Floyd Lawton, the youngest of two brothers, grew up very much in the shadow of his older brother, Edward. Edward Robert Lawton was good at sports, good with books, good with the girls and everybody liked him. Everybody expected Floyd to be the same but he wasn't. So as Edward walked around being the hero, Floyd decided to be the villain. He got up to all kinds of trouble as a child. Though he very much lived in his brother's shadow, Floyd still idolized his older brother, Edward and throughout his life when under extremes of psychological stress has referred to others (for instance Rick Flag) with his brother's name.
This is all until one day the boys mother, Genevieve Lawton, asks the pair of them to kill their father. Edward accepts this request but Floyd refuses to kill his own father and so his older brother, Edward locks him in the shed behind the house. Floyd breaks out and to save his father, he picks up a rifle and climbs a tree. He looks in the window into the house to see his older brother, Edward ready to shoot his father. Floyd attempts to shoot the gun out of his brother's hands but at the last moment the branch upon which he was perched snapped and he accidentally shoots and kills his own brother, Edward. Floyd has lived, as he sees it a "meaningless" lifestyle from there on in.
Minor Batman Villain
Because of Edwards death, Floyd built his marksmanship skills to ensure that his brothers accidental death would be the last time he would ever miss a shot. After witnessing the Batman during his time in Gotham City, Floyd gained the idea of following his brother's footsteps on being the hero and went about setting a plan to replace the Batman as Gotham's protector. Taking up a fashionable disguise and arming himself with a pair of pistols, Floyd dubbed himself as Gotham City's newest hero known as Deadshot. Even though Deadshot made an impression on Gotham with his unique display of marksmanship by simply disarming and capturing criminals with a single shot, it wasn't enough for Gotham to see Deadshot as a replacement for Batman. This only steered Deadshot into the wrong path as he now began to use his skills and identity on attempting to take over the criminal underground. After Batman caught up to Deadshot's scheme, he would find Deadshot merely a worthy match because of how intimidated Deadshot was with the Batman. Defeated and captured by the authorities, Deadshot now found himself serving a long sentence for his attempts of being Gothams newest hero.
It would be years before Lawton held any chance of seeing his freedom, which the day would finally come when the Penguin found himself arrested and placed in a cell near Lawton. Overhearing the Penguin creating a devise that would ensure his chances for an escape, Lawton took that opportunity when stealing the devise himself and successfully escaping prison. As a wanted man, Lawton's long prison sentence only fueled his craving for revenge against the Batman. Designing a new costume, equipment, and a pair of wrist shooters, Lawton remodeled his Deadshot name into something else that would feed his revenge and need to kill. By standing on the edge of a rooftop and firing at unarmed civilians, Deadshot's primary goal was to get the attention of the Batman. Managing to attract the Batman, Deadshot faired no better on his attempt for revenge, despite his found confidence.
After his recent attempt of vengeance against the Batman, Deadshot decided to take his skills as an assassin-for-hire. But this also found itself attracting the Batman after Deadshot was given a contract on Bruce Wayne, not knowing that his target was indeed a fake. Even though Deadshot continued his solo career, the assassin found himself constantly returning to a prison cell after a few more encounters with Batman.
With an unsuccessful campaign as an assassin because of the Batman, Deadshot remained imprisoned until he was given an offer that he personally couldn't refuse. It was probably by this time where Deadshot's depression from his brothers death and from his recent failures where Deadshot cared very little about his life, and preferred a death by fashion. With Amanda Waller offering Deadshot into a secret ops group that consisted a handful of convicted criminals, the reward meant very little for Deadshot, but learning the terms of having a small chance for survival was something that Deadshot couldn't turn down. During this period it was revealed that Deadshot had a great deal more loyalty than is commonly ascribed to him. He regarded Rick Flag as a replacement to his brother, and Amanda Waller became a maternal figure to him (which became clear after taking a hit job on her but then refusing to kill her.) On a mission in which the Suicide Squad was forced to fight Justice League International, Batman alluded to the fact that Floyd pulls his shots around him. It was whilst on mission for the Suicide Squad that he had his uniform stolen. The thief used it to commit crimes. Deadshot eventually hunted the thief down and shot him in the head, seeing the man in his suit with a bullet in his head disturbed Floyd, this image haunted and really rattled him.It was after this incidence that he gradually began to develop his infamous "death wish". Over the years this merely shifted from wishing for death to greet him to simply not caring whether he lives or dies. Deadshot also has little care for human life willing to kill so long as he gets paid. One thing to note is that out of all the members of the Suicide Squad Deadshot was one of the only to stand up to Amanda Waller, as he put it "I go on missions when I feel like it."
