Secret Six (Vol 3) #15, 2010
Art by Daniel LuVisi.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #59 (June/July 1950)
Created by David Vern Reed
Lew Schwartz
In-story information
Alter ego Floyd Lawton
Team affiliations Secret Six
Suicide Squad
Killer Elite
Underground Society
Deadshot as depicted in his first appearance, "The Man Who Replaced Batman" (June 1950)

Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) is a fictional character who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of Batman.[1] He 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.[2] As the world's deadliest and most accurate 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.[3] The character is portrayed by Will Smith in the 2016 film Suicide Squad.

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 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 in a wealthy household with his mother, abusive father, and brother Eddie. Eddie was beloved by his parents and the other towns people, while Floyd was a problem child and was despised by his parents, but Floyd idolized his brother and always stood up for him during conflicts with the town's other children.

Floyd's parents were the most powerful people in his town, however, they were known to despise each other. Eventually Floyd's mother claimed his father had become "too abusive," prompting Floyd to kill him. When Floyd took the shot from his tree house, he missed and killed his brother, Eddie, instead. From that moment on, Floyd swore to never miss another shot again.

Suicide Squad

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.[4] 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.[5]


Deadshot had a son named Edward Lawton (nicknamed Eddie) who appeared in the original Deadshot series.[6] He is later sodomized and killed by Wes Anselm.[7]

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 his 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

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

In Batman: Cacophony, Deadshot is seen breaking into 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 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

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 he wore in the 2000s mini-series, but his son has been erased from existence; also, Deadshot no longer has his trademark moustache. 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 U.S. Senator by Batman and was sentenced to life in prison. Later, he is recruited to be part of the 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 moustache to cover up the wound. However, once the wound heals and leaves no visible scarring, Deadshot shaves it off.[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 to help 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

Deadshot has no superhuman powers, but is the top marksman in the DC Universe, possessing superhuman-like 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 notably 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 has 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.

Perhaps his most 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 take aim and almost 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

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

Amalgam Comics

In the Amalgam Comics universe, Deadshot was combined with the Marvel villain Bullseye to create the assassin Deadeye. William Lawton appears as an enemy of Dare the Terminator and Catsai.

Arrow: Season 2.5

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

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.

Future's End

Set in a near alternate future of the New 52, Lawton is imprisoned in an underground Belle Reeve missing his shooting arm. He, and the future Black Manta and Harley Quinn are broken out by Amanda Waller, who informs them that they were imprisoned and forgotten as the government found a way to clone super villains and Suicide Squad members in Texas. After Harley and Manta are killed by Joker clones, Deadshot allows Waller time by taking on a Deathstroke clone in a swordfight. Despite his disadvantages, Deadshot defeats the clone and sacrifices his life in the process. Deadshot's actions allowed Waller to break into the main hub and stop the cloning.

Tiny Titans

Deadshot makes a cameo in the Tiny Titans series as a player on Lobo's soccer team called the Secret Six.

Young Justice

While Deadshot wasn't in the tv series of the same name, he did appear in the Young Justice tie-in comic. He is seemingly hired by Queen Bee to assassinate Quraci President Rumaan Harjavti, but is intercepted by Superman, Superboy, and Miss Martian. He does manage to shoot Ruuman's brother, Sumaan in the shoulder before he's nearly beaten to death by Superboy (who was aggressive due to Luthor's patch drug) and carried to the hospital by Superman. Queen Bee revealed that Deadshot did succeed as his mission was to actually injure Suuman (as Suuman would be viewed as a hero to the public and she has Suuman under her control).

In other media



Deadshot as depicted in Justice League

Live action

Michael Rowe as Floyd Lawton / Deadshot on Arrow



Deadshot as he appears in Batman: Gotham Knight

Live action

Will Smith as Deadshot in Suicide Squad

Video games

Lego series

Batman: Arkham

Deadshot appears in the Batman: Arkham series, where he is voiced by Chris Cox.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 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. White, James (October 28, 2015). "From Slipknot To Captain Boomering (And Back Again): Meet The Suicide Squad". Empire. Archived from the original on October 30, 2015. [Deadshot] was originally created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Sayre Schwartz in 1950 as a prime villain for Batman.
  3. "Deadshot is Number 43". Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  4. Danzis, Alan (May 14, 2014). "'Arrow' Exclusive: Michael Rowe on Deadshot Becoming a Hero, Diggle and Life Changing Tattoos". BuddyTV. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  5. "Flash" Vol.2 #179 (December 2001)
  6. Issues 2 and 3 of Deadshot volume 1 published December 1988
  7. Issue 1 of Deadshot volume 2 published February 2005
  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. 1 2 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. Copeland, Wesley. "Gamescom 2016: Harley Quinn And Deadshot Join Injustice 2 Roster". IGN. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  21. "LEGO Batman on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  22. BatmanArkhamCity (August 30, 2013). Blackgate Handheld Trailer "Under New Management". YouTube. Retrieved August 30, 2013.

External links

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