|Relatives||Luke Burns (younger brother)
Alicia Burns (mother)
|Manga Debut||Chapter 1|
Around 14 years ago, Brad and his little brother, Luke, were left behind by their father after he murdered their mother. They eventually found themselves in New York City, in the biggest slum in the world, the Five Points. There they met Gene McDowell, the founder of the Grave Diggers, a gang, who helped them by taking Brad in. Now Brad is working for the Grave Diggers as their hitman known as the "Grim Reaper" using a gunknife, while Luke doesn't know about his job. Brad is also searching for information about his father, Edward King, so he can kill Edward himself. His gun is a Colt M1851 NAVY, with a bayonet on it.
Brad Burns is a young Caucasian man in his early twenties. He has long brown hair. Even though he looks slim, he is actually very muscular, with several scars on his torso. He has the Grave Diggers' tattoo on his chest. His favorite clothing includes a long jacket and a long hat, both black, and a scarf.
During his time in Five Points, Brad appears most of the time as a lazy and superficial individual, who survives merely thanks to his brother's job. Behind this facade, he is actually the feared hitman known as the Grim Reeper, whose reputation spreaded even outside N.Y. As a professional assassin, he is cold and accurated, never showing hesitation. However, he doesn't take any pleasure while he kills, usualay saying to his victims he has nothing of personal against them. He also has the habit to hurt his own hand after having finish his jobs, as a some kind of self punishment.
While he is usually detached by most people, he is able to establish meaningful relationships whith them, showing a certain respect for his boss Gene McDowell and concern about Emma's situation. While he is not quick to help others like Luke, he shows a certain amount of disgust towards amoral and cruel criminals, usually accepting his brother's numerouses requests to help helpless people from injustices. He has not an high opinion of himself as well, as he himself is a murder, and he declares at some point he has stopped to try to be happy.
The only person he always cares for is his brother Luke. He is fiercely protective over him, even hunting and killing two men that threatened Luke when the latter tried to save a prostitute from them, saying that, while he doesn't care about the woman they ultimately killed, he can't forgive for having hurt his brother. During their time at Five Points, he also tries to hide to Luke his dark side, and ultimately, after he is exposed during his fight with Raymon, he tries to die killing as much criminals as possible, believing he is doing a favor to Luke, that would never love him anymore. Nevertheless, after the end of the gang war, he accepts Luke follows him in the hunt of their father, and the two still maintain their bond, even though they never lose the chance to friendly mock each other.
Brad has a deep grudge towards his father, Edward King, who abandoned he and Luke as kids after having killed their mother. It was the discovery of thei mother's dead body that ultimately turns him into the feared Grim Reaper. His hate is so strong he spent over a decade working as a hitman for the Grave Diggers in order to get the money necessary to discrover Edwards' whereabouts, and ultimately stars to hunt him with the goal to kill him and revenge his mother's dead, refusing to let anyone to claim the life of his cruel father.
Brad implies he is popular among ladies, and that he never needs to pay them, while Luke sometime complains Brad spends most of their money in brothels. His most meaningful relationships with a woman seems to be the one with Emma. It's unknown how deep are their feelings for each other, as Brad is also shown naked near to her, but undoubtedly they completely trust each other. He is also considered by his brother to be lazy and an alcoholic.
Five Points, N.Y.Edit
Brad was first seen doing a job for the Grave Diggers, killing a man who was also a part of the Grave Diggers, but had sold them out to another gang. The next day, Brad saved his brother, Luke, from being killed after Luke tried to save a girl. He gave his watch, his most treasured possession, to them in order to make them leave. After that Brad and Luke went home and talked about their dreams and that they need to collect first money in order to leave this city and go west to fulfill their dreams. After Luke went to bed, Brad got out and headed to the gangsters who had threatened his brother earlier that day. He was angry and killed them, and also taking his watch back in which there is a picture of young Gene McDowell and what is assumed to be Brad's father.
