|First appearance||Detective Comics #33 (November 1939)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
|Full name||Thomas Wayne|
|Team affiliations||Wayne Enterprises|
|Supporting character of||Batman|
|Notable aliases||Dr. Wayne, Batman|
Thomas Wayne, M.D. is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, most commonly in the Batman comic book series. A gifted physician and philanthropist, Dr. Thomas Wayne is the father of Bruce Wayne and the husband of Martha Wayne. He is the inheritor of the Wayne family fortune after Patrick Wayne, which was built through industry and real estate by previous generations. He is first introduced in Detective Comics #33 (November 1939) in the first exposition of Batman's origin story. In the story, he and his wife are murdered by a mugger, traumatizing yet influencing their son to become Batman.
- 1 Background
- 2 Other versions
- 3 In other media
- 4 References
Thomas Wayne is seldom shown outside of Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth's memories of him, and often through Bruce's dreams and nightmares. He is frequently depicted as looking very much like his son, but sporting a thick mustache.
A notable occurrence in Thomas's biography was when Bruce falls 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 eventually rescues his terrified son from the cave.
Dr. Wayne's role in his son's future vigilante career is expanded upon in The First Batman, a Silver Age tale which reveals that Dr. Wayne attacks and defeats hoodlums while dressed like a "Bat-Man" for a masquerade ball. According to the story, Dr. Wayne's actions result in crime boss Lew Moxon being imprisoned; ten years later, Moxon orders Joe Chill to murder Dr. Wayne. Realizing Moxon ordered his parents killed, Batman confronts Moxon, now suffering from amnesia and thus has no memory of Dr. Wayne. When his costume is torn, Batman wears his father's in order to frighten Moxon. Sure enough, the costume restores Moxon's memory; the former crime boss panics, believing that Thomas's ghost is attacking, and flees into the streets and is struck and killed by a truck. These events were retold in the 1980 miniseries The Untold Legend of the Batman. Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Thomas as the "First Batman" was retconned - he instead attends the masquerade ball as Zorro. This was retconned once more in the pages of Superman/Batman, where Superman, hoping to reverse some universe-altering change in the time streams, lands in a version of Gotham City in which Thomas never died, finding him giving out Halloween candy in the original Batman costume.
In many of the modern interpretations of the character, such as those by Frank Miller and Jeph Loeb, Thomas Wayne is portrayed as having been a distant, stern father, bestowing more kindness and generosity on his patients than his own son.
In Batman: The Long Halloween, a flashback reveals that Thomas Wayne saved the life of gangster Carmine Falcone. Falcone's father Vincent Falcone came to Wayne Manor and begged Thomas to save his dying son, who had been shot by rival gangster Luigi Maroni. Thomas wanted to take the younger Falcone to the 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's life, he was offered a reward or favor, but refused to accept any form of payment. Unbeknownst to Thomas, young Bruce watched this all in silence from afar. Years later, Bruce contemplates whether Gotham would have been better off had his father let Falcone die; Alfred replies that Thomas would have helped anyone in need.
In Superman/Batman #50, it is revealed that, while on a drive with a pregnant Martha Wayne, Thomas witnesses a strange object fall to Earth. As he inspects it, Thomas' consciousness is transported to Krypton, and presented in a holographic form. There, he encounters Jor-El, wishing 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 crimefighting technology. Thomas recorded his encounter in a diary, which was discovered by Bruce in the present day.
When exiting a theatre, Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne are murdered by a mugger right in front of their son Bruce Wayne. This tragedy shocks Gotham and leads to Park Row (the street where it occurred) being labeled Crime Alley. Most importantly, it serves as the motivation for Bruce one day becoming Batman.
Due to the many writers who have worked on 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.
- The murderer is consistently identified as Joe Chill, though the mythos alternates between versions where Batman learns the killer's identity, and ones in which he never finds out. Chill has also alternated between being a mugger who randomly selected the wealthy Waynes, and a hitman who murdered them intentionally (the former is the most common interpretation). Tim Burton's Batman departs from the most common interpretation by portraying a young Jack Napier - the future Joker - as the murderer.
