Dr. Thomas Wayne was the father of Bruce Wayne and husband of Martha Wayne. He was a well-known surgeon, philanthropist and CEO of Wayne Enterprises (which he inherited from his own father, after his father made patients on on industrial technology, which he invested in real estate making the family billions). In some versions of the mythology he studied to become a surgeon with Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who would open up her own clinic in Park Row, and Matthew Thorne, AKA The Crime Doctor. Thomas worked at Gotham General, and because of his wealth he worked there for free providing treatment for those who couldn't afford it.
Thomas Wayne is seldom shown outside of Bruce Wayne's and Alfred Pennyworth's memories of him, and often through Bruce's dreams and nightmares. He is frequently depicted as looking very much like Bruce Wayne, but sporting a thick moustache.
A notable occurrence in Thomas Wayne's biography was when Bruce fell through a fissure on the Wayne property, into what would one day become the Batcave (sometimes the fissure is replaced with an abandoned well). Thomas Wayne eventually rescued his terrified son from the cave.
Thomas Wayne was also the "first Batman" according to The First Batman, a Silver Age tale where he attacked and defeated hoodlums while dressed like a "Bat-Man" for a masquerade ball with flying creatures as a theme (the costume resembles the original Batman costume from 1939). This was recognized as one of the inspirations for Bruce becoming Batman. According to the story, Thomas Wayne's actions resulted in Lew Moxon being imprisoned and ordering the murder of Thomas Wayne ten years later through Joe Chill. Though this would make Bruce 12-15, the Silver Age Batman tales were known for their inaccuracies. When Batman realizes Moxon ordered his parents killed, he confronts Moxon, who can't remember what he did due to amnesia. When Batman's costume is torn, he wears Thomas Wayne's. Moxon remembers his crime, believes that he is being attacked by Thomas Wayne's ghost and flees into the streets where he is killed by a truck.
These events were retold in the 1980 miniseries The Untold Legend of the Batman. Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dr. Wayne as the "First Batman" was retconned - he instead attended the masquerade ball as Zorro. This was further retconned in the pages of Superman/Batman, where Superman, hoping to reverse some universe-altering alteration to the time streams, lands in a version of Gotham City in which Thomas never died, finding him giving candies to children (it's Halloween night) in the original Batman costume, and thinks at how Bruce told him about a costume his father wore at a ball, that inspired his Batman identity later.
In many of the modern interpretations of the character, such as those by Frank Miller and Jeph Loeb, Thomas is portrayed as distant or stern towards his son prior to his demise, although his kindness and generosity are unequivocal. Thomas Wayne was once suspected to be the father of Bane, a man who would one day break his son; however, DNA testing proved this to be false, and Bane's real father was recently revealed to be King Snake.
It is revealed in Batman: The Long Halloween that Thomas Wayne saved the life of future crime lord and gangster Carmine Falcone shortly before the Wayne's murder. Falcone's father, Vincent, came to Wayne Manor and begged Thomas to save his dying son, who had been shot in a gang fight by rival gangster Luigi Maroni. Thomas wanted to take the younger Falcone to hospital, but Vincent insisted that nobody know about the shooting; the surgery was thus performed in the dining room with Alfred assisting. After saving Carmine Falcone from death, he was offered a reward or favor, but he flatly refused, in that "to a doctor, a patient is a patient." Young Bruce Wayne watched this all in silence from afar. Years later, Bruce contemplates whether Gotham would have been better off had his father let Falcone die.
In the Superman/Batman #50, it is revealed that, years ago, while on a drive with a pregnant Martha, Thomas witnessed a strange object fall to earth. Inspecting it, Thomas's consciousness is transported to Krypton, and presented in a holographic form. There, he encounters Jor-El, who wishes to know what kind of a world earth is, as it is one of many possible candidates for him to send his son, Kal-El, to. Thomas tells Jor-El that the people of earth aren't perfect, but are essentially a good and kind race, who would raise the child right, convincing Jor-El to send Kal-El there. Upon returning to his body, Thomas uses the technology in the Kryptonian probe to revitalize a failing Wayne Enterprises. Years later, the alien technology would be the basis of much of Batman's technology. Thomas recorded his encounter in a diary, which was discovered by Bruce in the present day.
