Amanda Blake Waller (The Wall)

amandawallerfilmAnother major character hit the screen in this week Arrow episode Keep Your Enemies Closer: Amanda Waller, portrayed on screen by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. In the episode, she appeared as a member of A.R.G.U.S., sending John Diggle on a solo mission in Russia to rescue his ex-wife Lyla Michaels. The character already appeared twice: the first one was in the ninth season of Smallville, portrayed by Pam Grier: she figures as the head of the Suicide Squad and a prominent member of Checkmate, moving a war against Kryptonians on Earth and trying to pull the strings so that a new generation of superheroes enter the field, in order to oppose the coming of Darkseid…all of this before being killed by General Zod. A different version of Waller was introduced in the Green Lantern movie, where she was played by Angela Bassett: in the film, Waller was just a scientist studying Abin Sur‘s corpse, before being attacked by Hector Hammond and saved by Hal Jordan. Now, let’s see together who Amanda Waller is in the comics.

Amanda Blake was born and raised in Chicago, and she lived in the Near North Side. She married a man named Joseph Waller, and the two moved into a house built by the Cabini-Green project. She had three sons, Joe Jr.Martin and Jesse, and two daughters, Damita and Coretta. Life in the public housing wasn’t easy at all, and the criminality level was far beyond the danger level, but the Wallers couldn’t afford anything better. Tragically, Joe Jr. and Damita got killed, and Joseph, going after the killers, was murdered too. Amanda became overprotective with her three remaining children, and left the Near North Side at onceamandawallercomics1 along with Martin, Jesse and Coretta. The loss of her family members made her extremely determined to eradicate criminality by any possible means, and she started studying again. She got a doctorate in Psychology, and another one in Political Science, and she moved to Washington to work for the Congress. Studying some documents, she learnt about the Suicide Squad, a secret black-ops strike team working for the Government, and composed mainly by supervillains seeking amnesty through accomplishing suicide missions. Two incarnations of the team had been formed and dismantled already, and Waller went to the White House to propose a third one. The idea was taken seriously by her superiors, and the third Suicide Squad was approved; even more than that, Amanda herself was put in charge of the team, a role she would have made a personal, sacred mission to eradicate criminality from the world.

Waller created quite a name for herself being incredibly harsh and determined, cold-hearted and sharp-minded, a woman capable of making herself obeyed also by the criminals she was enlisting in her team, officially appointed as Task Force X. Her rock-like authority and strong character earned her the nickname The Wall among other organizations, and she started to be feared also by her colleagues, who saw in her a dangerous woman who didn’t stand authority quite well. Her version of the Suicide Squad collected a success after another, but Waller’s relationship with her superiors didn’t get better, quite the opposite: from the very beginning, she had wanted Bronze Tiger as the on-field leader of the Squad, but Washington imposed Rick Flag instead, ignoring her opinion. Waller took this personally, believing the decision to be made out of racial issues (not only because of her, who was a black woman, amandawallercomics2but also for Tiger, who was a black man): from that moment, her relation with the big bosses became sporadical and harsh, and she started leading the Squad following her own priorities…and methods. She also founded The Agency, an independent brand of Task Force X serving as tactical think-tank; The Agency would have later become the Checkmate, a world-known intelligence organization. Amanda’s attitude towards her team members created an atmosphere of mutual despisal and hatred, that, against all odds, proved to be functional, as the villains, despite disliking Waller and her methods, often chose to stay loyal to her (with some notable ecceptions, like Nemesis). With a more and more fading balance between her personal authority and the Government’s one, dislike by heroes and villains alike, Amanda Waller started using the team to carry on her mission of vengeance, often ignoring the authorities and deploying extreme measures, which the Government denied involvement with.

Amanda Waller is a brilliant, strong and determined woman, with some violent aspects in her character that make her extremely dangerous for friends (if she had any) and foes alike. A skilled spy, trained in military strategy, tactical analysis, hand-to-hand combat and weapons’ mastership, she usually prefers to act from the shadows, pulling the strings, but she’s more than capable to stand on the field. Only a personality such as Waller’s one could bend the wills of criminals such as DeadshotCount VertigoDr. LightPoison IvyBane and many others, and in this sense Amanda is the most suitable asset for her task. However, her mission to clean the world from “trash” often becomes a personal battle against her family’s killers, and she uses the criminal nature of her teammates to make them do things normal agents would never even think about…

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31 Comments

  1. […] much energy, and he exploded. The villain’s body, however, reformed, and he was retrieved by Amanda Waller: Reactron was forcefully enlisted in the Suicide Squad and sent to Russia…where also Doom […]

  2. […] ended up in police’s custody. Locked up in Belle Reve, Christopher Weiss was recruited by Amanda Waller in the new formation of her Suicide Squad, responding to a serious threat: the Manhunters, […]

  3. […] out a bomb had been implanted in his body, a part of the work conditions for his new employment: Amanda Waller, in fact, offered him a place in her new Suicide Squad, offering him a way not only to avoid death […]

  4. […] he eventually left that squad as well. He decided to come back to action only when he learnt that Amanda Waller was reviving once again the Task Force X, this time as a secret black ops team composed […]