- The reason given for Chill leaving Bruce alive has varied. Sometimes it was because Chill could not bring himself to kill a child, and sometimes because Chill heard a policeman's whistle, police siren, or a rapidly approaching policeman. Often, it is because of the cold, frightening look that Bruce gave Chill as he kneels beside his dead parents; Chill panics and runs away. In the version presented in The Untold Legend of the Batman, Batman theorizes that Chill, a hitman hired by gangster Lew Moxon, deliberately left Bruce alive to report that his parents were killed by a robber. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Chill of the Night!", a dying Moxon says that he only intended for Thomas to die, and even expressed regret over the death of Martha, especially as it left Bruce an orphan.
- An original script draft of the 1989 film Batman had Rupert Thorne hire Chill to assassinate Thomas and Martha Wayne, because he was running for mayor against Thomas Wayne.
- 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 third version has starred "Tyrone Fairbanks". Tim Burton's Batman has the Waynes leaving The Monarch Theatre having seen Footlight Frenzy. Batman Begins has the Waynes leaving an opera house showing Mefistofele at the time of the murder, which they leave early due to Bruce being frightened by the bat-like costumes, giving Bruce the additional guilt of leading his parents to Chill. In The Dark Knight's Visual Guide it says that Bruce would rather have seen The Mark of Zorro at a movie house.
Batman #430 includes a scene in which Thomas Wayne was having trouble with some investments, and is going to sell short. Bruce thinks that he needs some exercise to take his mind off of it and so offers to play catch with him, but Thomas angrily says no, striking him across the face. A hurt and resentful Bruce declares to his mother that he wishes Thomas were dead. Thomas takes the family to a movie to make it up to his son, and in an ironic twist of fate, Bruce's parents would be murdered that night; Bruce is haunted with guilt for years afterward.
Batman: Dark Victory asserts that the Wayne murders were the main cause of much of the corruption and crime in Gotham City; once it became clear that even wealthy, important people could be murdered so easily, citizens began to lose faith in the 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. The murder takes place 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.) In comic book continuity, the date of the murder has varied, although the 26th of June and September, the current canonical date, are the most significant examples.
Thomas and Martha Wayne are notable as two comic book characters who have remained dead. Since his death, Thomas 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. In Bruce's hallucination, his parents disapprove of his costumed crusade, wishing that he would put their deaths behind him and move on with his life. As she and Thomas depart, they assure Bruce that just because the passing of time has lessened his grief does not mean that he no longer loves them. As a result, Bruce is able to accept that he is Batman because he chooses to be, not because he has to be.
Alleged double life
During Batman R.I.P., it is alleged that Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne were leading a double life, secretly partaking in criminal endeavors, drug abuse and orgies while presenting a façade of respectability to the outside world. The alleged evidence is revealed to be doctored in the aftermath of the storyline, however.
Doctor Simon Hurt, head of The Black Glove and the mastermind behind Batman R.I.P., actually claims to be Thomas Wayne to both Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. Although both of them rebuke him without hesitation, Hurt never explicitly drops the claim.
In the ongoing follow-up series, Batman & Robin, it is suggested that some, if not all, of these allegations have begun to circulate around Gotham; Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne attend a high society function where a few party guests vaguely mention the existence of rumors surrounding the family, and Dick tries to tie Bruce's absence from the public eye with being occupied with clearing his family's reputation. Matters come to a head when Hurt returns to the city, claiming to be Thomas Wayne in order to take control of Wayne Manor and establish himself as the new Batman, but Grayson and Damian outsmart him.
It is hinted at during the course of the Batman and Robin series that Simon Hurt's actual identity is Thomas Wayne, albeit one from the 17th century who was a 'black sheep' of the Wayne family and prolongs his life through occult rituals. The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries and its fallout Bruce Wayne: The Road Home cements Hurt's status as the elder Thomas Wayne from the Puritan Ages, driven insane by his meeting with Barbatos, the Hyper-Adapter sent through time along with Bruce Wayne to ensure the effectiveness of Darkseid's "Omega Sanction".
Batman: Castle of the Bat
In Batman: Castle of the Bat, Doctor Bruce Wayne discovers the preserved brain of his father deep below the research university where he works. He steals this and other body parts in a desperate attempt to revive his beloved father from death. This doesn't work out well due to various factors outside his control, but the part of the creature that still recognizes and loves his son does its best to help Bruce escape his enemies and expose the person responsible for the Waynes' murders; Thomas had discovered that one of his colleagues was killing people to perfect the preservation fluid used to store organs (Including Thomas's own brain, claimed by his killer after his death).
Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty
In Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty, Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne are saved from death when Valentin Sinclair- really Vandal Savage, a man who has a long-standing interest and admiration for the Wayne family despite the fact that they often end up opposing him when they learn about his plans- scares off Joe Chill. Sinclair then becomes a partner in Wayne Enterprises, only to have the Waynes killed when they threaten to expose his plan to divert the meteor that gave him his powers back to Earth in order to study it. Their deaths come at the hands of Sinclair's fear-inducing henchman Scarecrone who causes them to remember the mugging, which drives them to flee Chill by running off their balcony. This prompts Bruce to become Batman to investigate.
In Batman: Holy Terror, depicting an alternate timeline where Oliver Cromwell established a theocratic government across the globe, Thomas Wayne is the chief physician of the Privy Council, but when it is discovered that he is treating various 'enemies of the state' such as Jews or homosexuals, the Star Chamber votes by secret ballot to have him and Martha executed and make it look like a random mugging.
Batman: Earth One
In the graphic novel written by Geoff Johns and with art by Gary Frank, Batman: Earth One, Thomas Wayne was a physician who had run for mayor against Oswald Cobblepot. Cobblepot had attempted to arrange his opponent's murder during the latter's outing to a movie with his family, but a mugger got to them first and killed Thomas and his wife. It is also implied that both he and Alfred are keeping a traumatic secret.
The Flashpoint reality version of Thomas Wayne appears as Batman. In this continuity, Thomas turns into a crime-fighting vigilante after he and Martha Wayne witness their son Bruce Wayne murdered by a gunman. When Barry Allen enters the Batcave, Batman attacks Allen, but is surprised to hear Barry call him Bruce, with the revelation that Bruce died years ago allowing Barry to deduce that he is facing Thomas Wayne rather than his son. Allen reveals to the alternate Batman that the timeline has been altered. Batman stops fighting and asks Barry the details of his son's life after his mainstream counterpart's own death. Willing to change history and ready to sacrifice his own life to restore his son's, Batman helps Barry build a device to recreate the accident that gave Barry speed powers.
This iteration of Batman 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 his first attempt to restore the Flash's powers. Azzarello stated that Wayne does not care about crime outside Gotham City and that he funds his war on crime with his successful casinos. Batman works with James Gordon, the chief of Gotham's privatized police who appears to be aware of his identity. Oswald Cobbelpot is his security chief, mainly handling the casinos while Batman fights crime. The local judge Harvey Dent is distressed when the judge's twin children are kidnapped by the Joker, threatening Wayne with legal action.[clarification needed] Gordon calls Batman and tries to convince him that he does not have to fight villains alone. Without Batman's help, Gordon tries to stop the Joker once and for all but is trapped and killed. The Joker is then revealed to be none other than Martha driven insane by grief following their son's murder. Batman can't bring himself to kill the Joker, and so he feels responsible for the Joker's crimes. After Batman saves one of Dent's children who had accidentally been shot by Gordon during a rescue attempt, Batman resumes pursuing the Joker. During a showdown, Batman reveals his recent discovery that they were supposed to die that night at Crime Alley and how they are alive now. Batman promises the Joker that he will do whatever it takes to bring their son back, even if it costs their lives. The revelations apparently restores Martha's sanity and seemingly reconciles. But when Martha asks what their son turns into after their counterparts' deaths and Batman reveals, Martha hysterically flees from Batman and falls to death through the same hole that their son once fell into as a child.
After a second attempt successfully restores Barry's powers, Batman works with the Flash to rally a team to oppose Eobard Thawne's changes to history. Batman contacts Cyborg for help in tracking down the government branch "Project: Superman", only to be disappointed at Kal-El's frail appearance. Kal-El's powers manifest after being exposed to sunlight and flies away. After escaping Project Superman with the help of Element Woman, the Flash's memories change more drastically, forcing Batman to attempt to prevent the speedster's memories from altering. Batman injects the Flash with a drug that slows down electrical activity in the brain. After Hal Jordan's death during an attempt to stop the World War, the Flash elects to try to save this altered world, to which Batman joins the Flash as the group heads to New Themyscira in Batman's plane and are joined by Enchantress. During the final battle with both Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the battle seems to be in their favor until Billy Batson's death and Eobard finally appears. Batman stabs Thawne in the back using an Amazonian sword and learns that altered timeline was actually created by the Flash as part of an attempt to save his own mother. Before acting on this new information, Batman is fatally wounded by a traitorous Enchantress. Before the Flash leaves to try and restore the old world, Batman thanks and gives the Flash a letter to his son, expressing his confidence that Barry will recreate the better world the Flash has spoken of and expressing his regret for what will happen to Barry's mother. Despite Pandora's actions resulting in the Flash's failure of restoring the original continuum, Thomas’s will is done regardless as his son is alive and still is Batman in another alternate timeline. Barry gives Thomas's letter to Bruce Wayne and that the timeline could not have been restored without Thomas's help.
