Deadshot (volume 2) #1 2004
Art by Mike Zeck.
Publication information Publisher DC Comics First appearance Batman #59 (June/July 1950) Created by Bob Kane
David Vern Reed
In-story information Alter ego Floyd Lawton Team affiliations Secret Six
Abilities Expert marksman
Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) is a fictional character, a supervillain/assassin in the DC Universe and an enemy of Batman. He first appears in Batman #59 (June/July 1950) and was created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Schwartz.
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. He is a young boy named Floyd Lawton, living with his mother, brother, and abusive father. Lawton's father on one occasion attacks his brother, whom Floyd loves. Lawton attempts to shoot his father with his own rifle. However, the branch of the tree that Floyd is sitting on breaks, and he misses. The bullet hits his brother instead, killing him.
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, however.
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 having mostly cleared up the area and having convinced 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 that his daughter and his daughter's mother live in. 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's 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 Catman 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.
The Suicide Squad re-entered Deadshot's life when the title returned in January 2010 as a tie-in to Blackest Night.
While on a mission to Gotham City to kill several of Batman's allies, Rag Doll insinuates that Deadshot and Catman are attracted to each other, 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 Six are similarly trounced and defeated soon after.
Back with the Squad
With Secret Six cancelled, Deadshot appears as one of the leads in a new Suicide Squad title. At the start of the series, Deadshot is captured by Batman during the course of a failed assassination job, and ends up being forced into the latest incarnation of the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller.
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 canceled 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 coloured Deadshot's rivalry with the Batman, whom Deadshot had always been unable - or subconsciously unwilling - to kill. His later friendship with Catman 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. In "The Enemy Below" Pt. I, he is hired to kill Aquaman by his brother, Orm. 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 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, 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. However, 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 second episode of Smallville's tenth and final season, entitled "Shield", played by Bradley Stryker. He targets Clark Kent, but is defeated and sent to prison, though in reality his goal was to put a tracer on Clark in which he succeeded. Later he is freed by Rick Flag and Plastique and is revealed to be a member of the Suicide Squad. in the 12th episode, "Collateral," he is seen working for Chloe Sullivan, who blackmails him and the other Suicide Squad members into working for her against the Vigilante Registration Act.
- Deadshot appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Batmen" voiced by Tom Kenny. He is show causing havoc in Gotham City and ends up being defeated by Green Arrow (who is disguised as Batman).
- 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. After being defeated and captured by Batman after his failed assassination attempt, Deadshot faces the possibility of the death penalty along with businessman Ronald Marshall (who previously hired the assassin to murder activist Teresa Williams who threatened to prevent the businessman from building a golf course).
- Deadshot makes a non-speaking appearance in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is among the villains that try to capture Superman and Batman.
- Deadshot appears in Batman: Arkham City voiced by Chris Cox. He infiltrates Arkham City in order to target certain people, including Batman. He is seen disguised as a thug in the prologue, telling Bruce Wayne that he is "on his list". Batman finds Deadshot's victims, bullets, and shooting locations and eventually manages to track him down. The mission ends with Batman trapping Deadshot in a monorail suspended over The Bowery.
- Deadshot appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13.
- ^ 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
- ^ "Deadshot is Number 43". Comics.ign.com. http://comics.ign.com/top-100-villains/43.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- ^ 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. http://comics.ign.com/articles/103/1035721p1.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #36 (August 2011)
- ^ “If there really was an organization that used Super Villains for Black Ops Operations, how would that really look?” – Adam Glass
- ^ Suicide Squad #1
- ^ Eric Goldman (2010-08-03). "Smallville Casts Hawkgirl and Deadshot - TV News at IGN". Uk.tv.ign.com. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/111/1110262p1.html. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- ^ "**". Independentcomicssite.net. http://independentcomicssite.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=388&Itemid=1. Retrieved 2010-12-29. [dead link]
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