Comic Book / Deadshot

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The man who never misses. Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, is a DC Comics character who started out as a member of Batman's Rogues Gallery, but is more often associated with the Suicide Squad and Secret Six.

He first appeared in Batman #50 in 1949 as a criminal who pretended to be a hero that specialized in non-lethally disarming crooks. In reality, he was eliminating the competition and trying to discredit Batman in the process. After a lengthy prison stay, he returned redesigned by Marshall Rogers as a costumed assassin with wrist-mounted guns and a grudge against Batman. In The '80s, he was one of the first recruits for the Super-Villain Suicide Squad, and stayed with the group voluntarily as one of the few members who was legitimately suicidal.

Floyd Lawton grew up with a messed-up family. His father was abusive towards his mother, who talked his older brother Ed into shooting him for her. Floyd wanted to save his brother from being a murderer, so he took a rifle up a tree and tried to shoot his father first. However, the branch he was sitting on broke, and he shot his brother instead. One way or another, he ends up in one villainous team or another, and usually acts as the marksman, due to his highly Improbable Aiming Skills.

Although a villain at times, Deadshot is portrayed as just fitting into the Anti-Hero category, as was the case with his solo series. It is established that he has a daughter, Zoe, and he attempts to clean up the neighbourhood where she and her mother lived, which was at the centre of a three-way gang war. It actually works out for a while, with Floyd living a family life. Of course, Green Arrow shows up, and tries to capture Deadshot, but not before the locals give Green Arrow a What the Hell, Hero? speech over him trying to arrest a man who was protecting them when he didn't. Eventually, Floyd decides to leave to protect his family, but not before making Green Arrow promise to protect the area more. From then on, Deadshot would give the money from his contracts to his family.

If there's DC media that needs a Dragon who uses a gun, or some guy with Improbable Aiming Skills, he'll likely be that character. His more notable appearances to date have been:

Comics
  • Batman - Where Deadshot debuted.
  • Deadshot - His two solo series.
  • Suicide Squad - Multiple series that revolve around a changing roster of villains who work for the government. Deadshot is on most incarnations of the team. As of the New 52, Floyd is the team's field leader.
  • Secret Six - Focusing on the adventures of a "family" of villains, with Deadshot as one of the main characters. Cancelled with the New 52.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Arrow - Deadshot appears as a recurring villain.
  • Smallville - Floyd acts as a hired gun in his debut episode before going on to join the Suicide Squad.

