Amanda Waller was a former congressional aide and earned a PhD in political sciences. Her career within the Agency is not well specified, but she was responsible for the disbandment of SANCTUS and its various operations, though would salvage its research to help the Agency's operations, even keeping some of their human test subjects for further monitoring. At some point, Waller would arrange the disappearance of two former SANCTUS researchers who were to testify against her.
Waller also began to look into the prospect of recruiting criminals with unique skills for the Agency's use, developing a project codenamed "The Devil You Own" that would oversee the creation of a specialized shock collar that could be used to control such criminals and researched others methods that could be used as leverage and collateral to entice these criminals to better follow orders. While Waller did well to cover her tracks on these more unethical and illegal projects, she nonetheless developed a somewhat notorious reputation as a hardened and stern leader of dubious nature, deeply respected by some and feared by others.
By the time Waller became director of the Agency, accusations of the organization's unethical methods, such as human rights violations and unauthorized black sites, seemingly disappeared. It is implied that she had previously worked with James Gordon before, though when and why was never explicitly mentioned. At some point, Waller became aware of a group of criminals known as "the Pact", who she believed she could use to work as assets for the Agency.
After one of the Agency's former employees, the Riddler, broke a number of inmates out of Peña Duro Penitentiary, including fellow Pact member Bane, Waller began to search for him, knowing the villain was the founder and leader of the Pact, which Riddler had assembled to obtain revenge over the Agency and SANCTUS. She also began hunting for the organization SANCTUS, which had been revived by one of its former scientists. Believing that she could use one of their former projects, a restorative agent codenamed "LOTUS", to blackmail criminals to work for the Agency, Waller would set out to capture Riddler, believing he would be her best way into locating the organization. This led to a chase across the world, including areas like Sudan and, eventually, Gotham.
Waller was also aware of the vigilante Batman and his war on crime in Gotham. At some point, one of her agents revealed the vigilante's true identity, Bruce Wayne, to Waller, giving her blackmail over the vigilante.
After learning about Riddler's attack on the Virago casino, owned by Rumi Mori, Waller and her agents arrived at the casino to try and capture the criminal. However, they arrived just after he escaped, though they were able to help capture a number of his men. Whilst helping clear up, Waller was introduced to Batman and tried to convince him to cooperate with her and the Agency, to help capture the criminal. She also scolded Gordon for his method of assaulting Riddler's men, though Batman can take the blame for this, having ordered it himself. As Waller left to organize a detail of Mori at Gotham General, she left Special Agents Iman Avesta and Vernon Blake to talk with Batman and give him a psychiatric report on Riddler. As Batman left, she threatened that if he did not cooperate with her and the Agency, he would find it hard to operate in Gotham whilst they were in the city.
During the week, Waller had her agents search for Riddler, during which one of her agents, Mario Hernandez went missing. She also ordered the brutal interrogation of Eli Knable, the Riddler's second in command and one of the men Batman defeated in the casino. When Batman and Gordon managed to find the Riddler's hideout, they can inform her, but she will be unable to back them up, due to her being in a meeting at the time. After they beat Riddler's death trap, Gordon told Waller about Hernandez's fate, as well as the criminal's plans to target her agents. Waller was also set back when four of her agents, including Avesta and Blake, went missing without contact. After Batman deduced Riddler's plans, he can either contact Waller to access Riddler's second in command or confront Mori by himself. Depending on the decision made, two possibilities will happen:
If Batman chooses to get the information from Mori, she will be enraged when Mori either escapes the country or has been assaulted at the Virago. Having learned about Riddler's death and either the death of one/two of her agents or the deafening of Avesta (depending on whether Batman went through with Riddler's game), she is furious at both Batman and Gordon. She then demotes the Commissioner and forces her men to take over law enforcement operations in Gotham. She will also not listen to Batman, knowing that he is responsible for what happened to Mori.
After making arrangements to talk with Batman to talk with Knable, she meets the vigilante in the GCPD. Whilst escorting him to the suspect, she encourages the vigilante to use violence against Knable and brutalize him if necessary. She also observes the interrogation from another room. Depending on Batman's decision to use violence or bluff him with one of Riddler's missiles, she will either stand by as he beats him or objects to his use of misdirection, believing him to be summoning one. After he finished, Batman tells her to send the agents to Riddler's ship, the Lady of Dublin. If he used violence, she thanks him for doing so and justifies his use of it to Renee Montoya.