The alternate Batman's letter encourages Bruce Wayne to accept their deaths and move on, as well as encouraging Batman to pursue a closer relationship with his own son, and keeps the letter as a part of the Batcave's display dedicated to his parents' memory. However, when his son is later killed, Bruce is left filled with as much violent rage as Thomas's Flashpoint counterpart. Bruce is later obsessed with resurrecting his son, paralleling Thomas's actions for Bruce, eventually using Darkseid's Chaos Shard to bring his son back to life.
In the Convergence crossover, when the alternate Brainiac miniaturized the reality of the Flashpoint universe, Thomas Wayne had returned alongside Captain Thunder, Kal-El, Abin Sur and Cyborg. Thomas prepares for war against the Pre-Flashpoint Gotham City. He ponders if this Gotham City belongs to the same world that both Flash comes from and where Bruce is alive. Thomas also mentioned that he is unsure of his being "dead" in battle and forced to fight their opposite Superman by the voice of Telos. While he watched digital renderings in the Batcave of the Pre-Flashpoint heroes against Superman, he was confronted by Kal-El, who ask to help the other-reality Lois Lane's pregnancy and convinces him that the other-reality heroes are not enemies. Superman arrives and pulls his counterpart elsewhere. Thomas is willing to help and successfully helps Lois give birth to their son. While leaving them pleasurable, Thomas then tells Superman that he has to protect his newborn child which Superman agrees. Following the conclusion of the Convergence, all parallel universes and alternate timelines are restored and composed as the new multiverse, including the Flashpoint reality and thus Thomas remain exist as the result.
JLA: Earth 2
In JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, the Thomas Wayne of the antimatter universe is the father of the supervillain Owlman. Like his original counterpart, he married Martha Kane and fathered Bruce Wayne. However, this version also had a second child, Thomas Wayne Jr. After Martha and Bruce are gunned down by a crooked policeman when Thomas Sr. refused to accompany him for questioning (when Thomas Wayne performed an "illegal medical operation"), Thomas Jr. becomes Owlman to get revenge on the justice system. It is later revealed that Thomas Wayne Sr. is currently acting as commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department, seeking to bring his son to justice with the help of a cadre of idealistic officers. Owlman finds it his goal to "punish" his father for letting his mother and brother die.
Superman: Red Son
In Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son, Batman's (unnamed) parents are anti-communist protesters in the Soviet Union. They are executed in their home by NKVD Commissar Pyotr Roslov for printing and distributing anti-communist pamphlets. Their son witnesses the murders and attempts to overthrow the Communist Party of the Soviet Union when he is an adult.
The fifth issue of the comic book continuation of the television series Smallville, written by executive story editor Bryan Q. Miller, reveals that Lionel Luthor invited Thomas to join the secret society Veritas with Virgil Swann, which Thomas declined.
The New 52
In the revised Earth-Two alternate universe of "The New 52", Thomas Wayne is revealed to be the second version of Batman, having succeeded his son as the incumbent through use of the Miraclo pill of Hourman (Rex Tyler) which enhances his strength and agility. He states that he is 65 years old. In contrast to his depiction on the Prime Earth, he and Martha Wayne are targeted for assassination due to Thomas's Mafia connections and subsequent efforts to "straighten out" when Bruce was born. Thomas hides the fact that he survived for many years in order to keep Bruce safe. Eventually, when the first version of Batman tracks Thomas down, he learns the truth and rejects Thomas's reason for being "dead" for most of Bruce's life, thus discouraging him from ever having any future relationship with his son, and by extension Bruce and the former Catwoman Selina Kyle Wayne's family, however he watched them from afar and tried to be as involved as he could, particularly with their daughter Helena. After Bruce's death saving Earth 2 from an Apokoliptan invasion, Thomas honors him by taking up the "mantle of the Bat".
