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A prime pic of Deadshot.png
Secret Six (Vol 3) #15, 2010
Art by Daniel LuVisi.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #59 (June/July 1950)
Created by Bob Kane
David Vern Reed
Lew Schwartz
In-story information
Alter ego Floyd Lawton
Team affiliations Secret Six
Suicide Squad
Killer Elite
Underground Society
  • Master marksman
  • Cybernetic eye grants increased accuracy
  • Proficient hand-to-hand combatant
  • Master tactician
  • Mounted machine guns on each arm
  • Access to hi tech weaponry
  • Peak physical and mental condition
  • bilingual
Deadshot as depicted in his first appearance, "The Man Who Replaced Batman" (June 1950)

Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) is a fictional antihero, formerly a supervillain, appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of Batman.[1] Deadshot has traditionally been portrayed as a supervillain but has more recently taken the role of an antihero. The character first appears in Batman #59 (June/July 1950) and was created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Schwartz. The world's deadliest marksman, Deadshot has become a staple member of both the Suicide Squad and Secret Six.

IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Deadshot as #43.[2] The character will be portrayed by Will Smith in the upcoming film Suicide Squad.

Fictional character biography[edit]

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 crime fighter, 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.[1] After serving his term, Deadshot begins hiring his services out as an assassin, changing his costume from the top hat 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. His real name is Floyd Lawton and he grew up with his mother, abusive father, and beloved brother, who he idolized. 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 affinity for surrogate brothers, his now almost impeccable aim, his disregard for his own life, and his inability to kill Batman.

Suicide Squad[edit]

He has been a major figure in the Suicide Squad in its latest two incarnations, where his skills as a marksman and his disregard for human life serve to advance the group's objectives.[1]

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.[3] 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 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.[4]


Deadshot had a son named Edward Lawton (nicknamed Eddie) who appeared in the original Deadshot series.[5] He is later sodomized and killed by Wes Anselm.[6]

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 is not for him, but also having mostly cleared up the area and convincing Green Arrow to patrol it more regularly.[1]

Secret Six[edit]

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.[1]


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 cannot 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.

Batman: Cacophony[edit]

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.[7]

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[edit]

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 Super villains, 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 Super villains' combined attack, seemingly destroying the card along with them. However, it is later shown that Scandal is now in possession of the card.

The Suicide Squad re-entered Deadshot's life when the title returned in January 2010 as a tie-in to Blackest Night.[8]

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.[9]

The New 52[edit]

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.[10] 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 Mad Dog, a bounty hunter.[11] He also is bitter enemies with Captain Boomerang, implying that the two men encountered each other as villains.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

During the Forever Evil story line, Amanda Waller contacts Deadshot into helping her get the Suicide Squad back together after the three Justice League teams are "dead."[15] After his money was wired, Deadshot heads out to get Harley Quinn back on the team.[16]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Deadshot has no superhuman powers, but is the top marksman in the DC Universe, possessing superhuman precision, and regularly boasting to "never miss" his target. In fact he has only been known to miss once, when trying to shoot Batman. He once shot an apple off of Captain Boomerang's head with his eyes closed. He was also able to intentionally graze the skull of a flying Enchantress when asked to take her down non-lethally.

In addition to peak accuracy, Deadshot is a proficient hand-to-hand combatant and is able to hold his own against groups of low level combatants, and has gone toe-to-toe with Batman and the Joker, both of whom are expert fighters.

Deadshot has access to a vast array of weaponry, most notable his sniper rifle, and twin machine guns mounted on each arm.

Deadshot is allegedly bilingual, and learned to speak Russian as a youth, and also claims to have been a card-carrying communist.


Deadshot is portrayed as a consummate professional; as long as he's been paid to kill someone, he will always carry it out, without exceptions. Batman was unable to get him to stop threatening a witness by threatening Deadshot or his family; Deadshot rightly assumed that Batman was bluffing. However, Batman ultimately does get Deadshot to abort the hit by freezing his client's bank accounts. Unable to get paid, Deadshot publicly cancelled the assassination, letting the witness go free.

