Amanda "The Wall" Waller is a powerful and dangerous top-ranking government head. She oversees a wide number of shady covert government operations and has deeply clouded morals where she walks the line of hero and villain. She is well known for her ruthlessness, stubbornness, and strategic-genius which has made her a universally feared figure in the DC universe.
Waller has a long-standing rivalry with Batman with her being one of the few individuals he truly fears, along with being one of the few people to have found out his secret-identity. She is also the leader of Task Force X AKA "the Suicide Squad", a covert government task-force of criminals blackmailed into doing black-book missions that would be illegal for the government to do otherwise, while supposedly receiving leniency on prison-time in return.
Amanda Waller has been established as a widow who escaped Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing projects with her surviving family after one of her daughters and her husband were murdered. Waller eventually obtained a doctorate in Political science and became a congressional aide. During that work, she discovered the existence of the first two incarnations of the Suicide Squad. Taking elements from both of these, she proposed the development of its third incarnation to the White House and was placed in charge upon its approval.
Federal Service Years
The Agency was formed by Amanda Waller to serve as a small, quasi-independent branch of Task Force X. Valentina Vostok brought former NYPD Lieutenant Harry Stein into the Agency as an operative. Amanda Waller later promoted Stein to the command position and demoted Vostok. Harry Stein would later re-organize the Agency and name it Checkmate.
Waller's tenure as the official in charge of the third Suicide Squad was tumultuous and controversial. Despite many successes, she developed a habit of defying her superiors in Washington in order to achieve goals both legitimate and personal on more than one occasion. The earliest conflict between her and her superiors revolved around the leadership of the Suicide Squad. Although she proposed that the Bronze Tiger, the man she had helped out of his brainwashing, lead the team he was instead relegated to second-in-command, and Rick Flag Jr. was made the leader. Waller feared the situation to be racially charged, related to not only her own status as a black woman, but also Bronze Tiger's own skin tone.
Her relationship with the Squad itself was one of mutual dislike. Most of the team's criminal members didn't really take to Waller's methods, and even the team's heroes were often at odds with Waller. Waller's inability to deal and compromise with her people led to the departure from the team of Nemesis, the death of a US senator and thereby indirectly to the death of Rick Flag Jr. Those type of conflicts, however, were not only limited to her superiors and her team, but also extended to Batman, who opposed the forming of the Suicide Squad. Nonetheless, the team remained loyal to her, often choosing to side with her instead of the government.
It was ultimately revealed that the reason that Amanda Waller even kept the heroes such as Nightshade around, was in order for them to act as her conscience. Over the course of her first run with the Suicide Squad her actions became increasingly erratic as she fought to retain control of the Squad. This was heightened by the public reveal of the Suicide Squad, and her being officially replaced, although her 'replacement' was in fact an actor, and Waller remained the team's director.
Even that secret would eventually be revealed and Amanda Waller would be put on trial. During this time, the Squad also became involved in an inter-agency conflict in a crossover between the Checkmate and Suicide Squad titles called the Janus Directive.
She eventually found herself serving prison time for her pursuit of an organized crime cartel based in New Orleans called the LOA and killing its leadership, using Squad operatives in the process.
The Squad's Rebirth
Waller was eventually pardoned and released a year later to reorganize the Squad as a freelance mercenary group at the behest of Sarge Steel to deal with a crisis in Vlatava, Count Vertigo's home country. Afterwards the Suicide Squad performed a variety of missions, but were ultimately disbanded when Waller became disillusioned with her life.
During the course of her renewed tenure with this team, Amanda Waller became closer to her operatives, even accompanying them on their field missions. This allowed for her and her team to bond more effectively, although she retained her dominant and threatening personality.
Around this time Amanda Waller would organize many superheros to confront the villain Eclipso. Again she would confront Sarge Steel. Her first attempt at a team did not go well as most of the them were brutally murdered. Her second attempt with a much larger team had much more success.
She would eventually rejoin federal service, initially as Southeastern regional director for the Department of Extranormal Operations, and eventually got promoted to Secretary of Metahuman Affairs as a member of the Luthor Administration. Luthor would use her as he saw fit, one of the few who could.
In the wake of being jailed briefly for her alleged connections to Luthor's illicit activities whilst in office, she was released yet again and ordered by President Jonathan Vincent Horne to take command of Checkmate in the wake of the O.M.A.C. Project debacle as a placeholder "Black King" until the United States and United Nations could decide what to do with that organization.
One Year Later
In the revamped Checkmate series, Waller is shown to have been assigned by the UN to serve as Checkmate's White Queen, a member of its senior policy-making executive, although she appears to have her own (as yet undisclosed) agenda, blackmailing Fire into committing murder on her behalf during Checkmate missions. Waller's assignment as White Queen has her commissioning the imprisoned Atom Smasher to organize a new Suicide Squad to attack Black Adam.
As leader of the reformed Checkmate in the One Year Later continuity, Waller has continued to use morally ambiguous methods to achieve her agenda, ranging from secretly authorizing a "take no prisoners" mandate in an attack on a Kobra stronghold (which leaves as many as 50 Kobra operatives and one Checkmate agent dead), blackmailing Beatriz da Costa, a former assassin, into returning to her old murderous ways, and executing a female Kobra operative herself when she foils an assassination attempt. She later used the Suicide Squad to round up dangerous criminals and metahumans as part of Operation: Salvation Run, an unauthorized plan to exile various supervillains to another planet, later revealed to be a part of the Apokoliptian Empire. When Waller's colleague found out about the Operation, they forced her to resign as White Queen, though she managed to retain authority over the Suicide Squad.
Powers and Abilities
- Political Analyst
- Espionage Master
- Master Tactician & Strategist
- Firearms Expert
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant
- Master Manipulator