"Kid Eternity": Christopher Freeman has the same dream nearly every night. It is a dream of the day he died. He had been in an argument with his father at the time, but in the dream, Christopher always tries to give up the argument, and warn his father about
- You see I get to bring people back for a day... and I get to help them solve their murders before they move on.
National Comics: Eternity #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of September, 2012.
Synopsis for "Kid Eternity"
Christopher Freeman has the same dream nearly every night. It is a dream of the day he died. He had been in an argument with his father at the time, but in the dream, Christopher always tries to give up the argument, and warn his father about what's about to happen to them. A car drives by with its windows rolled down, and the occupants fire on them both with automatic weapons. Christopher's father leaps onto him to protect him, but both are shot. Christopher feels himself dying, but the feeling makes him stay alive long enough to hear his father's voice. Then, Christopher plunges into a dark place full of what he believes are other dead people. His father begs him to stay, but Christopher has to go. When he returns to life, in the dream, his father wheezes that it should have been Christopher who was stuck in that other place, not him.
Christopher wakes from his dream late for work. As much as he hates being late for work, he arrives late every day, in order to see the girl at the reception desk who starts fifteen minutes later than he does. On his way to work, Christopher spots a strange man, who smirks at him, and he feels that he recognizes him from somewhere. Christopher shrugs off the encounter and arrives for work at the coroner's office in time to see the girl he pines after, and to receive a new assignment from Captain Phillips. Christopher's father used to be a detective with the police, and his lateness is a source of constant disappointment to Phillips, who knew Christopher's father as a more reliable man.
Christopher has been assigned a corpse who died from a gunshot wound to the chest. His name is Darby Quinn, owner and operator of an antique store. Bruising on his knuckles suggests a fight. Scratches on his neck indicate a struggle. There is no sign of the murder weapon. After finishing his initial record, Christopher turns off his recorder and locks the door to the morgue. He has a special way of solving murders that doesn't exactly fall under the category of forensic science.
Christopher can enter the place where the recently deceased reside, and for 24 hours, he can bring back any of those souls. He seeks out Mr. Quinn, and despite the man's protests, grabs him and prepares to return to reality. However, the strange man he saw on the train earlier grabs Darby by the ankle claiming that the man belongs to him. Even so, Darby kicks the man away, and he and Christopher return to the morgue.
Darby Quinn isn't aware that he's dead yet, and as a result of his recent demise, he doesn't remember much of how he died. Christopher explains that despite the memory loss, he can help solve Darby's murder over the next 24 hours, if he'll cooperate. Christopher is interrupted midway through talking to the ghost by the Captain, who notices that the body hasn't even been autopsied yet, after several hours of working on it. Angrily, he exclaims that Christopher's father would be disappointed, and suspends him without pay for a week.
Still, with several hours left with Mr. Quinn, Christopher hopes he can solve the murder himself and save his job. They go to the crime scene, the antique shop, and hope to see if there is anything different. There is no sign of a break-in, but Darby notices that one of his antique pistols is missing. Likewise, the connecting door to his upstairs tenant's apartment is unlocked. When Christopher begins asking about this tenant, Darby's response is highly bigoted. Christopher writes it off as his being an old man, and presses Darby until the spirit reveals that he threw out a poster of hers in his shop. Christopher retrieves the poster from the garbage and finds that the tenant's band is playing at a club that very night.
Christopher decides that they should question this tenant, who appears to have motive enough against Mr. Quinn for his surly behaviour alone. Darby makes lewd comments about the young women attending the show, and Christopher remarks that this spirit doesn't seem like a very nice man. He also notices that the death-wound on Quinn's chest is becoming apparent on his ghost - which means that their time together is running out. Hurriedly, they push their way to the backstage area, where Sally, the lead singer of the band and Quinn's former tenant seems to be quite shaken up. When he sees her, Darby refers to her as a slut, which alarms Christopher.
Christopher steps up and introduces himself to the girl, admitting that he works for the police. Desperately, she warns him away, pulling the antique gun out of her purse. Seeing the gun, Darby Quinn is sure that it was her who killed him, rambling that she used to be in and out of his building with strange men, but never took the time to look at him. Christopher realizes that Mr. Quinn had more than just an old man's bitterness against his tenant. He comes to understand that Mr. Quinn had tried to rape Sally, and in her desperation to defend herself, she had shot him. Angrily, he sends Quinn back to the spirit world, and chases after Sally, who has run up to the roof.
Sally is planning to jump from the roof to her death, but Christopher explains that he knows it wasn't her fault, and that he can help her, if she will come down. Eventually, the police arrive, and all is resolved. Christopher claims that he solved the case by recognizing the powder burns of an antique round, and then found that one of the antique guns was missing at the shop. At that point, he had discovered the unlocked door and found his way to Sally who admitted what happened. Captain Phillips marvels that Christopher is either a mad genius or very, very lucky. Softening, he agrees to let Christopher come back to work tomorrow.
Suddenly, Christopher hears the voice of the strange man, reminding how he had told Christopher that Darby Quinn was his. He explains that he knows everything about Christopher, and that Christopher isn't following the rules that he must follow. He will not tell him the rules, but he warns that if Christopher keeps bringing back bad people, he will find himself in all kinds of trouble. The man introduces himself as Mr. Keeper, and then leaves without answering any more questions.
The next day, Christopher wakes for the first time in ages without having had his recurring dream. He arrives to work late, hoping to see the girl he likes. Strangely, she is not there. Phillips has another body for him to look at, and for once, Christopher is excited to see who it is. His excitement changes to a pit in his stomach when he discovers that the body he is to examine is that of the girl he has been pining for.
Appearing in "Kid Eternity"
- Christopher Freeman (First appearance)
- Darby Quinn (Single appearance)
- Captain Phillips (Single appearance)
- Mister Keeper
- Mr. Freeman (Only appearance; dies)
- Deadman (Mentioned only)
- The National Comics one-shots published in 2012 were "pilots" for possible ongoing series, and were written without much concern where they fit into continuity. If this comic had been successful and lead to a Eternity series, then a decision would have been made whether it happened in the main continuity (Prime Earth) or somewhere else in the multiverse. This version of Chris Freeman finally reappeared in 2022 in Batman: Urban Legends #11, validating the events of this issue as Prime Earth canon.