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Deadshot with wrist guns smoking, over a white background

Deadshot

(Floyd Lawton)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Deadshot was a very minor Batman foe who popped up in 1950 then promptly vanished into comic book limbo . He resurfaced during the 1980s as a Bronze Age  Batman foe, but it was Suicide Squad vol. 1 that developed him into a psychologically damaged anti-hero with a death wish.

This gave Deadshot a fan base and a much higher profile. That also means he appeared aplenty in inheritors of the Yale/Ostrander Suicide Squad writing approach, such as Simone’s Secret Six.


Background

  • Real Name: Floyd Lawton.
  • Former Aliases: Lawton once impersonated William Hell.
  • Marital Status: Divorced.
  • Known Relatives: George Lawton (father, deceased), Genevieve Pitt Lawton (mother, deceased), Edward Robert Lawton (brother, deceased), Susan (ex-wife), Edward Lawton (son, deceased), Zoe (daughter).
  • Group Affiliation: Secret Six; formerly Suicide Squad, Killer Elite.
  • Base Of Operations: House of Secrets; formerly Belle Reve.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Deadshot is a marksman and assassin of legendary skill as well as a competent hand-to-hand combatant.

He has also become an accomplished gunsmith and usually employs special weapons of his own design.

Deadshot leaps in

His costume has a pair of magnums mounted onto his wrists, which can fire a number of rounds in addition to normal bullets, including explosive, armour-piercing, and incendiary.


History

[A general history of the Secret Six can be found in the team entry]

The youngest son of an influential, old money, family, Floyd grew up in a town named after his family. Given his older brother, Eddie’s, success at whatever he tried, Floyd became a rebellious trouble maker. He wanted to avoid having to live up to the expectations placed on him, but he idolized his brother as much as everyone else.

Their parents’ marriage was not happy, though. Eventually Genevieve conspired to kill George, persuading her sons of their father’s abusiveness. Eddie was enraged, but Floyd didn’t believe her. Eddie knocked him out and locked him in the boat house.

Floyd managed to break free, taking the hunting rifle he kept there, but found the doors to the house locked. Climbing a nearby tree, he saw Eddie holding a gun on their father, and took aim with his rifle, intending to disarm him. The branch he was on snapped, forcing his shot off, killing Eddie, but not before he’d fired and paralyzed their father.

George covered up the incident, which was blamed on burglars. He eventually had Genevieve banished to a small house on the other side of town.

Devastated by his brother’s death, Floyd never really recovered. He married, and had a son whom he named after his brother, but his grief wouldn’t let him fully adopt to normal life, and he eventually left them.

Deadshot

Lost and bored as a socialite, Floyd drifted towards crime. He gathered a gang to rob a party he was attending at Wayne Manor. His parents were supposed to be present, but they were leaving as he arrived, so he didn’t get to enjoy seeing them robbed.

When Batman turned up the leader of the gang, the only member who knew Floyd, panicked. Floyd knew he’d be discovered, so he shot the man in alleged self-defence. Giving his name as Deadshot, he left before the police arrived.

Deadshot dodges while shooting

Finding he’d enjoyed the thrill, he made himself a new costume. He acted the part of the vigilante, while secretly taking protection money from gangs to leave them alone. Batman revealed his actions, and Floyd went to jail.

After his sentence was complete, he returned to crime, becoming an assassin, and repeatedly clashing with Batman, ultimately ending up in Belle Reve prison.

Suicide Squad

Recruited into the Suicide Squad, he found he enjoyed the danger and likelihood of death. Even after he’d done enough missions to earn his freedom, he stayed with the group.

During another confrontation between the pair, Batman accused Floyd of pulling his shots around him. In Batman’s view he subconsciously wanted to lose his battles.

As part of his time with the Squad he had to attend sessions with psychiatrist, Marnie Herrs. She diagnosed him as having a death wish. They became too close, however, as she started becoming emotionally involved, and he eventually ended their sessions.

Family Business

Contacted by his ex-wife, Floyd learned their son had been kidnapped. The kidnappers ordered him to kill his father or they’d kill his son. Floyd refused, and hunted them down, killing everyone involved, but arriving too late to stop Eddie’s murder at the hands of a paedophile.

