Amanda Waller was Project Cadmus's head to counter the Justice League in the event they went against humanity's best interests. In the process, she nearly became what she feared—a force for good gone over the edge.
Born in East St. Louis, Amanda Waller obtained a PhD in political science, went on to work in intelligence under three administrations, and later disappeared from public life after becoming involved with secret government work, and eventually with Cadmus.
At some point, Waller was appointed head of the top secret Project Cadmus, a group formed at the behest of the United States government to create a counterforce to the Justice League should they go rogue like the Justice Lords did. Perhaps the most profound relationship she had was with Batman. She knew his secret identity but she chose to keep his secret. Later, Batman confronted Waller in her own highly secured home. While she maintained an unflinching face against him as she explained her own motivations, Waller was clearly shaken after talking to Batman while her own words eventually came to have an impact on him. Overall, many of the interactions between Cadmus and the Justice League were via these two individuals.
When the Question obtained intel on Cadmus and was captured, Waller gave orders to Dr. Moon to run a full interrogation on Question. Soon after Question was rescued by Superman and Huntress, the Justice League's Watchtower fired its binary fusion cannon and obliterated an evacuated Cadmus facility, causing much collateral damage to the city. Despite the League's scrambled attempts to restore good faith with the people, and even going as far as turning in six of the founding members as an act of good faith, Waller was too impatient to wait for the President's order, so she proceeded to deploy dozens of Ultimen clones led by Galatea to attack the Watchtower. However, Batman convinced her to investigate Lex Luthor's role in the base's destruction, and she quickly found evidence of Luthor hording massive amounts of Cadmus technology for his own use. Now convinced that Luthor was behind the attack against Cadmus HQ all along, she attempted to call off the attack on the watchtower, but Galatea refused to stand down. In response, Waller released the founding League members who had surrendered themselves to government custody, and personally went to arrest Luthor, stopping his attempt to transfer his consciousness into his own personal copy of Amazo. At that point, Brainiac revealed himself to Waller and the League, and she took part in the battle against Luthor and Brainiac. Unknown to the League during this battle, Waller had ordered a massive air strike on standby to kill the combined villains, the League members, and even herself should the heroes have failed to stop the menace. Since the League were able to defeat the two fused villains, however, Waller aborted the air strike.
At some point afterward, Amanda Waller replaced King Faraday as the official liaison between the U.S. government and the Justice League. Together, they fought a reconstituted Royal Flush Gang led by Ace. After the League defeated the gang, Waller gave Batman a device to put down Ace without the risk of her causing a catastrophic psychic backlash, at the cost of her life. Although Batman took the device and met with Ace alone, the Dark Knight never intended to use the device. Knowing that Batman wanted to ask her to undo the effects of her powers, and knowing she has only a small moment left to live, Ace tearfully asked that Batman stay with her. He consoled her with his company until her time passed, and the reality she psychically warped is peacefully restored. This is a moment Waller would always remember that helped permanently solidify her respect and trust in Batman for the years to come.
With Cadmus' disbandment, she declared the personnel (including herself) lucky to avoid jail for their extreme measures. Her newfound reason was demonstrated when she refused to hear out Wade Eiling when the General tried to convince her that the League still could not be trusted. As she spent more time with the Justice League, she became more and more human.
Project Batman Beyond
During her encounters with the Justice League, Amanda Waller developed a great admiration for Batman and came to believe that someone like him would always be needed. As she watched Batman age, however, she realized he wouldn't be around forever, so she used her old Cadmus connections and technology for another good-natured but underhanded operation: Project Batman Beyond, a creation of a new Batman.
As elusive as Batman was, obtaining samples of his DNA was easy enough for Amanda, collecting an ample amount of blood samples from his missions. Years later, Waller found a young Neo-Gotham couple with almost identical psychological matches to Batman's parents. Through a flu shot, a nanotech injection had secretly overwritten Warren McGinnis's reproductive material into a copy of Bruce Wayne's. A little over a year later, Terry McGinnis was born as the genetic son of Mary McGinnis and Bruce Wayne. Several years later, Waller hired Phantasm to murder Terry's parents at the same age and under very similar circumstances to recreate the childhood trauma that began the original Batman's journey into a vigilante. However, the assassin, realizing that she would be dishonoring everything Batman stood for, refused to subject another child to the same tragedy. When she realized she had crossed a line, Waller scrapped the project and apparently started having more respect for the lives of others.
