"I admire your work."
—Deadshot to Oliver Queen[src]

Floyd Lawton (died March 25, 2015), known under the codename Deadshot, was the world's deadliest marksman. He was an assassin who used long-ranged weaponry and the neuro-toxin curare to poison his bullets and murdered countless targets in his time. He was also the husband of Susie Lawton and the father of Zoe Lawton, the latter who he sent most of the money he earned. After each job, he tattooed the names of his latest victims on his body.


Early life

Floyd Lawton spent years away from his family in service of his country, even missing his daughter Zoe Lawton being born. When finally coming home from war, while given a warm welcome from his wife, Susie Lawton, Zoe was scared of her father and kept her distance from him. Over time, Lawton's post-traumatic stress disorder from killing so many people combined with Zoe's rejection of him made Lawton turn to drinking and troubled around his family. This drinking was to the point that he couldn't hold a job or even socialize with people. He finally lost his nerve telling his wife that she does not understand about what happened to him and he pulled out a gun on her, before quickly pulling back ashamed. His actions destroyed the last bit of trust his family had. This led to his wife having him arrested and a restraining order put in place.

World's greatest assassin

Deadshot recruited by HIVE

Floyd Lawton recruited by H.I.V.E.

Shortly after this, Lawton was contacted by Mina Fayad on behalf of H.I.V.E.. She told him even though he had left the battlefield he would never be able to get a normal life. She offered him money to kill Andy Diggle, effectively starting his long career as an assassin. Throughout the years Lawton sent all profits beyond expenses to his daughter.[1]

Over the years, Lawton developed a reputation of never missing his target, earning him the nickname Deadshot from Interpol. Lawton also at some point was employed by the Solntsevskaya Bratva to kill an undisclosed target.

Deadshot killed James Holder while he was being threatened by The Hood, managing to hit The Hood as well. Upon finding out the bullet was poisoned with curare, Oliver used the knowledge to find an assassin familiar with the poison: Deadshot. Oliver then tracked down Deadshot with aid from the Bratva to an apartment he had used before under his true name Floyd Lawton. There they confronted each other, only for Lawton to flee the scene. Later at the Unidac auction, Deadshot shot a bullet to kill Walter Steele, who was pushed out of the bullet's path by Sergeant Quentin Lance. Oliver and Deadshot later had another confrontation ending with Lawton shooting John Diggle and Oliver shooting an arrow through Deadshot's right eye, knocking him unconscious.[2]

When he regained consciousness, an elderly homeless man approached him. Deadshot wrenched the arrow from his eye and stabbed the old man with it. As he staggered out of the building, he was kidnapped by a group of men in a van after losing consciousness again, before he could be taken by the police. In a hospital room, Lawton woke to find his eye having been operated on. Before his brain could be examined, under the instructions of an unidentified man, broke out of his restraints and walked out.[3]

Two months later, Deadshot appeared in Blüdhaven and approached a man who apparently had a job for him, but was rejected due to having only one fully working eye.

In the three months following, Lawton had retired and began to drink and smoke heavily.[3] However, when China White approached him with an eye scope to replace his eye and asked him to kill Malcolm Merlyn, he agreed to come out of retirement. The two formed a plan to kill Malcolm by forcing him outside his office building, so Deadshot could kill him. However, Malcolm and his son, Tommy Merlyn, headed to a safe room in Malcolm's office. Deadshot managed to destroy the bullet-proof windows by firing a grenade at them and was able to shoot Malcolm several times. Malcolm became poisoned by the curare toxin in the bullets and Deadshot and China were able to escape. However, Malcolm survived after Tommy gave his father a blood transfusion.[4]

Sometime later Deadshot returned to Starling City for a potential contract which in reality was a trap A.R.G.U.S. was setting to capture him with. When he was going to meet with potential contractor, Lyla Michaels, he had somehow learned what their plans were and he planned to kill the A.R.G.U.S. agent setting the trap while sitting sniper. He killed three of the agents and when he moved to kill Lyla, John showed up and saved Lyla's life. When Deadshot was on his way out, John Diggle tried to stop him, but Lawton easily disarmed him and held two guns on John, who said he was going kill him for what he did to Andy. Lawton replied "I would kill you right now, but there's no one paying me". Whilst showing him his tattoo of Andy's name and told him that it was best that he remembered that he had a place just next to his brother's name and then he punched John in the head with a gun and left the building.

