- I never cared about life until I lost it.
- — Boston Brand src
Boston Brand is a ghost. A walking Deadman if you will. He was formerly a circus acrobat who was murdered during a trapeze performance by a mysterious assailant known only as "the Hook."
So he could search for his murderer and obtain justice, the Hindu goddess, Rama Kushna, gave his spirit the power to possess any living being. While he was searching for his killer, he felt obliged to help others. He used his power to alter circumstances that benefited the innocent and corrected any wrongdoing.
Ultimately, Boston found out the truth about his murder and came to accept his role as one who intervenes in mortals' lives.
Working with Batman
Batman and Deadman fist met in Gotham City, as Deadman had tracked down his killer there and Batman helped him find the criminal.
Some time later, Deadman was hypnotized and forced to attack Batman. Deadman started possessing people and attacking Batman with their bodies. After releasing Deadman from the hypnosis, Batman learned that the responsible behind it was Sensei, who planned on destroying Nanda Parbat. Batman and Deadman went there and defeated the Sensei, and Deadman learned that he could become physical Nanda Parbat. Some time later, Deadman teamed-up with the Dark Knight again in order to dismantle a criminal operation that provided criminals new identities to prevent being captured. During the mission, Deadman fell in love with the leader of the criminal organization and he had to kill her to save Batman's life.
Deadman also assisted Batman on the capture of the Boomerang Killer, but afterwards, Deadman took possession of the body of Thomas Wayne, Jr., who was Batman's lost brother. Deadman used Thomas body to become a professional circus performer as he was while he was alive, but he was eventually forced to leave Thomas' body in order to help Batman and Superman capture a gang of smugglers. It was then that Thomas sacrificed himself to save Batman's life, leaving Deadman without a body to inhabit once again. After this, Deadman worked with Batman on several other occasions.
Deadman assisted his circus family, including his sister-in-law, Inga in resisting being bought out by corrupt businessman Mr. Solomon, who in truth was after the circus to obtain an invention called the encephalopathic transmogrifier which was hidden there by Inga's inventor father.
Over the course of several years, Rama Kushna has had Deadman confront the sorcerer Caldera during multiple times. Due to this, he has altered the fate of the souls of several deceased superheroes. Two of them are Flash (Barry Allen) and Robin (Jason Todd). During the Robin incident, he tried to possess the Joker, but was driven out by the man's insanity.
Youth and Hell
In the Sins of Youth incident, Deadman was one of the dozens of heroes reduced to a pre-teen age by Klarion the Witch Boy, and an alien machine owned by Doiby Dickles. He was still the same spirit, but now has a small "d" on his chest. He assisted "Secret" in confronting Teekl, Klarion's companion, in an effort to restore everyone. He also joined in the fight against mystically created, and mystically altered, villains.
During the Day of Judgment incident, Boston Brand traveled with a group of heroes to the frozen wastelands of Hell. Their goal was to restart the demonic fires, thus recalling all the demons from the earthly plane. An accident stranded Brand and the others under the frozen waters of the River Styx. This forced them to live out what was to them, Hell. To survive this situation, Brand concentrated on the pain from the sharpshooter's bullet. This survival tactic gave him an epiphany... "he needed to die in order to learn how to live."
The corporeal remains of Boston Brand were recently raised by a Black Lantern Ring making him one of the of the Black Lantern Corps. Deadman, having newly learned of Blackest Night attempted to possess his corpse but was unable to control its actions and was forced to leave the body due to the agony involved. He did however receive impressions of what was going on in Blackest Night and was able to inform the Lanterns on how to defeat Nekron. He was one of twelve individuals resurrected by the power of the white light, startled to find himself among the living once more.
Following the Blackest Night, Boston is now the only person still in possession of a White Lantern Ring. The White Entity reveals to Boston that it is dying and his task is to find the chosen one who will take over for the Entity. Boston begins to search for the chosen one with the help of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, the latter of which Boston falls in love with.
While searching for the chosen one, Deadman's ring reaches 100% and transforms him into a White Lantern, transporting him to Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The Entity tells them that in order to reclaim their lives, they need to learn to live apart from each other as they value love over life. The couple refuses to be separated again and the Entity says "So be it", reducing them to white dust in front of Deadman's eyes.
