Amanda Waller is a high-ranking US government official and Director of ARGUS, while having ties to several other espionage and law enforcement agencies, as well as being the commanding officer for the expendable field team Task Force X.
Amanda Waller at some point became the Director of ARGUS and swiftly built up a fearsome reputation for herself, being nicknamed "The Wall" due to how ruthless, dominating, and unrelenting she is when dealing with others. As a result, many frightening stories about Waller are told by those who have encountered her (as a warning), but practically everyone disbelieves them until dealing with her personally. Waller therefore is one of the most feared and respected people in the US government.
Meeting Lex Luthor
Forming Task Force X
Amanda Waller notes that even after his death, Superman still continues to have a profound impact on the world - his alien heritage and usage of his powers for selfless heroism make Superman a beacon of hope and inspiration for metahumans like the Flash, inducing them to more openly use their powers and come out into the light, with the Flash notably apprehending the notorious bank robber Captain Boomerang as a result.
Waller herself however, has a much more negative view on Superman after his death, since while she posthumously respects Superman himself for his benevolence and selflessness, she recognizes that there could very well be other beings out there, beings with equally tremendous godlike power, coupled with far less friendly intentions such as starting a potential "World War III". Fearing the inability of humans to stop such beings, Waller promptly advocates for the creation of Task Force X - her own potentially disposable team of individuals with exceptional powers, abilities, and skills, which could be forced to battle against such formidable threats as a contingency, whereas a normal non-disposable human army would be powerless.
Waller would select the most suitable candidates for this task force: the lethally formidable marksman Deadshot, the notorious rope assassin Slipknot, prolific Australian bank robber Captain Boomerang, the formidable psychopath Harley Quinn, the mighty metahuman Killer Croc, the exceptionally powerful pyrokinetic metahuman El Diablo, and finally Enchantress - the most powerful metahuman that Waller had ever came across. Waller also intended to have US Colonel Rick Flag join the team as its leader, along with his formidable samurai bodyguard Katana. However, Waller realized putting such a team together would take an exceptional and persuasive amount of planning.
Prior to advocating her idea of Task Force X, Waller would order Rick Flag to protect June Moone, the woman who unwillingly hosted the spirit of Enchantress after discovering it in a vial in Central America. The two would quickly grow close and become lovers, as Waller had intended in order for her to attain leverage over the both of them. In order to ensure Enchantress' cooperation with joining the task force, Waller gains possession of the metahuman's cut-out heart, threatening to kill her if Enchantress refuses to comply with her orders.
In order to gain Deadshot for her squad, Waller secretly became a situational ally of Batman, anonymously letting the latter know when and where best to intercept Deadshot (when he is together with his daughter Zoe Lawton), with the Dark Knight successfully carrying it out, having Deadshot imprisoned in Blackgate Penitentiary, with Waller then transferring him to Belle Reve.
Around the same time, Batman would also pursue Harley Quinn and her boyfriend Joker (due to them being long-term enemies of his), but the Joker manages to escape, so Batman swiftly incapacitates Harley and drives her to Arkham Asylum, where she is imprisoned, with Waller then promptly transferring her to Belle Reve.
Captain Boomerang would be intercepted by the extremely fast metahuman Flash during yet another one of his bank robberies, with Boomerang subsequently getting imprisoned in Central City, and then promptly transferred by Waller to Belle Reve as well.
Killer Croc, being another major enemy of Batman's, is repeatedly chased out of Gotham City by the Dark Knight, thus eventually intercepted and tasered into submission by Waller's ARGUS SWAT team, and taken to Belle Reve.
Extremely powerful metahuman El Diablo one day unintentionally loses his temper during a family spat, accidentally killing his wife an children with his pyrokinesis. Utterly devastated, El Diablo willingly turns himself in to the Los Angeles authorities, subsequently getting transferred by Waller to Belle Reve.
Thus, will all of her potentially unwilling intended Task Force X recruits finally being subdued and locked up within Belle Reve (or as Waller herself describes it, putting them in a hole, with the hole getting thrown away), Waller finally prepares to present her idea to her fellow government officials.
