Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Women in Comic Books who are More than Skin Deep: # 2 Amanda Waller.

The Wall telling Bats whats what.

The Wall telling Bats whats what.

Women in Comic Books who are More than Skin Deep: #2

Name: Amanda Waller

Creator: John Ostrander, Lee Wien. And john Byrne.

Appearance: Suicide Squad, Checkmate, 52

 Occupation: Leader of several US covert agencies. Secretary of Meta-Human Affairs under president Lex Luthor.

Quote: “I know exactly what you used to do for the Brazilians before you got your power and I know exactly how much you enjoyed yourself while doing it. Now get to it, killer.”

If you have been following Women in Comics Who are More than Skin Deep, you may have notice that so far all of them have come from indy comics. That may be more of my bias than anything else. It’s not that I don’t like the big two, I just like the little guys better. I think Marvel and DC have gotten so big that the writers occasionally just phone in some of their titles. Sure there is some good stuff out there, but pound for pound I go with the likes of Dark Horse, Oni and Vertigo. So it may surprise some of you that today’s pick comes the backbone of the DC Universe.

                When you think of the average DC female character you think of someone who is young, hot, curvy, and white. Until recently Amanda Waller has been none of these things. She is a strong willed middle aged woman of color and one of the few people who could intimidate Batman.

                My first contact with ‘The Wall’ was about twenty years ago, before I got into comics in a big way. The local hobby store I use to go and buy gaming books from decided it was getting out of the comic business so they were selling of their back supply, dirt cheap,  so on a whim I picked up a copy Suicide Squad, for fifty cents. It was the first comic I bought since I graduated high school.  I caught the last act of the Loa arc and was amazed, I didn’t know comic books could have such deep characters and deal with very touchy moral issues.

                For those of you not familiar with the Suicide Squad, it revolves around captured supper-villains of the DC Universe, who are given a chance at redemption by US government if they go on dangerous missions for them. Amanda Waller was the in charge of this project.

                The Loa was a voodoo based gang who was selling deadly drugs. The Suicide Squad was being shut down by the federal government, and the Loa was going to get off Scott free. Waller took the prisoners Ravan, Poison Ivy and Deadshot hunted down the gang and then massacred them.   She kept her word and let the villains go then turned herself over for trial.

Waller and The Suicide squad lay waste to the Loa.

Waller and The Suicide squad lay waste to the Loa.

                Eventually she is set free and put in charge of different government covert agencies. In a way Amanda Waller embodies America. An America that we both fear and crave. An America that will do whatever is necessary to keep us safe. But also an America that does some dark things in the pursuit of its citizen’s safety.

Amanda Waller's post 52 makeover.

Amanda Waller’s post 52 makeover.

                With the new DC reboot 52, Waller has gone from a large middle-aged woman to a sleek young action chick.  To me this is a total sell out. There are enough hotties running around the DCU, can’t we have one average looking person. Let’s have at least one who is interesting for her brain not her body. I guess this more than anything exemplifies why I like the indy books.

                So for being a normal person in an ocean of beauties, for doing what she thinks is right, even if may be wrong in certain ways and for taking no gruff from anyone even Batman, (Pre-52) Amanda Waller is a woman in comic books who is more than skin deep.

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22 comments on “Women in Comic Books who are More than Skin Deep: # 2 Amanda Waller.

  1. mrsnox
    December 9, 2013

    Oh, I was loving hearing ant her, until the reboot thing. What a shame they reduced her character to her body. She was obviously badass before, or she wouldn’t have been able to track down those cretins and deal with them. So yeah, making her a “babe” just to appeal to audiences.

    • davekheath
      December 9, 2013

      Amen! True I haven’t read any of her stories since 52, but as my father used to say. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

  2. nikkimay0
    December 9, 2013

    She may be younger and thinner in the New 52, from someone that is currently reading through them, but shes still, if not more of, a badass then history has shown her as. If you like the Suicide Squad, attempt the New 52 version, its pretty wicked. Nice posts about Women in Comics though, really enjoyed the read!