In the next morning, Luke knowing nothing of his brother job, waked him up and scolded him that he must look for a job if they wanted to leave this place someday. Sometime after Luke went to work, Brad started doing the laundry, when the landlady came and also scolded Brad for being a useless older brother. Later at night, the Grave Diggers contacted Brad for a job: assassination of a policeman, which Brad accepts. Brad is later seen in a brothel Saloon, talking in bed with Emma and preparing for his job. After that he was seen in the church, where he was not praying for forgiveness or confessing sins, but praying that he may bring the man he must kill into hell with him. Later, he is seen waiting for the policeman in his house, who had just returned from drinking with another officer. The policeman soon realized who he was and though he was mistaken the target, since he was the one who ordered this job, but Brad shows him proof the he is the target and he didn't mistaken him. Then the policeman tried to buy his freedom, offering to double his payment of 50, 100 dollars or whatever how much they pay him. In that moment he threw a benzine lamp at Brad and took out his gun, but was shot by Brad and named his price, to be 10 dollars per person. Later after getting his payment from Gene McDowell at his bar, Brad went to a Kennedy Detective Agency, where he asked the detective if he has any new information on his case. Unlucky for Brad, the detective didn't have any new information, since it's hard to look for something that happened 10+ years ago. The detective asked Brad, why is he looking so hard for his father, after he left him and Luke 14 years ago, to which Brad replies, that if he finds him, he will kill him with his own hands.
He is again seen with Emma in the brothel, where she ask him if he is thinking of quitting his job, since his real target is his father and he is killing people he don't want to and it's keeping a secret from his brother. Brad says he is used to it, but Emma don't believe him, since every time after a job, he looks in pain and is cutting his hand in order to get away from the pain.
While walking in the street with Luke, Brad sees how Kip throws a woman from a window and becomes angry. He together with Luke, brings the woman to a clinic, where he waits outside with Emma. Seeing that Emma was angry at Kip, and was blaming herself that Karen is in this condition, he warns Emma to not do anything foolish. Later that night, Brad was reached by a GD member for a new job.
The job turns out that Brad will be Kip's bodyguard, while he goes to kill the man who attacked Karen. While walking with Kip, he ask him what is the feeling when he kills someone and guess that Brad is the same as him, and is doing this job for the joy of the kill. After Kip kills the target, he leaves Brad to deal with the rest, but just after Kip gets out of the alley, Brad hears a gunshot and then sees that Emma has shot Kip in the shoulder. Kip tells to Brad to kill her and Emma tells Brad, she will kill him herself, but then Brad takes out his gun and points it to Emma. She then tells him, that she though he was different, and seeing he is the same, she shoot at him and hit his hair. Brad returned the fire, but aimed for her hand and make her drop her gun. Brad ask Emma to go to Luke, where he will take care of her wound and that Kip's life is not worth dirtying her hands and ask her 10 dollars, since that's his fee. Kip got surprised that Brad let her go, and threatens him that if he go against him, he will tell his father about this. But Brad shoots at Kip, touching his cheek with the bullet and telling Emma, that it's his job to do the dirty work. Brad states that he accepts the job and tells to Kip that his life is worth 10 dollars. Kip don't believes him, thinking that he is joking or trying to get more money, but Brad tells him that if he is thinking that, then he don't know him at all. Just before Brad kills Kip, he hears a gunshot and the arrival of Gene and 2 of his men. Gene tells Brad to back off, since that's not his job. He knows what Kip have done, and because of that he won't attack Brad, but since he is his only son, if Brad kills him, Gene will avenge him by killing him and Luke. And leaves Brad to decide which option he prefers: Making Grave Diggers his enemy and losing his brother or continuing being his pet? Brad choose the second option and shot a bullet in the air, after which he left.
