Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is Rocksteady’s most recent addition to the DC video game universe, bringing back Deadshot for franchise fans to enjoy. The expert marksman has been part of the Arkhamverse video games in the past, but fans of the franchise may have noticed a not-so-subtle change from past installments, as Deadshot in the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League trailer appears to be a different version of the character than seen in the universe previously. Similarly, those familiar with Will Smith’s Deadshot portrayal in the 2016 Suicide Squad may get something different than they expect.
Deadshot is a staple villain in the DC comics, first appearing in the 1950 Batman #59. Floyd Lawton’s story is one of tragedy, in which he tries to shoot his abusive father but kills his brother instead. From that day on he trained to be a perfect assassin who never misses, becoming one of the most elite criminals in the world. He has a daughter, Zoe, to whom he gives a portion of his earnings. He eventually accepts a contract to kill Bruce Wayne, which lands him in jail, paving the way for Amanda Waller to recruit him into her Suicide Squad. In a recent issue, Lawton was killed, the Deadshot mantle falling to his mentee Will Evans.
In the Batman: Arkhamverse games, Deadshot is Lawton, sharing many of the abilities and backstory as the original comic book character. His transformation to a black man may signal that Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s Deadshot is no longer Lawton, but has shifted to Evans or some other third party. In the Suicide Squad movie, Smith also portrays Lawton, albeit a different version than fans of the Batman video games might expect.
Whether a revamped Lawton or an iteration of Evans, Deadshot’s personality will be one of the biggest differences between the character in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Smith’s 2016 portrayal. In the movie, Deadshot is the group’s leader, conflicted about his abilities and seems genuinely remorseful about the path he had to take in life, making him seem almost out of place in such a cast of devious characters. From what the trailer revealed, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’s Deadshot does not share that guilt. Rather, he banters with the other characters, and while his mask makes it hard to read his emotions about combat, someone who uses a jetpack mid-flight to roast enemies alive likely doesn’t hold qualms about doing what needs to be done.
Deadshot’s revamped appearance in Kill the Justice League will also be improved from the movie in ways that will make gameplay quite exciting. In the movie, Deadshot dons a red, armored combat suit strapped with guns and ammo, a very basic getup designed to highlight his natural marksman ability. In the game, however, Deadshot has a mechanical getup, with automatic guns attached to his arms and a jet pack across his back. Close examination of his suit shows rows of ammo running up his arms and over his shoulder, hopefully reducing time needed to reload. Deadshot’s ability to fly will also make him a much more versatile fighter in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League than his movie counterpart.