We’re not trying to pick a fight or anything, but Deadshot has the drop on Deadpool.
If you’re looking for humor, hang with Wade Wilson. If you want to see the human body heal after a beat-down, watch Deadpool. If you’re interested in substance, and a character who has room to evolve, look no further than Floyd Lawton. The man behind the laser-eye mask is the finest shot the world of comics has ever seen. When he cracks jokes, he earns the punchline. Heroes and villains alike respect him. Why? Because he’s one of them, an anti-hero who has led the Suicide Squad, fought on the Secret Six, and solidified his reputation as a truly lethal marksman. Even Batman knows not to pick a fight with Floyd Lawton.
Deadpool may be able to regenerate, but all bets are off with Deadshot aiming down his sights. Here are 15 Ways Deadshot Is Better Than Deadpool:
15 He Doesn’t Miss
Deadpool is known for his mouth, not his method. He’s an all-healing, all-enduring assassin who doesn’t exactly have the market share of any particular skill or trade. That’s where Deadshot slides in and stakes his claim. He is the greatest marksman in DC Comics and can hold his own against any Marvel sharpshooter. Not only does he tag his targets, he nails them with perfect precision. They’re not just general hits, but specific takedowns tailored for the situation: some to wound the victims so that they can be apprehended, and others to kill on impact. Deadshot is also a believer in the well-placed warning shot just to scare the life out of those on the other end of his sights.
From using sniper rifles at long range to side arms for a more personal touch, Deadshot wields his accuracy for both offensive and defensive purposes. When he’s not taking down baddies from a distance, he’s using his bullets to halt incoming fire like Oliver Queen’s arrows. Wade Wilson may be a jack of all trades on the battlefield, but he only specializes in running his mouth.
14 He Doesn’t Clown Around Like Wade Wilson
That’s not just an idle swipe at Wade Wilson. His personality is his defining feature and (arguably) his greatest liability. Forget the blades, the grenades and the guns that defend him -- Deadpool’s wit is his perpetual undoing. Since his comics birth, the Merc with a Mouth has yapped his way to self-destruction time and time again. He’s unpredictable, unstable and unhinged. However entertaining he may be, Deadpool plays with fire in ways that would get most other superheroes killed. Were it not for his obscenely effective capacity for regeneration, he’d be lying dead in a pool of his own viscera.
Compared to Wade Wilson, Deadshot is a veritable mute. Though he’s fueled by rage and an unshakable death-wish, he has the ability to channel his personal frustrations into his violent line of work. He’s a gun for hire who gets the job done with maximum efficiency. Deadpool, on the other hand, belongs in the circus.
13 He Can Dodge Bullets While Pulling Headshots
Though he is a consummate professional, Deadshot still finds room for flare in his industry. He may not be a meta-human, but his peak level of fitness and training enable him to do the impossible: dodge an incoming headshot while pulling one off himself. He may lack the powers of other superheroes, but his skillset includes an uncanny sense of survival that allows him to sense when bullets have been fired and how he should react. He has even been known to hit his targets while blindfolded.
On one occasion, Deadshot took on a squadron of 20 opponents and methodically buried them all. While dodging their incoming fire, he proceeded to land headshots and heart-hits on every bad guy in a manner of seconds. To Floyd Lawton, gunplay is like a mathematical algorithm that lets him add, subtract, divide, and kill everything that stands in his way. Wade Wilson may have a few tricks up his sleeve, but no one makes being an assassin look more effortless than Deadshot.
12 He’s Not A Superhero Rip-Off
As conceived by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, Wade Wilson was born to the world of comics in 1991. Liefeld had been a longtime fan of the Teen Titans arc, and when he sat down to create a new character, he found himself drawing heavily from one in particular: Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke the Terminator. As the story goes, Liefeld picked up the phone to tell his writing partner about the new character he had created. He told Fabian Nicieza, “this is Deathstroke from Teen Titans.” With a slight adjustment of his civilian name and superhero identity, this Deathstroke-inspired character was then dubbed Wade Wilson. And just like that, Deadpool was born.
Floyd Lawton, on the other hand, is a more original creation. Designed by Bob Kane and Lew Schwartz in 1950, he first arrived on the scene in Batman #59. Though it seems to be a contentious issue these days, Deadshot long predates the existence of fellow-marksman, Bullseye, whose first appearance came over 25 years after Floyd Lawton landed in comics. However you slice it, Deadshot was a unique character, not a composite knock-off of an already wildly-successful villain.
11 He’s a Trickshot Artist
Though Deadshot regularly asserts his ability to “never miss,” he overstates his claim just a hair. Like Muhammad Ali in and out of the ring, he talks a big game and backs it up 99.9% of the time. Deadshot can blame that sliver of inaccuracy on the Dark Knight himself, who successfully blocked the marksman’s shot from killing his intended subject. While Batman threw him off his game, Deadshot still technically hit his target, though the shot wasn’t as lethal as he intended.
