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Deadman was an amazing, solo-act daredevil acrobat in Haley's Circus, being the featured acts along with the Flying Graysons. Despite how amazing of a performer Deadman was, he was incredibly cocky, his ego for himself pushing everybody away.

When the Amazons attacked their show in Poland in an attempt to steal the Helmet of Fate from one of their performers Doctor Fate, Deadman escaped with a few of the circus survivors. In John Grayson's dying breath, he asked Brand to look out for his son Dick, saying that Dick was not like Boston - he needed somebody to be there for him. Wanting to keep to his word, Deadman put aside his ego to protect the boy from the impending Amazon attack.

However, as Deadman and Dick Grayson - the only two circus performers left alive, escaped the Amazon army, Boston made a jump that ultimately killed him. Even though his body was dead, Deadman's soul departed his body as a ghost and continued to follow Grayson, even if the boy didn't know. In his ghost form, Deadman swore to always be his protector and to be the boy's family, even if he didn't know it.

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