His perhaps defining trait is his acknowledged death wish, which often manifests as him deliberately engineering situations likely to kill him. This makes him unpredictable as an opponent, as his willingness to die allows him to deliberately injure himself to achieve a goal. For example, during Identity Crisis, he deliberately shoots himself in the neck while fighting Kyle Rayner, so that Rayner would attempt to save him and drop his guard, allowing Lawton to shoot him. He often expresses disappointment at surviving his missions, such as immediately lamenting "damn" when awakening in a hospital.

In his run on Suicide Squad, John Ostrander delved into Deadshot's past and family background. The revelation of Deadshot having a brother, whom he idolized, seemed to resonate with Deadshot's attachment to Rick Flag, team leader. Ostrander implied that this relationship also colored Deadshot's rivalry with Batman, whom Deadshot had always been unable - or subconsciously unwilling - to kill.

Collected editions[edit]

Title Material collected Year ISBN
Deadshot: Beginnings Deadshot #1-4, Batman #369 and Detective Comics #474 and 518 November 2013 978-1401242985
Deadshot: Bulletproof Deadshot v2 #1-5, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #214 April 2015 978-1401255190

Other versions[edit]

Arrow: Season 2.5[edit]

Deadshot appears in Arrow digital comic, working as part of the Suicide Squad, killing members of the extremist sect Onslaught in the Republic of Kasnia along with Bronze Tiger. The two were later training in the A.R.G.U.S. headquarters, taking out ten men in 7 seconds. Soon afterwards, he, Tiger, Diggle, and Ravan Nassar were deployed to Kahndaq to take down Onslaught. When they arrived at an Onslaught camp, Deadshot took up his trademark sniper position, killing an Onslaught member as he was about to execute hostages, providing a distraction for Bronze Tiger and Diggle to begin killing other members. After Nassar blew up an Onslaught truck, Deadshot and the rest of the group found a survivor to take them to Khem-Adam. Lawton and Turner tortured the survivor, but Diggle managed to convince the survivor to tell the Squad the location of Khem-Adam's lair. They arrived there and freed the kidnapped girls, killing several Onslaught agents along the way. Lawton picked up Turner's body after Khem-Adam killed him and carried him out to the waiting A.R.G.U.S. helicopter, insisting that he be buried in his home country.

The Flash: Season Zero[edit]

In The Flash digital comic, Lawton teamed up with Digger Harkness and Carrie Cutter as part of the Squad. They watched The Flash take on the meta-human King Shark. Waller told him and the rest of the Squad to suit up, as they were going in to stop the shark. They arrived outside of the man's former apartment and Deadshot helped to knock him down, before Cupid trapped him with a net. Joe West approached, asking who they were, before Lawton introduced them as the Suicide Squad. They each fired at him, but he was saved by The Flash, who rushed him to safety. They appeared to recognize him.

In other media[edit]



Deadshot as depicted in Justice League
  • Deadshot has also made appearances in the Justice League animated series and Justice League Unlimited, voiced by Michael Rosenbaum (using a vocal impression of Kevin Spacey). In "The Enemy Below" (Part 1), he is hired by someone to kill Aquaman. 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 "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, 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 and Plastique in a stealth mission to steal a magical automaton called the Annihilator from the Watchtower. After the mission, Rick tells the remaining members that they have to work for five years to earn suspended sentences. But when Project Cadmus's dissolution led to the various members' early releases, Deadshot's status is unknown.

