“Amanda Waller’s Family Ties” was Reagan’s Favorite Show

March 14th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Cheryl Lynn poses an interesting question:

You know who I want to see? Waller’s kids. I don’t want them becoming superheroes, but I’m kind of curious as to how Waller has managed to protect them so well with all the dirt that she does and people she has pissed off. Is everyone afraid of the woman? Even crazy loons like the Joker? Actually, it would be interesting to see what Waller would do if one of her kids pulled a Proteus. Would she be able to take her own child down? The only tie left to a husband who was brutally murdered? Given the interesting ways that so many writers at DC have examined family ties, I think it would be a good story.

I can tell you exactly what happened to her kids.

Amanda Waller is a true patriot. She is willing to do the raw and dirty things in order to keep someone else from having to sully themselves. She is damned of her own accord, and she is okay with that. It needs to be done, and if she is the one who has to do it, she definitely will perform to the best of her ability.

Therefore, the absolute last thing she wants is for her kids to have to follow in her footsteps. That’s a standard thing for parents, isn’t it? They don’t want their kids to make the same mistakes or face the same issues that they did. They want their kids to have a brighter future, usually by any means necessary. Parental instinct at work– your kids come first.

So, Waller did a few things once she got into the position we know and love. She made herself available for the dirty jobs, the ones that no one else wanted or could stomach, and then she used that knowledge to secure her children’s future. It isn’t quite blackmail– she’s in a position where blackmail would be a little too obvious. All she has to do is ask for something, and the men in power will stop, think about what she knows, and give it to her. She doesn’t just know where the bodies are buried– she’s got the receipt for the backhoe that dug the hole. So, in a effort to do what all parents attempt to do, Waller looked out for her kids first. I have a few theories.

1. Her surviving family are set for life, though she rarely sees them. College careers funded, houses bought, incredible credit score established, health insurance for life, and so on. No get out of jail free cards. Definitely not. She raised them better than that, and they know better than to get arrested ’cause the only thing worse than getting arrested is to have to call your mom while she’s sleeping, or even worse, at work, and telling her you’re in jail.

(She rarely sees them because it wouldn’t be right. She loves them deeply, but her work has left her hands filthy. She isn’t guilty, and her self-righteousness never cracks, but this goes back to the wanting better.)

2. Cabrini-Green isn’t the same place that murdered her husband and daughter. She took care of her family, and the next step is taking care of business. It’s the exact opposite of our Cabrini-Green. Intelligent federally funded social services hit Cabrini-Green hard in the DCU and turned the place around, all of which was masterminded by a flunky who is at least three offices removed from the desk of one A. Waller. That’s the smokescreen– true patriots don’t need credit. They don’t need praise. They just do. Cabrini-Green took too much from her, so, like Bruce Wayne, she’s going to ensure that that never happens again.

3. If one of her kids went bad, I think that she would have to be the one to put them down. She gave them all the chances in the world, and it is her responsibility to punish them. She wouldn’t like doing it, and it’d probably lead to either a (temporary) break down or retirement. A break down would be the worst thing to possibly happen to her, because when she comes back from that break down, she’s going to overcompensate.

That is when she calls Batman and is like “Meet me at the spot and bring those kid sidekicks of yours. It’s on. We’re going to fix everything.”

Just as an interesting side note, Amanda Waller is either from, or at least lived in for a while, Cabrini-Green, Chicago. You know who else is a world changer from Cabrini-Green? Or rather, “The Green,” as she knows it?

Martha Washington.

Couple more quick hits:

This is a Waller track.

This is the Amanda Waller/Martha Washington theme song. (Will my crush on L-Boogie ever go away? No, I don’t think so.)

And because I’m on a Nas kick, this song is hot. (I’m so glad Nas is back to being good. It was looking dire to be a fan of Nasty Nas for a minute there. Hip-hop is dead… long live hip-hop.)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Comics I Would Buy, Volume 1

March 10th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

monthly, from dc comics.
Sonning: to disrespect, disgrace, treat with distaste or disgust, or disregard someone who stands in your way.

Amanda Waller doesn’t dis her foes– she dismisses them. Half the DCU is on her Sonned Squad and the other half is busy filling out applications.

This is Pedro‘s fault again.

