Friday, September 27, 2019

Deadshot #1 (1988) Review

BEGINNINGS (or "Die But Once")

Writers: John Ostrander and Kim Yale
Artist: Luke McDonnell
Colorist: Julianna Ferriter
Letterer: Tim Harkins
Editor: Robert Greenberger
Release Date: September 7th, 1988
Cover Price: $1.00

Review written by Joey Casco of

I was never really a big fan of Deadshot. A gun themed persona has never appealed to me with any character. He looks stupid. His shiny armor doesn't even make sense because he'll be easily seen when he's trying to snipe somebody. I did like Will Smith as Deadshot in the Suicide Squad movie and Christian Slater as Deadshot in Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, but Deadshot in comics? Bleh.

But then I started digging in to the 80's comics on DC Universe and now he's become one of my favorite villains. I mean, what a jerk this guy is. And absolutely brutal. Just relentlessly brutal. Did I mention that he's a jerk?

I recently stumbled across this piece of gold on DC Universe and literally dropped my jaw a few times while reading the first issue. I knew that it had to be my next series of retro reviews. This is a four part miniseries from 1988, and it is FANTASTIC.

The issue starts with Floyd Lawton's wife looking for him. (FYI, Floyd Lawton is Deadshot.) She's found an address but it's just an address where his mail is sent, and this guy above goes and gives him the mail. So she write a note and tells him to give it to Floyd. We'll find out what that note says in the next issue.

We then jump over to see Lawton drinking and smoking in what looks to be either a whore house or a strip club, and he's joined by an old friend of his from jail.

Wait... what? Who was expecting that from 1988? No wonder why the cover on the physical copies say "DC Comics isn't just for kids!"

They catch up and Lawton tells Silage that everybody from "the old gang" that they used to run with is dead except for them. Then we find out why they're meeting: Silage is involved in an operation lead by a man who calls himself el Jeffe, and Lawton needs to have a word with this guy. Of course, us readers know that it's more than just a little talk.

And also we know Lawton isn't alone. He is still part of the Suicide Squad so you can bet that this is a Suicide Squad mission, and Flagg is listening outside.

Throughout the issue we get Lawton's Belle Reve psychiatrist Marnie Herrs looking back on his origin as Deadshot and trying to analyze his condition to see why he's a ruthless killer and why he has antipathy towards women. So Deadshot's whole backstory is told here and there throughout the book, but I'm going to stick to what's happening right now.

So Silage has hooked Lawton up to have a meeting with el Jeffe's guys to see if he can join them, and he's in his whole Deadshot getup.

Holy $H!+!!! Deadshot has no chill! And Flagg isn't happy about it!

And neither are el Jeffe's guys, because they didn't say to kill the guy right then and there. But Deadshot don't give a fuuuuuuuuuuuudge.

Sweating and scared, they tell him that he's passed the test. So he asks when he can meet el Jeffe, and they say six months to a year. Deadshot isn't having any of that and threatens to walk unless he meets him as soon as possible.

el Jeffe's main guy makes it work, and they board a private jet. Before he boards, Deadshot disposes of his microphone so Flagg can't hear what happens next. And what happens next is BADASS.

el Jeffe explains to Deadshot about the cabin pressure, and a missed shot means they all would die. But this whole time, through Herrs' analysis, we've learned that Deadshot wants to die. So who doesn't give a damn about the cabin pressure?

The dude just starts blasting everyone, and of course people get sucked out of the plane. And we even find out that everybody from "the old gang" died at Deadshot's hands, as does Silage.

And then he finds himself free falling to his death, not caring that it's the end.

But is it really the end? OF COURSE IT'S NOT because this is a four issue miniseries! But I'm not gonna tell how he manages to live! Find out for yourself!

Bits and Pieces

YES!!! This is just so good and so shocking at points with its adult content and cold-blooded savagery. Deadshot is a honey badger. Herr's portions with Lawton's backstory and analysis do feel a bit fillery at times but they do give you an understanding of why Deadshot is the way he is. I loved this issue.

1 comment:

  1. Everything connected to Ostrander's 80s Suicide Squad is really engaging. The Deadshot origin is tragic, but the mini is really well written and helps explain a change in Deadshot's mood in the main SS story. I second your suggestion that people read it.