Russian prison

Deadshot, Lyla Michaels and Diggle in Moscow

Deadshot escapes prison with the help from John Diggle and Lyla Michaels.

Lawton was found to have been captured in Russia and taken to Koshmar. Lyla was also tracking Deadshot for John Diggle, but was taken captive there. Lawton met Diggle again while in solitary confinement. He was able to escape and kill John's contact inside the prison with an icicle, saying that he would help find Lyla if John gets him out too. After they found Lyla, Diggle helped Lawton to get out of the prison. They escaped in a van with Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, and Anatoly Knyazev. Due to his sense of honor, John allowed him to walk free. Before leaving, in a show of gratitude and honor, Lawton told John that he was contracted by a group called H.I.V.E. to kill Andy Diggle himself, rather than Andy's client, as he intended for the situation to appear.[5]

A.R.G.U.S. agent

Lawton was eventually captured by A.R.G.U.S. and was forced to join Task Force X, known as the Suicide Squad, in exchange for amnesty. He and a few members of the Suicide Squad are temporarily released from imprisonment by A.R.G.U.S. to participate in a mission in Markovia. Their job was to find and retrieve a deadly nerve gas in the possession of a terrorist. In order to infiltrate the terrorist's house, Lawton would attempt a fake assassination in order for John to gain the trust of Gholem Qadir. During a Humanitarian Benefit which John was invited to, Lawton would pose as John after the latter bypassed the security with Qadir. Lawton would look for a nerve agent only to discover that it was much larger than expected. After Lawton learns that it was planned for him to be killed along with the destruction of the nerve agent, he decides to stay before being reminded of his daughter. Lawton would later realize the drone that was set to destroy the nerve agent was locked onto a chip inside him. Lyla would cut the chip out with Ben Turner's claws. After they return to A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller decides to place the chip back in the spine of the Suicide Squad members.  

Lawton is broken out of imprisonment by John and Lyla to stop Amanda Waller. After being instructed to take no kill shots, Lawton is armed and holds up the control room of A.R.G.U.S. with other members of the Suicide Squad in order to stop Waller from leveling Starling City with a drone attack.

Further work with the Suicide Squad

In late 2014, Deadshot was working as part of the Suicide Squad, killing members of the extremist sect Onslaught in the Republic of Kasnia along with Bronze Tiger.[6] The two were later training in the A.R.G.U.S. headquarters, taking out ten men in 7 seconds.[7]

Soon afterwards, he, Bronze Tiger, John, and Ravan Nassar were deployed to Kahndaq to take down Onslaught.[8] 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.[9]

Lawton and Turner tortured the survivor, but John 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.[10]

After they were back in America, 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.[11] 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.[12] They each fired at him, but he was saved by The Flash, who rushed him to safety while the Squad appears to recognize him.[13]

Kasnian extraction mission

He later met up with Lyla and John, who were just married, and informed them they had another mission and the Suicide Squad will ride again. The team will go to Kasnia to rescue U.S. Senator Joseph Cray who got taken hostage while opening a hospital. John decided to tag along to help Lyla. Cutter, John, Lyla and Lawton parachute in Kasnia. Cupid asked Lyla about the wedding and tells her how she will spare on flowers to save more money for the dress. She told John that she and the Arrow will get married and get children, after which Lawton told her a love life and family is not possible for people who do what they do. John told him he thinks it is possible and that he is not like Lawton. Lawton said he was not always like he was now.[1]

