[[caption-width-right:300:[[TakeThat This is how you people spend life?!]]]]

->''Famous last words. Mine were "You know, from up here it almost looks like that guy with a hook is holding a rifle..."''
-->--'''The ghost of Boston Brand'''

So yeah. Lemme tell you a bit about myself. The name's Boston Brand, aka [[MeaningfulName Deadman]]. Before I was killed, I used to be a circus trapeze artist who performed under that name and used the nice costume you see before you. I admit I wasn't the most pleasant guy under the big top (I was co-owner and would ''you'' put up with drunken lion tamers and embezzling employees?) and my girlfriend didn't care for my macabre style for my act, but life was good, until it ended. During one of my performances, I was assassinated by someone in the crowd with a hook for a hand. The bullet shattered my back, but it was the fall that killed me. Despite all this, my spirit was given the ability to possess any living being by Rama Kushna, a powerful Hindu goddess, so I could find whoever killed me and earn some justice in this world.

I first appeared in ''Strange Adventures'' #205 (October, 1967). Initially I was written by Arnold Drake (Ya heard of him? He used to pal around with the Comicbook/DoomPatrol) and drawn by Carmine Infantino, although they got replaced by Jack Miller and Neal Adams - him you've definitely heard of, he's a friend of Franchise/{{Batman}}'s - after my first appearance, and I got to be depicted by an artist who would redefine the medium's visual style as radically as I tried to with the trapeze act.

So I came back from my meeting with Rama, and found a bunch of smugglers who were using the circus as a front for smuggling drugs (the first [[UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode Comics Code]]-approved story to have narcotics mentioned, years before Creator/StanLee butted heads with the CCA with his ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' story). Being dead, that stuff technically wasn't my business anymore, but it seems my conscience was still alive as ever and I had to step in as I traded in my acrobat calling for the SuperHero one. So, while I was looking around for my killer, I kept getting sidetracked by the other baddies I had to stop as well. Eventually I happened upon the man who had killed me. However it turned out he had only killed me as part of an initiation ritual into [[ComicBook/RasAlGhul Ra's al Ghul]]'s League of Assassins who then killed him to keep him quiet, following me so far? But it then turned out that this group all had a hook for a hand and that the person I thought killed me had his hook on his left hand rather than the right.

Been through a few other things over the years. Rama Kushna had me battle a sorceress over the lives of some deceased costumed heroes. At the same time I paid my dear brother a personal visit, only for him to die while I was hanging around doing the same act I used to do before I was killed. Then I helped run this city where supervillains could live and behave themselves, only it got invaded and destroyed and they were set loose again.

However then something people call the ComicBook/BlackestNight appeared and suddenly everyone was coming back to life, sorta. This included my own body. Turns out everyone had been possessed by black rings and were made to serve some master of death. At the end of it a bunch of [[GreenLantern rainbow coloured ringslingers]] managed to defeat this guy, but not before some white rings went and resurrected a [[ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} bunch]] of [[ComicBook/MartianManhunter other]] heroes properly. Somehow this included me. They were calling it the ComicBook/BrightestDay, a whole new start. Me, I had the last white ring on my finger, and no idea what I was supposed to do apart from [[DropTheHammer destroy my own grave]]. Turned out, the ring had its own ideas, and ended up dragging me around the universe, setting things up so it could take down this master of death's final attack. In the little time I ''wasn't'' doing that, I [[Funny/BrightestDay ate some cheeseburgers]]. Hell, I even got myself a girlfriend. But once entity-thing was done with that - wham, dead again, and [[StatusQuoIsGod still no rest]] for yours truly.

Oh well, at least I also got to star on TV in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' and co-star in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''. A super-deformed version of me starred in a couple of shorts made by the guy who made ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'', where for some reason I have a raven for a pet. It's kinda adorable actually.