Deadshot picks up a more vigilante role after the Suicide Squad. Choosing to help due to the care he has for his daughter, Zoe, and the mother of his daughter, Michelle. This is a serious shift from the previous Deadshot who cares about nobody and is so self consumed with getting paid that he can easily forgo human life.
Deadshot goes on to join the Secret Six. Furthermore with this team his conscience begins to shine through more and more. Deadshot was offered North America if he joined the Secret Six, and was threatened if he didn't join the team, he would have his daughter Zoe's neighbourhood blown up by Mockingbird (who later turned out to be Lex Luthor). A stalemate was reached at the end of the series, and Deadshot's status remained unchanged. He was found in bed with Knockout, but she revealed that she was only using him. During this run, Deadshot was confronted by Catman for what he had done to him. Catman eventually forgave Deadshot for what he had done and they remained something between friends and enemies. This fits with Deadshot's unconscious desire to have other men fill in the hole left when he killed his brother, Edward, be it Catman, Batman or Rick Flag. All of them, at different points, acted as Deadshot's surrogate brothers of a sort, particularly Catman and Flag.
DC's 52 Revamp
Deadshot was part of DC's New 52 relaunch. He appears in the ongoing series titled "Suicide Squad" along side of Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Black Spider, King Shark, and Sportsmaster. The series is written by Adam Glass and first hit the shelf on September 14, 2011.
Deadshot is with other Belle Reeve prisoners who were offered to be a part of Task Force X, also known as the suicide squad. When they went on their first mission, they were sent into a trap and were caught by a bomb's blast, knocking them out cold.When Floyd wakes up, he is being tortured by unknown assailants who want to know who sent them. Floyd recalls his relationship with the Batman and how the latter cost him his first 'miss' in his history as a hit-man, being that he missed all of the target's vitals. Eventually, when Sportsmaster reveals to the assailants who sent them. It is then revealed that the people behind this were in league with Amanda Waller and that this was their final test. They are then sent into a stadium were an infection has begun to spread out, turning every human into a mindless husk, living for destruction and murder. Floyd shoots his way through the stadium, where he finds the team's target and 'extracts' the package the target is carrying, which turns out to be the baby within the woman's womb. After that he kills the squad member known asVoltaic as a scapegoat, for the media to blame him for the incident. During the incident in the stadium, Deadshot takes up the unofficial role of the team's field leader, making the calls on the decisions that have to be done.
After the incident with the infected people, the team is ordered to lay low because there was too much attention on the stadium by the media and people. Thus the team stays low, with Deadshot buying food and clothes for the team to wear, instead of staying in their vigilante costumes. When he and Harley Quinn are both alone, Harley tries to seduce him and does so successfully, though this is interrupted by Waller, wanting to get a sit-rep on the team's situation. Floyd checks in with her and tells her what has happened. When the team goes to reunite, they find that they have been trailed by a bounty hunter known as Mad Dog. The two teams fight, with Black Spider getting shot in the process, however the fight ends when the room they are in blows up due to a shot fired in a gas leak. When they head to evacuation, they are met by a government operatives who reset their bombs and Voltaic and Black Spider are replaced by Yo-Yo and Captain Boomerang, the latter of which claims to have a trigger which would kill all of them, if they didn't follow his orders.
The team then tries to extract a scientist from a terrorist organization known as Basilisk. They manage to find her and when they are met with resistance, Deadshot tells them that Captain Boomerang killed their former leader and that they could get their body if they let the team leave [with the exception of Boomerang]. Thus, Deadshot receives the unofficial leadership of the team back. When they get to prison they are left waiting and when they only have 18 minutes on their bombs left they are ordered to stop a mass prison breakout. During this massive breakout, Yo-Yo is eaten by King Shark after attempting to release him from his cell, and El Diablo destroys most of the escaping villains, saving Waller.