Three days later, Luke finds Brad at the cemetery, next to their mother's grave. Brad wonders how Luke know where he was, to which Luke replies that he is easy to figure and that he always comes here, when he is worried. Luke asked him if he feels better, after talking to her, to which Brad replies "I guess so". Before leaving Luke gave Emma's new address, and said that anyone who makes a girl cry is a prick. After Luke left, Brad talked to his mother and questions her if she is watching and that Luke turned good and not like him. Later Brad went to Emma, where they had a short conversation in which Emma thanked Brad for taking her job, and that made her happy. Later that night, Brad was seen at the pier in the rain, remembering his past promise with Luke, the conversation with Emma and the last talk with Gene and screaming from anger. In the morning Luke again tried to make Brad to go and look for a job, Brad tried to convince him that he is tired but with no success. On the back, Kip was seen, looking at them.
At Luke and Brad's place, J.J. was boosting that he is no longer boy, but a man. Together with Brad, they laughed at Luke's failure and desire to do it with the girls he likes after getting married. J.J. invites Brad, to come with them next time, and that he knows a man, that will show them good places. Luke ask him, to not do it, because that man, has evil look in his eyes, but J.J. finds him as a nice guy. Brad refuses to come with them, because he don't need to pay the women, to come to him.
On the next day, Kip called Brad, with the way the call the Grim Reaper, with a card. Brad decided to leave, since he has no intentions of taking order from him. But Kip suggested him a "hypothetical" scenario, about a perfect hitman, who had a little brother in danger. And asked what would the hitman do? Brad asks him, what he did to Luke, but Kip says nothing and that they are in the same gang, and have a lot of enemies like the Iron Butterflies, who may go for their families. Brad started running, but Kip stopped him, saying to not do anything, or this will mean a war between the gangs and not even he won't be able to protect him. Brad found the dead J.J., Emma was there and said to Brad what she heard, that the other boy that was with J.J. was taken by a man named Raymond. Brad then gave Emma e key to his room, and told her that under his bed, he have saved 150 dollars, and after everything ends, to give them to Luke. Brad says to Emma, to look after Luke and that this is his final job as the Grim Reaper.
That night, Brad went alone to Butterfly Circus. He asked the Iron Butterflies where is Luke, but didn't get an answer, after which he killed one of the members. Then Brad killed all of the members there and proceeded further in the building and in one of the rooms he finds Raymond. Brad proceeds to battle Raymond with only two bullets left in his gunknife, while Raymond is armed with an assortment of knives and weapons. The ensueing battle causes both Brad and Raymond to recieve heavy wounds, and one of Raymond's knife slices through a chain holding up a candle chandelier. This sets fire to room, while Brad and Raymond continue to battle. Luke bursts upon the scene, and finally learns of his brother's true profession. Raymond tries to throw a knife and kill Luke to stop him from interfering, but Brad cuts off his arm and Raymond declares that Brad is the best hit-man in town. Raymond states that Brad came not to save Luke, but to kill him. Luke tries to tell Brad to stop from killing Raymond, but Brad still kills him. Brad tells Luke that his brother is dead, and tells him to leave, and Luke obeys. Luke lasts see Brad standing still in the middle of the burning room, and this causes most people to believe Brad died.
Brad was later seen in the church, where the father helped him recover. Although not fully recovered knowing that the two gangs will fight, we went out to kill all the gangsters and free the town from them for his brother. He started killing men from both gangs and eventually came in front of Kip, who was surprised that he was still alive. Brad left him and continued to kill gangsters, eventually he was surrounded by 5 men from both gangs, holding guns at him. They argued who is to kill him, but Brad told them either is fine, since he is taking all of them down to hell and then killed them all.
Kip using the gatling gun was able to kill all except Brad. Then Gene showed up and wanted Brad's head, but Luke also showed up and tried to protect him. Brad begged Gene to not kill Luke and that he will accept his death, but Luke tried everything to protect him brother, but eventually was knocked by Gene. He then moved by Luke words, which reminded him of himself and the past, decided not to kill Brad and told him to leave and never to show his face again.
