagan (Gorilla-Man II--name not used in the stories) (leader)
- Harvey Schlemerman (Chondu the Mystic)
- Dr. Jerold "Jerry" Morgan (Shrunken Bones--name not used in the stories)
- Thursday Rubinstein (Ruby Thursday