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Leslie Thompkins as seen in
The Batman Chronicles #18 (Fall 1999)
|First appearance||Detective Comics #457 (March 1976)|
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil
|Full name||Dr. Leslie Maurin Thompkins|
|Supporting character of||Batman
Dr. Leslie Maurin Thompkins (sometimes spelled Tompkins) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, and most frequently associated with Batman. Created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Dick Giordano, she first appeared in Detective Comics #457 (March 1976).
A close friend and medical colleague of Thomas Wayne, Leslie serves as a surrogate parent to his son Bruce after his parents are murdered, and later becomes a confidant in his crusade as Batman. In addition to being one of Batman's allies, Leslie is also a renowned medical professional who has dedicated her considerable skills toward helping Gotham City's less fortunate.
Fictional character biography
Leslie Thompkins made her first appearance in Detective Comics #457, in which she is depicted as comforting the young Bruce Wayne on the night that his parents were murdered. Inspired, she would spend the rest of her life helping slum kids avoid a life of crime, and every year on the anniversary of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Batman would visit the now elderly woman in Park Row (which was now referred to as Crime Alley). However, Leslie has no idea he is the boy she had helped decades before.
In later years, Leslie is portrayed as having been a close friend of Thomas Wayne. She takes it upon herself to look after Wayne's son, Bruce, after the boy's parents are murdered, often acting with the family butler Alfred Pennyworth as a parental figure and guardian. In Batman Special #1 (1984), after costumed cop-killer Wrath dies in combat with Batman, Leslie comforts Wrath's grieving girlfriend much as she had young Bruce. She also eventually learns that Bruce is Batman.
Leslie disapproves of Bruce's vigilantism, and feels partly responsible for his transformation into Batman, fearing that somehow she failed him as a role model. She has also been linked to Alfred romantically on more than one occasion.
She runs a clinic for criminals and drug addicts in Gotham City. While the majority of her patients are repeat offenders, she continues to do her job with great perseverance and determination. During the No Man's Land storyline, she runs Gotham's only medical clinic, operating under a strict 'No Violence' policy regardless of her patients' actions and intent. Even Killer Croc respects the rule and stays out.
Spoiler suffers serious injuries at the hands of Black Mask during the War Games crossover, and is taken to Leslie's clinic for treatment. Initially thinking Spoiler died of her injuries, Batman later discovers, during the War Crimes storyline, that Leslie deliberately treated her improperly, resulting in her death while hoping that it would teach Batman the lesson that his constant use of children as partners was only putting their lives in danger.
After liquidating her assets and giving them to Spoiler's daughter, she flees to Africa. Batman follows her and forces a confession, coldly informing her that he may not stop violence, but he had never thrown another body onto the pile in the hopes of making a statement. He warns her that she is now just another murderer in his eyes, and if she ever returned to the United States or practiced medicine again, he would bring her to justice.
A mysterious familiar figure has been stalking Tim Drake wearing Stephanie's Spoiler costume, which at one point Tim thinks he imagined it to be Stephanie herself. The stalker indeed turns out to be Stephanie; Robin #174 reveals that Leslie faked the girl's death and switched the body with an overdose victim who had a similar body type.
A 2008 Robin/Spoiler one-shot special shows both Leslie and Stephanie alive and in exile, protecting a village somewhere in Africa.
After the events of Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Leslie Thompkins has once again set up shop in Gotham, attempting to start over and continue to help unfortunates. She gained the Cavalier as her bodyguard and has, along with Barbara Gordon, begun helping a former associate of the Teen Titans named Wendy Harris deal with the loss of the use of her legs. Leslie meanwhile, has been welcomed back warmly by Alfred and Dick Grayson. Tim Drake, however, maintains a frosty attitude towards her due to her actions regarding Stephanie.
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Leslie Thompkins appears in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws. She is featured in Jason Todd's flashbacks as the Red Hood: she took him in at her clinic in Gotham City after he was beaten up by the Joker.
At the offices of Gotham Child Services, Killer Croc makes a violent entrance startling Dr. Leslie Thompkins and demanding that Jade be returned to him so that he can give her the things he never got. Leslie admits that Jade has been returned to the Ibanescu family. Killer Croc responds to Leslie that Jade is her only family now.
Green Lantern: Convergence
Pre-Crisis Leslie has spent a year inside a struggling Gotham City under a strange dome. She is devoting her time as a therapist. One of her patients is Guy Gardner; Leslie tries to help Guy understand that his devotion to the city's children is just as heroic as his past exploits as Green Lantern.
In other media
- Dr. Leslie Thompkins appears in several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Diana Muldaur. She is depicted as a lifelong friend and ally of Bruce Wayne, having attended medical school with his father, Thomas. She knows Batman's secret identity and serves as his on-site doctor, confidentially treating injuries that Bruce Wayne could not be publicly known to have without raising suspicion.
- When the series was retooled as The New Batman Adventures, Leslie is absent except for a cameo appearance in the episode "Chemistry".
- Leslie Thompkins appears in the live-action series Gotham played by Morena Baccarin. She first appears in the episode "Rogue's Gallery" as a medical practitioner at Arkham Asylum's female ward. She befriends James Gordon, who was reassigned to guard duty at Arkham. She helps him control a riot and apprehend an inmate who has apparently been turning her fellow patients into mindless zombies. It is soon revealed that the inmate in question is Jack Buchinsky, who escapes from Arkham Asylum with Aaron Danzing. Leslie visits Gordon at the Gotham City Police Department and shows him a doll that the "Sorceress" in Arkham's female wing uses to curse people. The doll is in the shape of Sal Maroni, leading Gordon to discover that the homicidal bank robber The Electrocutioner is coming after the mob boss. She later visits Gordon again after he arrests Buchinsky, and the two of them share a kiss. They soon begin a relationship. She becomes a medical examiner at the Gotham City Police Department, and frequently helps Gordon with cases. In the season finale, "All Happy Families Are Alike", she reluctantly provides trauma counseling for Gordon's ex-fiancée, Barbara Kean, who had been kidnapped by serial killer Jason Lennon, who had seemingly killed her parents. During one of their sessions, Barbara tells Leslie that she, not Lennon, killed her parents, and attacks Leslie with a knife. Leslie subdues Barbara just as Gordon arrives and learns what happened. In the second season, Leslie reveals that she is pregnant, and Gordon proposes to her.
- Leslie Thompkins is mentioned in the film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. She is mentioned to have cared for Tim Drake after he was driven insane by Joker.
- In the game Batman: Arkham City, Leslie Thompkins' medical clinic is located in the far northeast corner of the game map.
- In Gotham City Impostors, Leslie Thompkins's medical clinic can be found in Amusement Mile.
Short story collection
- In Marco Palmieri's short story "Best of All," featured in the non-canonical anthology The Further Adventures of The Joker, the Joker tells Batman that Leslie is his mother. He says that she committed him to a mental institution as a child after he murdered his father, who was abusing her. The story is ambiguous as to whether the Joker is telling the truth, with Leslie attributing the story to her habit of referring to various orphans she cared for in the past as her 'children'.
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 30. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8.
It was Dick Giordano who, among many other similar feats, drew the March 1976 fan-favorite issue #457 of Detective Comics to illustrate the fabled Denny O'Neil yarn "There is No Hope in Crime Alley".
- Gotham Knights #7 (September 2000)
- Batman Chronicles #18 (Fall 1999)
- Batman (vol. 1) #644 (October 2005)
- Robin (vol. 4) #170 (March 2008)
- Oracle: The Cure #3 (July 2009)
- Red Hood and the Outlaws #0
- Batman Eternal #27
- Green Lantern: Convergence #1 (April 2015)
- "What the Little Bird Told Him". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 12. January 19, 2015. Fox.
- "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 13. January 26, 2015. Fox.
- "The Scarecrow". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 15. February 9, 2015. Fox.
- "All Happy Families Are Alike". Gotham (TV series). Season 1. Episode 22. April 28, 2015. Fox.
- "Worse Than a Crime". Gotham (TV series). Season 2. Episode 11. November 30, 2015. Fox.