Hunting Harley Quinn
Leading a team consisting of Savant, King Shark, Lime & Light, Deadshot goes to Gotham City to track Harley Quinn. After fighting off a horde of Joker Thugs dressed as Harley, Deadshot and his team track Harley to the Gotham City PD building where the Joker's skinned face is being held. Inside the building, Deadshot and Savant subdue the remaining GCPD officers. After switching off the power, Harley disables Deashot by blinding his infrared with road flares, knocks him unconscious, and then ties him to a chair. When Deadshot comes to, Harley places the skinned face of the Joker over Deadshot's mask. In order to escape, Deadshot pretends to be the Joker to distract Harley while he works his hands free. While she is preoccupied with his "Joker" dialogue, he shoots her in the stomach.
Basilisk Strikes Back
After being saved, Deadshot leads his team on a mission to attempt to find the leader of Basilisk, Regulus. After they're plane is shot down and their communications with Waller disabled, the team wanders the remote island until coming across an Aztec-like tribe. As they are about to be sacrificed, Regulus reveals himself. King Shark breaks free, and instantly attacks the team. Regulus reveals he had Black Spider as a Basilisk agent, and the rest of the team (consisting of El Diablo, King Shark and Iceberg) as sleeper agents. Deadshot is forced to team with a now much darker Harley Quinn against the rest of the Suicide Squad and Basilisk Cult. After metting up with Captain Boomerang, who had been undercover infiltrating Basilsk, They realize they must incapacitate they're former teammates. Harley then dodges Dablo's fireball, hitting King Shark and dehydrating him. Deadshot then cuts off Iceberg's hand ( which freezes anything on contact), and quickly knocks him out. Deadshot then throws the hand, freezing El Diablo. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller comes into contact with Black Spider at her home, and quickly kills him. Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang are then quickly defeated by Regulus. Deadshot quickly grabs him from behind, and shoots him through the stomach, killing them both.
Death of The Family
Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn and a number of others are then showed attending Deadshots funeral. A type of acid rain then appears, incapcitating everyone except Harley. She then notices the rain is a variant of Joker Gas. She notices Joker,who recently retrieved his face. He claims to have seen all the things she has been doing with the Sqaud and her "boyfriend" Deadshot. She than runs away with him to help him carry out his plans. Upon escaping Joker, who viewed her as a failure, she learns Deadshot has been brought back to life with the help of the former Basilisk scientist and Resurrection Man's hand.
Wrath Of Red Orchid
With Deadshot and Harley Quinn recovered, Waller sends The Squad (consisting of Deadshot, Harley, Yo-Yo, King Shark and a mysteriously revived Voltaic) to Chinatown to kill an unrevealed target, deal with the Triad, and retrieve a package. As the Team battle through The Triad and Elite Guards. Yo-Yo reveals the leader of the Triad is his sister.
Yo-Yo and his sister Ming were Scientists who found a powerful, everlasting power source under Metropolis that would be able to power the city forever. However, a battle between Superman and Brainiac above cracked the reactor, and it exploded on the two as they tried to shut it down. This granted Yo-Yo stretchy, shape changing powers, and his sister Ming small control over plants. They became estranged after this event, with Yo-Yo going to petty theft and being sent to Belle Rev.
As The Team reaches the penthouse of The Triads base, They realize Regulus is alive, and has partnered with Ming, now with more power and calling herself Red Orchid. As Harley and Deadshot are poisoned, Yo-Yo quickly retrieves the package, a man who can track and shut down superpowers and an old friend of Wallers.
After a lengthy battle, Regulus escapes and The Team is captured by Red Orchid. Realizing there is no other way out, Yo-Yo has Harley throw a knife to knock out the man suppressing his powers. As Red Orchid leans in towards her brother, Yo-Yo stretches his head and neck around Orchids neck. Yo-Yo then exchanges his final goodbye towards the team, and Deadshot shoots Wallers Micro Bomb in Yo-Yo's neck, detonating it around Orchid.
