Little is known about Amanda Waller's personal history. Raised by her grandmother who turned her out of her home when Amanda was a teenager, she at some point joined the United States Army, where she acquitted herself well as a soldier. She was assigned to Team 7, a black ops unit which met with a disastrous end, and briefly retired. Following a final mission in which all other agents, including a close childhood friend, died in defence of American interests she formulated a plan to create a black ops team composed entirely of expendable members, primarily super-villains. She was placed in charge of the newly-created Task Force X, otherwise known as the Suicide Squad.
Amanda Waller was created by writers Len Wein and John Ostrander, and artist John Byrne. She made her first appearance in Legends #1. She was substantially redesigned for the New 52 by Adam Glass and Federico Dallocchio.
In her first incarnation, Amanda Waller was a widow from the Chicago projects. Her eldest son and daughter were both killed on the streets, and her husband died while seeking revenge for his daughter's death. Determined to break the cycle of violence and poverty, she got her remaining three children through college and acquired her own political science degree. Soon after she began working in politics, becoming a congressional aid. During the course of her duties she uncovered files on the original Suicide Squadron, and began piecing together plans to create a new version of the team, which was ultimately approved and became the Suicide Squad. This version of the character had never been a soldier, though she was competent with firearms.
The New 52 introduced the new, thinner, and younger Amanda Waller with her tentatively current origin and skills. During this time much of Waller's personal history was unknown. Given that she appeared to be significantly younger, it could be assumed she was no longer a widow and mother of five adult children from the Chicago ghetto, but this was unknown.
Following Rebirth the character physically resembles her pre-Flashpoint appearance. Her personal life was again retconned to include two children and a husband, all of whom were murdered in an event apparently related to Waller's work. This was almost immediately changed to five children, three of whom still survive. It is unclear if other elements of her past have also been changed.
Major Story Arcs
Amanda Waller formulates the plan for the new Suicide Squad, a collection of "expendable" super-villains promised time off their sentence in exchange for performing dangerous missions that can be easily disavowed by the government. She is almost singlehandedly responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and operation of the group through dozens of successful missions. She weathers the unveiling of the Squad to the public, and secretly retains control of the organization despite public opposition. During the Janus Directive she is integral to defeating the plots of Kobra, though her scheming leads to the death of dozens of intelligence agents from the various branches. She is also briefly kidnapped and taken to Apokolips, from which she is able to escape with the help of the team. When the voodoo mafia Loa reveal her continued running of the Squad to the media her team is shut down, but she resists and creates a splinter team to take the Loa down. After the team succeeds she sets them loose and turns herself into the police.
Following a year of imprisonment, Waller is approached by Sergeant Steel to handle an ongoing crisis in Vlatava. For this she reconstitutes the Squad as an independent mercenary organisation, which persists after she successfully resolves the crisis. During this period she accompanies her team into the field for their missions. Following a mission on Diabloverde where she is forced to confront her demons, Waller dissolves the Squad, feeling that she has strayed too far from her original goals.
Waller creates a small team similar to the Suicide Squad to combat the growing threat of Eclipso. The original team, consisting of only two members, fails, and both members die. However, she creates a larger team, who successfully defeat Eclipso.
Waller eventually rejoins the federal government. Initially a regional director for the Department of Extranormal Operations, she is promoted by President Lex Luthor to the role of Secretary of Metahuman Affairs. During this time she has a hand in the reconstitution of the Suicide Squad under Sergeant Rock. This version of the team eventually collapses, and, following the subsequent collapse of the Luthor administration, Waller is imprisoned for her role in Luthor's illegal activities.
Released from prison once again, Waller rejoins the government and becomes the head of Checkmate following a series of debacles for that organisation. She assumes the role of interim Black King while various governmental and international agencies seek to find a viable use for the group.
Waller organizes a clandestine reunion of the Suicide Squad under the leadership of Atom Smasher. She sends this group against the Black Marvel family in the hopes of destabilizing or discrediting them. The team successfully turns public opinion against the Black Marvels when Squad member Persuader dies during the mission.
One Year Later
Waller is assigned as permanent head of Checkmate, assuming the title of White Queen. Though sworn to stay out of operations, she secretly reforms the Suicide Squad and continues to use her position of authority to manipulate those around her to her own ends.
Waller heads a program designed to eliminate the super-villain threat by summarily transporting all captured villains to the planet Salvation. She organizes her Suicide Squad to carry the operation out, and soon after betrays several Squad members, trapping them on Salvation as well. She is forced to resign as head of Checkmate after these events come to light.
Waller begins hoarding kryptonite and uses it to create a group of anti-Superman "heroes" called Last Line, as well as the Doomsday-like All-American Boy. Following a fight between All-American Boy and Superman, during which Last Line turns on her, she is forced to pay reparations for the damage to Smallville.
Raise the Flag
Again leading a new iteration of the Suicide Squad, Waller directs the team against a corrupt consortium of businessmen who have been developing chemical weaponry. During the mission she takes direct control of Chemo using technology created by the Thinker. Several dissident elements within the group, lead by Wade Eiling, attempt to overthrow her and the Squad, but she is able to lead her team to victory with the help of Rick Flag.
