The origin of Deadshot

Heads up, it’s goofy.  How, you ask?  This is the cover of the issue he premiered in:


But you’ll have to get yourself a time machine and go back to 1950 if you want to read that story. Today, we’re covering Deadshot’s first issue, a supervillain who’s gained an impressive following in the past few years with the Secret Six and Suicide Squad series.  But we need to venture back to the early Batman stories, when Batman used silly gadgets and Robin hadn’t hit puberty yet.  Let’s take a look at the very first Deadshot story in the first few pages of Batman #59, written by David Vern and drawn by Bob Kane & Lew Sayre Schwartz.  Get your mystery pants on, because we’re about to jump into a dozen pages of spectacular detective insanity.



Deadshot’s original costume looked like Zorro dressed up for a cocktail party.  Thankfully his mustache never goes away.  I like Batman and Robin taking a vacation in the first panel — within a few decades, Batman’s warped and all-consuming justice would never allow him to relax and take a break when criminals still roam the night robbing abandoned dock warehouses and stealing sewer orphans and whatnot.  Luckily, 1950s Batman could still do stuff like not break into cold sweats because his fist wasn’t connecting at that moment with a bad guy’s jaw.  Also, and while I am no expert of firearms, could Deadshot actually stamp out a cigarette with a bullet?  Wouldn’t that be like putting out a campfire with a bowling ball?




This is the Golden Age of comics when everything had to be explained in dialogue that would never naturally come out of people’s mouths.  And while I’m also not a cop, I imagine any man trigger-happily shooting bullets around town would be frowned upon by the police.  Still, it looks like Deadshot may not be such a beloved vigilante after all, especially because he’s been a supervillain for sixty years of DC history.  Most importantly, how young does Commissioner Gordon look compared to his normal grizzled, always-one-horrible-crime-from-retirement face he normally has?




I’m not saying comics have become more subtle in the modern age (more violent definitely), but very rarely do supervillain’s butlers straight-up announce evil plans for the whole world to secretly listen to. At least nowadays he would wait until the final page of the issue.

But notice the skull Deadshot shoots into the wall?  I counted, and there’s over a hundred bullet holes.  Seriously, count it yourself.  And his gun looks like a six-shooter.  So that means while shooting a skull into the wall to show Batman and Robin his evilness, he had to reload a good sixteen or seventeen times while Batman and Robin waited patiently for him to finish his graffiti.  Let’s do some math.  If we take the fastest shooter on YouTube, which I believe is one second to shoot all the bullets and two seconds to reload, and say Deadshot can equal this man’s speed, then that still makes Batman and Robin standing in silence for a good minute or so while Deadshoot finishes his masterpiece.  Dynamic duo indeed.

Oh, and enjoy mopey Batman and smug Batman only five panels apart.





Except that while Batman got Deadshot to confess, Batman’s breaking-and-entering is also a crime. A crime he admits in police headquarters to the police commissioner.  Oh well.  Also, before we end today (next time will be Deadshot’s re-emergence in the 1970s), take a moment and appreciate Batman’s incredible sense of humor.  Dudshot.  Get it?  Right?  Okay, never mind.



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