"Deadman Walking": After having snuck into the graveyard to exhume the remains of Archibald Dean without authorization, The Flash was surprised to see a ghost, threatening to kill everyone descended from the line of Marshall Fletcher. Before he can do anything, Barry
- Sorry, Barry... I saw things when I possessed you. Just like I did with Holden. In answer to your question... I did see who he killed. She wasn't one of them. That's a good thing, right?
Synopsis for "Deadman Walking"
After having snuck into the graveyard to exhume the remains of Archibald Dean without authorization, The Flash was surprised to see a ghost, threatening to kill everyone descended from the line of Marshall Fletcher. Before he can do anything, Barry finds himself powerless to do anything, as Deadman takes control of his body, preventing Dean's spirit from controlling the Flash's body in his stead. Naturally, Barry would prefer to have control of his own body, and he runs away, drawing the ghosts with him, and finally blasting both spirits away with the force of his speed.
Running away from the graveyard, though, leads Dean's spirit to a populated area, where he can take possession of a nearby biker, and escape. With the spirit gone, Deadman apologizes for having to protect Barry from possession by the Keystone Killer. Barry is surprised to hear that name, because it is a legend that every kid in the Gem Cities has heard; a cautionary tale about greed. A miner died in a collapse because he refused to leave his diamonds behind, and now that miner haunts the underground mines of Keystone City. Barry is confused, though, because he exhumed the body of Archibald Dean to get a DNA sample from the Broome Hill Butcher's accomplice. Deadman explains that both the Butcher and Archibald Dean were hosts to this evil spirit. Regrouping, and determined to send this spirit back to where it came from, they consider the name Fletcher. The Fletchers are the founding family of Central City, and it is likely the spirit was talking about them.
After passing off the DNA sample to Patty Spivot Barry and Boston head to Iron Heights to pay Hollis Holden another visit to determine the evil spirit's true motives. Deadman possesses Holden, accessing the man's memories. From them, he learns that the Keystone Killer was once Ulysses Sutter, who had lived in Missouri with his family in the mid 1800s. When the California Gold Rush hit, he partnered up with his friend Marshall Fletcher to make their fortunes. Bad weather forced them to stop in Keystone City, and they took up mining there in lieu of California. Weeks of labour got them nothing, so Fletcher returned home. Sutter remained behind, and eventually discovered diamonds. Fletcher felt guilty about leaving his friend behind and returned to take him home. When he found that Sutter had discovered diamonds, he assumed that his friend had betrayed him, attacked, and collapsed the mine with a half-dead Sutter inside. After Sutter starved to death, Fletcher returned with official land claims and founded the Gem Cities. Unfortunately, the Fletcher line has grown over 150 years - and that means Sutter's ghost has thousands of targets.
Meanwhile, at the Central City Police Department Crime Lab, James Forrest and Patty are tasked by their superiors to investigate a murder at the Gem City Museum of History and Science which David Singh suspects may be related to the case they're already working. Annoyed at their workload, James complains that Barry should be allowed to help them instead of being stuck in cold cases, but Captain Frye warns that Barry's placement is his call. As James leaves, Darryl asks Patty to stay behind, demanding to know why she pulled evidence from the Nora Allen crime scene. He warns her to stay out of Barry's preoccupation with the case, as Barry will never find his mother's killer - he would have found the killer by now if it were possible. Patty risks insubordination by pointing out that Darryl is obviously keeping something from her, despite having raised Barry like he was his real son.
At the Central City Hall of Records, Barry is disappointed to learn that all of the genealogy records before the year 1989 have gone missing - as if someone took them. All they have available to them to find and protect the spirit's targets is the phone book. Deadman, meanwhile, warns that while Sutter's spirit can only remain in one body for a short time, longer possession can occur if he finds someone who is of his bloodline. Likely, Hollis Holden is of Sutter's line. Barry recalls that Boston saw the murders Holden committed, and wonders if his mother was one of them. Unfortunately, Deadman must admit that he did not, further revealing that he inadvertently discovered Barry's identity while possessing him, though he was surprised.
At the museum, Barry arrives to warn Patty that the Broome Hill Butcher has struck again - though how that is possible will require some explanation. In the meantime, he wants to know where the killer will strike next, and why he stole a helmet and axe from a display on the life of Marshall Fletcher. Taking Barry aside, Patty admits that because Frye caught her, she didn't get a chance to look at the DNA comparison. He explains that he already knows Holden didn't do it, but her mention of DNA gives him an idea: he should find Marshall Fletcher's.
The spirit wants all of the Fletchers dead, but the records of the Fletcher line were taken long ago - meaning that someone probably took them to keep the spirit from finding them. He had assumed the spirit wanted to possess him to use his super-speed and find the Fletcher line, but in reality, the ghost had discovered his identity and his profession, and knew that Barry's abilities as a crime scene investigator would give him access to police databases and DNA samples.
Hurriedly, Barry and Boston rush back to the lab, but they are horrified to discover that David Singh has apparently murdered many of his co-workers with a pickaxe.
Appearing in "Deadman Walking"
- Ulysses Sutter (Ghost) (Flashback and main story)
- Hollis Holden
- Marshall Fletcher (Flashback only)
- Archibald Dean (Mentioned only)
- Henry Allen (Mentioned only)
- John Constantine (Mentioned only)
- Nora Allen (Mentioned only)
- Keystone City
- Iron Heights
- Gem City Museum of History and Science
- Central City
- Central City Cemetery
- Hall of Records
- CCPD Headquarters
- This issue is reprinted in The Flash: History Lessons.
- The character referred to as Archibald Dean was called Archibald Dylan in The Flash Vol 4 27.
- The Flash Recommended Reading