To make up for this humiliating event, Deadshot chose to sharpen his skills, rather than let them go soft. Setting up target practice in a grimy back alley, he carefully mowed down his cardboard cutouts without even looking at them. When he wasn't landing direct hits on foreheads, he was blasting ricochet shots off walls and into the hearts of his targets. When Batman showed up mid-session, even he was impressed, asking, “Trick shots, Lawton? I hope you’re not showing off for me.”
10 His Character Can Actually Evolve
In the 25 years that his character has been around, Deadpool has hardly changed. From day one on the comics panel to his box-office smash movie in 2016, Wade Wilson has stuck to his guns. He’s loud, snarky, dangerous, and almost impossible to kill. For fans that love the Merc With a Mouth, his reliability is a blessing. On the other hand, enthusiastic readers and viewers know that he’s relatively restricted to the recipe Rob Liefeld cooked up. While we would never vouch for a Deadpool “reformation,” it’s hard to imagine him doing anything other than being a smart aleck. Even before suffering his illness and forming his second identity, Wade Wilson wasn’t demonstrably different than the Deadpool we’ve all come to know.
Deadshot’s character is far less fixed, however, and in his 75 year comics history, he has shown an aptitude for internal evolution that makes him compelling to read (and watch). Though his home life is seldom in one piece, Lawton’s family-man core is what makes his violent profession seem so contradictory and compelling. He is constantly at war with himself in the comics, and though you can always count on his killer gun-play, you never quite know which version of Deadshot will show up to the party.
9 Other Heroes Respect Him
There’s no nice way to say this, but most characters that share the same universe as Deadpool absolutely despise him. Wolverine has threatened (and tried really, really hard) to kill him on numerous occasions, Luke Cage has told him to shut up, and even Spider-Man is loathe to save him from certain doom. When Deadpool got launched from a skyscraper, Peter Parker caught him with his webs and mused, “Deadpool. We meet again. Unfortunately.”
It may be a running joke, but it’s also an unavoidable truth: Deadpool is entertaining only to himself and to audiences, but never to anyone around him. As a result, he earns none of the respect from his crimefighting cohorts and occupies the space between hero and villain.
Deadshot is no saint, but he gets credit from characters on all sides of the spectrum. While leading the Suicide Squad and generally keeping the respect of his Task Force X teammates, Deadshot maintains a fearsome reputation amongst his enemies. Other than his long-standing beef with Captain Boomerang, Deadshot is a well-respected professional who does bi-partisan business on a daily basis.
8 He’s Been On All Sides of the Hero/Villain Spectrum
While Wade Wilson has seldom changed over the years, Deadshot's character started out in a top hat, bowtie, and coattails. That's how writer Bob Kane first unleashed him in Gotham City. Though he seemed genteel, Floyd Lawton feigned honesty to mask his real intent of replacing Batman and becoming the designated ruler of Gotham’s criminal underbelly. When The Dark Knight and Commissioner Gordon foiled his plot, they made Lawton rethink his line of work. Knowing his gift with guns, Lawton ditched the dinner-party garb and embraced his signature suit and marksman-ready mask.
While Will Smith’s performance in Suicide Squad is firmly in anti-hero territory, the Deadshot of the comics has often been a supervillain. Fortunately, he proved to be a less effective nemesis than assassin, like the time he tried fighting Batman while traipsing on a supersized typewriter. Though Deadshot has changed over the years, his malleability is a testament to the strength of his character, a quality with which Wade Wilson can’t compete.
7 He’s More Entertaining Than Annoying
Deadpool is best in small doses. When he has a proper mission at hand and he’s focused, his fusillade of jokes works great. When he runs his mouth and lets his latrine humor dominate the story, however, the Merc with a Mouth loses his charm. To call a spade a spade, he can be downright annoying at times. Like that friend who tries to turn every thought into a joke, Deadpool overstays his welcome far faster than he’s ever aware.
That’s what makes Deadshot so unique. He lets his guns do the talking, and when someone questions his authority, he deploys a quick burst of acerbic humor to shut them up. For instance, Lawton once capped an enemy and got immediately castigated for his actions: “You killed him. He didn’t have a gun, Deadshot!” His Secret Six teammates shake their heads in dismay while Deadshot throws his hands up in the air saying, “Okay, so it was murder. Who cares?” It’s cold-blooded, but that’s Deadshot at his finest.
6 He Was Spared Rob Liefeld's Pen
All credit is due to Rob Liefeld for the creation of Deadpool. Without him, there would be no Merc With a Mouth. Though he is the granddaddy of Deadpool (as well as several other awesome characters), Liefeld’s illustrations of his own character are perhaps the least distinguished of the lot. Despite being a massively successful artist who has worked in commercials, comics, and more, Liefeld’s depictions of certain superheroes have been trounced by the greater public. Just Google his name and you’ll stumble upon fan pages dedicated to his artistic demise. As you'll see, Captain America and his frightening face ranks high among the list of Liefeld’s strangest creations.
As for his contested ownership of Deadpool, Rob Liefeld is very protective of his intellectual property: “I wrote the stories. Like Jim Lee and others, I worked with a scripter who helped facilitate. I chose Fabian, and he got the benefit of the Rob Liefeld lottery ticket. Those are good coattails to ride.” It’s a good thing Liefeld never had the chance to draw Deadshot, otherwise, Floyd Lawton would have grossly over-sized muscles and conspicuously unseen feet.
