Amanda Waller's History
Amanda Waller has been established as a widow who escaped Chicago's Cabrini–Green housing projects with her surviving family after one of her sons, one of her daughters and her husband were murdered. Waller excelled in political science and became a congressional aide. During that time, she discovered the existence of the first two incarnations of the Squad. Taking elements from both of these, she proposed the development of its third incarnation to the White House and was placed in charge upon its approval.
The Agency was formed by Amanda Waller to serve as a small, quasi-independent branch of Task Force X. Valentina Vostok brought former NYPD Lieutenant Harry Stein into the Agency as an operative. Amanda Waller later promoted Stein to the command position and demoted Vostok. Harry Stein would later reorganize the Agency and name it Checkmate.
Waller's tenure as the official in charge of the third Suicide Squad was tumultuous and controversial. Despite many successes, she developed a habit of defying her superiors in Washington in order to achieve goals both legitimate and personal on more than one occasion. The earliest conflict between her and her superiors revolved around the leadership of the Suicide Squad. Although she proposed that the Bronze Tiger, the man she had helped out of his brainwashing, lead the team he was instead relegated to second-in-command, and Rick Flag Jr. was made the leader. Waller resentfully presumed the situation to be racially charged, related to not only her own status as a black woman, but also Bronze Tiger's own skin tone, although the Tiger himself did not believe this was a factor, instead believing this was a result of mistrust due to the brainwashing imposed upon him by the League of Assassins.
Her relationship with the Squad itself was one of mutual dislike. Most of the team's criminal members did not really take to Waller's methods (most notably Captain Boomerang), and even the team's heroes were often at odds with Waller. Waller's inability to deal and compromise with her troops led to Nemesis's departure from the team and the death of a US senator, which indirectly caused the death of Rick Flag Jr. Those type of conflicts, however, were not only limited to her superiors and her team, but also extended to Batman, who opposed the forming of the Suicide Squad (although he would later help to reform it). Nonetheless, the team remained loyal to her, often choosing to side with her instead of the government.
It was ultimately revealed that the reason that Amanda Waller even kept the heroes such as Nightshade around, was in order for them to act as her conscience. Over the course of her first run with the Suicide Squad, her actions became increasingly erratic as she fought to retain control of the Squad. This was heightened by the public revelation of the Suicide Squad, and her being officially replaced, although her 'replacement' was in fact an actor, and Waller remained the team's director.Even that secret would eventually be revealed and Amanda Waller would be put on trial. During this time, the Squad also became involved in an interagency conflict in a crossover between the Checkmate and Suicide Squad titles called the Janus Directive.
One of the field missions is against her will, as many members of the Squad, Waller included, are forcibly kidnapped and taken to Apokolips. This is because team member Duchess remembered her past as Lashina of the Female Furies, instead of being amnesiac as she pretended, and wished to return home with suitable sacrifices. The Squad suffers fatalities battling Apokolips' forces, with Waller personally confronting Granny Goodness. However, the confrontation ended with the deaths of Dr. Light and one of Waller's own nieces, and Count Vertigo near-fatally wounded.She eventually found herself serving prison time for her pursuit of an organized crime cartel based in New Orleans called the LOA and killing its leadership, using Squad operatives Ravan, Poison Ivy and Deadshot in the process.Waller is eventually pardoned and released a year later to reorganize the Suicide Squad as a freelance mercenary group at the behest of Sarge Steel to deal with a crisis in Vlatava, Count Vertigo's home country; Waller allowed herself to enter prison because she knew two things perfectly well: one, by confronting the LOA with Squad operatives, she had crossed the line, and two, she would return to her position quite easily if she was ever needed again. Afterwards, the Suicide Squad performs a variety of missions, often treading dangerous political terrain when dealing with Soviet and Israeli interests. Most notably, the Squad help destroy the plans of the Cabal to throw Qurac, Israel and the US into political disarray.
During the course of her renewed tenure with this team, Amanda became closer to her operatives, even accompanying them on their field missions. This allows for her and her team to bond more effectively, although she retains her dominant and threatening personality.Waller quits after a later field mission, in which she personally takes down the seemingly immortal dictator of a small, South American island nation. As it turned out, he wasn't immortal, but had an immense amount of psychic power, and by tricking him, Waller merely provided a form of assisted suicide.
