Deadshot (volume 2) #1 2004
Art by Mike Zeck.
|First appearance||Batman #59 (June/July 1950)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
David Vern Reed
|Alter ego||Floyd Lawton|
|Team affiliations||Secret Six
Cybernetic eye grants increased accuracy and provides additional mission and target data
Deadshot is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is an enemy of Batman. The character first appears in Batman #59 (June/July 1950) and was created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Schwartz. He has since become a staple member of both the Suicide Squad and Secret Six.
Fictional character biography
Within the DC Universe, Deadshot is often a hired assassin, regularly boasting to "never miss." He is capable of using a large variety of weapons, but is most frequently portrayed as using a pair of silenced, wrist-mounted guns. He initially appears in Gotham City as a new crimefighter, but is revealed to be an enemy of Batman when he attempts to replace the Dark Knight. He is sent to jail when Batman and Commissioner Gordon publicly expose his plot to become the king of Gotham's underworld. After serving his term, Deadshot begins hiring his services out as an assassin, changing his costume from the top coat and tails he previously wore to a red jumpsuit and distinctive metal face plate with a targeting device on the right side. Deadshot's past is revealed in subsequent appearances. As a young boy named Floyd Lawton, Deadshot lives with his mother, abusive father and beloved and idolised brother. On one occasion Lawton's father attacks his brother, prompting the young Deadshot to attempt to end his father's reign of terror on the family with his own rifle. However, the branch of the tree that he sits on breaks as he fires; causing the bullet to hit his brother instead, killing him. The psychological effects of this event are widely seen as the reasoning behind Deadshot's affiliation towards surrogate brothers, his now almost impeccable aim, his disregard for his own life and his inability to kill Batman.
Probably his most defining trait is a desire to die in a spectacular fashion, this being his primary motivation for joining the Squad. He feels he has no reason to continue living, and, while he does not want to commit suicide, he simply does not care if he dies. Various reasons have been cited for this, but the most common thread in them is his parents' peculiar hatred for one another.
Deadshot almost gets his wish to die when he confronts a Senator who is threatening to expose the Suicide Squad to the world. Having been ordered to stop his immediate superior, Rick Flag, from assassinating the senator, he kills the senator himself, citing his orders as "Stop Flag from killing the Senator. Exact words." After this Deadshot is gunned down by the police on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He survives his wounds, to continue on with the Squad.
Lawton's uniform is stolen by an airport employee, who uses it to commit crimes and murders. Lawton is forced to kill the man with a bullet to the head. The shooting of his own 'image' affects him greatly; for a while, he does not even fix the hole in his own uniform. While the suit has been lost, Lawton has threatened to kill the man he thought had been responsible, his teammate Captain Boomerang.
During his last mission for the Suicide Squad, Count Vertigo asks Deadshot if he would kill him if asked. Deadshot agrees and the two go off to a secluded area for the decision. Vertigo declines, a decision Deadshot accepts with no argument.
After being affected by the supernatural entity Neron during the Underworld Unleashed storyline, Deadshot decides to kill a kindergarten class via a large explosion. An incarnation of the Justice League stops him. Around this time, Deadshot travels overseas to kill the Pope. Wonder Woman stops him at the last minute.
After dozens of villains are infected by the Joker venom, Deadshot, Merlyn and Deadline attack the Iron Heights metahuman prison. Deadline is killed and Deadshot rescues Captain Boomerang from medical confinement.
In a second mini-series released in 2005, Deadshot discovers he has a daughter, Zoe, who is being raised in a crime-filled area of Star City. Lawton decides to do right by this daughter, and embarks on a lethal war on the local gangs that plague the area. The series ends with Deadshot faking his death, having realized a normal life isn't for him, but also having mostly cleared up the area and convincing Green Arrow to patrol it more regularly.