5 He Beats Down Metahumans
He might not be a meta-human, but he can fight with them like the best. Take The Closer, for instance. When he first met Deadshot, the hulking dude claimed to be impenetrable to bullets, thus nullifying the marksman's chances of victory. After The Closer called his opponent “soft,” Deadshot took his strategy to the most primitive of levels. While taking aim at the big guy’s crotch, he threatens, “You bulletproof guys all make the same stance. Think it means you can’t be hurt.”
Bam! Deadshot caps him in the crown jewels, puts two bullets in his eyes, one in his mouth, then blasts him against the back wall with a mini-RPG. As the building caves in on The Closer, Deadshot gets the last word, “How’s that for soft, you stupid bastard?”
In addition to The Closer, Deadshot has killed a speedster, shot Scandal Savage in the forehead, and even taken down a super-speeding Owen Mercer, claiming, “I can see each beat of a hummingbird’s wing, so I can see you.”
4 His Daughter Makes Him Human
Though his personal life has evolved over the years, Floyd Lawton has always been a family man. Across multiple continuities, he has had a son and a daughter that give him a reason to live. While his son has been a less consistent presence in the comics, Lawton’s daughter, Zoe, is a fixture of his identity. There was even a time when Deadshot wanted to hang up his wrist-mounted guns and settle down for a more peaceful life. When his enemies started doubling down on their efforts to kill him, Lawton faked his own death to draw attention away from Zoe. Living in the shadows, Deadshot continued to protect her and helped his daughter get a top-notch education.
His bond with Zoe is so strong that Amanda Waller can’t help but exploit it. From the comics to David Ayer’s adaptation, Waller leverages Deadshot’s daughter to make the assassin her gun-slinging puppet. That’s not to say Wade Wilson is a cold-hearted inhuman. Indeed, he has plenty of vulnerabilities that unfortunately get drowned by his sarcasm and endless train of thought. At the end of the day, however, Deadshot’s daughter makes him the more sympathetic of the two.
3 He Fights On Several Teams
For Deadshot, the Suicide Squad is just the tip of the iceberg. Though he effectively leads Task Force X under the watchful eye of Amanda Waller, Lawton’s team-based experience extends to the Secret Six. While the Suicide Squad consists of ne’er-do-wells, their villainous tendencies are (usually) sublimated into fighting for the greater good. The Secret Six is also comprised of bad guys, but unlike Task Force X, they’re typically hired by someone even worse.
During the Infinite Crisis storyline, for example, Lex Luthor (shrouded in the identity of Mockingbird) gives Deadshot an ultimatum: join his team and be rewarded, or reject it and suffer. Should he accept the offer, Deadshot would have the keys to ruling the kingdom of North America, but should he turn it down, Luthor pledged to destroy Zoe's neighborhood. Living up to his name as a perennial gun-for-hire, Deadshot took the deal and got down to business.
2 He Can Go Toe-to-Toe With Batman
He might not have fared so well against him in Suicide Squad, but Deadshot has a long history of keeping Batman on his toes. They have both landed severe right-hooks on one another, and Deadshot has proven he can keep up in hand-to-hand combat. Most of the time, however, the Caped Crusader literally hides from Deadshot’s hellfire, knowing full well how dangerous his aim can be.
As a longtime villain in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, Deadshot has come close to dispatching the Dark Knight once and for all. So deadly are his straight-shots that the assassin is known for deliberately missing Batman to keep him alive. On one such occasion, Deadshot held the Dark Knight at gunpoint only to be harassed for his intentional misfires: “Ahhh…Deadshot. Going to pull your shots again? If so, don’t waste my time.” As Batman’s shadow moves away, Lawton stands motionless as he tells his opponent to “Go to hell.”
On other occasions, Deadshot has shot the Dark Knight at point blank range. Though just about any other hero in that situation would have surely died, Batman survived only because he had switched out the sniper’s bullets with blanks.
1 He’s Willing to Die
Can Deadpool die? The curse of his ever-regenerating life seems to preclude the possibility of death. It’s an impressive trait not unlike Wolverine, but it contributes to Wade Wilson’s outsized ego. If you could lose your head and simply have it reattached to continue your life, why not run your mouth at every opportunity? That’s why Deadshot is so different.
Floyd Lawton isn’t just prepared to die; he wants to reach that undiscovered country. On more than a few occasions, Deadshot has successfully fulfilled his death-wish in the frontlines of battle. During one heated moment in a fight against Regulus, Deadshot found himself getting strangled from behind. Rather than rely on outside help, Lawton took aim at his closest proximity yet: himself. Blasting a hole through his chest, Deadshot killed himself along with Regulus in the most epic of ways.
Deadpool is cursed to live, yet Deadshot has nothing to lose. What could possibly be more dangerous than that?
Do you think Deadshot is better than Deadpool? Have we completely lost it? Let us know in the comments!