|First appearance||Detective Comics #457 (March 1976)|
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil (writer)|
Dick Giordano (artist)
|Full name||Leslie Maurin Thompkins|
|Supporting character of||Batman|
Leslie Maurin Thompkins (sometimes spelled Tompkins) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, usually as a supporting character in stories featuring Batman, of whom she is an ally. 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 dedicates her life to helping slum kids avoid a life of crime. Every year on the anniversary of his parents' murder, Batman visits Leslie 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, Bruce's father. She takes it upon herself to look after 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.
Wrath's girlfriend, former Mafioso Gayle Hudson, becomes a close friend to Leslie. At one point this protects Leslie from two attackers, who fear what retribution Gayle might bring.
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.
Stephanie Brown 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 Stephanie 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 Stephanie'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.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Leslie Thompkins appears, younger than she is usually depicted, 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 within an inch of his life by the Joker.
At the offices of Gotham Child Services, Killer Croc makes a violent entrance, startling Leslie and demanding that Jade be returned to him so that he can give her the things he never had. Leslie admits that Jade has been returned to the Ibanescu family.
In the DC Rebirth relaunch, she has a secret clinic set up in an abandoned building previously used as a base by Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley), where she is treating his injuries from a bombing earlier in the story. She is shown to disapprove of Batman's plan to "get teenagers involved" meaning the team Batman and Batwoman had assembled in the recent Detective Comics.
She was attacked and apparently killed after being infected with a variation of Joker Toxin in Detective Comics #995, though in Detective Comics #999, it is revealed that the whole event was only a simulation.
Green Lantern: Convergence
During the Convergence storyline, the Pre-Crisis version of Leslie Thompkins 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 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 was absent except for a cameo appearance in the episode "Chemistry".
Leslie "Lee" Thompkins appears in the live-action series Gotham, played by Morena Baccarin. This version of the character is a physician who has an on-off relationship with Jim Gordon, and who briefly serves as the leader of the Narrows alongside Edward Nygma. By the end of the series, she is married to Gordon and helping him raise his daughter, Barbara Gordon.
- Leslie Thompkins appears as Sister Leslie in the film Batman: Gotham by Gaslight voiced by Grey Griffin.
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'.
- Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7624-3663-7.
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.
- O'Neil, Dennis (February 19, 2015). "Dennis O'Neil: Gotham's Doctor, Batman's Saint". ComicMix. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. New York City: Del Rey Books. p. 348. ISBN 9780345501066.
- "Batman Confidential" #13
- Gotham Knights #7 (September 2000)
- Batman Chronicles #18 (Fall 1999)
- Azrael: Agent of the Bat #70
- 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
- Detective Comics #935
- Green Lantern: Convergence #1 (April 2015)
- Hughes, William (October 22, 2014). "Morena Baccarin Joins Gotham as Dr. Leslie Thompkins". The A.V. Club. San Francisco, California: j2 Global. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- Trumbore, Dave (November 14, 2017). "'Gotham by Gaslight' Blu-ray Details Confirm Epic Cast, Release Date and Special Features". Collider. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Palmieri, Marco (1990). "Best of All". In Greenberg, Martin (ed.). The Further Adventures of The Joker. New York City: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-40246-3.