Cupid, John and Lyla entered the hospital while Lawton took down the guards with his sniper rifle. The Squad burst in and killed the terrorists in a firefight and prepared to free the hostages. The Senator suddenly pulled a gun and said they should not have come here. He shoots at Cupid but Lawton tackles her and takes the bullet for her. Cupid is visibly touched as the Squad gets away and John helps the shot Lawton. A touched Cupid seemed to be in love with Floyd after he saved her. John stitched Lawton up while getting distracted for a second by the tattoo with the name of his brother. Over the radio, Senator Cray explained to them the hostage situation was just theater to make him a hero and allow him to run for President of the United States. John and Lyla noticed that the hospital got rigged with explosives and more mercenaries arrived. John and Lyla got desperate as they realized they will die and their child will become an orphan. Lawton encouraged them and told them they will free the hostages and both Lyla and John will survive to get back to their child. His speech seemed to arouse Cupid who made some flirting remarks at him.[1]

Floyd Lawton looks at a picture of his wife and daughter before his apparent death

Floyd Lawton looks at a picture of his wife and daughter one last time before his presumed death.

Cupid, John and Lyla take down most of the mercenaries but Senator Cray threatened to activate the bombs while holding the switch. Lawton positioned himself on the rooftop and shot the switch from his hand and killed the mercenaries. Cupid and John told him to get down but he said he lied and that he will cover their escape from the rooftop so they can make it out alive. Covering them from the roof he killed the mercenaries until everyone was safe. After they were safe he looked at the picture of his daughter and wife and looked at it one more time before the building exploded and he died.[1]


Despite having found redemption during his time with Task Force X, Floyd Lawton would remain an unsung hero and be remembered in official history as a criminal and terrorist. Amanda Waller made it look like he had been the leader of the hostage situation in Kasnia and was killed by his own explosives, with the fellow hostages being paid by Joseph Cray to keep quiet about the truth, much to Lyla and John's outrage and disgust. Lawton's heroic act made John reconsider his life with Team Arrow and resulted in Lyla resigning from A.R.G.U.S.; she realized the work made her do horrible things and wanted to be a good role model for her daughter. John had a toast with Oliver Queen to honor Lawton, somewhat shocking him.[1]

However, since Lyla has replaced Amanda as the director of A.R.G.U.S. after the latter was killed by Joyner,[14][15] it is very likely she has cleared Lawton's name, ensuring that he will correctly go down in history as a hero.

When Barry Allen traveled to Earth Two, he saw Floyd's doppelgänger working for the Central City Police Department and initially mistook him for Earth One Floyd Lawton.[16]

After Lawton's death, Cupid was devastated, becoming disillusioned about love, and took his mantra "Love is a bullet to the brain". She began killing celebrity couples on their wedding day until Team Arrow apprehended her.[17]

Lawton's "ghost" would haunt John acting as a guilty conscience for killing Andy Diggle.[18]

It is unknown if Susie and Zoe ever found out the truth about Lawton and his heroic sacrifice.


Lawton was well-aware of his marksmanship and wasn't the least bit modest about it. Even going as far as to brag to John Diggle he doesn't miss.

Lawton's motivation as a sniper was money. He was driven by money - so much that he didn't kill John Diggle only because he saw him as a potential source of income later, since no one had yet paid him to fulfill the task.[2] It was later revealed his obsession with money was because it's his only way to provide money for his daughter Zoe Lawton, who he sends most of the money via a blind trust. He has several pictures of her in his cell at A.R.G.U.S. He will kill anyone who gets between him and his target(s); when Lawton found out that A.R.G.U.S. set a trap for him, he killed three A.R.G.U.S. agents, despite the fact that they were not getting in his way between him and his target(s).