Deadshot is featured in the Infinite Crisis storyline comic book Villains United. The Secret Six are banded together by a mysterious, shrouded character named Mockingbird (who is actually Lex Luthor) who offers a major reward for committing to the team and a severe punishment for not accepting membership. Deadshot is offered the reward of ruling North America; his punishment is to be the destruction of the neighborhood in which his daughter and his daughter's mother live. At the end of the mini-series, the conflict ends in stalemate and Deadshot's status remains roughly unchanged from the end of his second mini-series. He remains a part of The Secret Six and is shown having reached a grudging friendship with another member, Catman. His share of the payment for the Six' mercenary work is stated to be sent in its entirety to his daughter and her mother. After the Six disband, Knockout comments in passing that he has returned to the Suicide Squad.
Deadshot and the Suicide Squad are featured in Countdown, rounding up supervillains for removal. The group encounters Pied Piper and Trickster several times, and each time fail to capture them. In Countdown To Final Crisis #24 Deadshot makes a solo effort to capture them, but the pair again elude him. In issue 22, Deadshot (breaking orders from Amanda Waller and Suicide Squad protocol) attacks Piper and Trickster on a train outside of the Rocky Mountains. Given that the supervillains are aware of Project Salvation (Salvation Run), Deadshot apparently kills The Trickster, leaving Pied Piper on his own. In Salvation Run #2, Deadshot is tricked and sent off to the prison planet along with the last batch of criminals. Rick Flag, Jr. tells him as the Boom tube closes that he can't have people like him on Earth. Deadshot vows that if he ever returns to Earth, he would take his revenge on Flag. After helping fight off the Parademon invasion, he escapes with the surviving villains in the teleportation machine.
Deadshot has since rejoined the Secret Six.
In Batman: Cacophony, Deadshot is seen breaking in to Arkham Asylum. He goes to the Joker's cell and explains that he has taken a contract on the Joker's life, due to his indirect responsibility for the death of a high school student. Just as he is about to kill the Joker, however, Onomatopoeia arrives and engages Deadshot in a shoot out. Eventually, Onomatopoeia gains the upperhand and shoots Deadshot in the head.
It is later revealed that Deadshot's armor saves him, and masks his vital signs to make it appear that he'd been killed. He explains what happened at Arkham to Batman, before being turned over to the Gotham Police.
Batman uses the technology of Lawton's mask to later survive an encounter with the Joker and Onomatopoeia.
Secret Six volume 2
Deadshot, along with Scandal Savage, Bane, Rag Doll, and Cat-Man reunite the Secret Six, having been hired to retrieve Tarantula from Alcatraz Island, and find a card which she stole from Junior, a mysterious villain who supposedly runs the entire West Coast mob. Junior has practically the entire villain community at her beck and call, all afraid of her, even those in Arkham Asylum. The Six later learn that the card in question was made by Neron, and says "Get Out Of Hell Free."
Soon, the Six are attacked by a small army of super-villains, all wanting to recover the card and collect the reward of $20 million for each of the Six, under the orders of Junior, who captures and tortures Bane, whose strong principles and moral convictions, paired with his fatherly fondness of Scandal keep him from betraying his new team. It is later revealed that Junior is in fact Rag Doll's sister and daughter of the first Rag Doll. She has the ghastly appearance of an old clown, with sliced skin and eyes stitched wide open to give the appearance of a clown.
The Six escape, and head for Gotham City, with Deadshot seemingly betraying them and leaving with Tarantula. The Six manage to catch up to Deadshot, only to be attacked by Junior and the Supervillains, and the Mad Hatter, who is revealed to be the one who hired them, simply so they would be killed. Tarantula sacrifices herself by pulling herself and Junior in front of the Supervillains' combined attack, seemingly destroying the card along with them. However, it is later shown that Scandal is now in possession of the card.
While on a mission to Gotham City to kill several of Batman's allies, Rag Doll insinuates that Deadshot and Cat-Man are friends despite their protestations, something they grudgingly acknowledge. Before this plot thread can be pursued further, the Six are ambushed by an army of superheroes who had come to assist Batman. Deadshot and the rest of the team choose to fight the heroes despite the overwhelming odds, and Deadshot manages to take down Doctor Light before being blasted and rendered unconscious by Green Lantern. The rest of the Six are similarly trounced and defeated soon after.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Deadshot was recruited to the Suicide Squad prior to the events of the first issue. He still has a daughter and wears a costume similar to the one worn by him in the '00s mini-series, but his son has been erased from existence; also, Deadshot no longer has his trademark mustache. He is portrayed as a Batman villain and a rival of The New 52 version of Wild Dog, a bounty hunter. He also is bitter enemies with Captain Boomerang, implying that the two men encountered each other as villains.