Mar 10 10:24:50 man, amanda waller has a scrapbook dedicated to batman sonned moments
10:25:33 david: Amanda Waller has one quote up on the wall behind her desk
10:25:43 david: “I been sonning niggas so long, I think I got a grandson” — Big Pun
10:25:57 pedro: dude,
10:26:02 pedro: dc could release a trade
10:26:13 pedro: Amanda Waller’s biggest sonnings
10:26:21 pedro: oh shit is gavok or hoatzin on?
10:26:26 david: nope pedro
10:26:31 pedro: ugh
10:26:34 pedro: i need a cover of that
10:28:05 david: pedro, i can do that cover
10:28:10 david: maybe
10:28:16 pedro: do it
10:28:18 pedro: please
10:28:18 david: which issue had her chewing out Batman?
10:28:29 pedro: i want to post a series of articles
10:28:35 pedro: just of trades dc could release

Credit where credit is due!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Black History Month 12: The Wall

February 12th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

art from dc comics’s suicide squad
(Guest article ahoy! My buddy Pedro from Funnybook Babylon wanted to talk about one of the single best black characters in comics, and who am I to say no? I’ll take a few more guest articles if anyone has any good ones in mind. Throw me an email. Thanks to Pedro for the guest article!)

Before that Christmas, just like my older sister, I was into Marvel Comics. She used to blow her cash on X-Men, and the moment I got an allowance, I would save my daily dollar to get Uncanny X-Men and whatever Spider-Man I could get my hands on. This growing pile was supplemented by those 3 for $1 bags of comics that never had any DC issues. It was when someone gave me a near complete collection of Giffen/De Matteis Justice League comics that I was introduced, along with many other things, to the Wall.

The big crossover during this time was Invasion. The forces of earth–human, hero, and villain alike–allied together to stop the alien attackers. And in charge of villainous forces, which was made up of some of the nastiest guys I had seen, was a Black woman?!

I had to pause and rewind that panel. Not only was this Amanda Waller character black and female, but she was the toughest person among an entire room of politicians, soldiers, villains, and heroes. Shit, Ronald Reagan, who was in nearly a quarter of these Giffen League comics, was in awe and a bit frightened of her. This was something even my 7th grade knowledge of history knew was crazy. You could tell that she was assigned to work with the villains because she was the only person tough enough to keep them in line. They were afraid to cross her because she seemed to have the resolve and determination to make them pay.

Thankfully, the pile o’ comics contained a Doom Patrol vs. Suicide Squad issue, which featured more Waller action. In this book, I saw the Wall at what she does best, politically outmanuvering everyone else in the room in search of what was best for the American people.

With the right words, she could do more damage than Superman’s heat vision, escape situations that would tax Mr. Miracle and his motherbox, and save the day better than Wonder Woman could. Sure, she was ruthless, did things that only benefitted United States, and worked with the worst of the worst.

And yet, I couldn’t help loving her as she did it all, because she was so different than everyone else I had read before.

No one else in comics is physically depicted the way Waller is. Very few heavyset characters, especially female ones, are portrayed in non comical roles, and the few that are taken seriously are explained as being secretly muscular. Waller seems to avoid needing to justify her weight either way, because she is too dangerous to not take seriously. The skills that make her so dangerous are unrelated to hey body type.

What makes everyone fearful of her is that she didn’t receive a magic wishing ring or powers from a bolt of lightning. Instead, she worked herself up from nothing, which has made every one of her accomplishments defined by what she is willing to do. It’s this drive to do better that also makes her a symphatetic character to me.

If you were to ask her why she goes to the extremes that she does, she would tell you that someone with the resolve has to go out there and do the awful things to keep the world safe. The closing episode of the Justice League cartoon series features a moment with an older Waller at the end of her life. She’s unapologetic and at peace with her decisions, prepared to face whatever punishments await her in the afterlife. That nails her perfectly.

When Waller is done right, she’s one of the most complicated and nuanced characters in all of comics. She’s neither villain or hero and does very little to benefit herself. Shit, one time in the cartoon, Brainiac showed up out of nowhere. What did Waller do, did she run away? No, she whipped out her gun and helped the same heroes that she had been working against all series long fight this common threat. Sometimes a character like her can be too much for the simpleness that people want in their superhero comics, but to me, comics are in a better place because of characters like her.

The world honestly can never have enough Amanda Waller.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


It’s a Major Disaster area, baby.

January 30th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

This is going to sound weird coming on the heels of my “Ollie Queen is a jerk!” post, but hear me out.

I love character turns, be it heroes gone bad (Zoom, Batgirl, Eradicator) or villains gone good. It’s always interesting to see that breaking point that makes someone change. This post is about a villain who went good.

Paul Booker was a crap villain. He called himself Major Disaster, wore a disaster of a costume, and had a disaster of a career. To be quite honest, I haven’t read a lot of his early work just because it looked so awful. He’s got on pink gogo boots, a blue body suit, and a lighter blue hood. It’s a costume on par with some of Scarlet Witch and The Wasp’s worst excesses, but not quite as bad as Susan Richards’s negative-space 4 costume from the ’90s.

