This COC bout is inspired by this post from the always interesting Comic Treadmill. Thanks, guys!
Over here, who might be this... creature, chalk-white and blank of visage, floating in the air, as if the good life-giving earth itself repels him, harrowing all with fear and wonder? His mein is so sickly and ghoulish as to cause each particular hair on the observer's head to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine. Or something. Anyway, the bright red acrobat uniform is a dead (har!) giveaway: it's the late Boston Brand, the aptly-named Deadman. Maybe he's not quite as friendly a ghost as Casper, but he's got a heart of ethereal gold underneath that garish exterior. He's invisible, inaudible and intangible to the living, but he helps out when he can, like our very own dead, bitter guardian angel.
And over there, who's the ass in the trench coat? Why, it's Doctor Terrence Thirteen, a.k.a. Dr. 13, the self-styled "Ghost-Breaker." As his profile inidcates, he's an avowed skeptic. That might strike one as a bit odd, considering he lives in the DC Universe. Here in the real world, we need genial skeptics like Penn and Teller to burst the general public's bubble of credulity and deflate the claims of fraudsters and hoaxers. In the pages of the comics, where it's a generally accepted fact that gods, goddesses and ghosts, magicians, Martians and manes walk the earth, to take the position that there's a mundane, natural explanation for all occult activity is being contrarian to the point of absurdity. Yes, there's a reasonable explanation for that ghost sighting, Doctor Moron --- it was a ghost! Sheesh!
On the plus side, his name is Terrence Thirteen. That's pretty cool.
So, there's Dr. 13, standing around in his trench coat, disavowing all aspects of the supernatural to anyone who will listen.
Deadman inhabits the body of the infuriatingly intractable investigator and punches himself in the nose.
Dr 13 (upon being released from Deadman's control): "What the---? My nose is bleeding! Oh! I probably had a quick stroke, blacked out, fell and hit my nose on the floor, and then got to my feet before regaining my facukties! Yes, that's how it happened!"
Deadman inhabits his body and writes a big sign for him to read.
D13: "What the---? Oh, I see. I had another little strokelet and wrote myself this big sign while blacked out. It says 'Ghosts exist, and one made you write this. Signed, Deadman.' I wonder why I signed it 'Deadman'? How bizarre. And yet, not beyond the realm of the perfectly natural."
Deadman inhabits Thirteen's body and bashes his head against the wall until he dies.
Doctor Thirteen's ghost: "Wow, there's my body lying in a bloody heap on the floor. And I seem to be some kind of holographic image of myself looking down at it. Well, that's easily explainable. Obviously, I've fallen into some sort of narcoleptic state. I can't rule out some kind of technologically-induced mind control, I suppose, but a deep dreaming state is als---"
Deadman: "The logical explanation is that you are dead, you fatuous fraud! Dead! Dee Ee Ay Dee! Compos mortis! Passed! No longer among us! You cashed in your chips, snuffed it, and bought the farm! You are living impaired! You have expired! Shed the mortal coil! Sleeping the big sleep!"
Dr. 13 takes no notice of Deadman's rant, but instead peers around and above Deadman's head and shoulders, a puzzled look on his idiot face.
Deadman: "What are you doing?"
Dr. 13: "Looking for the wires holding you up. It's a neat acrobatic trick, I admit, but you're obviously being held by---"
Deadman lunges at him, knocking him to the floor. He starts throttling the "doctor."
Dr. 13: "As I --- gakkk --- suspected! You're as solid as I am! You're no ghost! (Ghaakkkk!)"
Deadman punches Thirteen around for a while, then gets bored and flies off, leaving Terrence to stand around denying the obvious for the foreseeable future, kind of like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.
The Champ, sort of. There's no cure for fanaticism.
Next: God save our gracious amber waves of grain