However, Lawton did show remarkable bravery and character by remaining underground when Amanda Waller orders him to do so, despite his knowledge of an impending drone strike. It is possible that he envies John's code of ethics and honor, suggesting that he wasn't always borderline sociopathic, as this was merely a personality adjustment that eventually consumed him. This is shown during their first team up when he says that it was the way he wanted to die, doing something honorable.

Lawton ultimately got his wish when he gave his life to ensure John and Lyla Michaels returned to their daughter. Lawton also does also show some honor in him. One example was when he John let him go even though go as part of their deal even though he had him at gunpoint. In exchange Lawton told him the truth behind Andy Diggle's death. Another was he was forced to work with John and had him at gunpoint and did not shoot him.

Lawton was also shown to be a man of habit. This was demonstrated when he checked into the same hotel and the same room he stayed the other times he was in Starling City, enabling Oliver to track him down with just the information provided to him from the Solntsevskaya Bratva.

Lawton was shown to have developed attachment to his comrades. When Ben Turner was killed, he took the liberty of burying him in his home country to honor his fallen comrade. His loyalty to his comrades was so high that he took a bullet for Carrie Cutter and even sacrificed himself for the team by choosing to stay on the rooftop to cover their escape after which he got killed when the building blew up.

Lawton was a combination of both pessimist and a realist. When John told him he might even get a pardon after a few years of serving Task Force X, Lawton told him he won't last that long. He does respect John enough not to kill anyone when he demanded Lawton not to do so even though he made a sarcastic wise crack at John for "taking the fun out of it". Floyd and John eventually came to be on good terms with each other with his time in Task Force X.

Lawton also understood the importance of family, as he offered to sacrifice himself to protect John and Lyla so they can return to their daughter, albeit having to lie that he had a way out since he knew full well John would never leave a man behind. He also cared for innocent people during his time with Task Force X. When he, John and Ben Turner lost their target, John contemplated their failure only for Floyd to point out to look at the innocent people they saved. Despite his claim that love is a “bullet in the brain”, his final act was to look at a picture of his ex-wife and daughter, showing that no matter how much he tried to convince others otherwise, he truly loved his family.


  • Peak of human physical condition: As a former soldier and a highly skilled assassin, Lawton is shown to be in top physical condition. He is strong enough to go toe-to-toe with John Diggle and come out on top without much effort.
    • Honed senses: According to Chien Na Wei, Lawton has very sharp senses, being able to pick up people before even seeing them.
  • Expert combatant/Martial artist: Lawton has shown himself to be a highly capable combatant and martial artist despite his preference in marksmanship during assassination. His skill was enough to be able to easily keep up with the highly skilled John Diggle and eventually even overpower him without much effort.
    • Master marksman: Lawton is considered to be the world's deadliest marksman and highly skilled with many ranged weapons. This is partially supported by his proficiency with his eye scope. Lawton's marksman skills are so great, he is said to never miss his mark, earning him the nickname Deadshot from Interpol.
  • High-level intellect: Lawton was able to keep his true identity hidden for up to two years until Oliver Queen used his Bratva connections to unveil his identity to the public.


  • Curare: Lawton laces all his bullets with curare to exponentially increase the chance his victims die as long as the bullet has made contact with the victim's blood stream, even if the bullets barely graze the victim or if the victim is wearing body armor.
  • Cybernetic eye patch: This cybernetic eye-patch was given to Lawton by Chien Na Wei to replace his damaged eye, after it was seriously injured by The Arrow. It was later upgraded to act as a sniper rifle scope and also possesses thermal imaging. A.R.G.U.S. agents can remotely access the eye-patch to use it as a camera, seeing what Floyd does.
  • Deadshot suit: Lawton wears a suit as his villain alter-ego, Deadshot, when he is out on an assignment. The first incarnation of the suit was little more than a dark suit and jacket. The second and current incarnation of the suit is far better equipped, including an armored chest piece, fully loaded bandoleer and various magazines of ammunition.
  • Grenade launcher: Lawton used this weapon in order to penetrate Malcolm Merlyn's bulletproof glass.
  • Laser eye patch: One of Lawton's signature trademarks was the high-tech laser sighted eye-patch that he wears over his right eye to make up for the damage done to it. This eye-patch augments his already-amazing marksman skills, and when combined with his sniper rifle's scope, makes it almost impossible for him to miss his target.
  • Sniper rifle: One of Lawton's weapons of choice include a long-ranged sniper rifle with curare-laced bullets.
  • Wrist turrets: Lawton possessed two wrist turrets, one on each wrist which can emit continuous gun shots in rapid fire.



Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 7

The Flash

Season 2



Arrow: Season 2.5

The Flash: Season Zero


Concept artwork

Promotional images

Season 2

Behind the scenes

  • Deadshot is one of the more popular DC comics super villains, having featured in several animated adaptations, and video games, and like on the show, is a prominent member of the Suicide Squad, a team of convicted felons that frequently perform missions on behalf of the government. However, in the comics, he had his daughter Zoe with a prostitute and wasn't aware she even existed until years later, after which he teamed up with Green Arrow to protect her from his enemies. In the comics, he was introduced as a Batman villain, before also becoming a member of the Suicide Squad and a recurring enemy of Green Arrow.
  • Many of Deadshot's tattoos are references to in-series characters, extended DCU characters, and Behind-the-Scenes crew members. They include "Glen Winter" (series director), "Andrew Diggle" (referring to both Diggle's brother and also the writer of "Green Arrow: Year One" for DC Comics), and "Joseph Cray" (a character from volume one of Suicide Squad who, in the DC comics continuity of the time, attempted to blackmail Amanda Waller and Task Force X in order to increase his political standing; he was assassinated by an increasingly erratic Deadshot).
  • Floyd Lawton appears in Blüdhaven, the city he has chosen for his "retirement". In the comics, Blüdhaven is defended by the superhero Nightwing. During the episode, villain Guillermo Barrera appears; in the comics, he is a criminal mainly operating in Blüdhaven and the nemesis of Nightwing, serving as a further reference to the hero.
  • John Diggle is reading an article about Deadshot suspectedly killing the Bialyan president. Bialya is a prominent country in the DC mythos.
  • Deadshot getting tattoos with the names of his victims is similar to Victor Zsasz, a villain from the Batman series who carves a tally mark into his body every time he kills someone.

Suicide Squad (2016) controversy

In the third season Arrow episode "Suicidal Tendencies", Lawton's character was killed off in a surprise plot twist that many fans suspected was the result of an upcoming DC Comics film based on the "Suicide Squad" characters.[19] Less than a week after the episode aired, Marc Guggenheim confirmed on Tumblr that Lawton was " the table..." for the show, further fueling speculation.[20] During June 2016, only two months prior to the release of the Suicide Squad film, Arrow actress Willa Holland confirmed that storylines revolving around Lawton and Harley Quinn had been in development for the series but that "When DC found out they were going to be doing their own movie we had to axe all of the characters before we even got to show them". This included Deadshot, Amanda Waller, Digger Harkness, Harley Quinn, Barry Allen, and Tatsu Yamashiro. [21]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Suicidal Tendencies"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lone Gunmen"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Back from the Deadshot"
  4. "Dead to Rights"
  5. "Keep Your Enemies Closer"
  6. "Ascension"
  7. "Awakenings"
  8. "Gone"
  9. Blood part 11
  10. Blood part 12
  11. "Fish Fry"
  12. "Blood Loss"
  13. "A Little Help from Some Friends"
  14. "A.W.O.L."
  15. "Code of Silence"
  16. "Welcome to Earth-2"
  17. "Broken Hearts"
  18. "A Matter of Trust"
  19. Arrow: Suicidal Tendencies Just Gave Us One Explosive Shock
  20. Deadshot Is Officially Off The Table For Arrow
  21. Arrow Actress Confirms DC Killed Their Harley Quinn/Suicide Squad Storylines