When exiting a theater, Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered during a mugging that occurred in front of a young Bruce Wayne. This tragic event shocked Gotham, led to Park Row (the street where it occurred,) being labelled Crime Alley, and most importantly, was the motivation for Bruce one day becoming the Batman.
Due to the many writers who have written Batman stories, and constant references due to the central importance of the murder to the Batman mythos, many of the factors concerning the event have varied.
- Bruce's age has varied, usually between six and ten years old. It has mostly been accepted that he was eight by many writers.
- The murderer is consistently identified as Joe Chill, though the mythos alternates between versions where Batman finds out and where Batman never finds out. Chill has also alternated between being a mere mugger who randomly selected the wealthy Waynes, and a hitman who murdered them intentionally (the former is the most common interpretation).
- The reason given for Chill leaving Bruce alive has varied. Sometimes it was because Chill couldn't kill a child, sometimes because Chill heard a policeman's whistle, police siren, or a rapidly approaching policeman. Often, it is because of the cold, frightening look the young Wayne boy gave Chill after the crime; Chill hesitated and ran away.
- Exactly whether or not Chill was hired to murder the Waynes or if he acted alone is still unknown. An original script draft of Batman had Rupert Thorne hire Chill to assassinate them, because he was running for mayor against Thomas Wayne. In most other variations Chill is 'just some punk with a gun'.
- The movie that the Waynes went to see has fluctuated between the 1920 version of The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks and the 1940 version starring Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone. A fictional third version has starred "Tyrone Fairbanks." Batman Begins has the Waynes leaving an opera house showing Mefistofele at the time of the murder. Although the Dark Knight Visual Guide says that Bruce would have rather seen The Mark of Zorro movie house.
Interestingly, Batman #430, the aftermath of Jason Todd's death, depicts a situation where Thomas Wayne was having trouble with some investments, he was going to sell short. Bruce thought that he needed some exercise to take his mind of it and so offered him to play catch, but Thomas said no and in his anger, struck Bruce across the face, leading Bruce to declare to his mother that his wished Thomas were dead. In an ironic twist of fate, Bruce's parents would be killed that night.
Batman: Dark Victory asserts that the Wayne murders were the main cause of much of the corruption and crime in Gotham City, as, once it became clear that even wealthy, important people could be murdered so easily, the people began to lose faith in its police, and the police themselves started to lose faith in their importance, leading to corruption within the force.
Consistent elements have included Thomas Wayne being murdered by a pistol, and Martha Wayne's pearl necklace being torn, with the pearls falling into the gutter. In comic continuity, the murder took place at at 10:47 p.m. (the Batcave is accessed by Batman through his manor by turning the hands of a grandfather clock to this time), on the 26th of June.
Thomas and Martha Wayne are notable as two comic book characters who have remained dead. Since his death, Thomas Wayne has only appeared in the Batman series in flashback and in the occasional out-of-body experience or hallucination. His most significant appearance in this latter category is in the miniseries Batman: Death and the Maidens by Greg Rucka. In this story, Batman ingests an elixir given to him by his enemy, Ra's al Ghul, and believes he is having a conversation with his dead parents. Interestingly, both Thomas and Martha disapprove of their son's costumed crusade, but Thomas admits that he merely disapproves of what being Batman has cost his son rather than actually disliking the concept itself. As she and Thomas depart, however, they assure Bruce that just because the passing of time has lessened his grief does not mean that he no longer cares for them, and, as a result, Bruce is able to accept that he is Batman because he chooses to be, not because he has to be.
