I’m not sure if this title is DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS: and then will highlight a different character every few months or if it is a comic book that will use Deadman in it while featuring other superheroes.
I can’t imagine Deadman would get his own title though so I’m leaning toward this being a compilation title.
As I began to read Deadman, I started to think about Mister Terrific, his rationality and trust in science, and his atheism. I realized that being an atheist in comic book reality probably isn’t the most rational way of seeing things. If Mister Terrific had one chance encounter with Deadman, what would he think? How would logic explain this? Does Mister Terrific know enough technobalderdash to explain Deadman via quantum mechanics? Does Mister Terrific’s Quantum Field explain Deadman? What about Wonder Woman’s Gods? Are they, perhaps, just another race of alien beings that set up shop very early on Earth and are quite long-lived? Perhaps they can only be killed by ‘blood’, as War and Hermes discuss, because only the aliens themselves know how to permanently defeat one of their kind.
In a comic universe where a lot of weird stuff happens, Gods seemingly walk the Earth, magic is everywhere, and Demons and Angels interfere (at least in the old DCU and the new DCU still has Etrigan), wouldn’t being an Atheist be the more delusional approach to spirituality?
I also began to wonder what would Mister Terrific do if he ever came up against one of DC’s magic villains? I can’t think of any at the moment! But say he teamed up with Zatanna? How would he explain it? Rely on his Quantum technobalderdash? Would he be able to explain magic and Deadman and the Greek Gods through his logic?
I bring all of this up because I don’t have a problem immersing myself in fictional landscapes that are totally alien to how I view our reality. As a rationalist and an atheist, I see someone like Tebow as delusional and bordering on the mentally ill. At the very least, he’s suffering from some sort of religious Stockholm Syndrome. But when I see a play like Les Misérables, I find it very moving when Thénardier makes the statement that God in heaven is as dead as the stiffs at his feet. And the audience knows that one of those stiffs at his feet is not dead at all.
So instead of talking about Deadman, I’m back to Mister Terrific! Now that DC has cancelled that title, we’ll never get to see Mister Terrific deal with some of these issues! I think having him deal with a magic dealing nemesis would have made for a really great storyline. Okay. Enough of Mister Terrific until issue #6! Back to Deadman!
Boston Brand was an acrobat who performed under the name Deadman. I don’t know why he did this. Was this some strange Cirque du Soleil thing?
Morte, now showing in Las Vegas!
He is assassinated by a sniper while performing on the trapeze. Probably because he was a big douchey dickbag.
Look at how angry those little people are!
I have yet to discuss that red glowing lady. I last scanned a panel with her in it in JLI #1. At the time, I thought she might have something to do with that storyline. I was wrong. She, apparently, appears in the first issue of each 52 title. Sometimes in wildly jarring places that just ruin the flow of the comic. Like in Savage Hawkman when he’s in the middle of the fight at the lab. There is a big splash page where we see him for the first time in his Nth Metal uniform. A big hole in the wall. And she’s standing there looking on. I would have scanned it but it’s in my big book of #1s that is a big pain in the ass to scan.
For the record, before I restart, Deadman narrates his comic as if he’s describing the current action to an audience. Perhaps he’s lecturing to a college class and the panels are a slide show presentation.
After Deadman dies, he ends up in some kind of afterlife speaking to a blue woman whose skirt is falling off.
I always suspected Hinduism was the true religion.
But it looks like he isn’t actually dead. Ms. Krishness mentions he is caught in the “infinite moment between a life poorly lived and the agonal state of death.” This infinite moment seems to be some sort of Christmas Carol where Boston Brand has a chance to become a better man. Now this might just mean that just before he dies, he learns his lesson. Or perhaps if he becomes a better man, it will save him when he’s thrust back into his dying body.
To become that man, Deadman must take over a host of people in some kind of spiritual succession that will bring him closer to the man he should have been.
Wouldn’t everything balance out if she would just get her fat blue ass off the rock?
Actually, she’s floating. Anyway, each step Deadman makes toward the center, his pure self takes a step closer to him. So Rama doesn’t want him to be too bad or too perfect but tepid.
I’m unclear whether this is about saving his life or just allowing him to move on from this purgatory. But if it is about saving Boston Brand’s life, I wonder if the people he possesses to help will cause some sort of chain reaction that will culminate in everything being at the right place and time so that Brand can be saved.
Or else it’s all of that except everything is being set up by Rama to achieve something which Rama wants and she is simply manipulating Deadman in to doing her nastiness.
The next person on Deadman’s list to possess is a war veteran who lost both his legs and is being crushed by survivor’s guilty. Deadman narrates to his class that he has been doing this for awhile now. He used to possess exciting people and enjoyed the thrill of solving their problems. This is probably a reference to the old Deadman readers would have remembered. But before he hops into Johnny No-legs, he heads off to see a psychic, some woman named Rose he knew from his alive days in the circus.
Deadman is trying to get her to help him get some information. It looks like he has some limited control over where he can go in-between missions for Rama. So perhaps he’s looking to find a way out of this? Or he’s looking for answers to help him with the missions as they’ve become increasingly more abstract and existential.
Deadman’s first missions were fairly easy. He knew how to help the people. They had problems he could grasp and solutions easily found in the physical world: more money, different job, knowledge to be found.
His latest batch of possessees has been somewhat more ambiguous. A priest losing his faith. An innocent man on death row. A stripper who hates and loves her father. And the veteran with survivor’s guilt.
How is he, an acroboat, supposed to help them? As he says about helping the priest: “What was I supposed to do—reconcile his faith and his fears with a somersault?”
So he possesses the the veteran, as seen above, and puts a gun to the veteran’s head. The threat of suicide brings Rama running on the final page. “You’re probably wondering why I’ve asked you here,” says Deadman.
So it looks like I was on the right track with Deadman wanting out of this somehow. Or at least more control or say over his movements. Perhaps this is Brand’s version of Jesus at Gethsemane and he’s doubting the process and where it’s going to get him.