Deadshot was arrested for a failed assassination of a US Senator by Batman and was sentenced to life in prison. However, he is recruited to be part of Suicide Squad in exchange for early release. Deadshot is made team leader due to his skill under pressure but quickly grows disillusioned with the group after a planned visit with his daughter, his first since his arrest, is withheld from him and ultimately aborted within minutes of him reuniting with his daughter in order to send him on a mission.
During one mission, to hunt down renegade member Harley Quinn, the villainess scars Deadshot with a knife along his upper lip. While waiting for the wound to heal, Deadshot grows back his mustache to cover up the wound. However, once the wound heals and leaves no visible scarring, Deadshot shaves off the mustache.
Deadshot ultimately sacrifices his life to kill the evil cult member Regulas, who had brainwashed most of the members of Suicide Squad and had recruited Black Spider into his group Basilisk in order to assassinate Amanda Waller. Deadshot is later revealed to have been resurrected, possibly through use of an arm from Resurrection Man, obtained by the Squad for Waller during an earlier mission.
During the Forever Evil storyline, Amanda Waller contacts Deadshot into helping her get the Suicide Squad back together after the three Justice League teams are "dead." After his money was wired, Deadshot heads out to get Harley Quinn back on the team.
Deadshot is portrayed as having a twisted code of ethics; as long as he's been paid for an accepted hit-job, he will always carry it out - no exceptions. Batman was unable to get him to stop threatening a witness (who refused to testify as long as Deadshot was waiting to kill him if he did) by threatening Deadshot or his family (Deadshot rightly assumed that Batman was bluffing). However, Batman ultimately did get Deadshot to abort the hit - by "freezing" the bank accounts of the one who had hired Deadshot. Unable to get paid, Deadshot publicly cancelled the assassination, letting the witness go free.
In his run on Suicide Squad, John Ostrander delved into Deadshot's past and twisted family background. The revelation of Deadshot having a brother, whom he idolized, seemed to resonate with Deadshot's gruff (and occasionally psychotic) attachment to Rick Flag, team leader. Ostrander implied that this relationship also colored Deadshot's rivalry with the Batman, whom Deadshot had always been unable - or subconsciously unwilling - to kill. His later friendship with Cat-Man in the Secret Six seems to continue Lawton's unwitting gravitation towards surrogate brothers.[original research?]
In other media
- Deadshot has also made appearances in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series voiced by Michael Rosenbaum (using a vocal impression of Kevin Spacey). In "The Enemy Below" (Part I), he is hired to kill Aquaman by Orm. Following a chase, he was apprehended by the Justice League and forced by Batman to reveal who hired him. Deadshot later appeared during the villainous rampage/celebration of Superman's supposed death in both parts of "Hereafter" along with Kalibak, Copperhead, Star Sapphire, Volcana and Livewire. His next appearance is in the episode "Task Force X" where Floyd Lawton is about to get the chair until the warden and guards discovered Colonel Rick Flag Jr. sitting on it. Flag gives the warden a note that Floyd has been chosen to participate in Task Force X (better known in comics as the Suicide Squad), a decision they force upon Lawton by revealing that his last meal was laced with explosive nanotech robots. He and Rick worked alongside Captain Boomerang, Clock King (Temple Fugate) and Plastique in a stealth mission to steal a magical automaton called the Annihilator from the Watchtower. After that mission (and the loss of Plastique), Rick tells the remaining members that they have to work for five years to earn suspended sentences. But when the dissolution of Project Cadmus led to the early release of various members (as revealed in the episode "Flash and Substance" where Captain Boomerang makes an appearance), Deadshot's status is unknown.
