Amanda Waller as the White Queen
Art by Jesus Saiz.
|First appearance||Legends #1, (November 1986)|
|Created by||John Ostrander (writer)
Len Wein (writer)
John Byrne (artist)
|Alter ego||Amanda Blake Waller|
United States Government
|Notable aliases||The Wall, White Queen, Black King, Mockingbird|
|Abilities||Highly trained in logistics, strategic management, military tactics, game theory, and espionage.|
Dr. Amanda Blake Waller is a character published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Legends #1 in 1986, and was created by John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne. Despite not possessing any superpowers, she has persistently proven herself a powerful foe of the superheroes of the DC universe, as well as an antihero. In 2009, Amanda Waller was ranked as IGN's 60th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
Publication history 
Nicknamed "the Wall", she is a former congressional aide and government agent often placed in charge of the Suicide Squad, a semi-secret government-run group of former supervillains working in return for amnesty. She later served as Secretary of Metahuman Affairs under President Lex Luthor, before being arrested in the wake of Luthor's public fall from grace. Waller was reassigned to the leadership of Checkmate as White Queen, but was forced to resign because of her involvement in Operation Salvation Run.
Fictional character biography 
Early history 
Amanda has been established as a widow who escaped Chicago's Cabrini–Green housing projects with her surviving family after one of her sons, one of her daughters and her husband were murdered. Waller eventually obtained a doctorate in political science (as revealed in Checkmate v.2 # 1 where she is addressed as "Doctor Waller") and became a congressional aide. During that time, she discovered the existence of the first two incarnations of the 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 reorganize 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 resentfully presumed 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, although the Tiger himself did not believe this was a factor, instead believing this was a result of mistrust due to the brainwashing imposed upon him by the League of Assassins.
Her relationship with the Squad itself was one of mutual dislike. Most of the team's criminal members did not really take to Waller's methods (most notably Captain Boomerang), and even the team's heroes were often at odds with Waller. Waller's inability to deal and compromise with her people led to Nemesis' departure from the team and the death of a US senator, which indirectly caused 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 (although he would later help to reform it). 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 revelation 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 interagency conflict in a crossover between the Checkmate and Suicide Squad titles called the Janus Directive.
One of the field missions is against her will, as many members of the Squad, Waller included, are forcibly kidnapped and taken to Apokolips. This is because team member Duchess remembered her past as Lashina of the Female Furies, instead of being amnesiac as she pretended, and wished to return home with suitable sacrifices. The Squad suffers fatalities battling Apokolips forces, with Waller personally confronting Granny Goodness. However, the confrontation ended with the deaths of Dr. Light and one of Waller's own nieces, and Count Vertigo near-fatally wounded.
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 Ravan, Poison Ivy and Deadshot in the process.
The Squad's rebirth 
Waller is 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; Waller allowed herself to enter prison because she knew two things perfectly well: one, by confronting the LOA with Squad operatives, she had crossed the line, and two, she would return to her position quite easily if she was ever needed again. Afterwards, the Suicide Squad performs a variety of missions, often treading dangerous political terrain when dealing with Soviet and Israeli interests. Most notably, the Squad help destroy the plans of the Cabal to throw Qurac, Israel and the US into political disarray.
During the course of her renewed tenure with this team, Amanda became closer to her operatives, even accompanying them on their field missions. This allows for her and her team to bond more effectively, although she retains her dominant and threatening personality.
Waller quits after a later field mission, in which she personally takes down the seemingly immortal dictator of a small, South American island nation. As it turned out, he wasn't immortal, but had an immense amount of psychic power, and by tricking him, Waller merely provided a form of assisted suicide.
Soon after, Amanda Waller organizes the Shadow Fighters to confront the villain Eclipso. Again, she would confront Sarge Steel. Her first attempt at a team, formed with the assistance of Bruce Gordon and his wife Mona, did not go well. Most of the team are brutally murdered infiltrating Eclipso's stronghold. Her second attempt with a much larger team has much more success.