Videogames

Western Animation

Tropes applying to Deadshot:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Daredevil's Arch-Enemy Bullseye is more or less Deadshot's Marvel counterpart.
  • Anti-Hero: On his good days. He once cleaned his daughter's neighbourhood. When Green Arrow came looking for him, the locals actually openly defended him and told Ollie to get lost.
    • Falls more under the Anti-Villain category in that he's a remorseless killer with a Death Wish, but will tend to stick to a code of honor that can make him - usually - a reliable teammate.
  • Arm Cannon: Of the "mounted on the forearms" variety.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Knows that bulletproof skin doesn't necessarily mean bulletproof eyes.
  • Ax-Crazy: Not always, but he occasionally has the urge to kill everyone in sight.
  • Badass Longcoat: Used to sport one before switching to a bodysuit. Then wore it over his bodysuit, before ditching it entirely.
  • Badass Mustache: Before the New 52. He grew it back after a while, but shaved it again.
  • Badass Normal: Has no superpowers to assist his aiming.
  • Battle Couple: With Harley. They develop a close bond as team members in the Suicide Squad, and have had an on-again, off-again relationship ever since.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Mentioning his late son will get you a pistol-broken jaw at least.
    • Treating a gun like a toy. It's not that he's in favor of gun control or anything, it just annoys him to see fine weapons in the hands of idiots.
  • Big Brother Worship: When asked, the Lawton family butler made it a point to mention everyone liked Ed. When asked whether Floyd was resentful of his brother, he clarified he meant everyone liked Ed - Floyd most of anyone.
  • Chest Insignia: A target. In contrast to Batman, who uses the armored bat-symbol to draw fire away from his vulnerable points, Floyd leaves the "bull's eye" unprotected because he wants people to shoot him.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Anyone who expects a fair fight from him is either an idiot or knows absolutely nothing about him, and they're not going to live very long either way.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted. Both his live-action appearances so far kept his codename. Probably because it just sounds cool, and calling him Floyd wouldn't do him any favours.
  • Cool Mask: Wears a white/silver cloth/metallic mask which contains a scope to assist his aiming.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: Marine Herrs, a Suicide Squad staff psychologist, falls in love with Deadshot.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Expanded on in the 1988 miniseries. His parents openly hated each other, to the point that his mother tried to get his father killed by their sons, but Floyd wound up killing his beloved brother Edward by accident. Later he lost his wife and son, and for most of his life has been unconsciously looking for surrogate brother figures.
  • Death Seeker/The Fatalist: Is either one or the other Depending on the Writer. He knows he is not going to live very long either way, what really changes is weither he wants to be killed or just doesn't care.
    • His response to being told straight from the source that he'll be condemned to eternity in Hell when he dies is simply "Ha! Figures."
  • Depending on the Artist: His mask. Is it metal or fabric?
  • Depending on the Writer: The distinction between wanting to die and not caring whether he lives or dies isn't always acknowledged. He was noticeably disappointed when David Cain failed to kill him.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Even Harley Quinn finds it strange that the "world's greatest marksman" is called Floyd.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He has no problem shooting an unarmed woman in the back. It's when he finds out she was told that she was free that he gets pissed, since he'd been told she was an escaping prisoner.
    • When the Six were first put together, both Deadshot and Cheshire were forced into joining when Mockingbird held the safety of their respective children over their heads. The difference between them? By the end of Villains United, it was demonstrated that Lloyd cared more about his daughter Zoe then Cheshire did Lian, as Cheshire went out of her way to conceive a replacement with no hesitation.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His older brother Ed , His ex-wife Susan, their son, Eddie, his daughter, Zoe, her mother, and the Secret Six.
  • Evil Matriarch: His father was no prize, but Lawton's mother was the one who hired a child molester to kidnap her grandson to force Floyd to kill his father.
    • Retconned out by New-52, in which she, along with Lawton's father and sister, was killed by bullets coming through the walls from a gang execution in the next apartment.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: In the second mini-series, Deadshot defeats Firebug by shooting the arsonist through the wings of his costume, which he uses to store the fuel for his flamethrowers. Firebug goes up in a fireball.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Lawton doesn't worry about lung cancer, since he's not expecting to live that long. Almost every single panel where Deadshot is neither masked nor eating, he's smoking a cigarette.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: With Catman, to a blatantly obvious extent.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The master of this in the DC Universe (in regards to guns, at least).
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Doesn't actually want to kill Batman, and Bats finally calls him on the fact that he always "pulls his shots" by hesitating or trying a Trick Bullet.
  • Lack of Empathy: He likes to come across as completely heartless, and he's certainly less caring than most people.
    Catman: If you were driving and you saw a little girl lying in the street, would you stop and help her?
    Deadshot: Well I wouldn't go out of my way to run her over at least.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Has this dynamic with Scandal in the Secret Six, even sometimes calling her "sis."
  • Morality Pet: His daughter Zoe. Her mother, kinda. He supports them financially, and is very against his daughter seeing violence.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: Implied - when he runs of out bullets in Skartaris he orders Black Alice to find him a bow, or a sling, or anything that shoots.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Would you pick a fight with a guy called Deadshot?
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivered multiple ones to a gang of neo-Nazi thugs in one issue of Secret Six after he foiled their robbery, humiliated them, and left one of them without an eye. They evidently didn't learn that continuing to fuck with the guy who thoroughly put them in their place was an incredibly stupid idea.
  • Only in It for the Money: He's not really sadistic or anything, he just wants money.
  • One-Man Army: Has the highest known body count of the core members of the Six; this is what attracts Jeannette.
  • Pet the Dog: After learning about how Alice thinks she gave her father cancer, he forces the doctor (who is pretty sure it was Alice who gave it to him) to call and reassure her that it couldn't possibly have been her fault. Although, he might have just done this to make her a more effective team member.
    • There's also his interaction with his daughter Zoe and her mother. The money he makes as a mercenary gets sent directly to them.
  • Porn Stache: It's even been called this, and he's specifically mentioned that people have said less-than-flattering things about it.
  • Professional Killer: A lot of his jobs are mercenary gigs, but he generally tries to stick with hitman work. Batman once managed to save a witness Deadshot had been hired to kill by freezing his employer's bank accounts, suspending Deadshot's pay.
  • The Sociopath: During the Blackest Night crossover, Yasemin (now a Black Lantern) comments that she thought he was this, but he does in fact have emotions buried deep inside. This is accompanied by a visual of his body being mostly black with a few points of color bleeding through.
  • Straw Nihilist: Some portrayals of him verge on this. In the Ostrander miniseries, he tells to his psychiatrist that he feels all talk about how precious life is fell flat after he accidentally killed his brother, the one person he idolized in the world... and felt nothing. This attitude was only reinforced when he became a criminal and still felt nothing after taking life after life.
  • Super Wrist-Gadget: His trademark weapons, which are automatic and silenced.
  • Talk to the Fist: If you're on his bad side and he wants to know something, tell him in a quick and concise manner unless you want to get a hole blown in you. Agrees with Tuco that "if you're gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk."
  • Ten Paces and Turn: Will shoot you In the Back before you get three paces.


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