Presenting her idea
- "Because getting people to act against their own self-interest for the national security of the United States is what I do for a living."
- ―Amanda Waller[src]
Waller meets Dexter Tolliver and Admiral Olsen to discuss her Task Force X proposition, giving them a detailed description of all of the candidates. Ultimately, however, Olsen objects to the proposition, appalled at the idea of Waller entrusting homeland security to "witches, gang-bangers, crocodiles, and the Joker's girlfriend." Waller, however, remains adamant, intending on presenting her idea at The Pentagon. Dexter is more supportive of her idea.
Waller visits the Pentagon, where she presents her idea of Task Force X. Although many question her plans, she proves them wrong by asking Enchantress to steal military plans from the Weapons ministry vault in Tehran for them and quickly earns the trust of the US military.
Belle Reve visit
Amanda Waller visits Belle Reve prison, where her intended recruits for Task Force X are held captive. She attempts to recruit them but many of them were in doubt of her keeping her promises of cutting their prison sentences and El Diablo rejects the proposal altogether. However, Waller having other plans, has each one of them forcefully taken out of Belle Reve and implants bombs in their necks which she later uses to threaten them if they disobey her.
Enchantress' escape and Task Force X deployment
Waller's fears ultimately prove to be valid, as several days later June Moone transforms into the Enchantress during her sleep, subsequently teleporting back to her Central American tomb and opening the vial containing the spirit of her brother Incubus. Enchantress then takes him back to Midway City and incapacitates a man in the subway, with Incubus forcing the unwilling human to host him.
As the two mystical metahumans fully build up their powers, they become the incredibly powerful threat than Waller had foreseen, as while Enchantress and Incubus would also, like the Flash, be inspired by Superman to come out into the light, the intentions of this duo are far less benevolent - recalling how they were once worshiped as gods by ancient humans millennia ago, both of them resolve to conquer Earth and subjugate its inhabitants to their will. Thus, the implementation of Waller's Task Force X becomes necessary.
Unfortunately, Waller stuck behind in the city to watch Enchantress's methods, to plan out ways to counter her; as a result, she gave them the mission of rescuing "HVT1" (High Value Target 1) from within a safe house in the city. Flag arrives hours later, with Deadshot following into the safe house; he points out that the group was "thinking they're saving Nelson Mandela" because of the trouble they've gone through to get there. Waller executes her staff that remained with her, so as to leave no loose ends or increase the number of people in need of protection. Though the group was pissed off to find out she was the person in need of rescue, Waller held off their anger by showing off a remote to detonate their bombs.
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Giving Credit Where it's Due
- "How are you NOT dead?"
- ―Deadshot, confused[src]
Amanda Waller's files
Mere days after the Suicide Squad's re-imprisonment, Waller meets her situational ally Bruce Wayne, and, in exchange for him promising her to take care of the rumors following the aftermath of the calamitous mystical events in Midway City, Waller gives Bruce files on the specific Metahumans that he requested (including Aquaman and the Flash, along with Enchantress). As Bruce turns to leave, Waller lets him know that she is aware that he is Batman. Unfazed, Bruce immediately, and sternly, warns Waller to shut down Task Force X or he and his friends will do it for her.
Amanda Waller is an exceptionally intelligent and resourceful woman, especially in the fields of tactics and political science, not above using questionable and even outright amoral methods to achieve her planned goals. She is a manipulative and devious leverager, priding herself in being able to frequently get people to act against their own self-interests, even people as dangerous as the members of her Suicide Squad, with Waller gaining leverage over them, rather than simply attempting to out-fight them, using any of their exploitable weaknesses to her advantage. Indeed, her nickname is "The Wall" due to how ruthless, dominating, and unrelenting she is when dealing with others, which makes Waller one of the most feared and respected people in the US government. Indeed, prior to joining ARGUS, Rick Flag would be warned about Waller via frightening stories about her (which many people have a tendency to initially disbelieve), and Harley Quinn even compared Waller to the biblical Devil. However, in this regard, Waller unintentionally gains the respect (and to some extent, disrespect) of the Squad after ruthlessly executing her FBI subordinates in front of them. After witnessing this, Deadshot, himself a notorious assassin, respectfully calls Waller a "mean lady", remarking that "[it's] gangsta", while Killer Croc even claims to like her. Waller also knows to make some useful situational allies, a notable one being Batman.
