For this weeks #WomanCrushWednesday, I decided to pick a woman that has intrigued me ever since her creation, A woman so iconic, she continues to inspire writers, artists and film-makers as much today as she did in her creation. Amanda Waller has changed some what over years, as is often the case with comic book characters, but her durability as a fictional character and given the God-like DC Comics idols she is often confronted with, Waller is rarely intimidated.
Her role has been adapted slightly since her first introduction in to the comic book world in 1986. Her creators where the legendary John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne, and fittingly, she made her bow in the six issue mini series entitled ‘Legends’. She is presented to readers as a powerful political agitator, wielding formidable intellect and an ability to influence those in positions of power within the US government of the time and even President Ronald Reagan himself! She uses said influence in ‘Legends’ to push for the re-introduction of the ‘Task Force X’ program, otherwise known as the ‘Suicide Squad’. She is placed in control of the group of super-villains and master criminals seeking a chance for redemption (or in some cases, just a way of avoiding the death penalty) and sent on the missions that are deemed too dangerous for armed forces and even superheroes. But Waller was more than just bureaucrat with too much power, she was a formidable strategist and field operative, often leading the squad on missions herself, going toe to toe with the DC universe’s deadliest antagonists.
She was designed as a larger woman, which in itself is unusual for a character of her relevance to the DC universe, but it served her character well as she cut a physically imposing figure that will not back down from a challenge, as the beautifully rendered cover of ‘Suicide Squad’ clearly illustrates. As an operative with combat and weapons training and plenty of field experience, she as as far from a ‘desk-jockey’ as it gets. I mean, seriously, take a look at this picture and tell me this is a woman prepared to take any of your bullshit?!
Yes, that’s Batman she has backed into a corner, fricking Batman!! Nobody puts Batman in the corner!
As is always the case with comic book characters, she underwent a revamp over the years, and with the launch of “The New 52”, she was reimagined as a younger, slimmer woman. I suppose given the body conscious times we live in, a change like this was as inevitable as it was disappointing. Fortunately, she seems to have lost none of her edge, skills or intrigue. As director of the “Suicide Squad” she has a barely disguised contempt for most of the super-villains who operate under her command and often keeps her relationships with its ever-changing members. Her background as single mother who rose from poverty to the upper echelons of power within the US government and then controlling an independent body, make her the epitome of the ‘American Dream’. How many Americans actually dream of controlling their own super-powered death squads is a disturbing question to ask at another time, but you get my point, right? Besides, it’s not as if there aren’t thousands who can’t relate to her humble beginnings. She has a drive and determination rarely seen in her contemporaries and add to this her previous relationships with Lex Luthor and various others, and you have a character that is as ‘connected’ as they come.
With Warner Bros. Studios releasing a “Suicide Squad” film adaptation in 2016, ‘The Wall’ will have her chance to be exposed to global cinema audiences. I’m very curious about this film and the approach they will take with the characters. They have assembled a very talented cast and David Ayer is a director who seems to get better with every film he makes. Amanda Waller will be played by the talented Viola Davis in the film. I’m a big fan of Davis but an even bigger fan of Waller, and make no mistake, Davis has some substantial, formidable shoes to fill.
The Riddler: ” Riddle me this, what belongs to you but others use it more than you do?”
Amanda Waller: “Your name.”
The Riddler: ” Huh??..You’ve heard that one!”
Amanda Waller: ” No, I have Google, like the rest of the world.”
taken from ‘Batman: Assault On Arkham’ (Videogame) 2014.