After arriving on the ship, Waller confronts Gordon on his role in the catastrophe of an operations, with the Riddler dead and either one/two of her agents either dead or Avesta rendered deaf (depending on whether Batman went through with Riddler's game), and holds him responsible for what has happened. She then takes the operation out of Gordon's hands, though decides not to demote him, which causes a strain on his alliance with Batman. She will also be more willing to talk to Batman, due to his compliance in the interrogation of Knable.
As they talked, Waller told Batman why she and the Agency were after Riddler, revealing that he was a member of the Pact. She asked Batman about it and revealed she knew that one of Arkham Asylum's psychiatrists, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, was a member of the group. Having lost her way into the Pact through Riddler, she decided to use Batman to get into the organization revealing her knowledge of his true identity.
Following this, Amanda, regardless of whether he cooperated or not, promised not to reveal Batman's identity, but commented that she might, depending on whether he cooperated with her in the future. Waller also asked that he would infiltrate the Pact as Bruce Wayne, with Thomas Wayne's ties to crime known and it being the perfect cover for him. Following this, a series of explosions rocked Gotham. Whilst Batman investigated the GCPD's arsenal and the GCPD, Gordon included, went to Gotham City Brokerage, Waller and the Agency investigated GothCorp, where areas of the building and company guards had been frozen solid by someone.
After Batman is defeated by Bane, he may call either Waller and the Agency or Gordon and the GCPD to help him. Depending on who is chosen, the following will happen.
If Batman chooses to call Gordon, she will be informed about this and, according to either Avesta or Blake, become furious at his refusal to work with her. Afterwards, she sends the agent Batman saved to try to convince him to work with the Agency. If Batman had complied with her and interrogated Knable, she will demote Gordon to deputy ops for his choice to not ask her for assistance.
Waller later meets with Batman on the rooftop of GCPD, after Gordon gives him information about Harleen Quinzel. She interrupts the meeting and asks to talk to the vigilante privately. If Batman chose to save the Agents by complying with the Riddler's game, she will update him on Avesta's status and why she and Blake had gone after the criminal alone. As he left, she told him that he would need to get his hands dirty if the Pact members were to trust him and that she would be in contact, should he ever need backup.
If Batman chooses to call Waller for help, she will receive his location and go there with a number of agents. After he was helped out of the rubble, she learnt about Bane and his actions in the heist. She also informs him about the fate of the mechanic who saved him and told him about the break into GothCorp that she had been investigating. Promising to share any information she discovered, she left him to talk to either Avesta or Blake.
The next evening, Waller asked Gordon to activate the Bat-Signal and contact Batman. Though she complained about the amount of time it took for Batman to arrive, she was pleasantly surprised when the vigilante appeared. After dismissing Gordon, she talked to him about her feelings towards Gotham and gave him a counter-agent to Venom that her operatives had been able to create, thanks to samples they had gathered from the GCPD arsenal. As he left, she told him that he would need to get his hands dirty if the Pact members were to trust him and that she would be in contact, should he ever need backup.
Afterwards, Waller ordered her agents to transport Riddler's corpse to an unknown location, hoping that it would gain the Pact's attention. This was successful and the group tried to steal it with help from their men. When Bruce Wayne contacted her and asked for her assistance in defeating the Pact, she seemed to initially plan to. However, Waller chose stand by as her agents engaged the Pact and let them steal Riddler's body, despite Wayne's objections to this.
After the fight, Waller tried to call Bruce and gave him an excuse why she had not gotten involved. She apologized for leaving him to battle the Pact and suggested that he stayed undercover until they discovered their end goal. When he learnt about SANCTUS, Project LOTUS and the Agency's involvement with the experiments, Bruce contacted Waller and arranged to meet up that morning.