He finally confronted his mother, whom he knew was behind it. He realised that she’d done so due to her own death wish, and instead shot and crippled her in the same way his father had been.

Flag

Amanda Waller returned Deadshot to the field against objections from Herrs. Rick Flag Jr. had gone rogue. Flag intended to deal with Senator Cray, who’d tried blackmailing the Squad to help him get re-elected.

Waller had already dealt with him, but her secrecy meant Flag went after the threat with the intention of killing Cray. So Waller sent Deadshot to stop him, by any means necessary.

Deadshot attempts suicide-by-cop

However, Floyd had begun to see Flag as a surrogate for Eddie. So when he couldn’t talk him out of killing Cray, Deadshot killed the Senator first. Giving Flag the chance to flee, Deadshot waited for the police, and drew on them, going down in a hail of bullets. He survived, but ended up in Arkham Asylum.

Freelance Squad

Waller ended up in prison for a year due to the way she handled the Squad. During this time Deadshot returned to freelance work. When Waller was freed to reform the Squad, now a freelance organisation, Deadshot was hired by William Heller to kill her. Heller had been discredited by the squad when Deadshot impersonated his William Hell identity.

He had Waller at his mercy. But when she offered to match Heller’s fee and an extra dollar if he’d kill Heller instead, Deadshot accepted, rejoining the Squad. He was prevented killing Heller by Batman.

Lawton continued serving as part of this Squad for the rest of their time, briefly going without his costume. Due to circumstances he blamed on Captain Boomerang, their luggage got lost, including his costume. It turned up in Paris, where a psychopath used it to go around killing random people.

Floyd faced him, finding himself initially unable to shoot Deadshot. He overcame it, shooting the impostor in the head, but left the suit.

The suit was eventually returned to him by Henri Ducard. Lawton began wearing it again, although it was a while before he bothered to do anything about the bullet hole in the forehead.

Urban Renewal

Learning his parents had passed, within weeks of each other, Floyd inherited only some papers. Among them a letter from a former prostitute he’d known years ago, Michelle Torres. She let them know she’d had a daughter by him, Zoe.

Tracking them down to a crime-ridden area of Star City known as the Triangle, Floyd found Michelle refused to leave when he offered to support them.

Deadshot in his civvies points a pistol

Moving into the area, Floyd began a personal war against the warring gangs, allowing the residents to begin tidying the place up. After a brief clash with Green Arrow, the archer accepted Deadshot was doing good for the community, but warned him he’d be watching.

He continued facing increasing threats from the gangs. It culminated in them hiring a small army of costumed operatives who had reason to want Deadshot dead. Realising they’d just keep coming after him, destroying the neighbourhood, Deadshot faked his death in the battle.

The cleaner neighbourhood having attracted more affluent residents, with an associated increase in the police presence. The gangs decided to stay out now they’d recovered face with his apparent demise. Floyd threatened the landlord of many buildings housing existing residents, forcing him to keep the rent as it was.

Floyd did return occasionally to spend time with Michelle and Zoe. He also arranged for Zoe’s educational needs to be funded by the charitable foundation set up by his parent’s estate.

Rock’s Squad

He was recruited into the version of the Suicide Squad allegedly run by Frank Rock. ”Rock” was later revealed to be an impostor, with the Unknown Soldier being the most likely contender. The team didn’t last long when a terrorist team formed by Rustam (son of the Jihad member, Rustam) attacked them to avenge the death of his father.

He captured Waller, but Deadshot shot him before he could kill her (although not before he killed her daughter). Deadshot then had Waller in his sights, but decided to let her live.

Villains United

lawton was recruited into the Secret Six when Mockingbird (Luthor) threatened Zoe’s entire neighbourhood with destruction. Deadshot slowly formed an attachment to the members, soon adopting Catman as another surrogate for his lost brother.

Deadshot attacks a boardroom (but not a gazebo)

He was seriously wounded during a firefight with Deathstroke during the Six’s final battle with the Society, but recovered. He and Catman later met with Green Arrow to warn the heroes about the Society.

After the meeting, Catman and Deadshot debated whether the surviving members of the Six should remain together. They also discussed whether they should return to villainy or to try being heroes of a sort. Deadshot, with his usual nonchalant air, suggested flipping a coin. He remained a part of the team, although he did occasionally work for the Suicide Squad.

Six Degrees of Devastation

When Zoe was again threatened by attacks on him, Floyd decided to sever all ties with her, ending his visits to Star City.

When Scandal tortured Pistolera (who had badly injured Knockout) for information, she was hesitant about killing her, a line she hadn’t crossed before with a captive. Seeing her distress, Deadshot killed Pistolera, saving Scandal from making the choice.

Countdown

As part of the Suicide Squad, he assisted in the rounding up of super-villains to send to the distant prison planet, including a few attempts to apprehend the fugitives Trickster (James Jesse) and Pied Piper. After a few near misses, he tracked them on his own, going against Waller’s orders to try taking them alive.

He narrowly missed capturing them during a fight on a train, but as he was thrown off he managed to shoot and kill the Trickster.

Salvation Run

Deciding he was too unstable to use, Waller betrayed Deadshot. She sent him to the prison planet with the last of the other super-villains. This basically ended his relationship with the Suicide Squad and Waller as far as he was concerned.

The Card

Seeing the divisions the Card caused among the rest of the Secret Six, Deadshot turned on them. He pretended to take the Card and captive Tarantula for his own profit. Tarantula called him on it, accusing him of doing so to save his friends from turning on each other.

Deadshot uses wrist guns with rotating barrels

He began a kind of relationship with new teammate Jeanette. She has speculated that her attraction to him is at least partly due to the banshee in her sensing the death in him.

Blackest Night

Waller’s manipulations of the Six, bringing them into conflict with the Suicide Squad, were primarily to get Floyd back on her team. She’d tried replacing him with Yasemin Soze, who’d proved less than successful. When the Six fought the Squad, Soze tried called Deadshot out, but he killed her with little trouble.

When the reanimated Black Lanterns were dealt with, including a number of Floyd’s victims, the Six and the Squad reached a stalemate. Floyd told Waller in no uncertain terms he wouldn’t work for her again.

Cats in the Cradle

Despite his usual preference for professional rather than personal, Deadshot went with the members of the Six who searched for Catman, rather than fulfilling contractual obligations.

The Reptile Brain

After learning that Black Alice believed she’d caused her father’s cancer, Floyd secretly visited her father’s doctor. While he hadn’t believed her claims about having powers, Floyd’s intimidation forced the doctor to admit that her powers could have been responsible.

Floyd then forced him to tell Alice she wasn’t responsible, and threatened to kill him if she ever learned the truth.


Description

Floyd is a physically fit white male with a lean face. He sports a short handlebar moustache, somewhat reminiscent of an old west gunfighter’s moustache (or a porn star’s moustache as has been more recently commented a few times).

Lawton usually wears unobtrusive clothing in his civilian identity, contrasting markedly with the red bodysuit with silver and yellow accoutrements and chrome metal helmet he wears as Deadshot.


Personality

Coldly professional and unflappable (except by some of the things Ragdoll comes out with) Deadshot is virtually fearless in most situations. He doesn’t really care if he lives or dies, and suppresses his feelings, which only rarely explode.

Death Wish

Lawton’s most infamous trait is his death wish. This self-destructive urge stems from a combination of self-loathing and guilt, which likely have their roots in his twisted family relationships.

Being unable to compete with his well-liked and successful older brother, and being one of the ropes in the murderous tug-of-war between his parents, Floyd developed an unhealthy self-image. It became worse when he had the guilt of inadvertently killing his brother, and later his failure to rescue his son from his kidnappers.

Deadshot in a gunfight

While not actually suicidal, he puts himself in dangerous situations, and claims to not care whether or not he survives. It’s mostly a subconscious belief that he deserves to be punished for his prior bad acts. The risks he takes may also provide a distraction from his guilt, providing an adrenaline rush and allowing him to live in the moment rather than dwelling on the past.

At his worst, he may hold back slightly at a critical moment or increase the dangers of a situation by taking unnecessary risks or provoking confrontations he could have avoided.

On rare occasions, he has even assisted his targets in their defensive measures to worsen the odds against him. At his best, Deadshot will rush into situations without regard to the possible consequences, not wanting to be killed but still being unafraid to die.

There have been a few occasions where he’s become manic in his death wish, almost suicidally so. The most prominent such incident was after he failed to save his son. He began calling Flag Eddie, and shot at cops until they retaliated with a hail of bullets which should have killed him.