Although Waller has no metahuman powers herself, she more than makes up for it with her tremendous determination and willpower, which make her an extremely formidable opponent. Hence, when Enchantress kidnaps her and demands that Waller reveal the locations of the secret technological facilities of ARGUS, Waller adamantly refuses, emphasizing that she wouldn't break under torture, challenging Enchantress to "do [her] worst", even fearlessly insulting the latter to her face. Enchantress is thereby forced to knock out and telepathically assault the mind of Waller to get her way.
However, Waller's leverage-based power is also her greatest weakness, since (ironically, much like Enchantress) it occasionally makes her arrogant and overconfident, believing that her perfect leverage over everyone she wishes to control, makes her supremely powerful. Hence, Waller is somewhat caught off-guard when an unexpected turn of events causes her plans to not work out the way she indented. This is most notable when Enchantress manages to outwit Waller - releasing her brother Incubus upon Midway City, knowing full well that Waller (not knowing of him being Enchantress' brother) would dispatch her to take the mighty metahuman down, which, in turn, would allow Enchantress to reach Incubus and (via his mystical empowerment) and become immune to her exposed heart weakness before Waller could stop Enchantress by stabbing said heart. This catastrophic error in judgement on Waller' part results in the metahuman duo wreaking havoc upon Midway City, forcing Waller to execute her FBI subordinates (due to their knowledge of this error of hers), and then turn to genius tactician Batman for help in the aftermath, so that he might help cover up her involvement in the matter, and keep the wrong people in the US intelligence community from finding out.
However, while amoral, unempathetic, ruthless, and strict, everything Waller does is ultimately for the national safety of the United States and she is ultimately not ungrateful, as Waller notably rewarded the surviving Suicide Squad members for saving the world and rescuing her from Enchantress and Incubus by not only taking 10 years off of each of their respective prison sentences, but also even generously granting them some personal requests (granting the prison cells of Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Killer Croc an espresso machine, a punching bag, and cable TV respectively, as well as allowing Deadshot prolonged monitored visits to his daughter Zoe from time to time).
- "But everyone has a weakness. And a weakness can be leveraged."
- ―Amanda Waller[src]
- Gifted Intelligence: Amanda Waller is exceptionally intelligent and resourceful, which extends to her immensely formidable political science, leadership, tactical, demagogic, investigative, manipulation, hacking, exploitative networking, and leveraging skills.
- Expert Tactician: Amanda Waller, is an immensely skilled manipulative tactician, being effective enough to have built up a fearsome reputation among US government officials. Given her lack of superpowers, Waller, much like Batman, often uses cunning and planning to successfully outwit stronger and more powerful foes, gaining leverage over them rather than simply attempting to out-fight them, often using any of their exploitable weaknesses (such as Enchantress' cut out heart, Rick Flag's love for June Moone, Deadshot's beloved daughter Zoe, and the threat of activating the nano-bombs implanted in the other Suicide Squad members) to her advantage, though Waller's methods are considerably more amoral than Batman's. Due to this, Waller is able to extend her authority over the extremely dangerous Suicide Squad members (something Admiral Olsen and Dexter Tolliver had initially considered impossible), forcing them to battle Enchantress, Incubus, and the mystical duo's monstrous army. By promising Deadshot freedom and a permanent reunion with his daughter Zoe, Waller is almost able to get him to assassinate an escaping Harley Quinn, with him able to resist the extremely tempting offer only with a visible amount of effort. Even when caught off-guard by the Joker when the latter unexpectedly hijacks her ARGUS helicopter, Waller is able to swiftly regain control of the situation, forcing the Joker to retreat by shooting him down. Ultimately however, Waller seems to recognize Batman as a superior tactician, since she turns to him for help in the aftermath of the Midway City events, with Batman promising to protect Waller by covering up her involvement in the events, keeping the wrong people in the US intelligence community from finding out about her one catastrophic error in judgement.