Waller secretly assumes the role of Mockingbird, mysterious leader of the Secret Six. She sends a majority of the Six on a mission to Belle Reve while she storms the House of Secrets with Multiplex. At Belle Reve she sets up an ambush by the Squad in order to force Deadshot to rejoin the Squad. Her plan is interrupted by the dead rising on the Blackest Night. She joins forces with the Six to defeat the Black Lanterns, using her captive Manhunter as a bomb which severs the connection between the Lanterns and their rings. She is shot by Deadshot after asking him once more to rejoin the team, but she survives.
Waller creates and has primary control over the Suicide Squad, leading the team on several successful missions. She is made head of ARGUS, and heads the creation of a new Justice League of America to counter the preexisting Justice League.
Waller is present in Belle Reve when the Crime Syndicate attacks. She is driven into the bowels of the prison by the rioting prisoners. She manages to draw together several members of the Squad to locate a weapon in the Rockies. However she is impersonated by the Thinker, who creates another version of the Squad and pits them against one another. She is able to lead several villains against the Thinker and OMAC, and they are ultimately defeated.
New Suicide Squad
Following the events of Forever Evil, Waller is demoted from her position as head of ARGUS and given new governmental oversight in the form of Vic Sage. The pair clash, and Sage is able to force her out into fieldwork while simultaneously manipulating events to benefit his corporate backers. Waller takes her team dark and begins a plot to take Sage down. She successfully outmaneuvers Sage and prevents him from taking the team public. When the team is abducted by the The Fist of Cain she leads a successful mission to recover most of her personnel.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad
Waller sends the Squad into a mission that brings them into conflict with the Justice League. Taking the League into custody, she explains the threat posed by Maxwell Lord and the original Squad. Following Lord's capture of the Heart of Darkness, Waller is captured by him. She attempts to talk him into undoing Eclipso's work, but is too late. He attempts to eclipse her, but she is rescued by the intervention of the League and the Squad working together. It is revealed that the entire disaster was orchestrated by Waller to prevent the League from shutting down her Squad.
Waller appears as the main impetus for the Hush Beyond arc, as she was responsible for creating the new Hush in an effort to preserve Batman's legacy.
In the Flashpoint alternate timeline Waller is an advisor to the president who objects to Hal Jordan.
Waller appears in this comic book companion to Batman: Arkham City. She recruits Deadshot to the Suicide Squad.
DC Comics Bombshells
Waller appears as the head of the World War Two-era Bombshell project. This version of the character is an unambiguous hero.
Powers and Abilities
Amanda Waller has no known superhuman powers or abilities. She is very intelligent and manipulative, with a keen tactical skill and leadership ability. As a former soldier she has received extensive training in armed and unarmed combat. She is also trained in espionage.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Waller appears as a sympathetic government official who betrays President Luthor in order to alert Batman and Superman to a potential method for destroying an incoming kryptonite asteroid. She is voiced by CCH Pounder.
A markedly different version of Waller appears in this film. A scientist, she is rescued from Hector Hammond by Green Lantern. She is portrayed by Angela Bassett.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Waller appears as a main character in this film. She directs the Suicide Squad against Arkham Asylum in order to acquire information stolen by the Riddler. CCH Pounder reprises the role.
Justice League: Gods & Monsters
An alternate Waller is the President of the United States. She is voiced by Penny Johnson Jerald.
Waller appears as a main character in this film. She is portrayed by Viola Davis.
Justice League Unlimited
Waller appears in several episodes of this series as a government official and antagonist, making her first appearance in "Ultimatum." She is portrayed by CCH Pounder.
Waller appears in several episodes of this series as an agent of Checkmate and the Suicide Squad. She makes her first appearance in "Absolute Justice". She is portrayed by Pam Grier.
Waller appears as the warden of Belle Reve in the episode "Terrors." She is voiced by Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Waller appears as the Director of ARGUS in several episodes of this series, making her first appearance in "Keep Your Enemies Closer." She is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. She was killed off in the fourth season.
DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High
Amanda appears as a principal of the School. She is voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown.
DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year
Amanda appears once again. Yvette Nicole Brown reprises the role.
DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games
Amanda Waller appears once again, and as principal, she is the host of the Intergalactic Games which will take place in the Super Hero School High.
Yvette Nicole reprises her role.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles
The President version of Waller appears in this web series. Penny Johnson Jerald reprises the role.
DC Super Hero Girls
An alternate version of Waller appears as the principle of Super Hero High in this web series. She is voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown.
LEGO DC Super Hero Girls
Waller debuted in Season 1, Episode 5 "Showdown".
DC Universe Online
Waller appears when the player undertakes Suicide Squad missions. She is voiced by Debra Cole.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Waller makes a cameo appearance in the post-credits scene inviting villains to join the Squad. CCH Pounder reprises the role.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Waller appears in this game, and is implied to have orchestrated the prison uprising. She recruits or attempts to recruit several villains into the Squad. CCH Pounder reprises the role.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Waller appears alongside other Suicide Squad members as part of "The Squad" downloadable content. She is voiced by Cynthia Addai-Robinson.