Regardless of his professed wishes, he always survives, his well honed self-preservation instincts always seeming to beat his death wish.

Family

He has on occasion tried to build a normal family life for himself, first with his wife and son, and then with his daughter and her mother. But these have inevitably fallen apart due to him, whether due to his guilt over his past actions in the first case, or the collateral threats of his chosen career in the second.

His failures are no doubt fuelled by his guilt over what happened to his brother, and by his less-than-happy family life prior to that. He’s still sensitive on the subject of family, particularly after his son’s death.

An off-the-cuff comment by an associate regarding Deadshot’s parenting skills once provoked a near-murderous reaction. Floyd may have only spared the offending person’s life because that person didn’t know Deadshot’s personal history. He also perhaps thought on some level that the thoughtless barb had some unintentional truth behind it.

He’s had more success with surrogate families. Eventually, anyway. He began to see Rick Flag Jr. as a brother figure, even calling him Eddie while in emotional distress after his son’s death. His inclination to pull his shots when fighting Batman may also be due to him having unconsciously identified Batman with his brother.

He also seemed to see Waller as a mother figure, agreeing to work for her rather than kill her on a couple of occasions. This relationship ended with her betraying him.

He’s had more success with the Secret Six. He seems to have developed a fairly stable attachment to them, even going out of his way to protect them (stealing the Card so they didn’t turn on each other, killing Pistolera to save Scandal from having to do so, and removing Black Alice’s guilt over her father’s illness).


Quotes

Nightshade: “I’m going to try and let you off at the top of the elevator shaft where Manticore sleeps.”
Deadshot: “What happens if you overshoot ?”
Nightshade: “You’ll fall 4 stories and go splat in front of him.”
Deadshot: “Fair enough.”

“The hell with it. Let’s just shoot ourselves.”

“If yer gonna shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

El Jefe: “Many want me dead. You, perhaps ?”
Deadshot: “And if I did ?”
El Jefe: “You could do nothing here ! The cabin is pressurised ! One stray shot — one tiny hole in the fuselage — and we would all die ! Yourself included.”
Deadshot: “So ?” [Starts shooting]

“Life is the most valuable thing we have, right ? When you take a life it should mean something, right ? When I killed my brother, I felt nothing. No guilt, no remorse — nothing. And he was the one person in the world I ever gave two damn about. They lied to me — about the importance of life. The only life anybody cares about is their own and I don’t even care about that. You understand ? I’m just killing time, waiting to die.”

Batman: “Tell me, Lawton — you have any moral code of your own ?”
Deadshot: “What for ? Nobody hiring me has one.”

Count Vertigo: “Of all the unmitigated gall ! Your own head, sir, is a rat’s nest and you have the effrontery to impugn my mental state ?!”
Deadshot: “It’s my head. If it gets me killed, okay. I just don’t want your head problems acing me.”

“Enough games. Explosives.”

Catman: “You really do have a death wish.”
Deadshot: “Funny thing about that is, all the people who used to say that are dead.”

“Everyone split up. We won’t win this one, but maybe we can make some interesting stains on the carpet.”

Hawkgirl: “You killed him.”
Deadshot: “What, it was self-defense. Guy obviously had a gun.”
Hawkgirl: “He didn’t have a gun, Deadshot !”
Deadshot: “Okay, so it was murder. Who cares ?”

Deadshot: “So, you’re saying you’re going straight.”
Catman: “Thinking about it.”
Deadshot: “I don’t believe it, ’Catman’. For two reasons. One, I’d have to kill you. And B: you just left two defenceless potential witnesses with a gang of humiliated racist scumbags. Didn’t even blink.”
Catman: “Dammit.”
Deadshot: “Think I’ll wait here, Superman.”

Bane: “Do not insult her. Love is complex.”
Deadshot: “Hey, you don’t gotta tell me nothin’, new guy. I got videos.”

“I think I might got allergies or something to natural beauty. I prefer the fake stuff every time.”

Deadshot: “They dead ?”
Rick Flag Jr.: “Kind of calm, aren’t you, Lawton ? I heard this cat guy was supposed to be your best friend.”
Deadshot: “Probably. So, they dead ?”

“Well, I’ll be dipped in dog &#%$.”