- Deadshot appears in the tenth and final season of Smallville played by Bradley Stryker. In second episode "Shield", Deadshot targets Clark Kent and Cat Grant. Clark manages to save Cat and knocks Deadshot unconscious. But unknown to him, Deadshot had implanted a tracking mark tattoo in his skin (the tattoo would be made of Blue Kryptonite) using the bullet that 'scraped' him. While in prison, he was released by Rick Flag and Plastique to return to the Suicide Squad. In the 12th episode "Collateral", he is seen working for Chloe Sullivan after she blackmails Flag's Suicide Squad members into working for her against the Vigilante Registration Act. While Flag, Chloe and Oliver Queen worked on getting the League out of a virtual reality prison in which they had been placed, Deadshot took watch outside. When Chloe was caught by the VRA and almost killed, Deadshot saved her by shooting the two VRA members tasked with the job of executing her.
- Deadshot appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Batmen" voiced by Tom Kenny. In this episode, Batman is hurt after helping Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter prevent Kanjar Ro from destroying a planet and is hospitalized. Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow and Plastic Man wear Batman's costume and go to protect Gotham City from criminals like Deadshot, Cavalier, Babyface, Killer Moth, Sportsmaster, Fun Haus, Penguin, Bane, Blockbuster, Solomon Grundy, Killer Croc, and Catwoman after the villains are on a crime wave after hearing Batman is out. Deadshot is shown causing havoc in Gotham City and ends up being defeated by Green Arrow.
- Deadshot appears in the third episode of Arrow's first season, entitled "Lone Gunmen", portrayed by Michael Rowe. He is identified as dosing his bullets with the neuro-toxin Curare, and is shown tattooing his body with the names of the people he kills. He was defeated by Oliver Queen when one of his arrows pierced his face-mounted targeting device, supposedly killing him. The producers stated that Deadshot was not actually killed, and he returned in the sixteenth episode of season one, "Dead to Rights". In that episode, Lawton is seen at a Bludhaven Apartment complex when he was hired as an assassin and given a new, improved face-mounted targeting device by his new employer, China White, to assassinate Malcolm Merlyn. The two formed a plan to kill Malcolm by forcing him outside his office building, so Deadshot could kill him. However, Malcolm and his son, Tommy, head to a safe room in Merlyn's office. Deadshot manages to destroy the bullet-proof windows by firing an explosive bullet at them and was able to shoot Merlyn several times. Malcolm became poisoned by the Curare toxin in the bullets and Deadshot and White were able to escape. Merlyn survived, however, after Tommy gives his father a blood transfusion. In the episode "The Huntress Returns", Diggle is seen reading an article about Deadshot supposedly killing the Bialyan president. Deadshot reappears in the episode "Home Invasion". Lyla attempts to trick Lawton by getting him to go to a plaza to receive a new target where they can arrest him upon his arrival. Queen and Diggle discover the plan and decide to go there and kill him. Unfortunately, at the night of the plan, Queen doesn't show up and Deadshot notices Diggle. Tipped off by Diggle's appearance, Deadshot kills several undercover A.R.G.U.S. guards and flees the scene. Diggle follows him but is swiftly defeated by Lawton, who holds him at gunpoint. Deadshot promises that he will kill Diggle, but only when he is paid for it and Deadshot escapes, much to Diggle's chagrin. In season two, Lawton returns in the sixth episode, "Keep Your Enemies Closer". Diggle is arrested in a Russian prison and encounters Deadshot in the same holding cell. The two escape and Diggle promises to help Deadshot get out of the prison, if he tells him where Lyla is located in the prison. The two work together to get to Lyla and the group leaves the prison. While escaping in a jeep, Diggle gets to the car to stop and Diggle and Lawton get out. Diggle reluctantly does not kill the assassin due to the promise he made earlier, but Deadshot informs Diggle that an organization named H.I.V.E. contracted him to kill John's brother.
- Deadshot also appears at the beginning of Kevin Smith's unused Superman Lives screenplay as the leader of a group of mercenaries who winds up having to take on Superman during an assassination attempt on a senator.