Upon arriving with Avesta, they found that Gordon and his officers were in the process of arresting him. Having previously warned him about putting Wayne under Agency's protection, she demanded Gordon to release him and fired him, having had her authority challenged by the Commissioner/Deputy-Ops. Noticing the person who had called Gordon, Tiffany Fox, she and Avesta gave Bruce some time to talk with her.
After they finished, Waller revealed the Agency's involvement with SANCTUS and that she had actually come to Gotham to not only disassemble the Pact, but also it and the black site it operated out of. Having formulated a plan to send Quinn and the Pact into SANCTUS's black site, she told him their plan to have both parties fight and send in agents to capture the surviving members. Though the plan would certainly be risky, it would also save lives and allow the Agency to neutralize the two parties without much resistance. Regardless of Bruce's stance on the matter, Waller also advised him to scout out the black site, the Bohdi Spa, and promised to help if needed.
Some time afterwards, Bruce contacted Waller during a reconnaissance mission of the black site, giving her information about the Spa and the security defenses he found there. After seeing a scientist disappear into a secret lab, he informed Waller about this discovery. Thanking Bruce for his cooperation, Waller signed out to mobilize the Agency.
When Bruce/Batman entered the SANCTUS facility, he informed her of his location and asked her to send the Agency to help capture the Pact. If he blew his cover to save Catwoman, Waller will criticize him for doing so. As she and the Agency arrived to capture the members of the Pact, Waller deployed a taskforce to steal samples of Riddler's blood and destroy the body, to make sure she had the only samples and that they would be willing to cooperate with him. She and the agents arrived shortly after Harley escaped and would successfully capture Bane and Mr. Freeze.
During the cleanup, Waller had her agents take Bane into custody and monitor Freeze's condition, who had been infected with LOTUS. Bruce/Batman to focus on capturing Harley Quinn and "John Doe". When Avesta suggested asking Mr. Freeze about the whereabouts of Quinn, she suggested against it, leading to them becoming suspicious of her motives.
After Wayne and Avesta discovered Waller's plans to use LOTUS to blackmail the Pact, the latter would locate and destroy the samples of Riddler's blood to prevent her from developing a usable version of it. This would leave Waller desperate when Harley Quinn attack the Gotham Bridge and threatened to blow it up, if she handed over samples of it. During this, she rallied the GCPD and Agency to confront and capture her. Depending on whether Bruce is able to get "John" to help capture Harley, the following will happen.
If Bruce was able to get John to assist, the two turn up to help bring in Quinn. Despite Waller's reservations, she allows them to attempt and stays on the sidelines as they do so. If Bruce lets John negotiate, Waller watches them closely and becomes suspicious when John seems to get close with Harley. Believing them to be in cahoots, she prepares to order her agents to go in and arrest them. Depending on whether Bruce is able to trust John, the following will happen.
If Bruce is able to trust John and prevents Waller from sending in the Agency, they watch as Doe subdues Quinn and hands her over to the Agency. After taking her into custody, Waller asks for him to hand over the LOTUS virus sample stolen, only for him to refuse. Drawing her gun to shoot him, she is stopped by Bruce. Feeling betrayed by her, John attacks the Agency and releases a smoke grenade. During the confusion, Waller tells her agents to capture Wayne and is attacked by John, who stabs her during the attack. When he makes his escape, she watches as he promises to bring down the Agency with Batman.
If Bruce decides not to trust John or lets Waller send the Agency to arrest them, John falls back into Harley's arms and curses Bruce for listening to her. When he detonates the bombs, it is currently unknown whether Waller survived or was injured.
If Bruce was unable to get John's assistance, Waller and the Agency remain in a stand-off with Quinn until Batman subdues her. After this, Waller attempts to move in and lets her Agency attempt to shoot her. Despite Quinn's demands to hand over Riddler's blood, Waller refuses to, due to the tampering from one of her agents. When John Doe arrives, Waller and the agents pull back. It is currently unknown whether she survived the detonation of Quinn's bombs and the partial destruction of the bridge.
After the encounter on the bridge, Waller would put out an order to capture John, now calling himself "the Joker", due to his possession of the LOTUS virus, the attack on the Agency and her suspicions that he was responsible for Riddler's murder. Waller would also induct the members of the Pact into a new Agency division, including Bane and Catwoman, forcing them to help her by using electroshock collars, fitted with explosives, and giving them new tech to help them.