Brad was later seen with Luke in the hospital, where he apologized to Luke for not telling him the truth thinking he is protecting him, but he was wrong and since he is strong, he don't need him anymore. But Luke told him that then there won't be anyone to watch him, since Brad can't do anything without him. Brad was told by Emma, that Gene was about to be executed for being the ringleader of the battle. Then a Grave Diggers members seeked help from the doctor at the hospital. He told Brad that Kip escaped and that everything went down after Edward contacted Kip. Later Brad went to the execution and said that he don't have anything against Gene, because the way he raised him, he can now go after Edward.
After getting out of the hospital, Brad was seen buying a horse and preparing to leave. He went to the cemetery to say goodbye to his mother and that he will return someday, and there he met with Luke, who also came to do the same. Luke told him he won't no longer run away, and it's going to fight. Brad saw him carrying a gun and asked him if he can use it and kill someone. Luke wasn't sure he can do that, but someone must stop Edward. After that they left together for St. Louis.
St. Louise, Illinois Edit
Year after they left Five Points, they reached St. Louis. In a bar there, they helped a girl and later they found a farm outskirts. Brad didn't wanted anymore to sleep outside, so they tried inside, but the same girl came out and pointed a gun at them. Her mother invited them inside, since they helped her daughter and treated them a dinner and place to sleep. They spend 3 days in the farm, helping them with the farm work, but according to Jenny, only Luke was the one doing the work. Later that night Luke asked if their mother was like Anne, and Brad told him that she was a nice person and won't lose to Anne. He told Luke he can stay here and live a normal life, but Luke refused, since they must kill Edward and decided to leave tomorrow.
Brad and Luke were about to leave, when Anne pretended she have catch a cold and asked them to stay few more days. After that Brad and Luke were practice shooting, and Luke hit the center, claiming his 13 win in a row. Brad couldn't believe, how 6 months ago, he couldn't even hold a gun. Later Brad together with Jenny, were going for shopping, when she told him about her dead father. On the way, they passes Hawk on a horse, Brad got suspicious, but still they continued on their way. Brad complained that she is treating him very roughly, making him carry the heavy bags, and Jenny replied this is the least thing he can do for eating free every day and doing nothing else. On their way back, they met Luke at the river. He told Brad about his conversation with Anne, but Brad and Jenny commented on the same time, they don't want a family member like the other person. Upon returning in the house, they discovered Anne's dead body.
After Hawk brings to him the deed of Anne's land, Howard reaches Jenny and Brad to the woman's grave, pretending Anne let the farm to him for free, but, to respect Jenny's mourning he can wait two week. Jenny immediately see though the man's lies and accused him to have killed her mother. Despite the man denies any accusations, subly threathing to kill also the girl, Luke, furious for Howard's hypocrisy, swears the man has to kill all of them to take the land, and says to Howard to send to the the criminal that has killed Anne. While Luke is facing alone Hawk, Brad protects Jenny, commenting Hawk's ability with gangs and that Luke can die. He then reaches Howard's office to retrieve the deed of Anne's land, only to discover Howard in agony cursing the man he hired and that ultimately robbed him: Edward King. While Brad tries to get furth informations, the man dies and, after his housekeeper finds Brad near the man's dead body, he is accused and then wanted for Howard's death.
After having saved Jenny and her mother's land, the two brothers depart for Wellington, having heard there there is a man with a tattoo of the Crimson Gang.
Wellington, Kansas Edit
Following the Crimson Gang's tracks, the Burns brother arrive in Wellington, where are are hired as cowboys with the task to surveillance the livestock, that several bandits are stealing by several farms. Here Luke befriend Ned White, a young black who cares of horses. After some time, the black workers stole the cattle with the goal to sell it to Abilene, hoping to get a better life and escaping their slavery. Ned is one of them. The Burns brother, with the other white cowboys, pursue the black workers, and a violent battle occurs, while Luke tries to reach Ned, alone and unarmed. After the last black man is killed, his assassin, Swallow, suddenly shoots the other two white cowboys, leaving only Brad alive. He then reveals himself as one of the Crimson Gang, and, before Brad can do anything, Swallow immobilizes him with his lariat and drags him with his horse, looking for Ned and the cattle he intends to stole. After they reach the boy, Brad cuts Swallow's lariat with his personal gun and manages to free himself, but he is seriously disadvantaged since he instead has not a horse. Nevertheless, Ned, with his incredible equestrian abilities, manage to get Swallow to fall from his horse and, before the criminal can counterattack, Brad stabs him and, with a last shot, pushed the criminal in a ravine.