During the Bloodlines debacle, the President sends Guy Gardner to fetch Waller from her island 'retirement'. She leads a multi-hero affair that results in the destruction of the alien parasites.  She rejoins federal service, initially as Southeastern regional director for the Department of Extranormal Operations. She is promoted to Secretary of Metahuman Affairs as a member of the Lex Luthor Presidential Administration.
International Service 
Lex Luthor's brief tenure in office leads to Amanda Waller being jailed. This does not last long. She is released and Luthor's successor, Jonathan Vincent Horne, orders her to take command of the secret agent organization Checkmate. The organization had been shaken up due to the OMAC Project debacle and the related murderous leadership of Maxwell Lord, whom Waller has had previous history with. Waller takes the rank of Black King until the United States and United Nations decide what to do with that organization. In the latter issues of 52, Waller is shown commissioning the imprisoned Atom Smasher to organize a new Suicide Squad to attack Black Adam and his allies. This ends with the death of Squad member Persuader and the expected public relations turn against the Black Marvel family.
In the revamped Checkmate series set in the One Year Later continuity, 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. Due to her previous activities, her appointment is contingent on her having no direct control over operations. Regardless, she continues to pursue her own agenda, secretly using the Suicide Squad to perform missions in favor of American interests and blackmailing Fire. It is also implied that she may have betrayed a mission team in an attempt to protect her secrets and facilitated an attack on Checkmate headquarters for her own gain.
She then is in charge of Operation Salvation Run, an initiative involving the mass deportation of supervillains to an alien world. When this was discovered by the rest of Checkmate, she was forced into resigning as White Queen in exchange for their delay in revealing what the US government was doing. She continues to run the Suicide Squad, and has been implanted with nanotechnology to allow her to directly control Chemo during missions.
During the Superman/Batman storyline "K", it is revealed that Waller has hoarded Kryptonite and used it to power an anti-Superman group called the Last Line, and a Doomsday-like creature codenamed "All-American Boy", who has Kryptonite shards growing out of his body. All-American Boy, (real name: Josh Walker) was deceived into an experiment to use Kryptonite to bond cell scrapings taken from Doomsday to a human host, battles Superman, devastating Smallville in the process. Batman, with the help of Brannon, the Last Line's leader, locate Josh's parents, who convince him to stop. Waller is forced to pay towards repairing Smallville in return for her dealings in the AAB project to remain secret. 'Last Lane' itself rebels against Waller because of her deceptions. 
In the eight-issue series of Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag, she is again seen leading the Suicide Squad at some point when the General returned to Earth after his exile, and was promptly drafted into the Squad with special explosive implants grafted into his arm and brain to make him compliant with Waller's demands. Here, she personally uses technology devised by Cliff Carmichael to gain a measure of control over Chemo, allowing her to use the toxic behemoth for the Squad's benefit. Rick Flag is revealed to have survived the events at Jotunheim and was returned to Waller, who revealed to him Rick Flag, Jr. was never anything but an alias, and that he was in reality a brainwashed soldier remade into Flag to serve Eiling's ends.
She leads, as Chemo, an attack on a Dubai supercorp intending to release a deadly virus. However, Carmichael, with Eiling and part of her team, betrays her as part of Eiling's plan to benefit from the release of the virus, and she is nearly killed when Eiling orders a compliant Flag to use her pen, actually a transmitter, to detonate her own explosive implant. Instead, Flag, tricking him, detonates Eiling's own, releasing her and ultimately rejoining the Squad, refusing the chance of a normal life.
She later attempted to forcibly return several members of the Secret Six (Bane and Deadshot) into the Suicide Squad, and when her plan backfired due to the events of Blackest Night and the defiance of the Six, she was shot by Deadshot and privately revealed to King Faraday to be their new secret leader, Mockingbird. When Faraday questioned the need to be informed of the situation, and even the need to bring the Six under the banner of the Squad when she already controlled them, Amanda merely shrugged it off, stating "her left and right hand only knew what the other was thinking" in a strict need-to-know basis, implying Faraday will one day need that knowledge.
New 52 
Waller is shown to be in direct command of the Suicide Squad, choosing its members and having final say over when and if their implanted explosives are detonated. It is revealed that she requested a command of a unit she could send to their deaths without regret after an operation she was involved in resulted in the death of all other squad members, including several she had personally recruited. She was also involved with Team 7 in some capacity, which led to her temporarily leaving the spy business.