Booker joined the JLA at Batman’s request. Yes, the same Batman who gave Huntress the old heave-ho. The JLA were MIA and he had a Substitute League lined up in case of emergencies. Booker so liked the respect that he stuck around on the team and ended up proving his worth. He even made it onto the JLElite, before finally retiring.

Booker’s face turn for JLA was more of an “Okay I’m good now guys” rather than a gradual shift, but it feels right. Here is a guy that, in another world, could’ve been a true hero. He could theoretically prevent disasters, or come up with new ways to research them. The problem is, he’s selfish. He decided to look out for number one first and foremost, and ended up crap villain. He’s had tastes of the good life during his stints in the Suicide Squad and Justice League Antarctica, but he never hit the big times until the JLA accepted him.

He brings an interesting dynamic to the team for a couple reasons. One, he’s a reformed villain. As he says at the beginning of the Rules of Engagement arc, “Vote from the reformed criminal type! If more capes hunted down more bad guys, we’d have a lot less crime!” He doesn’t look at things like the other heroes do. He’s a very to-the-point, man-of-action type. If there is an easy solution that solves the problem well, do it! Why not?

Second, Booker is a big, dumb lug in the Bibbo Bibbowski/Lobo vein. He doesn’t say exactly what’s on his mind because he doesn’t really think. His brain isn’t just not connected to his mouth, it’s not connected, full stop.

hurr.jpg Case in point. When the Elite gets together, they’re masterminded by Naif al-Sheikh, who can best be described as an Arab, male, and chainsmoking version of Amanda Waller. He’s got crazy black-ops and intelligence clout, so much so that the JLE gets approval based on his word alone. al-Sheikh sees these men and women as “demons playing in the robes of angels.” They terrify him, and that cannot be. He wants them to share a secret so that they can begin to build a trust. He wants them to explain why they fight for the light from the shadows. Booker’s response? “I, umm… this is really gay. Can’t we just go kick the @&#% out of some bad guys, “sir?”

This man is “Hurrrr!” incarnate! Another example. Booker’s been talking about Kasumi, an assassin on the team with something to hide. This scene follows:


Yes, Booker. You got zapped because it’s that time of the month. That is it exactly.
Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


She Got That Good Hair: Top 5 3 Black Women!

January 12th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

(edit: T’Shan was not BP’s sister. Shuri is.)

To our readers from When Fangirls Attack!– welcome! Check out the post and don’t be afraid to leave a comment, okay? Onward.

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you,
Without a strong rhyme to step to.
Think of how many weak shows you slept through,
Time’s up! I’m sorry I kept you!


Man, this article is crazy late, isn’t it? Just, uh, six months or so.

It’s late for a number of reasons. I’ve been trying to ramp up my writing career, which means more time writing about games, less about comics. Did it work? Well, I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck, but talk to me in another six months.

The number one reason why it’s late, other than business and laziness, is that it is hard as crap to find good black female characters in recent comics. I mean, Monica Rambeau had a bit part in Black Panther and I’m not much for Nextwave’s portrayal of her, so she doesn’t really count. There was the great-granddaughter (grandniece?) of Jim Harper in Robinson’s Batman: Face-the-Face, but, uh, she had maybe nine panels of dialogue total, and that’s probably being generous. I’m not as familiar as I should be with Milestone’s work (beyond Static), so I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting any of those characters on this list. Bishop’s daughter in X-Men: The End has three strikes against her. 1) She’s Bishop’s daughter. 2) She’s in X-Men: The End. and 3) She’s Bishop’s daughter and is in X-Men: The End. Onyx is kind of cool, but I know exactly nothing about her and she got punked by Jason Todd so she’s out. Pantha, according to Wikipedia, is black, but, again, I know nothing about her. Thunder, from Outsiders? No thanks, hoss.

So… this is going to be a little different. It’s a top three because, frankly, there aren’t enough good black female characters out there. I’d include Glory Grant, ’cause she’s pretty awesome, but when’s the last time you saw her in a comic that wasn’t Civil War Frontline #10? (Nice guest spot, even if it was only a panel.) A better question– how many of you even remember who Glory Grant is? Monica Lynne is in the same situation. Charlotte Jones? Same deal.

I entertained the possibility of putting Monet St Croix on her, at least partially because I really enjoy her character. But, that’d make this a top 4 and these lists are traditionally either top three, top five, or top multiple of five. Four is right out.

So, a top three. But, I’m telling you, I better see some awesome black females over the next year or I’m going to do something reprehensible! I mean, black females in comics are like black head coaches in the NCAA!

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon