|She's here to manipulate meta-humans and chew gum|
...and she just shot the last gum dealer
First Appearance: Legends #1 (1986)
History: Amanda Waller’s life was altered when her husband, son and daughter were murdered. She left the Chicago housing projects where she lived along with her surviving children and went on to earn doctorate in psychology and political science, eventually becoming a congressional aide (she also has military training). During her time as an aide Waller came across the existence of the Suicide Squad, two separate teams of non-powered individuals taking on high risk missions. Taking elements from both teams she pitched a revival to her superiors. Her version would be made up of captured super villains who would be forced to take on missions that would be considered suicide runs for the government (super villains are extremely expendable). Her superiors agreed and placed in charge of the team. Since then Waller has become a prominent figure in the DC Universe having been associated with many government sponsored organizations dealing with super human affairs including Checkmate and most recently her own version of the Justice League of America. Uncompromising and ruthless Amanda Waller is very dedicated to serving her country…by any means she sees fit.
Beta Says: Okay, okay, I fully admit that I’m cheating with this entry. Amanda Waller is not a superhero. In fact at best she’s an antihero and at worst she’s a very deadly villain (IGN actually put her on their Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time list). However most of the time she’s portrayed as someone with the best interest of people at heart who just happens to be a real jerk about it most of the time. In a way she’s DC Comic’s equivalent of Nick Fury, though I think any sane person would find her significantly more intimidating. In all honesty I’ve been aching to write about Waller for years, especially after the Great DC Reboot of 2011 got its mitts on her. Because for all her faults she’s a damn cool character.
More on “The Wall” after the jump.
|"Whose ass am I gonna have to kick today?"|
It’s hard to completely hate the character because she’s so savvy, smart and tough, usually without getting physically involved which is even more impressive, that you can’t help but respect her. Mostly these days she’s used on the side of good, albeit usually in ways that make any superhero she works with dislike her. She has a tendency of thinking of operatives as pawns more than people but, as I said, she does usually have the best intentions. She’s an “ends justify the means” type of person. And in a world populated by superheroes that type of attitude usually makes you an antagonist most of the time. But she’s an awesome female character, especially in that she doesn’t have that typical super skinny, huge boob design that so many women in comics have.
Oh wait, I should have used the past tense when I said that because The Great DC Reboot strikes again!
|She lost the weight due to her all liquid diet|
(The liquid was the blood of her enemies)
It’s important to note that I’m not trying to say that Amanda Waller being fat is an integral part of her character. That’s be like saying “Cyclops is only truly Cyclops when his hair isn’t covered up.” That’s just silly. However prior to this change there’s always been a serious problem in the comic book industry when it comes to depicting women as character designs all too often are hyper sexualized and in the process something simple as "different body types" gets lost. It’s basically as if the average artist only knows how to draw one or type of female body and simply replace heads and skin tone as needed. This is how I know creators traditionally haven’t viewed attracting female fans as a priority because that’s a pretty simple thing that could easily put women (and some men too, obviously) off the idea of buying comics. Waller was a bigger woman, yes, but she was also an older lady who had at least five kids; her frame was understandable. But the fact in a world where everyone looked the same “perfect” way she was different and that difference was greatly appreciated. But with this change she’s right there with everyone else.
|Strange. I don't recall Waller going sleeveless much prior to 2011|
That all said just in case anyone assumed this new, thinner version of Waller was somehow less effective and brutal than her pre-Flashpoint counterpart take in mind that she formed her own, U.S. government sponsored version of the Justice League where ever member was specifically chosen for the sole purpose of being able to take out a corresponding member of the man Justice League team. Because Amanda Waller doesn’t f**k around.
Bottom line is that Amanda Waller may not be the nicest or most likeable character DC has ever produced nor is she by any stretch a proper superhero. But she’s interesting and captivating as hell and unlike several of the characters I’ve talked about she’s actually pretty high profile. A strong black woman in a position of power within the DC Universe? I’ll take it.
|Even Batman knows that you don't mess with The Wall!|