Batman R.I.P.[edit source]
During the Batman R.I.P. storyline, accusations are levied against Thomas Wayne. Claims arise that Martha's parents, always unconvinced about Thomas' intentions, hired a detective to prowl around his life. Much later a man claiming to be the detective returns, giving Commissioner Gordon a dossier in which Thomas Wayne is described as living a dual life: a respected and honest doctor in public, a drunken, abuser and abusive husband in private, indulging in orgies and drugs, and addicting Martha herself to heroin to get their marriage going, thus becoming able to embezzle her part of the Kane household. The hired detective then formulates a new theory about Thomas' death: when Thomas discovered that his wife, becoming accustomed to a life of excesses, betrayed him with his butler, no more certain about Bruce Wayne's real parentage, and willing to get revenge over his wife and further hide the secret of his dual life, he used an hired gun to kill her and fake his own death in front of the little Bruce. Gordon dismisses the final theories, and keeps the dossier private. While speaking to Alfred Pennyworth, Dr. Simon Hurt claims to be Thomas Wayne, even wearing the original Batman costume worn by Thomas Wayne, and accuses Alfred of fathering Bruce, although Alfred dismisses Dr. Hurt's purported identity. This has been dismissed as simply another one of Hurt's plots to break Batman physically and emotionally; later developments suggested that Simon Hurt was actually the alias of Thomas Wayne, a devil-worshipping ancestor from the seventeenth century who was possessed by Darkseid's weapon the Hyper-Adapter while Batman was traveling through time.
In the Flashpoint reality, Thomas Wayne - rather than Bruce - appears as Batman. Thomas is shown to have Joe Chill's gun in the Batcave's trophy display, from when he killed Chill in a brutal beating due to the latter killing his son Bruce in cold blood. Thomas is more violent than Bruce and willing to kill to achieve his goals, as shown when he throws a young villain named Yo-Yo off a rooftop after she refuses to cooperate with him to stop the Joker. When Barry Allen enters the cave, Thomas attacks him, but is surprised to hear Barry call him Bruce. Allen reveals to the elder Wayne that the timeline has been altered. Thomas stops fighting and asks him the details of his son's life after his own death. Willing to change history and ready to sacrifice his life to restore his son's, Thomas helps Barry build a device to recreate the accident that gave Barry his speed.
Wayne is the subject of the mini-series, Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance, written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Eduardo Risso, in a story set in after Wayne's first attempt to restore Barry's powers. Azzarello stated that Thomas Wayne does not care about crime outside Gotham and that he funds his war on crime with his successful casinos. Thomas works with James Gordon, the chief of Gotham's privatized police, who appears to be aware of his identity. Oswald Cobbelpot appears as his security chief, mainly handling the casinos while Thomas fights crime. The local judge Harvey Dent is distressed when his twin children are kidnapped by the Joker, causing him to threaten Wayne with legal action. Gordon calls Batman and tries to convince him that he does not have to fight villains alone. Gordon tries to stop the Joker once and for all, but is trapped and killed. The Joker's identity is then revealed to the reader as Martha Wayne, who had become insane after her son's death. Thomas killed many other villains from Gotham, but wasn't able to do so with Martha, leaving him guilty for all her murders and crimes. After Batman saves one of Dent's children, who had accidentally been shot by Gordon during his rescue attempt, he resumes pursuing Martha. In the final battle, Thomas reveals his recent discovery that they were supposed to die that night at Crime Alley and how they are alive now. Thomas promises her that he will do whatever it takes to bring their son back, despite it costing him and Martha their lives. The revelations apparently restore Martha's mental stability and she seemingly reconciles with Thomas, but when Martha asks her husband what Bruce becomes after their death, Thomas reveals that their son would become Batman. Martha becomes hysterical, flees from Thomas and falls to her death through the same hole that Bruce once fell into as a child.
After a second attempt successfully restores the Flash's powers, Batman works with him to rally a team to oppose Thawne's changes to history. Thomas contacts Cyborg for help in tracking down "Project: Superman", the government branch responsible for raising Kal-El, only to be disappointed at Kal-El's frail appearance. Kal-El's powers manifest as he is exposed to sunlight and he flies away.
After escaping Project Superman with the help of Element Woman, Flash's memories change more drastically, forcing Batman to attempt to prevent the speedster's memories from altering. Wayne injects him with a drug that slows down electrical activity in the brain. When Barry finds out that Hal Jordan died attempting to stop the War, Flash elects to try to save this altered world, since there is no guarantee that they could defeat Professor Zoom in the original world. Thomas joins Flash as the group heads to New Themyscira in Batman's plane and are joined by Enchantress. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are fighting one on one until the team arrives. The battle seems to be in their favor until Billy Batson dies and Professor Zoom reveals himself. Batman stabs him in the back using an Amazon's sword and learns that altered timeline was actually created by Flash as part of an attempt to save his mother. Before he acts on this new information, Thomas is fatally wounded by the Enchantress. Before Flash attempts to restore the old world, Thomas thanks him and gives him a letter to Bruce. Thomas is eager to reunite with his wife in death. After the Flash apparently restores the timeline, he gives Bruce the letter, telling Bruce that he could not have restored history without Thomas's help.
