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Roger Cliff (Enigma)

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Roger Cliff was once a traveling salesman from Pacific City, California. Twenty-five years ago, he was driving across the farmlands of Arizona when he came upon a crime scene at an isolated farmhouse. The local police had the property roped off, but as Roger drove closer to investigate, he ran over a small red lizard. The lizard was unconscious, but still alive. He decided to keep it as a pet as a reminder of the bizarre occurrences that had taken place at the farmhouse. He kept the lizard for years, but it eventually died, so he pickled it and kept it as an ornament.

In December of 1992, the lizard suddenly began talking to Roger. What Roger didn't realize was that this was actually the telepathic being known as Enigma speaking through the lizard. Twenty-five years ago in Arizona, the Enigma's mother had murdered his father by shooting him in the face and dumped her infant son into a well. Now an adult, the Enigma patterned himself after a character from a 1970's comic book series. He did so as a means of giving definition to his own life; definition that he had not known since his mother pitched him into that well all those years ago. As he had been transformed into a comic book personage, so too would others be turned into ill-fated adversaries from the same title.

Speaking through the lizard, the Enigma instructed Roger to go to locker no. 8 at the West Pacific Station and retrieve a package. Roger did as told and found a bizarre, striped costume. As he donned the costume, the Enigma used his powers to mutate Roger's body, transforming him into a villain from the old Enigma comic book – the Head. Unlike his comic book counterpart however, this version of the Head was a darker, and more violent person.

Over the span of ten days, the Head began committing a series of grotesque murders in Pacific City. The Head attacked its victims by using a metal, straw-like instrument to extract the brain matter from their heads, upon which he would consume it. By doing so, the Head allegedly acquired all of the knowledge of its victims. This practice prompted the local press to dub him the "Brain Eater".

After killing one of his victims, Roger Cliff accidentally left behind his pickled red lizard. One of the investigating officers, Bob, found it and decided to keep it as a souvenir. The Head realized that he had lost his token and tracked it down to the police officer's apartment. He killed officer Bob, ate his brain and prepared to do the same to his girlfriend when he was interrupted by the arrival of a man named Michael Smith. Smith had been lured to the scene by following a green lizard which he found amazingly floating through the air. In truth, it was the Enigma who had caused the lizard to lead Michael towards the Head. Michael's presence forced the Head to abandon his cause and he escaped out the window. Michael gave chase, but the Head cornered him in a nearby alley. Grabbing Michael, he proceeded to extract his brain out through his nose with his metal pipe. The Enigma appeared and saved Michael before the Head could finish him off.

As per the old comic book, the Enigma was now destined to fight the Head. Unable to gain any true sense of identity or satisfaction from his foe, he ended his life by crushing his massive head with his knee. The Head's body was then taken to the county coroner's office where he was identified as Roger Cliff.

  • It is said that when the Head consumes someone's brain, he experiences a concentrate of an entire life, including memories, passions and knowledge.
  • The Head utilized a metal pipe which he shoved into a victim's nostrils in order to pluck out parts of their frontal lobe and extract it through the nose. In functionality, this device was similar to instruments used for embalming practices by the ancient Egyptians.

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Footnotes


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Vertigo Character
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers.
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Their continuity takes place within the context of Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.

This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."

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