Note: during this, Doctor Vissyak studies the other team members getting relieved of Basilisks control, With El Diablo slowly realizing who his true "leader" is, Iceberg encasing himself in an Ice Cocoon for a type of metamorphosis, and scanning Black Spider for any signs of a drug or mind control that would lead him to betray the team.
After being saved by Waller from the rubble, Waller asks Deadshot, King Shark and Harley Quinn (Purposely excluding Voltaic) to come with her to rescue Kurt Lance. Deadshot follows so Waller can owe him for once, and Harley and Killer Shark follows. As Waller leads them through the sewers, Harley begins hearing "Harleen" inside her head, only to snapped out of it by Deadshot, who then begins to question Voltaic and his mysterious resurrection. Before he can reach a conclusion, The team gets attacked by a Swamp Thing-like enemy who blames Waller for his transformation. As Waller is out cold, Voltaic manages to electrocute the enemy in his own sewer water. The enemy defeated, Deadshot decides to abandon the mission and Waller. The rest of the Team disagrees, saying they gave Waller theyre word. Deadshot exclaims they're all villains so it doesnt matter, when the Unknown Soldier appears. He says a man's word always matters, then shoots Deadshot in the chest with his own wrist-gun, and takes leadership of the Team.
Evaluations (Spoiler Warning)
The Team (consisting of Deadshot, King Shark, Harley, Voltaic and The Unknown Soldier) returns to Belle Rev to rest after their battle in the sewers and with the Triad. As Waller observes the team resting, (Deadshot in Intensive Care, Unknown Soldier playing Scrabble with Voltaic and Harley cheering them on, and King Shark reading in his cell waiting for his salad), she talks to her newest employee, and then gives Unknown Soldier a signal. As Voltaic taunts him during their game, Unknown Soldier breaks abar off the table and violently beats Voltaic to death as Harley looks on. As medical crew takes Voltaic to Intensive Care, while Harley exclaims she isn't cleaning that up. Harley then returns to her cell.
Waller then begins to talk to Deadshot as he heals while being strapped to a steel table. She tells him how she came into possesion of a special serum, allowing to bring people back to life. She tells Deadshot that everyone will now be able to work off their sentences, and dying is no longer a way out of it.
An attractive woman then appears in King Shark's cell, and begins seducing him as Waller and her employee look on. She begins treating him like a normal mman, as King Shark only wants to be loved. She then calls him a freak, infuriating Shark. He rips her apart (she was a robot), and begins crying as he eats the remains. Waller then activates a switch, electrifying the remains and electrocuting Shark.
Finally, a man resembling Joker appears in Harley's cell, and begins taunting her. As Harley watches in disbelief, the man pulls a knife, only to be shot through the head by Unknown Soldier. Harley calls Soldier "her hero" and proves Waller's theory true, that she'll grow affectionate to anyone who saves her. She asks her employee what she thinks about the mental stability of everyone. Her employee comes out the shadows, and reveals himself to be James Gordon Jr. He says their a mess. He then asks if he can call Waller "Mom" every once in a while, with Waller looking at him in disgust.
Note: Waller and Gordon are also seen observing Cheetah, hinting she may become a new member, and at the end of the issue, something goes wrong in the doctor's attempts to bring back Voltaic using the serum, and electricity fills the room.
Major Story Arcs
Deadshot First Mini Series
Deadshot receives a mysterious letter, telling him that his son, Eddie, had been kidnapped. He visits the mother to his child, Susan. He finds out that he'll get his son back, when he finishes the job he started twenty years ago. Deadshot then went about gathering clues as to his son's kidnappers. Deadshot tracked the kidnappers to a warehouse but it was a trap. Awaiting Deadshot inside was a man known asPantha, touted as being the best sniper shot around. Deadshot sensed a trap and made short work out of Pantha, killing him. Deadshot went about killing all the men at the warehouse who were involved in the kidnapping of his son. He tracks his son down to an apartment block. Upon entering he finds his son dead at the hands of a pedophile named Wes Anselm. He makes Wes suffer for what he's done by shooting him numerous times, then he finally kills Wes and declares he will get revenge on the person really behind it all, his mother, Genevieve Lawton. He confronts his mother and shoots her in the spine, not killing her but paralyzing her with Deadshot saying "Now she and Dad are a matched set."