Powers and Abilities
- Ghostly Physiology: Deadman has no physical body. Deadman's visage in the afterlife represents the manner in which he appeared during his final moments as a living human being. As such, he consistently appears wearing ghastly white face mask, and a red acrobat uniform.
- Possession: He has the ability to possess other living creatures. While doing this, he maintains full control over his selected target, and can even speak through them. A host body gifted with a particularly willful spirit however, has been known to exorcise Deadman's presence from their form. Typically whenever Deadman abandons a host form, they maintain no knowledge or memory of their actions while possessed. Deadman can only possess one human being at a time. Prolonged attachment to a specific host places Deadman at risk of a permanent bonding (the nature of which has been known to vary from time to time).
- Invisibility: He cannot be visibly perceived by other human beings. This is an automatic ability, and one that Deadman has no control over. Beings gifted with supernatural prowess (Madame Xanadu for example), may be able to see Deadman's true form.
- Intangibility: He can pass through anything and everything. This is an automatic ability, and one that Deadman has no control over.
- Flight: Sometimes called Spirit Travel, he possesses the ability to fly between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead. By extension he is able to levitate, float and fly in both worlds. When possessing a human form however, Deadman is limited by whatever physical restrictions apply to the host body.
- Acrobatics: Boston Brand was an acrobat in his mortal life.
- Occultism: Deadman is intimately familiar with many dimensions of the afterlife and has knowledge of many of the mystical powers that interact with the living world.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Deadman is a proficient hand-to-hand fighter, and also stated to the Sensei that he had taken some training.
- No Physical Body
- Power Limitation: The health and nature of whichever host body he is possessing at the moment may place certain physical limitations on this ability. If Deadman possesses the body of an out of shape, middle-aged man, he will not be able to tumble as dexterously as he would were he in possession of a more athletic specimen.
- White Lantern Ring (Formerly)
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Boston died at 2 o'clock on the day of September 10. His tombstone indicates his date of birth, and date of death as 1932–1966. This would make Brand 34 years old at the time of his death.
- Boston's twin brother, Cleveland Brand, occasionally posed as the Deadman during performances.
- Deadman's trapeze outfit was the inspiration for Dick Grayson's original Nightwing costume.
- When Deadman possesses the body of another living being, that host body is surrounded by a green glow which cannot be seen by mortal eyes—only by Deadman himself.
- Deadman Recommended Reading
- Strange Adventures (Volume 1) (1967)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1): (1978)
- Deadman (Volume 1) (1985)
- Deadman (Volume 2) (1986)
- Action Comics (Volume 1): (1988)
- Deadman: Love After Death (Volume 1) (1989)
- Deadman: Exorcism (Volume 1) (1992)
- Lobo/Deadman: The Brave and the Bald (1995)
- Batman/Deadman: Death and Glory (1996)
- Deadman: Dead Again (Volume 1) (2001)
- Deadman (Volume 3) (2002)
- Deadman (Volume 4) (2006)
- Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love (Volume 1) (2016)
- Deadman (Volume 5) (2018)
- 288 Appearances of Boston Brand (New Earth)
- 59 Images featuring Boston Brand (New Earth)
- 29 Quotations by or about Boston Brand (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Boston Brand (New Earth)
- Strange Adventures #205
- The Brave and the Bold #79
- The Brave and the Bold #86
- The Brave and the Bold #104
- World's Finest #223
- World's Finest #227
- The Brave and the Bold #133
- The Phantom Stranger (Volume 2) #40
- The Phantom Stranger (Volume 2) #41
- Adventure Comics #459
- Adventure Comics #460
- Adventure Comics #461
- Adventure Comics #462
- Adventure Comics #463
- Blackest Night: Batman #1
- Reign in Hell #4
- Blackest Night: Batman #2
- Batman: Odyssey #6
- Strange Adventures #210
- Strange Adventures #209
|Seven Soldiers of Victory member|
This character is or was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, or the Seven Soldiers in any of its various incarnations, created during World War II and later, it returned to battle time-traveling, dimension-spanning mysteries and monsters.
|White Lantern Corps member|
This character is or was a member of the White Lantern Corps, guided by the Life Entity to wield the White Light of Life.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "White Lantern Corps members category."
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Justice Society of America member