Depending on whether the Joker is a vigilante or criminal, the following will happen to Waller.
If Joker has become a vigilante, Waller orders the arrest of Batman for his assistance during the escape. Several weeks later, after the two confront her Agents and Bane, she contacts Batman and give him an ultimatum: give her Joker and the LOTUS virus or have his identity revealed to the public. Allowing him two hours to decide, she then orders the Agency to prepare their new team.
After catching Avesta giving information to Batman, Waller makes her presence known and chastises Iman for helping Batman. Blaming the vigilante for Joker's actions, Waller learns that he has destroyed the virus. Ordering the members of the Pact to help her catch him, Waller tells Batman to surrender himself, only to receive a file of her illegal activities from him. Knowing that this would ruin her career, she agrees to a stalemate. However, when the vigilante demands that she either releases Catwoman, sends Bane and Harley Quinn to trial or allow Iman to leave the Agency without legal action, Waller tries to negotiate that he hands over Joker in return.
Regardless of whether Batman agrees to, Joker makes his presence known to her and, believing Batman isn't doing enough to bring her to justice, attacks her. After being injured by a "Jokerang" or saved by Batman, Waller orders the criminals to kill him, though prevents Catwoman from getting involved. She also joins the battle, using the shock collar controls to keep Bane under control and personally fighting Joker. When her agents arrive, Waller is able to corner Batman and Joker, though the latter throws bombs at her agents and his former comrades, which Batman tries to stop. During the chaos created, Joker captures Waller and escapes, bringing her to Ace Chemicals.
During the time she is held hostage by Joker and his gang, Waller is forced to confess to her involvement in various illegal activities and covering up of Agency atrocities. When Batman finally appears, Waller tries to get the vigilante to help justify her actions to Joker, knowing he will try to save her life. However, when Joker confronts her on Riddler's death, Waller denies it, though realizes he was actually not responsible. After a thwarted attempt to kill her, he takes her up to the higher levels of the chemical plant.
Threatening to kill her, Joker tries to force the confession out of Waller, even using her as leverage to keep Batman away. However, when Tiffany Fox appears and confesses to the crime, Waller is let go whilst he attacks her. Whilst Joker is distracted, Waller throws him over the edge of the walkway, though he's saved by Batman before he falls over the edge. Whilst Batman confronts Joker, Waller helps an injured Tiffany escape and are later recovered by either the GCPD or Agency.
Whilst Batman was unconscious, Waller briefly shares a cigarette break with Gordon, whom she seemingly has made peace with. When he regains consciousness, she asks the former Commissioner to give her some time with the vigilante. If Batman asks for his favor, Waller agrees to fulfil it, seeing how he has saved her life. Revealing their agreement was in effect, Waller tells him that she and the Agency are leaving Gotham and that she would not be taking any actions against Tiffany for her murder. Depending on dialogue chosen, Waller either leaves content to work with him again or furious, believing he is just as crazy as the members of the Pact. Regardless, she later leaves Gotham with the Agency, hoping never to return to the city.
If Joker has become a criminal, Waller and the Agency continue to hunt for Joker and Harley Quinn, hoping to capture them and get samples of LOTUS. When they launch a series of bioweapon attacks, Waller receives a list of demands including that she and the Agency leave Gotham, though she be fired out of a cannon at midnight.
After receiving these, Waller contacts Batman to talk about them and ask how they should deal with the situation. When the vigilante tells the location of one of the bombs, she sends Avesta and a clean up crew to help find and dispose of it, despite being stretched thin by the chaos created. Wishing him luck, she hangs up, continuing to manage the Agency. When James Gordon contacts her about the location on Joker, Waller agrees to give him contact to Batman. When he returns with a map of the bomb locations, she sends both the Agency and GCPD to locate them. They are able to find and disarm them all, foiling Harley's plans.
After Joker and Quinn are captured, following a confrontation between Bruce and his allies, Waller meets with him whilst he's recovering from the fight. Impressed with his handling of the duo and their men, she tells him that the Agency will be leaving Gotham and that she is keeping his activities as Batman secret. Waller also fills him on the status of his allies, including Gordon, Catwoman and Avesta, arranging special care for them if he asks her to. If he asks the status of Iman, she also reveals that she knows it was her that tampered with Riddler's blood, though can agree not to take action if he asks her to.