The letter encourages Bruce to move on from his childhood tragedy, as well as encouraging him to pursue a closer relationship with his son Damian Wayne. It becomes a part of the Batcave's display dedicated to the memory of his parents. However, despite Bruce's attempts to follow his father's encouragement, Damian is later killed battling his own clone, leaving Bruce suffering and vindictive as Thomas had in Flashpoint.
Other Media[edit source]
Motion Picture Anthology[edit source]
Dark Knight Trilogy[edit source]
DC Films[edit source]
Batman: The Animated Series[edit source]
The Batman[edit source]
In many of the episodes in the first season of The Batman, Bruce goes over his parents' murder in his head. In the fourth season premiere, Bruce tells Alfred, "The man who murdered my parents was never brought to justice."
Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne was murdered after taking Bruce to watch a movie, The Cloaked Rider, by an unidentified mugger. Before his death, Dr. Wayne was a dearest friend of Marion Grange, who was mayor of Gotham City for the first four seasons, Lucius Fox, who's running Wayne Enterprises for the Wayne family, and Alfred Pennyworth, loyal family butler who took the custody of raising Bruce after he became an orphan.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit source]
Thomas Wayne was featured in a flashback sequence in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Invasion of the Secret Santas" voiced by Corey Burton, but was uncredited. He also appears in the form of a spirit in the episode "Dawn of the Deadman", voiced by Greg Ellis but was also uncredited. He later appears in "Chill of the Night", this time voiced by Adam West. Where we see him and Martha voiced by Julie Newmar walking down a dark alley way with their son Bruce after just seeing "The Mark of Zorro" film. Bruce recounts how he was skeptical at first, but the movie turned out well after all. He and his father have a brief conversation about Bruce becoming Zorro when he grows into an adult, but Martha Wayne is worried about Thomas encouraging his son, fearing he will have nightmares about the action and violence of the film at night.
Suddenly, the happy family is confronted by an armed mugger. Thomas stands in front of Bruce to protect him as the man draws out a revolver. He demands Martha's necklace, but the enraged Thomas charges the thug instead, and is subsequently shot dead. As Martha rushes to his aid, a second shot is fired, claiming her life as well.
The Phantom Stranger takes Batman back in time to a costume party Thomas and Martha attended. Batman notes the similarity of the costume he wore at the time to his present day costume. The two team up to take down Lew Moxon and Joe Chill.
Video Games[edit source]
Batman: Arkham[edit source]
- Batman: Arkham Asylum: Bruce, while under the effects of Scarecrow's fear toxin sees a zombie form of his mother and father in the Arkham Asylum morgue.
- Batman: Arkham City: While near death after being exposed to the Titan poison affecting the Joker, Bruce imagines his mother asking him to step into the light to be with her and his father, who is standing by her side.
- Batman: Arkham Origins: Thomas and Martha's death are briefly remembered by Bruce after an encounter with the Joker. After stopping a breakout in Blackgate Prison, Batman investigates a murder similar to their own in Crime Alley.
- Batman: Arkham Knight: Thomas and Martha's bodies briefly appear in a hallucination suffered by Bruce whilst surrendering to Scarecrow.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us: His Batman costume from the Flashpoint series appears with the Lobo character DLC pack.
Batman: The Telltale Series[edit source]
- Flashpoint #1 (May 2011)
- Flashpoint #2 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #3 (August 2011)
- Flashpoint #3 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint #4 (August 2011)
- Flashpoint #5 (August 2011)
- Batman & Robin (vol. 2) #1 (September 2011)
- Justice League (vol. 2) #9 (May 2012)
- "DC killing off Batman’s 'Boy Wonder' Damian Wayne in new comic book". New York Post. Retrieved on 27 February 2013.
- "Batman's side-kick Robin to be killed off in next DC Comics issue". CBS News. Retrieved on 27 February 2013.