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Within the DC Comics universe, Deadshot is often a hired assassination|assassin, regularly boasting to "never miss." He is capable of using a large variety of weapons, but prefers using a pair of silenced, wrist-mounted guns. He initially appeared in Gotham City as a new crimefighter, but was revealed to be an enemy of Batman when he attempted to replace the Dark Knight. He was sent to jail when Batman and Commissioner Gordon publicly exposed his plot to become the king of Gotham's underworld.
After serving his term, Deadshot began hiring his services out as an assassin, changing his costume from the top coat and tails he previously wore to his now more familiar red jumpsuit and distinctive metal face plate with a targeting device on the right side. He has been a major figure in the Suicide Squad in its latest two incarnations, where his skills as a marksman and his absence of care for human life served to greatly further the group's objectives.
Probably his most peculiar trait is a great 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. Various reasons have been cited for this, but the most common thread in them is his parents' peculiar hatred for one another, so much so that Lawton's mother tried to hire both her sons to kill their father. In the first Deadshot mini-series, it is explained that Floyd idolized his brother. His mother convinced his brother to kill their father. His brother locked Floyd outside, but Floyd, wishing to save his brother from a grim future, took a rifle to shoot the gun out of his brother's hand. He was sitting in the tree branch when it broke and Floyd accidentally shot his brother in the head. Lawton inadvertently kills the brother he loves to save the father he hated.
On the Job with the Squad
Deadshot almost got his wish to die when he confronted a Senator who was threatening to expose the Suicide Squad to the world. He killed the man and was gunned down by the police on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This incident displayed Deadshot's painfully literal sense of logic. Having been ordered to stop his immediate superior from assassinating the senator, when Rick Flagg was undergoing a nervous breakdown, he killed the senator himself, citing his orders as "Stop Flagg from killing the Senator. Exact words." He survived his wounds, to continue on with the Squad.
Lawton's uniform was stolen by an airport employee, who used it to commit many crimes and murders. Lawton was forced to kill the man with a bullet to the head. The shooting of his own 'image' affected him greatly. For a while, he did not even fix the hole in his own uniform. While the suit had been lost, Lawton had threatened to kill who he thought had been responsible, his teammate Captain Boomerang.
During his last mission for the Suicide Squad, Count Vertigo asked Deadshot if he would kill him if asked. Deadshot agreed and the two went off to a secluded area for the decision. Vertigo declined, a decision Deadshot accepted with no argument.
After being affected by the supernatural entity Neron during the Underworld Unleashed storyline, Deadshot decided to kill a kindergarten class via a large explosion. An incarnation of the Justice League stopped him.
Around this time, Deadshot traveled overseas to kill the Pope himself. He was stopped at the last moment by Wonder Woman.
A second mini-series was released in 2005, in which Deadshot discovered he had a daughter, Zoe, who was being raised in a crime-filled area of Star City. Lawton decided to do right by this 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 isn't for him, but having mostly cleared up the area and having convinced Green Arrow to patrol it more regularly.
Deadshot was featured in the Infinite Crisis storyline comic book Villains United. The Secret Six were banded together by a mysterious, shrouded character named Mockingbird (who was actually Lex Luthor) who offered a major reward for committing to the team and a severe punishment for not accepting membership. Deadshot was offered the reward of ruling North America; his punishment was to be the destruction of the neighborhood of his daughter and his daughter's mother. At the end of the mini-series, a stalemate was reached and Deadshot's status remains roughly unchanged from the end of his second mini-series. He remains a part of The Secret Six and was shown having reached a grudging friendship with another member, Catman. His share of the payment for the Six's mercenary work is stated to be sent in its entirety to his daughter and her mother. After the Six disbanded, Knockout commented in passing that he had returned to the Suicide Squad.
Deadshot and the Suicide Squad are featuring in Countdown, rounding up supervillains for removal. The group has encountered Pied Piper and Trickster several times, and each time failed to capture them. In Countdown To Final Crisis #24 Deadshot made a solo effort to capture them, but the pair again eluded 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 was tricked and sent off to the prison planet along with the last batch of criminals. Rick Flag Jr. stated to him as the Boom Tube closes that he can't have people like him on Earth. Deadshot vowed that if he ever returns to Earth, he will take his revenge on Rick, after helping fight off the Parademon invasion he manages to escape with the surviving villains in the teleportation machine.
Deadshot is portrayed as having a twisted code of ethics; as long as he's been paid for an accepted hit-job, he will always carry it out -- no exceptions. Batman was unable to get him to stop threatening a witness (who refused to testify as long as Deadshot was waiting to kill him if he did) by threatening Deadshot or his family (Deadshot rightly assumed that Batman was bluffing). However, Batman ultimately did get Deadshot to abort the hit -- by "freezing" the bank accounts of the one who had hired Deadshot. Unable to get paid, Deadshot publicly canceled the assassination, letting the witness go free.
In other media
- Deadshot has also made appearances in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series voiced by Michael Rosenbaum. In first appearance, "The Enemy Below (Part I)," he is hired to kill Aquaman by his brother, Orm. He was apprehended by the Justice League and forced by Batman to reveal who hired him. Deadshot later appeared during the villain rampage in both parts of "Hereafter" along with Kalibak, Copperhead, Star Sapphire, Volcana, and Livewire. His next appearance is in the episode "Task Force X" where Floyd Lawton is about to get the chair until the warden and guards discovered Colonel Rick Flag Jr. sitting on it. Flag gives the warden a note that Floyd has been chosen to participate in Task Force X, a decision they force upon Lawton by revealing that his last meal was laced with explosive nanotech robots. He and Rick worked alongside Captain Boomerang, Clock King (Temple Fugate), and Plastique in a stealth mission to steal a magical automaton called the Annihilator from the Watchtower. After that mission (and the loss of Plastique), Rick tells the remaining members that they have to work for five years to earn suspended sentences. However, the dissolution of Project Cadmus led to the early release of various members, as revealed in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance," in which Captain Boomerang makes an appearance. Deadshot's status is unknown.
- Deadshot also appears at the beginning of Kevin Smith's unused Superman Lives screenplay as the leader of a group of mercenaries who winds up having to take on Superman.
- Deadshot appears as one of the villains in Batman: Gotham Knight voiced by Jim Meskimen.  According to the writers of Batman: Gotham Knight, Deadshot was totally redone for the movie. In the story, he is presented as an "anti-Batman," with a sophisticated socialite secret identity. They also describe Deadshot and Batman's battles as very interesting because "it's battle of man using guns against one who isn't". Within one of the film's segments Deadshot, he is contracted to assasinate Batman and James Gordon by The Russian Mob. After being defeated and captured by Batman after his failed attempt, he is sentenced to death penalty, along with businessman Ronald Marshall, who previously hired the assasin to murder activist Teresa Williams. This version of Deadshot seems to lack the "death wish" that the character has in the comics.