Lex Luthor: “These incompetents mean nothing to me. No offense intended.”
Deadshot: “Hey, you’re rolling, stuff gets said. No skin off my full, lustrous head of hair, man.”

Jeanette: “Have you given any thought as to why we are following a man we don’t even like to injure and kill people we don’t even know ?”
Deadshot: “Not really. Don’t look at me. I just like to shoot things.”


Marvel Universe History

He has a rivalry with Bullseye, mainly on Bullseye’s part. Although Floyd does seem to go out of his way to goad him.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Deadshot

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 020 HP: 055

Skills:
Animal Handling (Horse Riding): 04, Charisma (Intimidation): 07, Evasion (Ranged only): 08, Gadgetry (Firearms): 06, Martial Artist*: 06, Thief: 06, Vehicles (Air, Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 12, Weaponry (Heavy Weapons, Missiles): 09

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Language (Russian), Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Guns and gunsmithing), Shticks (Paired firearms, Double-tapping, Speed-shooting, Response in kind).

Connections:
Secret Six (High), Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA (Killing Combat), MIA (Dying), SIA (Using Trick Shots against “named” opponents, see below).

Equipment:

  • Wrist magnums (x2) [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 05, Thief (Stealth): 05, Ammo: 18, R#2. The Thief (Stealth) part is the silencer. Deadshot carries 8 complete reloads on his special belt].
  • He’s also used special ammunition, which he can access by switching the mechanism of his wrist magnums (they count towards the Ammo total, and are called using the Response in Kind Shtick):
    • Armour-Piercing Bullets [Projectile Weapons: 05, Sharpness (Projectile Weapons): 05, Note: This may be combined with the other types of bullets, using their Power in place of Projectile Weapons].
    • Explosive Bullets [Bomb: 06].
    • Incendiary Bullets [Flame Project: 06].
  • EYE SCOPE [BODY 03, Telescopic vision: 07, Thermal vision: 07, Drawbacks – Attack Vulnerability (-1CS vs. light-based attacks when using Thermal Vision)].
  • During the 2005 Deadshot mini-series, Deadshot went through the following equipment changes:
    • His weapons of choice were a pair of custom-made (AFAICT) high-caliber semi-automatic pistols [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 10, R#02].
    • He also carried three rifle grenades modified to be used with the pistols [BODY 03, Bomb: 08, Grenade drawback, Miscellaneous Drawback (Can only be fired after being fitted to the barrel of one of his pistols; this takes as much time as a normal reload and the pistol cannot be fired normally until the grenade is fired or manually removed), Range: 05 (when fired from pistol), R#03].
    • He still wore his wrist-magnums, which served as back-up weapons.
    • Lawton wore a modified version of his usual costume that was also typical comic-book armour, the earpieces of which extended his hearing range. BODY ARMOUR [BODY 07, Skin Armor (Limitation: Real Armour): 02, Extended Hearing: 02].
    • By his next appearance in the Villains United mini-series, he had abandoned this new weaponry and gone back to his usual armament.

Notes

Pulling his Shots

While happy to kill low level opponents who’re unlikely to offer much of a challenge, Deadshot tends to handicap himself against more capable opposition. This makes things more challenging, and increase the risk to him.

Against an opponent with greater than 25 HPs he may feel compelled to only take Trick Shots, aiming to wound rather than kill (unless his MIA has also been triggered), and won’t use HPs for attacking them.

Deadshot’s Death Wish

Deadshot’s Irrational Attraction toward dying doesn’t compel him to place himself in overtly suicidal situations. Instead, he takes unnecessary risks or otherwise arranges circumstances to put the odds against him.

Lawton is often deliberately confrontational toward other super-villains, hoping to provoke a fight he might lose. If the GM wants to make Deadshot’s subconscious desire to lose and die more apparent, Uncertainty can be added to the list of Drawbacks.

Previous Stats

After he learned of her existence, his daughter Zoe was a Dependant. However he decided to cut off contact with her and her mother early during his time with the Six, to avoid endangering them. This isn’t to say he won’t regain it the moment some writer or gamesmaster decides to have Zoe threatened.

He had a High level Connection to the Suicide Squad during the periods he was a member of the team.

By Sébastien Andrivet, Roy Cowan & Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: DC Comics.

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera.

Writeup updated on the 9th of June, 2012.

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