In this story, Deadshot is manipulated by Neron to kill a class of Kindergarteners with a high explosive bomb, his attempt is thwarted though by the Justice League.
In this story Deadshot as a part of the Suicide Squad teams with Kon-El, Superboy, to fight Stinger, Lady Dragon and her army of Silicon Dragons. The arc appears in Superboy #13-15.
In Identity Crisis Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot is seen amongst the other members of the assassins. Green Arrow, Hawkman, Wally West and Kyle Rayner bust in on the hideout of Deadshot, Monocle and Merlyn. Kyle Rayner entraps Deadshot in a construct he creates but Kyle lets his guard down after Deadshot shoots himself in the neck. Deadshot attempts a get away only to be stopped by the man of steel himself, Superman.
Later in the court hearing for their crimes; Merlyn, Jonathan Cheval a.k.a. Monocle and Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot are all acquitted of their crimes on the grounds of their involvement in the "give back" program.
Deadshot Second Mini Series
Deadshot visits his parents manor where he finds a number of letters sent to him which his mother had hidden away from him. He finds a letter telling him that he had a daughter called Zoe in Star City. He makes his way to the neighborhood only to find that it is over ridden with drugs, gang violence and prostitution. He offers Susan (Zoe's mother) money to move out but she refuses the money knowing where it came from. So Floyd rents an apartment in the same building to keep an eye on his daughter. On his first night, he witnesses a gang war, he kills off all the gang members involved except for one member from each gang so that they can go warn the other gang members remaining. Floyd continues to go around warning evil doers to clean up their act all be it in his own "special" way. That is until Star City's own protector, Green Arrow, enters the scene. There fight is interrupted by the citizens though as they stand by their new protector, Deadshot. Green Arrow sees the good Deadshot is doing and leaves him to it. Later Deadshot is confronted by a man from his past, the "bulletproof" Clarence. After a hard drawn out fight Deadshot eventually defeats Clarence. Deadshot is then forced to make his last stand against a group of mercenaries made up of mercs whom Deadshot had betrayed in the past. Deadshot kills off all the mercs and fakes his own death in the process.
During the events of Infinite Crisis a woman named Scandal approaches Deadshot offering him the chance to join a new team, the Secret Six, which would oppose the Secret Society. Later on a mission for the Secret Six Deadshot and the rest of the Secret Six are captured by the Secret Society of Super-Villains. They eventually break out. Catman and Deadshot get into a confrontation when Catman learns that it was Deadshot that shot his precious lions. Their fight was short lived as the Secret Society of Super-Villains burst in to interrupt.
Deadshot is confronted by Deathstroke. The two open fire on one another, neither moving from the spot, both standing their ground and absorbing the hail of gun fire from the other. Unfortunately Floyd could hold out no longer and collapsed, Floyd survived the incident though.
Countdown To Final Crisis
During the events of Countdown, Deadshot along with the rest of the Secret Six capture super-villains. Deadshot in the series has a run in with the villains The Trickster and the Pied Piper, on their first encounter the two villains make a narrow get away. Though on their second encounter they aren't so lucky, Deadshot shoots and kills The Trickster and captures the Pied Piper.
In the Salvation Run story, Deadshot was tricked and double-crossed, then sent to the prison planet along with the last batch of criminals, which also included Catwoman, Lex Luthor and Bane. Rick Flag commented that this was because the government didn't want any men like Deadshot running around. Deadshot promised to kill Flag, a threat that is still as of yet to be carried out.
After joining the Secret Six, Deadshot joins the Six (consisting of Deadshot, Bane, Black Alice, Catman, Ragdoll and Jeannette) in breaking out a drug Kingpin out of Belle Rev prison, while the Suicide Squad (consisting of Nightshade, Count Vertigo, Bronze Tiger, Rick Flag,Virtuoso and Yasemin Soze) attemp to kill him. Black Alice serves as a distraction, channeling the powers of Giganta and attacking a guard tower, as the team moves on ahead. Meanwhile, Yasemin fails in killing the Kingpin. Instead she hears that the Secret Six have infiltrated the prison, and leaves to test herself against Deadshot. As Bane and Black Alice fight off Nightshade and Count Vertigo, Waller reveals that this was actually a mission to recapture Deadshot. Deadshot quickly kills Yasmin and then faces Rick Flag, while Black Alice disposes of Vertigo and Nightshade and Catman has a bloody battle with Bronze Tiger.