- Expert Political Scientist: Amanda Waller, as a very high-ranking US government official, and the Director of ARGUS, with ties to several other espionage and law enforcement agencies (such as the FBI and CIA), is an extremely skilled political scientist, understanding the inner workings of political structures and their intended goals. Hence, Waller fully understood the paradigm shift that the goals of modern politics took (referring to it as "World War III"), first after the emergence of Superman, then after his subsequent death, and then following the metahumans' emergence, with Waller superbly using this to her own benefit, by having Dexter Tolliver and Enchantress openly address the newfound concerns of politicians, as they addressed the National Security Council in the Pentagon.
- Expert Demagogue: Amanda Waller is a superbly skilled demagogue (though not quite on pair with Lex Luthor), since her intention is to come off as a pioneering altruist concerned with United States national security, so she therefore masterfully appeals to popular desires and prejudices when addressing fellow US government officials, championing the cause of covert metahuman exploitation as a contingency against impending threats of incredible power (like "the next Superman"), with her usage of seemingly rational arguments making Waller's method even more effective. Waller's most notable demagogic demonstration was when she presented her Task Force X sales pitch to the National Security Council, even managing to swiftly convince the adamantly oppositional General Edwards, by demonstrating how valuable Enchantress could be to US national security as an exploitable asset, due to Waller having the perfect leverage over her.
- Expert Networker: Amanda Waller, as a very high-ranking US government official, superbly uses a dense network of professional and social contacts to further her power ambitions. This is notable through her influence of other espionage and law enforcement agencies (like the FBI and CIA), the US army (like General Edwards of the National Security Council), powerful companies (like Wayne Enterprises' Van Criss Laboratories), and certain prisons (like Belle Reve supermax). Hence, Waller is able to discreetly keep tabs on numerous people and things that interest her, was able to get Batman to take down Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Killer Croc for her, learned the secret identities of at least Batman, Aquaman, and Flash, and was able to transfer inmates that interested her all the way to Belle Reve. However, Waller still needed Batman's direct help in order to prevent the US intelligence community from finding out about her catastrophic error in Midway City.
- Expert Leader: Amanda Waller, as the Director of ARGUS, is a superbly skilled leader, having lead her organization for years, as well as occasionally leading other agencies' operatives (such as some FBI agents while in Midway City), inspiring fierce loyalty from her subordinates.
- Skilled Hacker: Amanda Waller is fairly skilled hacker (though not quite on pair with Batman and Lex Luthor), as she was able to hack into several Midway City security cameras in from the John F. Ostrander Federal Building, in order to monitor the Suicide Squad during their mission (reminding them that she's watching and "can see everything"), and to study how Enchantress transformed humans into Eyes of the Adversary, though Waller notably had assistance from her FBI subordinates in this.
- Expert Markswoman: Amanda Waller is a highly skilled markswoman (though not quite on pair with Rick Flag and not nearly on pair with Deadshot), swiftly shooting down some of her FBI subordinates (due to them knowing of her catastrophic error in judgement, the one that made the mystical Midway City incident possible).
- Indomitable Will: Amanda Waller, although she has no metahuman powers, has tremendous determination and strength of will, which make her an extremely formidable opponent. Indeed, her nickname is "The Wall" due to how ruthless, dominating, and unrelenting Waller is when dealing with others, which makes her one of the most feared and respected people in the US government. Hence, when Rick Flag tells her he will accept the consequences of Enchantress' escape, Waller coldly replies that she is his consequence and when Enchantress kidnaps her and demands that Waller reveal the locations of the secret technological facilities of ARGUS, Waller adamantly refuses, emphasizing that she wouldn't break under torture, challenging Enchantress to "do [her] worst", even fearlessly insulting the latter to her face. Hence, Enchantress is forced to knock out and telepathically assault the mind of Waller to get her way.