  5. […] everything in her life. A chance of redemption (and of freedom) arrived in prison, where Amanda Waller offered her to be a part of Task Force X, a team of supervillains enlisted for extremely […]

  6. […] the Suicide Squad didn’t react well to pressures of any kind, and this was no ecception. Amanda Waller, the head of the team, directly confronted Tolliver, who threatened to expose the Squad’s […]

  7. […] killed the Parademon, and then accepted Amanda Waller‘s offer to become a member of the Justice League of America, specifically trained to take […]

  8. […] City after having succesfully captured China White, he’s soon disappointed by the usual Amanda Waller, and by a new figure coming in: General Shrieve, portrayed by Marc Singer. Shrieve offers Queen […]

  9. […] a new boomerang with no material at disposal. His talents didn’t go unnoticed, and when Amanda Waller started recruiting her new Suicide Squad, Harkness was among the villains who were promised freedom […]

  10. […] Atom to stop her and her designs, After being arrested, Bette was contacted in prison by Amanda Waller, a government agent who offered her to be part of the Suicide Squad: she would have participated to […]

  11. […] the agent has simply gone rogue. We learn in the episode that he’s tired of doing Amanda Waller‘s dirty job, and he’s trying to find a way out of the espionage world by selling out […]

  12. […] Black was captured again, but this time, instead of going to prison, he was taken into custody by Amanda Waller, who offered him to become part of her Suicide Squad (a black ops team composed mainly of […]

  13. […] season of Arrow. When Oliver Queen finds himself in Hong Kong, he’s soon contacted by Amanda Waller, who tries to recruit him. Since Queen is not exactly eager to work for her, she assigns him to a […]

  14. […] in combat, when needed. Despite some issues with authority (he also challenged more than once Amanda Waller while serving in Checkmate), Bullock is blindly loyal to Gordon, who he’d give his life for; […]

  15. […] cameras, thus mantaining anonymity. He couldn’t, however, escape the all-seeing eye of Amanda Waller, leader of A.R.G.U.S.: she sent one of her agents, Dale Gunn, after the boy, to make him an offer. […]

  16. […] managed to break into the League’s hideout and to kidnap Bronze Tiger, who was then taken to Amanda Waller, who proceeded to deprogram him. Finally back into himself, despite some obvious difficulties, Ben […]

  17. […] skeletons. The Parasite was easily captured by government forces, and, against the opinion of Amanda Waller and Rick Flag, he was recruited into the Suicide Squad, a team of villains working for the […]

  18. […] of their position by Earth-2 survivors. When the war started by Earth-2 inhabitants was over, Amanda Waller, leader of the Checkmate, launched a campaign to deport the most harmful supervillains out of the […]

  19. […] a wasteland. From that moment, Count Vertigo changed his way of living, and even reformed, joining Amanda Waller‘s Checkmate and working with the former-villains-composed team Suicide […]

  20. […] the common threat, and the King himself was in the team of super criminals led and coordinated by Amanda Waller. During the war, the aliens developed a Gene Bomb, a device that should have suppressed […]

  21. […] a member of the Suicide Squad, a secret team used by the Government for dirty works, led by Amanda Waller and formed by convicted […]

  22. […] the flashbacks again, and in The Candidate we see Oliver Queen coming back to Lian Yu following Amanda Waller‘s “polite invitation”. On the island, we find out that a warlord, Baron Reiter, […]

  23. […] once again. In prison, King Shark was approached by yet another employer, a more dangerous one: Amanda Waller, who was about to send her Suicide Squad, along with Makoa and Superboy, to the Silicon […]

  24. […] matched Firestorm’s ones, and the two battled across both USSR and USA, until Zastrow and Amanda Waller decided Firestorm represented a far too dangerous menace to be left in Pozhar’s care only: […]

  25. […] “offered” her a place in the Suicide Squad, which she bluntly refused. Consequently, Amanda Waller exiled her with other criminals on an alien planet…making one mistake, as Scandal could now […]

  26. […] and under his adiministration he also led an incarnation of the Suicide Squad in place of Amanda Waller. In a way or the other, the legend of Sgt. Rock and his Easy Company would have never […]

  27. […] as Enchantress, portrayed by Cara Delevingne, but who originally, according to the briefing papers Amanda Waller gives to her colleagues, is called Dzamor. In the movie, Dzamor is a magical entity who used to […]

  28. […] of an unnamed businessman, portrayed by Alain Chanoine, and helps his sister to get rid of Amanda Waller‘s control, then he starts aiding her in accomplishing her plan to take revenge on humanity, […]

  29. […] by David Harbour. In the movie, he appears as an officer of the US Government who questions Amanda Waller‘s decision to form the Task Force X, but he’s also the first one to change his mind […]

  30. […] target of A.R.G.U.S., and escaping from them was pretty much impossible. Captured and brought to Amanda Waller, leader of A.R.G.U.S., the girl refused to give her name, but denied she was bringing war to Earth, […]

  31. […] herself was captured along with Golden Eagle. Both of them were given a chance of redemption by Amanda Waller, and became members of the Suicide Squad as well, embarking in impossible missions in the vain hope […]


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