- You pray to heaven -- I'm placing my faith in the Suicide Squad.
- — Amanda Waller src
Amanda Blake grew up in the crime-ridden Cabrini-Green area of Chicago. At the age of 18 she married the 20-year-old Joseph Waller, and they quickly had a large family together. Her first child was Joe, Jr., then Damita, then the twins Martin and Jessie, and then her youngest child Coretta. Their lives were a financial struggle, and they relied on social programs, but they were happy. Joe, Jr. was set to go to college on a basketball scholarship until he was killed in a mugging gone wrong. Damita was raped and murdered in an alleyway on her way home from church. They knew who was responsible, but the police could not get a conviction with no witnesses. Her husband Joseph Waller set out to kill the rapist "Candyman" and both men shot each other dead. Amanda swore that the streets would take no more of her family. She worked hard to put all of her other children through college, then she put herself through college and earned a political science degree. Amanda decided to go into politics, and she approached democratic congressional candidate Marvin Collins to become his campaign director. Collins was elected thanks to her efforts, and he took her to Washington as his aide. Amanda discovered the old Task Force X files while searching through old bills, and asked to revive the Suicide Squad under her direction.
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.
Amanda Waller rebuilds Task Force X, and its former leader Rick Flag is assigned to work under her. Flag argues with Waller about her agenda, and Waller says the only thing she cares about is his ability to follow orders. Nightshade is the second member she recruits, as an undercover operative. Her first target is Brimstone, and she has a team of scientists analyze the monster for weaknesses. Waller puts together a new Suicide Squad lead by Flag with members including Blockbuster, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress. The criminals are offered pardons in exchange for their service, and fitted with explosive bracelets that will detonate if they disobey orders. Her team destroys Brimstone at Mount Rushmore. Blockbuster is the only casualty, despite her expectations that all of them would die. Waller tries to keep the criminals in custody, but Flag insists on honoring their deal and releases them. Captain Boomerang is captured by G. Gordon Godfrey, and threatens to expose the Suicide Squad unless they rescue him. Amanda gives them orders to silence Captain Boomerang by any means necessary. Flag insists on solving the problem non-lethally. Waller later presents her case to President Reagan, and thanks to this success he decides to let the team continue on a provisional basis.
Waller sets her team up in Louisiana's Belle Reve prison, under the care of warden John Economos. Simon LaGrieve and Marnie Herrs conduct psychological profiles, and warn her that the entire team is emotionally unstable, but Waller is unconcerned. Waller briefs the team and sends them on their next mission, destroying the terrorist group Jihad in Qurac. Waller authorizes Doctor Moon and Karin Grace to mindwipe the traitor Plastique. This infuriates Flag, and Amanda agrees that it is wrong of her. Belle Reve is attacked by the Female Furies of Apokolips, and Waller is unable to stop them from taking her prisoner G. Gordon Godfrey. They are asked to take down the racist vigilante William Hell, and Waller insists they discredit him instead of making a martyr for the "white power" movement. President Reagan has Waller send the Suicide Squad to arrest Firestorm, under the leadership of their incompetent NSC liaison Derek Tolliver.
Waller argues against the team going on purely political missions, but they are sent to rescue imprisoned author Zoya Trigorin in Moscow. LaGrieve worries that Amanda is suppressing anger over her family deaths, and counsels her to channel it into something productive. Amanda confronts Derek Tolliver for sending her team on the irresponsible Moscow mission, and Tolliver replies that her team was expendable. She punches him in the face, and tells him that this does not mean their lives can be thrown away like garbage. Flag has a breakdown following this mission, and Waller relieves him of command duty.
There is a political summit during Millennium, and Waller has an inter-agency rivalry with General Eiling. Waller sends her team to destroy the Manhunter temple with a bomb, and does not tell them they are all expected to die in the explosion. Batman infiltrates Belle Reve and threatens to expose the Squad. Waller stands up to Batman and talks him down by threatening to expose his secret identity, using the fingerprints of Matches Malone. Flag impresses her in the fight against Batman, and she reinstates his command. Waller is forced to send Rick Flag on another mission she politically disagrees with, rescuing Hawk in Nicaragua. She sends the rest of the team to kill drug czar Xavier Cujo. Nightshade argues that an illegal assassination is murder, and Waller replies that it is justice. Speedy tells her that this did not fix anything, and she only created a power vacuum. The Agency is reorganized by Harry Stein to become Checkmate, under Task Force X. Amanda Waller becomes their boss.
Rick Flag disobeys Waller to rescue their operative Nemesis, who was stranded in the Soviet Union. Waller is so angry that she has President Reagan send Justice League International to stop them. The JLI's publicist Maxwell Lord threatens to expose them, and Waller intimidates Lord with violence. Senator Cray blackmails President Reagan and the Suicide Squad to help his reelection campaign. Waller is forced to work under Derek Tolliver, Cray's aide, or she will be fired. In a moment of weakness, she confides in Bronze Tiger that everything has gone with her idea since the start. Amanda reveals that Bronze Tiger was supposed to be the leader, and Rick Flag was imposed on her, which she believes is because of racism. Despite this setback, she regroups and leads the team to save the world from Doctor ZZ. The Jihad returns to attack Manhattan, and they deliver an ultimatum demanding Waller's team be handed over. Waller orders Rick Flag not to intervene, and he disobeys her, so she tells him to do the job right this time.
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. 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
- See also: 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, 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.
Task Force X
After her resignation from Checkmate, forces in the US Government recommissioned her as the overseer and director of the Belle Reve metahuman prison and the leader of a new Suicide Squad known as Task Force X due to deeming her teem as a necessary asset to the US Government.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced)
- Indomitable Will
- Political Science: Amanda has a degree in political science.
- Tactical Analysis
- Amanda Waller's sister Mary has said that she was raised Baptist, which means Amanda was as well.
- Amanda Waller was listed as #60 on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time.
- 233 Appearances of Amanda Waller (New Earth)
- 100 Images featuring Amanda Waller (New Earth)
- 17 Quotations by or about Amanda Waller (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Amanda Waller (New Earth)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Secret Origins (Volume 2) #14
- ↑ Legends #1
- ↑ Secret Origins (Volume 2) #28
- ↑ Firestorm (Volume 2) #55
- ↑ Legends #3
- ↑ Legends #4
- ↑ Legends #5
- ↑ Legends #6
- ↑ Suicide Squad #1
- ↑ Suicide Squad #3
- ↑ Suicide Squad #4
- ↑ Firestorm (Volume 2) #64
- ↑ Suicide Squad #5
- ↑ Suicide Squad #8
- ↑ Millennium #3
- ↑ Suicide Squad #9
- ↑ Suicide Squad #10
- ↑ Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1
- ↑ Suicide Squad #11
- ↑ Suicide Squad #12
- ↑ Checkmate #1
- ↑ Justice League International #13
- ↑ Suicide Squad #13
- ↑ Suicide Squad #14
- ↑ Suicide Squad #16
- ↑ Suicide Squad #17
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Suicide Squad #31
- ↑ Suicide Squad #25
- ↑ Suicide Squad #39
- ↑ Suicide Squad #40
- ↑ Chronicled in the latter issues of 52
- ↑ Checkmate (Volume 2) #20
- ↑ Suicide Squad (Volume 3) #4
- ↑ IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains
|Checkmate Member |
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Suicide Squad member