As this is happening, The Fiddler recruits a number of other Black Lanterns to attack Belle Rev as he focuses on Deadshot. Dubbing themselves "The Homicide Squad", they attack both the Six and Squad, forcing them all to fall back. Black Alice uses Nightshade's powers to transport away, as Yasmin is resurrected. The teams arrive at the House of Mystery, where Scandal Savage is fighting off Amanda Waller. Realizing neither teams have the power to permanently stop the Black Lanterns, Amanda Waller has a Manhunter delivered to her. She detonates the Manhunters heart, killing the Lanterns. Deadshot quickly shoots Waller. Waller is later shown in the hospital, and reveals that she was Mockingbird after Luthor.
Powers & Abilities
Deadshot has no super human abilities. He is though an expert marksman with his phrase being "I never miss." Deadshot is also in excellent physical condition as well as being extremely agile and athletic.
Weapons and Equipment
Deadshot's main weapons are his trusty twin wrist gauntlet silenced pistols. Deadshot has been seen to use a vast range of different explosives as well as a vast arsenal of weapons including most notably his wrist pistols and a hand pistol which allows for explosive attachments.
Deadshot also wears a very durable suit of armor. This suit has allowed Deadshot to sustain large explosions as well as hails of gun fire and even gun shots from point blank range to the head, though in many of these instances it has been destroyed whilst leaving Floyd relatively unharmed. Deadshot's visor and helmet enhance his senses dramatically to the point that he can hear a humming bird's wings flapping.
In Other Media
Deadshot appeared three times in the DC Animated Universe, in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. One episode even spotlighted his team, Task Force X, a version of the Suicide Squad. In each of the episodes Deadshot was voiced by Michael Rosenbaum. As an interesting little fact of trivia, Michael Rosenbaum, famous for playing Lex Luthor in Smallville, based his performance as Deadshot on Kevin Spacey, who would end up going on to play Lex Luthor in Superman Returns.
Deadshot appeared in:
- Justice League The Enemy Below Pt. 1 Hereafter Pt. 2
- Justice League Unlimited Task Force X
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Deadshot appears causing havoc, but stopped by Green Arrow, disguised as Batman.
Gotham Knight Deadshot
Deadshot also makes an appearance in one of the Gotham Knight segments. He was a skilled assassin with superhuman aim, hired to kill Batman. He lured Batman out by targeting commissioner Gordon. After Batman showed up, they battled on top of a speeding train. Deadshot shoots a few rounds, but Batman manages to overpower him and knock him out. He can later be seen in police custody. The news reporter says that Deadshot has the chance to face death penalty.
In the second episode of the Final (10th) Season of Smallville, Deadshot makes his appearance as a mercenary hired to kill Clark Kent. Played by actor Bradley Stryker, Deadshot made his first attempt against Clark, by shooting a bullet inside Cat Grant's car combustion chamber, making him believe his target was her. Later on it is revealed the engravings on the bullet were originally "Clark Kent" and not "Cat Grant".
His second attempt is set against Cat Grant, while she is trying to escape in disguise, knowing that Clark will try and save her, by acting as a shield. The bullet ricochets on Clark's shoulder, fulfilling Deadshot's plan, by activating some sort of tracking device. Eventually captured in jail, he's being bailed out by Suicide Squad leader, Rick Flag with the aid of Plastique.
Deadshot will be appearing in the new Arrow TV series and Michael Rowe will be playing one of DC's deadliest assassins.
Superman/Batman Public Enemies
Deadshot makes a cameo appearance as one of the villains hunting Superman and Batman.
Deadshot appears in Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to the award winning Batman: Arkham Asylum. Deadshot enters Arkham City with his own list of targets, which will eventually include Batman, once the caped crusader begins to get in his way. Deadshot provides side missions that allow the player to use Batman's detective skill to deduce trajectory of bullets, thus singling out Deadshot's hidden position.