After Earth-2's destruction in the war with Apokolips, Thomas Wayne is one of the few survivors transferred to Telos's world, along with Dick Grayson and other heroes. While investigating this world, Thomas travels with Dick into a variation of the pre-Flashpoint Gotham City, where he has an unknown conversation with Bruce before he departs with Dick in a flying Batmobile. When they are cornered by the Club of Villains, who pursued them out of the city, Thomas sacrifices himself in a suicide bomb blast, destroying most of the Club of Villains in the process, his last words being to inform the Club that they will never hurt another Batman.
In the revised Earth-Three alternate universe of "The New 52", Thomas Wayne Sr. is featured in Owlman's origin story. In stark contrast to Batman's father who was a highly skilled surgeon and philanthropist who had saved countless lives during his time, Earth-Three Thomas Wayne is a sociopathic doctor who often kills his patients (Martha claims that this is due to a "surgical fetish") and spends his money on lawyers to cover up his patients' deaths as accidents. Alfred kills him along with Martha and Bruce Wayne as per Thomas Wayne Jr.'s orders. Owlman later states that his father was a weak man and wonders why Batman would devote his life to the memory of Thomas Wayne of Prime Earth.
DC Comics Bombshells
In the opening of the first issue of the comics DC Comics Bombshells, set in an alternate history 1940, Thomas and Martha Wayne's lives are saved by an already-existing Batwoman, implying that Bruce Wayne will never grow up to become Batman.
In other media
- While Thomas never appears in the 1960s Batman television series, Bruce has brought up that the murder of his parents is what motivates him to take down criminals. In the first episode, Bruce mentions his father's law books, implying that his father wasn't a doctor like the other versions.
- Thomas Wayne appears on the Fox television series Gotham, portrayed by Grayson McCouch in the pilot. His and Martha Wayne's murder is the main focus of the series. In "The Anvil or the Hammer", it is revealed by Sid Bunderslaw that Thomas had kept quiet about the illegal activities at Wayne Enterprises. In the second season, Thomas is revealed to be a dear friend of Hugo Strange who attempted to reason with him prior to his death to not oppose the group behind Wayne Enterprises.
- In the television series Arrow, an Earth-2 version of Oliver Queen's father becomes the Arrow after his son's death, similar to Thomas and Bruce's reversal in Flashpoint.
- Thomas Wayne appears with his wife in Super Powers. In a flashback in the episode "The Fear", they are confronted by an unidentified mugger, just after watching a Robin Hood film with their son Bruce Wayne. When Thomas tries to fight the mugger, Bruce says "No Dad, he's got a..." and lightning flashes as his parents are shot. This was the first time Batman's origin was shown outside of the comics.
- Dr. Thomas Wayne is alluded on The Batman cartoon series. Dr. Wayne was a good friend of Marion Grange (mayor of Gotham City for the first four seasons), Lucius Fox (CEO of Wayne Enterprises) and Alfred Pennyworth. After taking their son to watch the film The Cloaked Rider, Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered by an unidentified mugger. In several episodes in the first season, Bruce Wayne goes over his parents' murder several times. In the fourth season's premiere, Batman says that the "man who murdered my parents was never brought to justice" in compassion to the killer of Dick Grayson's parents. Also in the future, it was misinterpreted that Thomas was Batman while Martha was Batwoman and their son was Red Robin.
- Thomas Wayne is featured in several times in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Corey Burton (in "Invasion of the Secret Santas!") as well as Greg Ellis (in "Dawn of the Deadman!") and Adam West (in "Chill of the Night!"). He appears in a flashback of the episode "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" and also appears as a ghost in the episode "Dawn of the Deadman!". The character has a more central role in the episode "Chill of the Night!", where the Phantom Stranger takes Batman back in time to a costume party his parents attended. Batman notes that Thomas's costume is very similar to his own design. Batman teams up with his father to fight a gang of robbers led by Lew Moxon and learns new information about his parents' murder.
- Thomas Wayne appears in several flashback sequences in Beware the Batman, voiced by Anthony Ruivivar. He appears in the episodes "Secrets", "Fall", "Monsters", and "Unique".