Other versions 
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Amanda Waller is an advisor to the President of the United States who tells him that Hal Jordan is insubordinate and irresponsible. However, the President tells her that the world needs Hal as a hero.
Batman Beyond 
Amanda Waller appears in the Batman Beyond comic series- set before the events of Epilogue-, where she was involved in an attempt to clone Dick Grayson to create a new Batman- reasoning that Grayson was more stable than his mentor-, only for the clone to become the new Hush and start killing off Batman's old rogues' gallery, including retired villains such as Signalman and Calendar Man. Even after the clone's attempt to destroy Gotham is only narrowly averted by Terry, the real Grayson, and the new Catwoman, Waller is shown to still be working on further clones of the original Batman and his allies.
In other media 
- Amanda Waller appears in the animated television show Justice League Unlimited, played by Emmy nominated voice actress C. C. H. Pounder. This version of the character leads the top secret Project Cadmus, a group that was formed at the behest of the United States government to create a counterforce to the Justice League should they go rogue. She is at first distrustful of the League, which, aside from Cadmus' projects, manifests itself in her frequent dealings with Batman, which form most of the interaction between Cadmus and the League. In her first appearance, she is able to rattle Batman by subtly hinting that she knows his secret identity ("rich boy"). When Batman discovers her identity, she calls him out on the very real threat the League would pose if they went rogue, and Batman is actually convinced that she might be right in "The Doomsday Sanction". Two projects in particular Cadmus creates under her watch are the Ultimen and Galatea. The Ultimen are a team of superheroes reminiscent of the lesser known Super Friends (specifically Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, the Wonder Twins, and Samurai). They are artificially-created lifeforms programmed with implanted memories, intended to be a superhero team that would remain loyal to the government. However, the cloning process only gives them a lifespan of a year or two at most. Galatea is a clone of Supergirl (though her costume is modeled after that of Power Girl), aged to maturity so as to make her stronger. In contrast to the Ultimen, there is no apparent problem with her lifespan. When the Question discovers the project and is captured, Waller and Lex Luthor give orders to Dr. Moon to interrogate him. Shortly after the Question is rescued by Superman and the Huntress, Lex Luthor takes advantage of the incident to momentarily hijack the binary fusion cannon equipped on League's satellite headquarters, using it to obliterate the since-evacuated compound, causing massive collateral damage. This has the effect of both falsely implicating the League and drawing off a large number of their members to assist in rescue efforts. In response, Waller sends an army of cloned Ultimen under Galatea's control against the League, intending to overload the reactor on the Watchtower with the team on it. Batman presents evidence of Luthor's deception and Waller calls off the attack; though Galatea ignores the order, the attack fails anyway. With the founding members of the League in tow, she personally goes to arrest Luthor and stops his attempt to transfer his consciousness into a copy Amazo. It is revealed that Brainiac implanted a nano-holistic copy of himself within Luthor's body years earlier (during the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Ghost in the Machine"), and the Justice League is forced to defeat the two of them combined. Unknown to them during this battle, Waller had ordered a massive airstrike on standby to kill the combined villains, heroes, and even herself had the heroes failed to stop the menace. All this occurred in the four-part arc in the second season, including the episodes "Question Authority", "Flashpoint", "Panic in the Sky", and "Divided We Fall". The final episode of the second season, "Epilogue", set sixty-five years past the current Justice League timeline and 15 years after the events of the Batman Beyond series. In the episode, Terry McGinnis discovers that he is a partial genetic copy of Bruce Wayne; knowing that the Cadmus Project was the only group to have technology advanced enough to alter DNA, he seeks out Waller to find out about his own origins. Waller reveals that she was responsible for changing Terry's father's genes, having done so in an effort to create a future replacement for the current Batman, whom she had come to respect after his compassion towards Ace in her final moments. This plan even included Terry's parents being murdered by Andrea Beaumont (also known as the Phantasm from the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) whilst he watched in order to replicate Bruce's childhood; Beaumont ultimately refused, as it would dishonor all Batman's principles. Waller agreed and gave up on her project, but destiny brought about murder of Terry's father by Derek Powers, and provided the necessary motivation. Despite her belief that Terry taking up the role of Batman is a sign from God, she encourages him to make his own choices and to take care of those who love him. Waller also admits that many of her actions have been unorthodox, and she will have much to account for with God when her time comes, thus showing she is not a self-deluding opportunist.
