Comics

Cult Comic Essentials: Deadshot – Beginnings

In these bullet-ridden 1980s tales, Deadshot goes on a solo mission to kill a crime boss known as El Jefe, only to learn that the men who sent him on this mission have ulterior motives.

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 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, whom 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 affiliation towards surrogate brothers, his now almost impeccable aim, his disregard for his own life, and his inability to kill Batman.

Collects Deadshot #1-4, Batman #369 and Detective Comics #474.

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