Happy Dia de los Muertos and All Saints Day! Just cause the scariness of Halloween is over doesn’t mean the dead aren’t still up and about! Just look at Deadman! He keeps his spirits up! Doesn’t let a thing like death keep him down too much. So how did this ghost guy come to be and what does he do that gets him trucking with heroes and gods? Let’s find out!
Boston Brand was a circus trapeze artist whose death defying stunts got him the stage name of Deadman. It wasn’t one of his stunts that got him killed by a murderer’s bullet. Instead of passing on into the afterlife, Boston meets the god Rama Kushna, who grants him the ability to possess the living as a ghost. Using this power, Boston finds his killer and the strange assassin cult he is a part of. While on his quest to solve his murder, Boston noticed that he could help others with his powers, this would give him a new mission in his strange afterlife.
While Boston would travel the world helping people, he also had a home in Nanda Parbat. This was a city where the most dangerous and evil souls could reside as peaceful and good people. One such soul is that of Darius Caldera, who becomes one of Boston’s most deadly foes when he leaves the city. Caldera’s ability to leave the city is when it is destroyed by outside forces, freeing all the once good and now returned-to-evil souls upon the Earth.
Teaming up with several heroes and other adventurers, Boston would spend much of his time trying to help people as before but also to stop the evil souls now freed. It would take time travel to allow Boston to stop Caldera and the other freed souls by bringing back Nanda Parbat. During his time trips, Boston would attempt to save the lives of both Barry Allen and Jason Todd but outside factors would doom these events to continue on the way they always had.
When the Spectre decides that all magic must be destroyed, Boston joins the Sentinels of Magic to try and stop him while saving as many lives as possible. Events would lead to Boston and the Sentinels being trapped in the River Styx experience Hell. Boston would stay sane by focusing on reliving the pain of his death and coming to the realization that his death allowed him to become a better person than his life was leading. When they are able to escape they are eventually attacked by demons and able to truly break free with the help of the Justice League.
As the Blackest Night begins, Boston hears the voices of the dead drawing him to his body. While his body is brought back as a Black Lantern, he still remains Deadman and unable to possess his corpse. Assisting Batman and his allies, Boston finds himself in possession of Jason Blood and thus, Etrigan the Demon. Able to control the demon for a short time, he is able to fight many Black Lanterns and rescue Batman and Red Robin. He would even find himself nearly trapped inside a Black Lantern ring due to size-changing adventures with the Atom. This would allow him to get close enough to Nanda Parbat so he could fight off the Black Lanterns. Helped by the Phantom Stranger, Boston is able to free his own body of the Black Lantern ring and with it, help end the Blackest Night.
After the Blackest Night came the Brightest Day and with it, the White Lanern’s light which brought the dead back, but not as zombies, as fully resurrected people. This was jarring for Boston as he was suddenly alive once more and wearing a White Lantern Ring. He would encounter the power behind the White Lanterns, the Entity and learn that he must do the hardest thing ever, enjoy life.
A new lease on life allows Boston to reconnect with his grandfather and begin dating the superhero Dove, Dawn Granger. The two would travel the world searching for a new bearer as the Entity. They would end up returned to Star City’s Star Forest and find that they were tied into bringing about the new Swamp Thing. Boston would be killed by Captain Boomerang for a shot meant for Dawn. Now returned to ghostly form, the two would mourn their chances at “living” a normal relationship. They would be successful in bringing about the new Swamp Thing and ridding the world of the corrupted old Swamp Thing.
In the New 52, Boston was a selfish man in life and now tries to redeem himself in death. He and Dawn Granger try to make their relationship work with his intangibility. They work with the Justice League Dark team, the magically focused team of heroes.
There you have it folks! Boston Brand is an interesting fellow who tries to do the right thing. A friendly ghost if there ever was one. He’s worked with all sorts of heroes and dealt with some deadly dead foes. He’s made appearances on several cartoons and hopefully more in the future. See you next time!
Strange Adventures #205
Green Arrow Vol. 4, #4
Days of Judgement
Justice League Dark