- Arrogance: Amanda Waller's greatest weakness (ironically much like for Enchantress) is her overconfidence and arrogance, with Waller believing that since she has seemingly perfect leverage over everyone she wishes to control, that this makes her supremely powerful. Hence, Waller is somewhat caught off-guard when an unexpected turn of events causes her plans to not work out the way she indented. This is most notable when Enchantress manages to outwit Waller - releasing her brother Incubus upon Midway City, knowing full well that Waller (not knowing of him being Enchantress' brother) would dispatch her to take the mighty metahuman down, which, in turn, would allow Enchantress to reach Incubus and (via his mystical empowerment) become immune to her exposed heart weakness before Waller could stop Enchantress by stabbing said heart. This catastrophic error in judgement on Waller' part results in the metahuman duo wreaking havoc upon Midway City, forcing Waller to execute her FBI subordinates (due to their knowledge of this error of hers), and then turn to genius tactician Batman for help in the aftermath, so that he might help cover up her involvement in the matter, and keep the wrong people in the US intelligence community from finding out.
- Human Vulnerabilities: Amanda Waller's other main weakness is that she is a human with no enhanced strength, speed, durability, or metahuman powers, therefore making her quite vulnerable to the physical attacks of stronger and more powerful opponents. Waller, however, usually compensates for this quite well with her exceptional intellect and useful equipment, since while most of the Suicide Squad members (particularly Deadshot, Killer Croc, and El Diablo) are powerful or skilled enough to defeat her without much effort, Waller's tactical brilliance had accounted for this in advance, and rendered them unable to do so, since if any of the Squad members were to attempt to kill her, she would instantly activate the nano-bombs implanted into them with her detonator, killing them instantly (as she did with Slipknot). However, Waller's helicopter was swiftly and easily taken down by the extremely powerful Incubus, who subsequently imprisoned her. Waller was subsequently also easily subdued and had her mind telepathically probed by Enchantress (due to Waller having lost access to the metahuman's cut out heart), making it necessary for the Squad to rescue her.
As the Director of ARGUS, with ties to several other espionage and law enforcement agencies (such as the FBI and CIA), Amanda Waller has access to some of the most sophisticated technology in the world, owned by the US government, allowing her to be extremely well-informed in regards to individuals (be they human, metahuman, or otherworldly) who could potentially pose a threat to Earth (allowing Waller to keep discreet tabs on all of the Suicide Squad and some of the future Justice League members, among others), along with Waller's knowledge of many, classified, global security secrets. Hence, Waller is one of the extreme few to know the secret identities of at least Batman, Aquaman, and the Flash.
- Nano-bomb Detonator: Amanda Waller, in order to ensure the compliance of most Suicide Squad members (apart from Rick Flag and Katana), has them injected with powerful Van Criss Laboratories nano-bombs, and keeps the detonator on her (with a separate button for each individual) - ready to blow off the heads of any of them, should they step out of line or fail to comply, with Slipknot notably getting killed in this way by Rick Flag. Waller keeps this detonator on her at all times, managing not to lose it even while being telepathically tortured by Enchantress, and thus forces the Squad back into their Belle Reve jail cells in the battle's aftermath.
- Enchantress' Artifact: Amanda Waller acquired this jar-shaped Inca artifact from June Moone after the latter found it in Tres Osos Caves and released Enchantress.
- Handgun: Amanda Waller is is seen carrying a handgun, which she used to execute her FBI subordinates, due to them knowing of her catastrophic error in judgement, that made the mystical Midway City incident possible.
- Amanda Waller is revealed to be one of the extreme few individuals who knows Batman's secret identity.
Behind the scenes
- Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer were the other two front runners for the role of Amanda Waller alongside Viola Davis.
- Viola Davis signed a three film contract in her role as Waller starting with 2016's Suicide Squad.
- Amanda Waller in the DC Extended Universe is the fourth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Pam Grier, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Angela Bassett.
- ↑ Lexical Analysis
- ↑ Slipknot & Wonder Woman's Shocking Pre-Suicide Squad History Revealed - MovieWeb
- ↑ Suicide Squad's Viola Davis Has A Three Picture Deal