For this post we are looking at the Strange Adventures #205 story entitled “Who Has Been Lying In My Grave?”. This story was written by Arnold Drake with art by Carmine Infantino and was published in October of 1967. This story introduces one of my favourite characters in DC’s mythology: Deadman!
As the story begins, Deadman, was just the stage name for a struggling circus trapeze artist named Boston Brand. As we see Brand prepare for a show we are introduced to several circus performers who either love or hate him. Those who hate him do so because he is intolerant of any behaviour that harms the show: drunkenness, theft, etc. Those who love him do so because they are able to see through his “I don’t care” attitude and see that secretly he would do anything for those he cares about.
When he finally arrive on the trapeze he doesn’t get very far before falling to his death. But his fall isn’t caused my loss of concentration or any fault of his own. No, instead it is caused by an assassin with a hook for a hand. When he comes too, no one recognizes his presence, but several animals start talking to him and telling him about his “destiny” and about him needing to find his killer. Later, at his own funeral, he realizes he is able to enter people body and control them. Taking control of one of his more faithful friends he goes after his first suspect (of the many people that are corrupt and hate him. Instead of finding his killer he discovers his suspect is actually in with dirty cops smuggling cocaine into the country. Putting an end to the smuggling ring the issue ends and we are left wanting to know how it continues, and if he will ever find that clawed man.
And so begins the story of a character immortalized on the page by many great talents, my favourite of which are Geoff Johns in Brightest Day and Neal Adams, who’s writing and drawing stints begin in the issue following this one. He is also currently a member of Justice League Dark.
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Picture from Wikipedia.