30 Days of DC: 2. Your Favourite Villain
I don’t get it. I really don’t. I didn’t think I had a thing for villains. I always, obediently, disliked the bad guy and rooted for the hero and until the last couple of years I’d never say “I love this character because he’s so fucked in the head.”
I just don’t get it.
But then, he doesn’t either. He just doesn’t get it.
Floyd Lawton is so broken that he not only doesn’t know which way is up, morally, he doesn’t even care. Unlike many other villains, his actions can’t be viewed as selfish, because he doesn’t care about his own survival, and possibly never has.
Floyd grew up in the shadow of his elder brother Edward, whom he looked up to in place of loving parents. To say that Floyd’s parents weren’t nice people wouldn’t really cover it; they absolutely hated each other. When his mother persuaded Ed to try and kill her husband, Floyd tried to prevent his brother from becoming a killer, and in the process accidentally killed one person who ever gave a damn about him.
Floyd briefly attempted the masked vigilante game, but because his method involved killing people, and he got carried away with embezzlement, the Batman shut him down. Deadshot even now has a fucked up relationship with the Bat; a nobler, more heroic, more effortless moral version of who Floyd once tried to be, he always pulls his shots when fighting the Dark Knight, something Ostrander, who created the current incarnation of the character in the pages of Suicide Squad, has frequently attributed to Floyd associating the Bat with his dead brother.
His totally bromantic relationshop with Thomas Blake, Catman, clearly comes from this same need for a big brother. Blake has a sense of nobility Floyd just can’t aspire to, and it’s this utterly slashtastic friendship that had me hooked on Secret Six to start with. I’m sure that Catman’s similiarities to that certain other person couldn’t have hurt either.
None of which explains why I like him, except I guess I’m an utter sucker for family, just as Lawton is. He sticks around with Thomas and Scandal Savage - who he calls ‘Sis’ - because they have that sense of trying to be right that he professes not to care about. The only way to press his buttons has been ever to get at him through his family; his mother tried to blackmail his by kidnapping his son, and then Mockingbird threatened his daughter. Now he’s in it purely for the money, every penny goes to his daughter, whom he won’t see for worried of the danger that puts her in.
After all, I can’t love him so much because of his complete detachment from anything ‘normal’ people would call ‘morals’ or ‘ethics’, can it?
(Maybe it’s the spandex and the guns, idek)
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