Deadman’s last appearance in the DC Animated Universe left viewers with questions, and now a new Batman comic sheds further light on his quest.
Warning! Spoilers for Batman: The Adventure Continues Season Two #2 ahead!
Deadman made only one appearance in the DC Animated Universe, and now a new Batman comic offers fresh insight into this fascinating character. In Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #2, Deadman is helping the Dark Knight, and makes a confession to Batman that puts into perspective his only animated appearance. The series tells new stories set in the continuity established by Batman: The Animated Series and the larger DC Animated Universe, bringing in new ideas and concepts while staying true to the spirit of the original. The issue is on sale now in print; it previously appeared on digital outlets.
Deadman was once Boston Brand, a daredevil circus performer who, after his accidental death, was sent back to Earth to catch the man who killed him. He adopted the mantle of Deadman and would fight alongside some of the biggest names in the DC Universe. Deadman has the ability to possess people, a power he uses to communicate with the living, who cannot perceive him otherwise. Essentially a crime-fighting ghost, Deadman made the leap into the DC Animated Universe in a 2006 episode of Justice League Unlimited, titled “Dead Reckoning.” In that episode, Deadman was unable to move on to the afterlife, even after bringing the man who killed him to justice; this was because he used Batman’s body to kill a villain with a gun. This action threw the cosmic balance off and Deadman was forced to continue to wander the Earth to atone; now DC shines further light on this, offering insight into Deadman’s character.
Deadman is assisting the Dark Knight in his battle against the Court of Owls. In the Animated Universe, there is a supernatural element to the Court, necessitating magic-based help from someone like Deadman. Batman is operating under the assumption that Deadman could move on to the afterlife anytime he wished. But Deadman confesses to the Caped Crusader that he is afraid that when he does decide to move on, he will have fallen short of being admitted to the “pearly gates.” Recognizing he would never get another shot, he is hesitant to move on until he is sure he has done enough good.
This statement can easily be reconciled with “Dead Reckoning.” At the end of the episode, Deadman was told he could not move on until he atoned for the murder he committed. There was no plan put in place on how exactly he was to seek penance, so perhaps it is on Deadman himself to decide when he’s ready, and he continues to see himself falling short and missing the mark. It was a fascinating insight into an already fascinating character.
Deadman only made one appearance in the DC Animated Universe, but now Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #2 continues his story, offering readers a look inside Deadman and what makes him tick. The issue is written by Alan Burnette and Paul Dini, with art by Ty Templeton, colors by Monica Kubina and letters by Josh Reed.
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