- Deadshot appears as one of the villains in Batman: Gotham Knight voiced by Jim Meskimen.[dead link] According to the writers of Batman: Gotham Knight, Deadshot was given a visual makeover for the movie. In the story, he is presented as an "anti-Batman" with a sophisticated socialite secret identity as his disguise. They also describe Deadshot and Batman's battles as very interesting because "it's battle of man using guns against one who isn't". Within one of the film's segments "Deadshot", Deadshot on a ferris wheel uses a long range sniper rifle to assassinate a local mayor and leaves behind a cartridge case with the initials "D.S." as his calling card. He is later contracted to assassinate Batman by the Russian Mafia, using a contract on James Gordon as bait. Unlike the comic book version, this Deadshot seems not to have the same `deathwish' to die in a spectacular fashion (see above), pleading with Batman not to kill him during their fight.
- Deadshot makes a non-speaking appearance in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is among the villains that try to capture Superman and Batman.
- An enemy named Deadshot appears in stages 1 and 2 in the Batman Nintendo Entertainment System video game and is mentioned by name in the instruction manual.
- Deadshot appears in Batman: Arkham City voiced by Chris Cox. Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, is reputed to be the world's most efficient sniper/assassin, and is mentioned as wishing to die in a spectacular fashion. The only target he has ever missed is Batman, an error he intends to correct to maintain his perfect record. In Arkham City, he was hired by Hugo Strange to assassinate political prisoners with sensitive information about Hugo Strange or Arkham City itself. After encountering Lawton as Bruce Wayne while entering Arkham City, Batman later uses Deadshot's evidence- traces left at the locations where he stood while committing his assassinations- to track down the assassin and prevents him from killing Jack Ryder, subsequently capturing him and leaving him in an abandoned monorail car.
- Deadshot appears in the 3DS and PlayStation Vita version of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes as an unlockable character. He can be found in the level Brawl at City Hall.
- Deadshot appears as a cameo character in Injustice: Gods Among Us. He is in the background of Stryker's Island.
- Deadshot appears in Batman: Arkham Origins. He is voiced, once again, by Chris Cox. He appears as one of the eight assassins hired by Black Mask. After shooting down a midair SWAT helicopter in an effort to get Batman's attention, he contacts Batman and demands that he come to the Gotham Merchants Bank for a showdown, using a hostage as leverage. After silently infiltrating the Bank and taking down several of his henchmen, Batman manages to incapacitate Deadshot before he can harm the hostage, and leaves him to be taken in by the police.
- Deadshot appears in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, set three months after Arkham Origins. He is voiced again by Chris Cox. He is one of the prisoners at Blackgate Prison that escapes during a riot. He is hired by Black Mask, the Penguin, and the Joker promising to protect them from police and other dangers, although none of the three are aware that the other two also hired the assassin. Lawton encounters Batman in the prison and attacks him, however Batman is able to defeat him. In the game's post-credits scene, Amanda Waller is seen leaving the prison in a helicopter with Deadshot and Bronze Tiger, believing them to be soldiers. However, one of Batman's trackers is seen on the helicopter.
- Deadshot appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13.
- Deadshot appeared in Young Justice #23.
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Deadshot". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 97. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017
- "Deadshot is Number 43". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "Flash" Vol.2 #179 (December 2001)
- Kevin Smith Writes The Dark Knight in Batman: Cacophony!
- Richard George (2009-10-15). "Blackest Night's Future: January 2010 - Comics Feature at IGN". Comics.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Secret Six (vol. 3) #36 (August 2011)
- Suicide Squad #1
- Suicide Squad #3
- Suicide Squad #5
- Suicide Squad #13
- Suicide Squad #14
- Justice League of America Vol. 3 #7.1
- Detective Comics Vol. 2 #23.2
- Eric Goldman (2010-08-03). "Smallville Casts Hawkgirl and Deadshot – TV News at IGN". Uk.tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "**". Independentcomicssite.net. Retrieved 2010-12-29.[dead link]
- BatmanArkhamCity (August 30, 2013). Blackgate Handheld Trailer "Under New Management". YouTube. Retrieved August 30, 2013.