    • davekheath
      December 9, 2013

      Thanks for the comments. I really appreciate it since I have to admit I haven’t followed 52, though from what I have heard recently from you and others, Suicide Squad, sounds like it is worth a check.

      • nikkimay0
        December 9, 2013

        Totally worth it, aren’t all comic books?!

      • davekheath
        December 9, 2013

        Most yes, but a few I was like why did I spend money on this but most totally are.

  3. Holistic Wayfarer
    January 15, 2014

    Fun, interesting site: more than skin deep. =) Thanks for the follow, Dave.

    • davekheath
      January 15, 2014

      YW enjoy what you do.

      • Holistic Wayfarer
        January 16, 2014

        Uh, I take it as a compliment…..but YW?

      • davekheath
        January 16, 2014

        Sorry should have read I enjoy what you have done. LOL I type so much I see words I think but didn’t actualy type.

      • Holistic Wayfarer
        January 16, 2014

        Ha ha ….YW stood for that? Thank you.

      • davekheath
        January 16, 2014

        YW = Your welcome sorry work short hand.

  4. Loki
    February 13, 2014

    I absolutely agree. I used to love Waller before the reboot. I haven’t gotten around to reading beyond the Bat-titles (which seem to take up about 26 of the New 52) since the reboot, though, so I’ve only seen the occasional Waller-cameo and can’t speak as to how she’s written now, but the visual revamp is utterly unnecessary and annoying. I don’t mind some characters being drawn to look attractive, but the seeming insistence that _all_ do really bugs me.

    They’ve even carried it over to TV. I thought she was prettied unnecessarily up on “Smallville”, but at least there they *tried* to make her look the TV equivalent of slightly overweight. The “Arrow” people tend to seem to know what they are doing, but in Waller’s case I suspect they’ve been forced to use the New 52 version as the template.

    • davekheath
      February 13, 2014

      I am willing to give Smallville a break on this because they cast 70 blacksplotation icon Pam Grier. But I wonder what she would have done with an original role

      • Loki
        February 13, 2014

        She didn’t need an original role so much as her role needed a bit more to do. But ah, well. As I said, no matter the flaws of the part in their version, at least her appearance gave them one spot on which they were better than Arrow — their one decade more dated handicap aside.

  5. Flint F. Johnson
    March 8, 2014

    I appreciate the follow, but you may enjoy my other blog more: Cianbeirdd.wordpress.com

  6. Cian Beirdd
    March 10, 2014

    Reblogged this on Cian Beirdd and commented:
    This is exactly what I’m talking about!

  7. davekheath
    March 10, 2014

    I haven’t read any of the new 52 despite some urging of some of my friends, I think keeping the “wall” as is put with maybe some more political clout would have been a good start.

  8. I’ve read the N52 comics involving her, and in all honestly her personality hasn’t changed one bit, she has no gratuitous cleavage shots and there aren’t any panels that focus on her boobs or ass.
    The only thing changed was her age and body. Beyond that, she’s the same character.

    • Not only that, but she also is on the field a lot more in her current iteration, which is probably why they gave her a slimmer secret agent type of look in step of an administrator sort of build.
      Just trust me on this. She’s is still the badass we already loved.

      • davekheath
        May 15, 2014

        Well that is good to here. i think that there is a good chance that if that was my first exposure to her that i would have though “Wow what a cool character.” and I do gt the desire to put your primary charterer in the field, but I still miss the old wall.

  9. Chocolate Girl Wonder
    December 3, 2014

    Reblogged this on Chocolate Girl Wonder and commented:
    “So for being a normal person in an ocean of beauties, for doing what she thinks is right, even if may be wrong in certain ways and for taking no gruff from anyone even Batman, (Pre-52) Amanda Waller is a woman in comic books who is more than skin deep.”

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