Live action[edit]

Bradley Stryker as Deadshot on Smallville
Michael Rowe as Deadshot/Floyd Lawton on Arrow
  • Deadshot/Floyd Lawton appears on The CW's Arrow, portrayed by Michael Rowe. Deadshot first appears in the first season's third episode "Lone Gunmen". He returns in the episode "Dead to Rights", in which he is hired as an assassin and given a new, improved face-mounted targeting device by his new employer China White to assassinate Malcolm Merlyn. In the episode "Suicide Squad", he joins the titular group organized by Amanda Waller. In "Unthinkable", Lawton assists Diggle and Lyla in stopping Waller from destroying Starling City. In "Suicidal Tendencies", Lawton joins Diggle, Lyla, and Cupid in rescuing a group of kidnapped people, including a U.S. senator, in Kasnia. During the mission, Lawton is seemingly killed after being trapped on top of a hospital that gets blown up by a bomb.
  • Rowe reprises his role on The Flash as an Earth-2 version of Lawton. This version works for the CCPD as Iris West Allen's partner, and unlike his Earth-1 counterpart, is terrible with shooting and overall handling a gun.



Deadshot as he appears in Batman: Gotham Knight
  • Deadshot appears as one of the villains in Batman: Gotham Knight, voiced by Jim Meskimen. 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 incarnation seems not to have the same 'deathwish' to die in a spectacular fashion, pleading with Batman not to kill him during their fight.
  • Deadshot appears as a central character in Batman: Assault on Arkham, voiced by Neal McDonough, which was based on the "Arkham" series video games. He appears as a member (and leader) of Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad with Killer Frost, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, KGBeast, and Harley Quinn. Deadshot has sex with Harley due to being frequently flirted with throughout the movie. He carries a picture of his daughter with him throughout the movie and the final scene shows them together, while he is targeting Waller from a building's roof.

Live action[edit]

Will Smith as Deadshot in Suicide Squad

Video games[edit]

Lego series[edit]

Batman Arkham[edit]

Deadshot appears as a side villain in the Batman: Arkham series where he is voiced by Chris Cox.

  • In Batman: Arkham City, 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 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.
  • In Batman: Arkham Origins, he appears as one of the eight assassins after Batman. Like in the comics, Floyd Lawson has a death wish. After shooting down a midair SWAT helicopter in an effort to get Batman's attention, he contacts Batman and demands to 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, although not before Deadshot requests that Batman kill him quickly. Deadshot also appears in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.[21] He is one of the prisoners at Blackgate Prison that escapes during a riot. He is hired by the 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; "triple the pay for the same job". 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, possibly recruiting them for the Suicide Squad. However, one of Batman's trackers is seen on the helicopter.
  • Deadshot's weapons appear in the evidence room in Batman: Arkham Knight. According to Cash, Lawton was released from prison after the Arkham City incident. As Lawton wasn't a prisoner, and was only in Arkham due to a contract from Hugo Strange, there were no real grounds to keep him imprisoned.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wallace, Dan (2008). "Deadshot". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 97. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017 
  2. ^ "Deadshot is Number 43". Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  3. ^ Danzis, Alan (May 14, 2014). "'Arrow' Exclusive: Michael Rowe on Deadshot Becoming a Hero, Diggle and Life Changing Tattoos". BuddyTV. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Flash" Vol.2 #179 (December 2001)
  5. ^ Issues 2 and 3 of Deadshot volume 1 published December 1988
  6. ^ Issue 1 of Deadshot volume 2 published February 2005
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Richard George (2009-10-15). "Blackest Night's Future: January 2010 - Comics Feature at IGN". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  9. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #36 (August 2011)
  10. ^ Suicide Squad #1
  11. ^ a b Suicide Squad #3
  12. ^ Suicide Squad #5
  13. ^ Suicide Squad #13
  14. ^ Suicide Squad #14
  15. ^ Justice League of America Vol. 3 #7.1
  16. ^ Detective Comics Vol. 2 #23.2
  17. ^ Eric Goldman (2010-08-03). "Smallville Casts Hawkgirl and Deadshot". IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  18. ^ "‘Suicide Squad’ Cast Revealed: Jared Leto to Play the Joker, Will Smith is Deadshot". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Chavez, Kellvin (December 10, 2015). "LR Hot Rumor: Will Smith Might Just Join Ben Affleck's 'The Batman' Movie". Latino Review. 
  20. ^ "LEGO Batman on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  21. ^ BatmanArkhamCity (August 30, 2013). Blackgate Handheld Trailer "Under New Management". YouTube. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]