SPOILER WARNING: The following interview contains major plot points and developments in DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” #1, on sale now.
Brian Buccellato says even Deadshot has a line he won’t cross — it’s just that Deadshot’s line lies a little deeper into the shadows than the rest of us. Considering the amount of violence Floyd Lawton is capable of producing, that’s probably a good thing.
The co-writer of “Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana,” an anthology-style series that also features Mike W. Barr writing the Katana story, told CBR News about exploring Deadshot’s past, present and future with artists Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend in the six-issue miniseries as the infamous Suicide Squad operative hunts down a drug lord’s daughter, as well as his own father.
Buccellato also confirmed that a brand new character named Will Evans, introduced in the first issue of the series, is unrelated to former Task Force X member Hugh Evans and shared his thoughts on Warner Bros. casting of Will Smith as Floyd Lawton in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” film blasting its way into theaters August 5, 2016.
CBR News: Your story opens with a powerful quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” Powerful words from one of the world’s all-time great writers. Does this quote sum up your thoughts and understanding of Deadshot?
Brian Buccellato: Yes. I heard the quote a long time ago and when I heard that I was going to do “Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana,” it popped back into my head. I couldn’t remember it verbatim but it was like: “That’s Floyd.” I wanted to get that on the table from the beginning so everyone knows what Floyd is about and this is what my story is going to be about.
And while Floyd very much has something to live for, we learn by the end of the first issue that something is his desire to kill his own father. Since Floyd Lawton was first introduced in 1950, his dysfunctional (to put it mildly) relationship with his abusive father has always been at the center of his story. It seems some things never change.
That’s right. His origin in this story is a lot like his classic origin but there are some differences. I didn’t want to tell the exact same story. There was a version of his origin that was told in Matt Kindt’s “Deadshot” #1, the Villains Month issue, and that actually plays a part in this story. That seems to go against what happens at the end of “Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” #1 but it all makes sense when you read the whole story.
Readers seem to love anti-heroes like Deadshot, Wolverine, Lobo and Deadpool. Why do you think characters like Deadshot resonate with fans?
Antiheroes are fun [Laughs] especially ones like Floyd, who want to be really good at something. Superheroes that we identify with are usually really good at something. They have some skill that they’re really good at. Antiheroes have that too, but they often have something else that they’re bad at. And they seem to have a line although they will do things that we would never do like kill bad guys. They will punch the guy in the mouth that deserves to be punched. They do things that I think that we can live vicariously through. With most good antiheroes, it’s not all about the wanton killing. It’s not about shooting grandma for no reason. That’s not the type of antihero that we respond to. The good ones — and I think Floyd is a good one — have a line, but that line is farther into the darkness than most of ours.
Your first issue introduces readers to a new Task Force X recruit named Will Evans. Is he related to Hugh Evans, who was a member of the Suicide Squad alongside Rick Flag in their first appearance in 1959’s “Brave and the Bold” #25?
No, he’s a brand new character and he plays a very big part in the story throughout the entire six issues.
Does the story include the drug lord’s daughter being hidden by the Falcone family in Gotham that you teased in #1?
The drug lord’s daughter is the main part of the action. But the heart of the story is what ‘s happening with Floyd and his own family. That’s a front and center. But in terms of plot and action, the story with the Falcones and the daughter of the cartel leader will also play itself out and be explored.
“Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” features, as its title suggests, a Deadshot story and a Katana story in the same book. Do these two stories interconnect or is this an anthology series?
They don’t cross over at all. They are two independent stories. They are unified by each of their roles in the Suicide Squad but they are two separate stories with Deadshot and Katana.
“Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” has been announced as a six-issue miniseries. If sales and reception permit, would you be game for writing more stories about Floyd Lawton?
Honestly, you’re right. It all depends on how it is received and how well it sells but if there is an opportunity to do more Deadshot stories, I will be there. I’ve had a lot of fun writing him. And I have to say that I think that “Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” #2 is one of the most gut-wrenching books that I’ve ever written.
Were you surprised when it was announced that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment were going to make a “Suicide Squad” movie?
I wasn’t surprised. I think I was more surprised by how much I liked the trailer. I think that it’s amazing. There are so many ways to mess [Suicide Squad] up, I was reserving my judgement until I saw it and I think they did an amazing job, especially with the casting.
What do you think about Will Smith as Deadshot?
I’m a fan of color-blind casting. And I think it’s great for Deadshot as a character to have one of the biggest stars in the world playing him. And having Will Smith in the movie certainly legitimizes the movie. He’s a tremendous actor and I see nothing wrong with casting him as Floyd.
“Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana” #1, written by Brian Buccellato and Mike Barr and drawn by Viktor Bogdanovic, Richard Friend and Diogenes Neves is on sale now.