After the fight is over, Brad let Ned to leave with the cattle, saying he has to return the favor as Ned saves Luke's life after having accidentally shoot him. He then informs Luke, when the latter wakes up, Ned won't come back.
Virginia City, Montana Edit
During their voyage, the Burns brother discover a badly injured Sioux warrior, Black Horse. On Luke's insistence, they treat his wounds, and then transport him to the latter camp. They are then bounded to a tree, whit Brad complaining to Luke they are going to be in trouble for Luke's altruism. Firstly Black Horse approaches them with hostility, but after few time, they realize they have the same enemy, Edward King, and stipulate an alliance. Before the Indians's new attack, Brad demands the fort's location, and attacks it alone, when most of the soldiers are away. However, while he is reaching the fort, he is suddenly attacked by a new member of Crimson Gang, Dodo. After Dodo disarms Brad, the two engage in a brutal fight with their bare hands. Firstly, Dodo resists to most of Brad's attacks, even losing an eye without any concern, and apparently kills his opponent with his dynamite. However, Brad survives the explosion, and counterattack with his knife. Remembering Gene McDowell's lessons, Brad breaks all Dodo's limbs, and finally slit the brute's throat, killing him. He then continues his road to the fort, but is shot from a distance by a smiling Edward King.
Kansas City, Missouri Edit
Brad is then saved by Luke, who, after having brung his brother to several doctors, brings him to Jenny's farm. After threes months in coma, Brad wakes up, only to discover Edward King escaped. When he is sleeping, Luke leaves to face and kill their father, hoping the latter's death would consent even to his brother to have a good life.
However, Brad fully recovers and follows Luke, coming in time to save his brother by killing the sniper Eagle and using the latter's rifle to shoot King, preventing him from killing his brother. After the two brother joined their forces against the cruel criminal, Brad tries to distract King using himself as a bait, consenting Luke to shoot their opponent. However, King manages to stop and badly wound his son, and Luke's shot doesn't kill him. Nevertheless, when the savage man is going to kill also Luke, Brad counterattacks and, while King is distracted, manages to surprise him and, with the gun given to him by Gene, he slices their father's throat, finally getting his revenge against the man that ruined their life.
After Edward King is dead, Luke says he now has no idea what is going to do now, as their voyage is over. Brad however remembers his broth his dream to posses a ground in the west, and he should now try to realize it. When Luke demands his brother's intention, Brad declares he now wants to be happy.
Many years later, in 1918, Luke, now as a elderly man, reaches New York by train with his daughter and nephew Martia. He narrates to the latter about his brother, and particularly the latter's strong back. They ultimately visits Brad's grave, near to their's mother. They then left to eat something, and Luke, taking with Brad, says they have had a good life. From the grave, it results he died when he was 68 years old.
Brad's clothing is inspired by Django, the protagonist of the 1966 homonym Italian movie.
|Burns Brothers||Brad Burns • Luke Burns|
|Grave Diggers||Gene McDowell • Kip McDowell • The Grim Reaper (former) • Edward King (former)|
|Crimson Gang||Edward King • Hawk • Swallow • Eagle • Parrot • Dodo|
|Iron Butterflies||Danny • Raymond Fitzgerald|
|Five Points, N.Y.||Emma • Karen • J.J. Campbell • Policeman|
|St. Louis, Missouri||Jenny Macy • Anne Macy • Charles Howard|