Comic Book Origins: Amanda Waller

Script written by Craig Butler She doesn’t have any superpowers – but that doesn’t mean she’s not damn powerful. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origin of Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller. As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1987’s Secret Origins #14 and which was expanded upon in 2011’s Suicide Squad #0 and 2012’s Team 7 #0. Special thanks to our users aldqbigsquare, theenlightenedone, hugo_atencia, Tyson Turner, Lalaxbo, Valdemar Emil Ballisager Pedersen and many others for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler

Superhero Origin: Amanda Waller


She doesn’t have any superpowers – but that doesn’t mean she’s not damn powerful in her own right. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1987’s Secret Origins #14 and which was expanded upon in 2011’s Suicide Squad #0 and 2012’s Team 7 #0.

“The Wall,” as Amanda Waller is frequently called, doesn’t possess metahuman powers. What she does possess is a steely, ruthless determination and a willingness to do anything necessary to achieve her desired ends. If that means a few lives get sacrificed in the process, well – so be it. Greater good right?

Waller first appeared in 1986 as an integral part of DC’s Legends miniseries. A government official with military ties, she put together the second iteration of the Suicide Squad. Codenamed Task Force X, this group was made up of a mixture of heroes and villains – with the latter tending to outnumber the former. The villains were given the opportunity to have their sentences commuted after their time on the Squad – provided they survive. And to insure that they didn’t try anything funny, the members were fitted with explosives that would detonate if they tried to go AWOL.

The origin of Waller was told in 1987, as part of the official origin of the Suicide Squad. In Secret Origins Volume 02 Number 14, Waller was appearing before the United States President to justify the Squad’s existence. After telling a retconned story about the first Suicide Squad, which started in World War II, Waller told the President her story.

Waller had lived in Chicago’s tough Cabrini-Green section. She and her husband were poor but hard working. They raised a family of five children, trying to keep them on the straight and narrow as they strove to get out of Cabrini-Green. There would be no happy ending however after thugs gunned down their oldest son and their oldest daughter was brutally murdered shortly afterwards. When the cops couldn’t do anything about this, Waller’s husband sought justice on his own and died in the process.

Amanda made a vow to help the rest of her family escape the madness of her neighborhood. She made sure her children got through college, then she got her own college education. After graduation, she became the campaign manager for an idealistic Congressional candidate – and put him in office.

After his successful election, Waller served as his aide. When she came upon a file about the old Suicide Squad, she realized this was something that could be useful to the current administration – a covert team to take on sensitive and dangerous missions. And thus Waller gave birth to the new Suicide Squad.

In her original incarnation, Amanda Waller was a physically imposing woman, and one who took no guff from anyone. But when the new 52 project was adopted in 2011, readers were introduced to a Waller that was physically very different.

Not a great deal is known about the new Waller’s early history, but she came to the job from a different background. When metahumans first began appearing in the new DC Universe, the government put together a special unit called Team 7 to handle them. Amanda Waller was an NSA analyst working with the Army when she was recruited to be part of the new team.

Something happened during her time with Team 7 that soured Waller on her activities. She went AWOL but was found in Malaysia by an old friend and colleague named Duren. Duren needed her help stopping a villain by the name of Regulus, whom they thought was going to blow up a nearby village.

In fact, Regulus was actually detonating a bomb that was intended to create metahumans that he could then control. Instead, it caused horrible deformities and mutations among those caught in its blast – including Duren. Waller had no choice but to shoot her friend to put him out of his misery. After witnessing this, Waller approached the government with the idea of forming the Suicide Squad – essentially so that good people like her comrade Duren wouldn’t have to be sacrificed anymore.

Amanda Waller has proven to be a very popular character, despite the fact that she’s often as much an antagonist of superheroes as she is an ally. Her ruthlessness and duplicity make her someone who can’t easily be trusted, and she has often been an enemy of the metahumans. Yet she is a fascinating character, one who has made memorable appearances outside of the comic book pages.

Are you a fan of the manipulative and callous Amanda Waller? For more awe-inspiring comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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