After concluding their discussion, Waller leaves him, though comments that she would be happy if she never has to return to Gotham. After being informed on Tiffany Fox's location, she asks him about whether he wishes to confront her on Riddler's murder or have the Agency arrest her. Regardless of what he choses to do, she bids him farewell and leaves with the rest of the Agency.
Waller was cold, selfish, heartless, and vindictive, holding onto authority and taking it by force when she need to. Whenever she could see use of an asset, she would use whatever means were available to use and control it. She was also willing to use violence and torture to retrieving information, something that put her at odds with James Gordon. Waller would often also shift the blame onto others whenever an operation were unsuccessful, as she did when they failed to capture the Riddler. It's possible she may have used blackmail, assassinations and other illegal and unethical operations during her time as Director, but hidden the truth through many other means. Waller also shows a complexion of superiority when the situation goes accord with her agenda and her influence. However, she only stands down when facing unknown situations or something that can destroy her career, such as stopping a manhunt for Batman after he threatened to make her operations public. She is also arrogant to the point that she uses excuses for "The Greater Good", without realizing that most of her decisions caused severe consequences and even saying that she is not even ashamed of it, showing very little to no care of others in order to get what she wants.
Upon first meeting Batman, Waller seemed interested in working with him to capture the Riddler and infiltrate the Pact. Depending on how willing Batman is to work with her or use her suggestions, their working relationship will either improve or decrease, though it remains to be seen whether she plans to use him for her own ends or for the good of the city. Waller was also aware of Batman's identity of Bruce Wayne after she was informed by Iman Avesta, using this information as leverage for his cooperation. She also tried to hide information about her activities from Batman, though he would eventually find out about them and her true motives. Depending on choices and dialogue chosen during the series, Waller will either leave Gotham content, promising to work with him again, or angered, hoping never to require his assistance. Regardless, Waller would not reveal Bruce's identity, either out of good will from his cooperation or a stalemate she had been forced into.
Waller and Gordon both seemed to hate each other, due to their differing opinions on how to use their authority and law enforcement. Waller considered the GCPD to be "cowboys", due to their "sloppy" methods and reliance on Batman. After Riddler was assassinated after being defeated by Batman, she put responsibility on Gordon and the GCPD. She will also demote him if Batman chose not to cooperate with her, implying that she considered him an obstacle to her cooperation with the vigilante. Gordon did suspect that Waller had leverage over Batman, but seemed unaware of the true reasons. After he went behind her back to arrest Bruce Wayne, Waller fired Gordon and took control of the GCPD.
- "You should have called us, Gordon. After all, we're here to help."
- "Meet your new interrogator, Eli. I bet you two have met before."
- "Thunderbolt?! I'm the whole goddamn hurricane!! I'm about to blow both your asses off the side of this ship...this is a goddamn mess!!"
- "Yes, you and I will work very closely... Bruce Wayne."
- "You're on my team now -- and I take good care of my people."
- "Uncuff Mr. Wayne right now, or you'll spend the rest of your life as a meter maid."
- "There's nothing on me I can't handle. Whatever you think you've got on me will bounce off me like rain off an armored truck. You know why they call me "the Wall", Batman? Because you can't break through me."
- "You sided with that maniac! What was I supposed to do, give you a medal?! You act SO high and mighty-at the end of the day, you're just a rich guy with all the toys, beating up on lunatics!!!"
- The comic book iteration of Waller is the Director of Advanced Research Group Uniting Support/Super-Humans (or A.R.G.U.S. for short), an organization dedicated to international law enforcement and the agency in charge of the Suicide Squad.
- Waller also serves as the Director of Project Cadmus in the television series Justice League Unlimited, which is set within the "DC Animated Universe".
- Should the "Vigilante Joker" be created, Waller serves as the secondary antagonist of the episode Same Stitch.
- It is unknown where Waller was during the Children of Arkham incident, as the Agency is trained for situations like them.