Soon after, Amanda Waller organizes the Shadow Fighters to confront the villain Eclipso. Again, she would confront Sarge Steel. Her first attempt at a team, formed with the assistance of Bruce Gordon and his wife Mona, did not go well. Most of the team are brutally murdered infiltrating Eclipso's stronghold. Her second attempt with a much larger team has much more success.
During the Bloodlines debacle, the President sends Guy Gardner to fetch Waller from her island 'retirement'. She leads a multi-hero affair that results in the destruction of the alien parasites.She rejoins federal service, initially as Southeastern regional director for the Department of Extranormal Operations. She is promoted to Secretary of Metahuman Affairs as a member of the Lex Luthor Presidential Administration.Lex Luthor's brief tenure in office leads to Amanda Waller being jailed. This does not last long. She is released by Luthor's successor Jonathan Vincent Horne, who orders her to take command of the secret agent organization Checkmate. The organization had been shaken up due to the OMAC Project debacle and the related murderous leadership of Maxwell Lord whom Waller has had previous history with. Waller takes the rank of Black King until the United States and United Nations decide what to do with that organization. In the latter issues of 52, Waller is shown commissioning the imprisoned Atom Smasher to organize a new Suicide Squad to attack Black Adam and his allies. This ends with the death of Squad member Persuader and the expected public relations turn against the Black Marvel family.
In the revamped Checkmate series set in the One Year Later continuity, Waller is shown to have been assigned by the UN to serve as Checkmate's White Queen, a member of its senior policy-making executive. Due to her previous activities, her appointment is contingent on her having no direct control over operations. Regardless, she continues to pursue her own agenda, secretly using the Suicide Squad to perform missions in favor of American interests and blackmailing Fire.It is also implied that she may have betrayed a mission team in an attempt to protect her secrets and facilitated an attack on Checkmate headquarters for her own gain. She then is in charge of Operation Salvation Run, an initiative involving the mass deportation of supervillains to an alien world. When this was discovered by the rest of Checkmate, she was forced into resigning as White Queen in exchange for their delay in revealing what the US government was doing. She continues to run the Suicide Squad, and has been implanted with nanotechnology to allow her to directly control Chemo during missions.
During the Superman/Batman storyline "K", it is revealed that Waller has hoarded Kryptonite and used it to power an anti-Superman group called the Last Line, and a Doomsday-like creature codenamed "All-American Boy", who has Kryptonite shards growing out of his body. All-American Boy, (real name: Josh Walker) was deceived into an experiment to use Kryptonite to bond cell scrapings taken from Doomsday to a human host, battles Superman, devastating Smallville in the process. Batman, with the help of Brannon, the Last Line's leader, locate Josh's parents who convince him to stop. Waller is forced to pay towards repairing Smallville in return for her dealings in the AAB project to remain secret. 'Last Line' itself rebels against Waller because of her deceptions.
In the eight-issue series of Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag, she is again seen leading the Suicide Squad at some point when the General returned to Earth after his exile, and was promptly drafted into the Squad with special explosive implants grafted into his arm and brain to make him compliant with Waller's demands. Here, she personally uses technology devised by Cliff Carmichael to gain a measure of control over Chemo, allowing her to use the toxic behemoth for the Squad's benefit. Rick Flag is revealed to have survived the events at Jotunheim and was returned to Waller, who revealed to him Rick Flag Jr. was never anything but an alias, and that he was in reality a brainwashed soldier remade into Flag to serve Eiling's ends.
She leads, as Chemo, an attack on a Dubai supercorp intending to release a deadly virus. However, Carmichael, with Eiling and part of her team, betrays her as part of Eiling's plan to benefit from the release of the virus, and she is nearly killed when Eiling orders a compliant Flag to use her pen, actually a transmitter, to detonate her own explosive implant. Instead, Flag, tricking him, detonates Eiling's own, releasing her and ultimately rejoining the Squad, refusing the chance of a normal life.
She later attempted to forcibly return several members of the Secret Six (Bane and Deadshot) into the Suicide Squad, and when her plan backfired due to the events of Blackest Night and the defiance of the Six, she was shot by Deadshot and privately revealed to King Faraday to be their new secret leader, Mockingbird. When Faraday questioned the need to be informed of the situation, and even the need to bring the Six under the banner of the Squad when she already controlled them, Amanda merely shrugged it off, stating "her left and right hand only knew what the other was thinking" in a strict need-to-know basis, implying Faraday will one day need that knowledge.