!! I represent these tropes:
* AllPowerfulBystander: Part of a group with the Phantom Stranger and the Spectre in ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths.
* AntiHero: I'm a type II; I'm no Superman, but I'm still a heroic guy.
* BackFromTheDead: Thanks to that Entity during ComicBook/BrightestDay, but afterwards I was dead again.
* BaldOfAwesome: It's actually a mask, but it does give off a certain tough guy appeal.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: Kinda. I can visit, but I never stick around.
* BecomingTheMask: A literal example. I don't naturally look like a ghost, it's my circus outfit that I died in. I didn't learn for a long time that I could actually take the mask off.
* TheCameo: I may not be ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' famous, but enough writers are fans of mine enough to throw me in a story even if they don't give me anything to do.
* ChivalrousPervert: I'd do anything for a pretty face. Gets me in trouble a lot.
* TheChosenOne: By Rama. Turns out I wasn't the first one either, but the first guy went bad.
* CircusOfFear: When you're a ghost acrobat, you wind up dealing with one or two of 'em.
* CombatPragmatist: Possessing people leads to a lot of fun in combat. Turning enemies against each other, suddenly taking control of weapons, lots of tricky stuff.
* CosmicPlaything: For ''two'' cosmics; first Rama Kushna made me a ghost to do her bidding and then that white ring dragged me all over the universe.
* DeaderThanDead: Okay, if I get killed while possessing someone, that's it for me. So I gotta be careful.
* DeathbyOriginStory: Me, natch. Otherwise I wouldn't be "Deadman".
* DemonicPossession: I look creepy, but I'm ''not'' demonic.
* DependingOnTheArtist: Most versions of me look like I did in costume when I was alive, but some guys like to show me looking more like a rotting corpse, or even [[ComicBook/KingdomCome a skeleton.]]
* DependingOnTheWriter: Am I a friendly ghost who likes to joke around, or a lonely guy who hates his lot in death? I go through phases.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: I love the ladies, and some of 'em even love me back. But for one reason or another, I usually end up alone. Sometimes they're evil. Sometimes they're ghosts and pass on once I help 'em. There are even a couple who were alive, but it just didn't work out.
* DimensionalTraveler: I can go anywhere I want to.
* DoomMagnet: Since I'm already dead, nothing bad ever really happens to me. Unfortunately, this means to keep the story interesting, bad things happen to the people around me.
* HoldingBackThePhlebotinum: There's always some reason I can't just possess the BigBad. Rama Kushna forbid my job is easy once in a while.
* HomeBase: Nanda Parbat, a Shangri-La-like place where the goddess I work for lives. I can interact with living people normally there, so I go there sometimes.
* HypercompetentSidekick: My buddy Max Loomis, a midget acrobat detective who understands spiritual stuff a lot better than I do.
* InvincibleHero: For the most part. Some magic mumbo-jumbo aside, there really isn't any way to hurt a ghost.
* InvisibleToNormals: It sucks, but I've got some friends who can see me, mostly magical heroes.
* KilledOffForReal: [[ComicBook/InjusticeGodsAmongUs In one universe.]]
* LegacyCharacter: In [[ComicBook/InjusticeGodsAmongUs the world where Superman goes crazy,]] [[spoiler: I get bumped off and choose Nightwing as my replacement.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Almost had one with Madame Xanadu, who's at least a thousand years older than me, but she cut it off just as we were starting to go somewhere.
* MeaningfulName: I'm dead and a I'm a man, get it?
* MilesToGoBeforeISleep: I'd love to rest in peace, but I had to find my killer first, but before I could even do that, there was always someone that needed help. It can make a guy think that BeingGoodSucks.
* MrExposition: In ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', I basically get Norm [=McCay=] up to speed on what's going on from a metaphysical sense. I even give him some advice about his dour guide The Spectre.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: I don't have the best track record with keeping people I possess alive.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Sometimes my powers don't really make sense. I'll be able to possess paintings or read the memories of people I take control of, even though those abilities are never shown before or since.
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: There are other ghosts around, but there's only one of me.
* {{Psychopomp}}: Sometimes I help other dead people pass on.
* RebelliousSpirit: If I don't agree with Rama, I won't follow her orders. Sometimes it works out well. Sometimes it doesn't.
* SealedInAPersonShapedCan: First I got stuck in an evil version of Aquaman's dead body, thinkin' I was him. When I came to my senses. Constantine trapped me inside for a while.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Can't get enough of cheeseburgers. Sometimes I'll even possess somebody just to get a taste.
* TwinSwitch: My twin brother Cleveland took up my act after I died. [[HistoryRepeats It eventually got him killed too.]] [[HeroicBSOD I wasn't happy about it.]]
* UnfinishedBusiness: My original reason for sticking around. Rama Kushna decided to let me hunt down my killer. I continued to stick around after seeing how screwy and unfair the world was.