The origin of Deadman.
Boston Brand, a professional fink and brilliant trapeze artist. The Deadman!
As Boston Brand is getting ready for his circus act, Miss Lorna approaches him, telling him how he really takes care of her after her father died. Boston stops her there, telling her that he hasn't done anything for her, or anybody else. All he did was for himself. Now the boss of the circus, tries to explain to her how circus people are, comparing them with children. Miss Lorna is then driven away by Boston's outfit when he tells her that's who he is and to get used to it.
Tiny, The World's Strongest Man, knocks on his door reminding him his act is due soon. Being offended when Boston calls him an idiot, Tiny breaks the door down demanding from Boston not to call him names, especially him. Boston walking away, he stumbles across a constable messing up with Vashnu -and Indian fakir-, telling him Fortune Tellers are not allowed in the circus. Boston confronts the constable, forcing him to step back by explaining to him the difference of a Character Analyst and a Fortune Teller, with quite an offensive example. Vashnu thanks Boston by reminding him his fate is being watched by Rama Kushna. Explaining to him the powers Rama upholds, Vashnu tells him, Her special gift is waiting for him, and one day when he least expects it, it should be his.
Walking away once again, he catches up Heldrich boozing. Knocking him down, he fires him, telling him to collect his final payment after the show. Seeing Leary in the ticket booth, he tells him that his job is to call in for people, not just sell tickets. Searching in his pockets he realizes he was stealing again, but since he was a good pitchman to have around, he doesn't him but tells him not to be such a greedy "partner".
Later, as Boston is almost ready for his act the inevitable happens. A shot is fired with Boston falling down to his death. Toby the Clown, being the nearest one to the body, desperately orders for someone to call in the cops as a doctor won't be needed since "he's had it" already. Miss Lorna crying on Tiny's shoulder tries to deal with what had just happened saying he didn't deserve it. Vashnu steps in saying this might be Rama's act, and the beginning of Boston's fate. Everyone is gathered for the burial, with each one of them having their thoughts about Broston as a person when he was still alive. Everyone is leaving, except Tiny who's left behind expressing his feelings towards Boston, calling him a rat.
The clock now turns back to when Boston was falling to his death. Falling down, Boston realizes he is still alive, and he is not hurt. Approaching Toby when he pulls the cape over his dead body and Lorna crying for his death, he tries to tell them that he is still alive, when a talking elephant tells him that actually he is not. Boston worrying he is losing his mind, he steps out for some fresh air. Seeing one of Professor Quigley's trained mice, he is trying to grab it when he realizes his hand went just through it. Now the speaking mouse tells him again he is not alive. Finally the voice, who is Rama Kushna, tells Boston that he is going have the power to walk among men until he had found the one who killed him.
Seeing Tiny over his grave, he approaches him, while all of a sudden he's entering his body. Tiny being unconscious, Boston is alive once again inside his body. A man approaches him , asking him for fire to lit his cigarette, when Boston realizes inside other peoples bodies he can be seen and heard like a normal person. Starting to looking for evidence, for the man with the steel hook that killed him, he sees Heldrich with the constable having a deal over drugs. Breaking into the room, he is fighting with Heldrich for selling drugs when the constable shoots at him. Letting them believe he is dead, as dead as an already dead man can get, he is merging into the cops body punching Heldrich and then goes back inside Tiny's body. Tiny explaining to Lorna what Heldrich has been doing back in Mexico, tells her that thanks to "Boston" he knew all of this, as he told him right before he died. Lorna asking from Tiny to never leave her now that Boston is gone, Boston is thinking that Tiny won't but he will, the day he finds his killer.
The hunt for Boston's killer begins..
"War of the Mind Readers!" Reprinted from Strange Adventures #65.