- Pam Grier plays Amanda Waller in the ninth season of Smallville. She first appears in the two-hour episode "Absolute Justice." Waller is portrayed as a ranking agent of both Checkmate and the Suicide Squad. She recruits Icicle to attack and kill the former members of the Justice Society of America. Waller's true intention, however, is to have Icicle fail his task, so that the JSA can reform and come together with the new generation of superheroes to battle what she describes as a "coming apocalypse." Waller also gets Lois Lane to reveal the existence of the JSA and paint them in a positive light, and has Tess Mercer as one of her agents. Grier returns as Waller in the episode "Checkmate," in which she captures the Martian Manhunter in the agency's headquarters after failing to kidnap Green Arrow and recruit him for the government. After the Martian Manhunter manages to escape, the red queen appears on her chess board to show that there are more ways to look at things than black and white and to announce there is a new player in Waller's game. In the episode "Sacrifice," Waller is working with the "White Knight" aka Stuart Campbell to track down Tess Mercer who can lead Checkmate to the Kandorians. Waller attacks several of the Kandorians but before any are killed, Clark saves them. Waller is later attacked by General Zod because she had taken Faora hostage. When Zod learns of what Checkmate has been doing, he destroys the headquarters and presumably kills Waller and Campbell.
- Amanda Waller appears in Young Justice voiced by Sheryl Lee Ralph. This version is the warden of Belle Reve. When Joar Mahkent leads a prison breakout, she and Hugo Strange (the prison therapist) are put in a cell. Waller is saved twice by Strange. After the breakout is foiled, she is replaced by Strange as the warden.
- C. C. H. Pounder reprises her role as Amanda Waller in the movie adaptation of the comic book: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In this version, Waller is depicted as a more sympathetic character, betraying President Lex Luthor's offer of a prominent position in his "new world order" to provide Superman and Batman with information that they can use to destroy a Kryptonite Asteroid that is heading for Earth.
- Waller appeared in the live-action Green Lantern played by Angela Bassett. This version is a scientist who works for the DEO under the command of Senator Robert Hammond, father of xenobiologist Hector Hammond. After Hector acquires the power to read minds from exposure to Parallax's DNA (a fragment of which remained in the body of Abin Sur until Hammond was called on to perform the autopsy), contact with Waller reveals that her family was killed by an unidentified gunman when she was younger. Hammond attempts to kill her using his telekinetic powers in a later confrontation, but Green Lantern caught her in a ring-formed 'pool' of water that subsequently carried her out of harm's way.
- She is reportedly featured in David S. Goyer's script for an upcoming Green Arrow film project entitled Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max.
Video games 
- Amanda Waller appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Debra Cole. In the Bludhaven Alert, Major Force mentioned to the players that Amanda Waller has sent him to Bludhaven to gather samples of Chemo and to test out the Chemoids.
- Waller appears briefly in Arkham Unhinged, the comic book companion piece to the Batman: Arkham City video game. She is seen in a flashback where she recruits Deadshot into the Suicide Squad, and is implied to have had a hand in allowing him to infiltrate Arkham City.
- Amanda Waller is number 60 , IGN.
- "Bloodbath" #1-2 (December 1993)
- Checkmate vol. 2 #6
- Checkmate vol. 2 #7
- Checkmate vol. 2 #5
- Checkmate vol. 2 #18
- Checkmate vol. 2 #20
- "Superman/Batman" #44-49 (2008)
- Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2 (July 2011)
- Batman Beyond #1-6 (July–November 2010)
- young Justice Terrors
- "The Undertaking" is Near on Arrow
- "News: How Stella Got Her Green Lantern Back". Latino Review. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Supermax: Green Arrow Story Details + Villains/Inmates Gallery - Movie News". Latinoreview.com. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Batman: Arkham Unhinged #27