DC Animated Universe
- Thomas Wayne appears in Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Richard Moll (in "Nothing to Fear", "Dreams in Darkness" and "Two-Face") and by Kevin Conroy (for all other appearances). In this version, Thomas and his wife Martha Wayne are murdered in Crime Alley by an unidentified murderer. The murder is only occasionally alluded to via nightmares. In the episode "Nothing to Fear", Batman is under the influence of the Scarecrow's fear toxin and has a hallucination of his father being ashamed. In the episode "Dreams in Darkness", Batman is once again drugged with fear toxin and sees his parents walking towards a tunnel then runs towards them telling them to stop. They enter the tunnel, which is revealed to be the barrel of a giant gun, dripping blood. Batman screams as the world is bleached white and a loud shot is heard. In the episode "Two-Face", Batman has a nightmare failing to save the titular villain while his parents look on to which Thomas asks "Why couldn't you save us, son?". The series also makes use of the rose motif that the films Batman and Batman Forever associate with the murder. Bruce Wayne leaves roses at the site of his parents' murder on the event's anniversary (as he does in the comics except that he leaves the roses on their graves). As in the comics, his friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins serves as one of his son's legal guardians, and Thomas was also close friends with Dr. Matthew Thorne and Dr. Long (faculty of Gotham University).
- Thomas Wayne appears in Justice League Unlimited, voiced again by Kevin Conroy albeit uncredited. In the episode "For the Man Who Has Everything", Batman is temporarily trapped by the hallucinogenic plant Black Mercy where his perfect dream world shows his father fighting and disarming Joe Chill. Batman knows that this is not real, however, and so the Black Mercy plant is removed, ending the hallucination with the sound of a gunshot.
Batman (1989 film series)
- Thomas Wayne appeared in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, portrayed by David Baxt, intended before for Adam West. In a flashback, the Waynes are ambushed in an alley by Jack Napier / The Joker's gang. As Thomas tries to fight off the gang members, Jack Napier shot him and Martha.
- Rather than use footage from the first film, Batman Forever features a new flashback to the murder of the Waynes, with Michael Scranton as Thomas Wayne.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
- Linus Roache portrayed Dr. Thomas Wayne in the 2005 Christopher Nolan film Batman Begins. In this incarnation, he is a surgeon at the Gotham City hospital, and of the fifth generation of the Wayne family to live in Wayne Manor. He is the chairman of Wayne Enterprises until his death. When the young Bruce Wayne falls into a cave, Thomas personally rescues his son by rappelling down into the cave. Thomas says to his son, "Bruce, why do we fall?...So that we can learn to pick ourselves up again.". According to Alfred Pennyworth, he and Martha Wayne believed the example they set would help inspire Gotham's wealthy elite to participate in helping the city. One of his endeavors included building an efficient public transit system in the form of raised trains, in order to provide free transportation to the people of Gotham. In this version, he and Martha are murdered at gunpoint by Joe Chill. They leave the performance of the Mefistofele opera early when Bruce is scared by performers dressed as bats. Dr. Wayne tries to protect his wife after Chill tries to rip off her necklace. Chill then shoots and kills both of them. Wayne's last words to his son are "Bruce...don't be afraid.". It is revealed in the film that the deaths of two such prominent citizens encourages Gotham City's elite to bring it back from the brink of ruin (temporarily foiling Ra's al Ghul's plan to destroy Gotham's economy).
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne is helped by his father's memory with the strength to climb out and escape of The Pit prison in the Middle East that superficially resembles the well that Thomas rescued his son from as a child.
DC Extended Universe
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan portrayed Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this version, the Waynes leave the theatre after seeing Excalibur. A mugger (possibly Joe Chill) holds them at gunpoint under a train bridge. Thomas tries to punch him, but he shoots, resulting in Thomas collapsing. His wife Martha Wayne tries to stop the mugger from killing Bruce, but she is also killed by him. Then, the mugger runs away, probably due to fear of police. Before dying, Thomas sees his dead wife, and calls out her name ("Martha"). That was his last word.
- Thomas Wayne is referenced several times in The Batman vs. Dracula.
- Dr. Thomas Wayne appears in Batman: Gotham Knight, voiced by Jason Marsden.
- Thomas Wayne appears in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, voiced by Bruce Timm.
