Spooky Halloween Showdown of Horror: Deadman vs. The Walking Dead

Deadman vs. The Walking Dead

The things I do these days, they're dangerous. But not for me. The risk is assumed by the bodies I borrow. I used to have my own. I kept it well. But I put it on the line, night after night, sailing through the air without a net. They called me Boston Brand. Tonight, nobody calls me anything. I could borrow your buddy's skin, or even your skin, and if I do my work well, you're none the wiser. You're an involuntary participant in the fight of the good guys against the bad guys. But all you know is sleep. Grab fries and a frosty at Wendy's tomorrow and you'll lose my hangover. Cost of doing business. And I promise, that's all it is. I'd say you're welcome, but you can't hear me and you don't know me and you don't know what ancient evil we just brought down together. I'm the Deadman. And all it is is business.

Except tonight.

Tonight I'm borrowing you. Taking you for a spin, Russ Taggart. Because you remind me of myself when I had a self. You remind other people too. For the old guys who remember, you're the second coming of Boston Brand. The new highwire king. You're a kestrel in flight. A cliche, let's be fair. A runaway at 14. Found yourself in the circus not so long after. And that was the plan. You weren't prepared for the smell of elephants. Not the sometimes smell, but the all the time smell. The smell that becomes your own musk on the warm nights when you take the money out of your shoes and sneak out to the city to be with women. You weren't prepared to take the elephants with you in a way that can't be seen, but is so acute it might as well be felt. Or not felt, you have learned. The lonely nights, Russ Taggart. You weren't prepared for the funnel cake smell either, which is actually worse. Which makes other good things smell not quite right like you've developed a brain tumor. But you're alright. You're alright because you can fly. You fly for money, but you'd do it for free because it's flying for cripes sakes. It's against the rules for featherless monkeys like us, but we do it anyway and that makes it even better.

So you'll understand, Russ Taggart, when I borrow your limbs and your inner ear and your skin and I remember what it was like to fly. The boss thinks you're practicing. But you're out, dreaming about your family and missing a class you never finished, and I'm doing what I used to do. Hand's chalked up and feeling the grain on this old trapeze kit. Smelling the elephant funnel cake funk. Cause I get to float all the time. But only when I borrow your sinew and highways of nerves–your gut–do I get to fly. To feel that audacity. I'm an old pro. We'll be fine.

I swing out and let go–the best part–but as I tuck into a roll, I hear a shot. I nearly miss the next handhold. Our partner cries out. She heard the shot too. I drop down to the net. I hate the net. Then I hear the growl.

More shots, but the growl seems to muffle them. What it can't muffle are the shrieks. Our company. Your friends. The audience. Something is loose and it's swallowing them all up. And it's growing. Part of this is physical hearing and part of this is the experience that only comes from losing your pulse and having to march to something else. This growling is not an animal. It is no tiger. It is no elephant.

I'm finally down on the floor. I signal for the others to wait in the ramparts. I know this sound. I ride its current. This is death.

They're all shadow now, figures against the tent's canvas, looming tall. Shoulders hunched. Movement staggered. Wrists and fingers curled into claws. The Walking Dead. A dozen of them? Twenty? All groaning. Wailing. A feral drone of something sharper even than anguish.



Deadman vs. The Walking Dead

Who wins?

Show your work!


  1. Well there would be no question here.

    The zombies would win because Geoff Johns turned Brand back into human. White ring or not, he would make a mistake and get bitten sometime. If there is anything I’ve learned from countless zombie pieces; it’s that the character who thinks is ‘invulnerable’ is anything but. 

  2. Zombie dick Grayson: always a winner! Deadman loses body after body, and can’t jump into zombies as the taste bad…. Eventually beaten to death with zombie dick drooling “brains!!!!!”

  3. @TNC: We’ll assume this is a pre-rehumanised Brand.

    Is this outbreak localised? Maybe someone at the carnival has been keeping a zombie around as a freak show kind of thing. But it got out and has now started to feed on the circus folk and audience. If this is the case then Boston has a chance. He’s quick and in an acrobatic body so he can probably contain this.

    If this is just a wave of a larger outbreak then we can kiss our planet goodbye, because it isn’t ours anymore.

  4. Deadman loves cheeseburgers. Zombies love brains.  I’m going to side with Boston Brand’s tastes.

  5. I always want to post a comment for these showdowns, but they always leave me speechless.