Years later, despite Waller's lack of involvement, Warren McGinnis was murdered at Wayne-Powers, and Terry, then a teenager, had a run-in with the Jokerz, which led to his first encounter with an elderly Bruce Wayne, his genetic father. With Bruce training Terry as the new Batman, Waller's project came to an unexpected success.
Meeting the second Batman
Fifteen years since Terry first donned the Batsuit, Bruce Wayne suffered kidney failure and required a tissue donor to clone new ones. Terry, much to his horror, discovered that he was Bruce's genetic son. Angry and confused about his identity, Terry investigated who might be responsible for this, eventually leading him to Amanda Waller's house, deducing that the people behind Project Cadmus were the only ones who had the technology advanced enough to alter human genetic makeup. Terry confronted an elderly Amanda Waller, who was noticeably more warm and approachable than her Cadmus days. She had been living alone for several years, and was suffering from several illnesses such as hypertension, failing pituitary function and Alzheimer's disease.
Waller revealed to Terry she had kept an eye on him his whole life, and that Bruce was not in any way involved with Project Batman Beyond. Waller reminded Terry that he was not Bruce Wayne's clone, but his son, stating that although he did not inherit much of Bruce's intelligence, he did have the same compassion for others. Waller then told him that despite the origins of his genetic makeup, he was still his own person and is free to live his own life. She then imparted words of wisdom to the already enlightened Terry: Hold on to the people he loves.
During her career, Amanda Waller was an amoral woman, stopping at almost nothing to accomplish her goals. Her actions followed an "ends justifies the means" mindset, as she believed her actions, however immoral they were, benefit her country. Besides this, she was initially very critical of the Justice League, believing them to be "the single greatest threat to global security".
However, as the Justice League consistently proved their good intentions through painstaking efforts, she grew to respect them, particularly Batman. Waller also showed herself to be a woman who was capable of owning up to her mistakes, as demonstrated by her rebuking herself for trusting Luthor, and dismissing Eiling's paranoia that the League was untrustworthy even after Cadmus' disbandment.
Over time, she began to imagine a world without Batman and believed it was "unimaginable" and decided to create a new one. Amanda's disregard for moral standards continued, albeit with noble intentions, until Phantasm argued she could not murder Terry McGinnis's parents the same way Bruce Wayne’s were killed. The Phantasm convinced her that if she was to honor Batman, who would never resort to murder to obtain his goals, she could never cross that line either. As a result, Waller once again became more humane by scrapping the project, having realized she nearly crossed the line by subjecting another child to the same horrors Bruce had experienced.
In her old age, Waller mellowed down significantly, and seemed to have become a religious, optimistic, and genuinely wise person. For instance, she stated she had much to answer for when she met God upon her death, but she also believed that for all the harm she had caused, she had also done some good. She reminded Terry that due to human beings having free will to choose their own fates, he was still his own person despite his method of conception, and advised him to take care of his loved ones, while reminding him again that it was his choice to make.
In DC comics, Amanda Waller was the government handler of the Suicide Squad and has always walked the line between good and evil in her actions, once serving a prison sentence over her attempt to take down an organized crime unit. Following Lex Luthor's election as President of the United States, she was appointed Secretary of Metahuman Affairs, but was fired by Pete Ross's term.
Most recently, during Countdown to Final Crisis, she is the head of Checkmate and launched Operation: Salvation Run to exile various supervillains to another planet to prevent them from harming others. Although believed to an uninhabited world, the planet was later revealed to be a part of the Apokoliptian Empire and a training ground for Parademons. Waller's colleagues forced her to resign following the villains' return.
- "The Doomsday Sanction"
- "Task Force X"
- "Clash" (Cameo)
- "Question Authority"
- "Panic in the Sky"
- "Divided We Fall"
- "Epilogue "
- "Flash and Substance" (Mentioned Only)
- "Patriot Act"
|PR / Manager||Maxwell Lord|
|Psychology||Hugo Strange • Moon|
|Military Tactics||Wade Eiling|
|Captain Atom • Doomsday • Galatea|
|Ultimen||Downpour • Juice • Shifter • Long Shadow • Wind Dragon|
|Task Force X||Captain Boomerang • Clock King • Deadshot • Rick Flagg • Plastique|