- The Flashpoint iteration of Batman appears in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, voiced by Kevin McKidd. Just like in the original Flashpoint universe, Thomas Wayne turns into a crime-fighting vigilante after his son's death while Martha Wayne goes insane and turns into the Joker. Batman doesn't care about crime outside Gotham City and has his successful casinos fund his seemingly fruitless fight on crime. Despite his cynical outlook, Batman reluctantly assist Barry Allen with a device to recreate the accident that gave Barry the powers as the Flash. After the first attempt fails and the second attempt restores Barry's powers, Batman and the Flash contact Cyborg for help in tracking down the government branch that hid the frail Kal-El. When Kal-El's freedom failed along with the Flash's painful altered memories, the alternate Dark Knight tries to prevent the speedster's mental deterioration with his son's memory. As the World War between Aquaman and Wonder Woman reaches its breaking point, Cyborg's crude team heads to the final battle in Batman's plane. During all the chaos, Batman and Grifter kill off Black Manta to which Batman dryly refers to Grifter as the "boy idiot" before the alternate Dark Knight gets injured by the Ocean Master. In the middle of Professor Zoom's monologue to the Flash, Batman shoots the evil speedster in the head with Joe Chill's gun. Before the Flash leaves to escape the alternate world, Thomas gives Flash a letter for his son. In the New 52 universe, Barry gives Thomas's letter to Batman (Bruce Wayne).
- Thomas Wayne briefly appears during a flashback in Son of Batman.
- Thomas Wayne appears in Batman vs. Robin, voiced again by Kevin Conroy.
- Thomas Wayne makes a cameo in Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu.
- The Flashpoint Batman's outfit is one of the playable costumes for Batman (Bruce Wayne) in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- Thomas Wayne appears in flashbacks in Batman: The Telltale Series, voiced by Troy Baker. In this continuity, it is revealed that he and Martha had criminal ties to Carmine Falcone and Mayor Hamilton Hill. It is implied that their murder at the hands of Joe Chill may have been linked to their double lives. It is revealed that Thomas was responsible for forcibly committing a number of people to Arkham Asylum, including Oswald Cobblepot's mother. When the footage is revealed, it tarnishes Bruce's reputation.
Thomas Wayne is featured in the Batman Arkham series where Kevin Conroy reprises the role.
- In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman, while under the influence of the Scarecrow's fear toxin, experiences flashbacks of his parents' murder. Additionally, a bench in Arkham Asylum dedicated to Thomas and Martha Wayne is the answer to one of the Riddler's riddles, which leads to Thomas and Martha's unlockable biography.
- Thomas Wayne is alluded in Batman: Arkham City. The Monarch Theatre (the site of the Wayne murders) is featured in Arkham City. Near the gates of Ra's al Ghul's hideout, Batman collapses from the effects of the Joker's blood poison and sees a vision of his parents in front of a light, imploring their son to come into it and reunite with them. However, Batman shrugs it off and continues on. If the player visits the site of the murder, Batman discovers a pair of chalk outlines resembling his parents' bodies, as well as a bouquet of flowers and a tape recording from Hugo Strange, taunting the Dark Knight. The player then has the option to "pay respect" to the site, causing Batman to kneel at the site for a time. The Waynes' murders is also briefly mentioned in one of the Penguin's interview tapes during which Penguin tells Strange of being overjoyed after hearing the Waynes had been murdered, revealing hatred of the Wayne family due mainly to the Cobblepot family's long standing feud with the Wayne family.
- The character is alluded in Batman: Arkham Origins. Earth Two Batman's costume is an alternate outfit which can be used in challenge mode, online multiplayer, and story mode once the main story is completed. Following his capture of the Joker at the Royal Hotel and return to the Batcave, Batman has a vision of his parents' murder in Crime Alley which actually shows Thomas and then Martha being gunned down by a mugger while investigating a murder in the same location (the victims are later revealed to be two of Bruce's associates who were murdered by an obsessive stalker). The site of the Waynes' murder can be found in Park Row's Crime Alley behind the Monarch Theatre (in the same location as it appeared in Arkham City). The pair of chalk outlines of Thomas and Martha are present along with a single rose.
- Downloadable Content (DLC) allows players to play in the Flashpoint Batman suit in Batman: Arkham Knight.
- Gardner Fox, Finger, Bill (w), Kane, Bob (p), Meldoff, Sheldon (i). "The Legend of the Batman - Who He is, and How he Came to Be" Detective Comics 33: 1, 2/1 - 8 (November 1939), DC Comics
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