The murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne

Omaggio di Zoa Studio a Thomas e Martha Wayne

It is June 26 at 10:47 pm when Thomas and Martha Wayne are killed. Apparently, this would seem a news story but, in fact, it is imaginary. We remember this because Thomas and Martha Wayne are not just any two people but they are the parents of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman.

Usually here at Zoa Studio we use to celebrate real births and deaths, but this time we want to make an exception, telling you who, in the fiction of the comic, Batman’s parents are and how they died.

Who are Thomas and Martha Wayne

Thomas Wayne

Thomas Wayne is a fictional character created by Bob Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics # 33 (November 1939). Doctor, billionaire and philanthropist, he rarely appears and is seen only through the memories of his son Bruce Wayne or Alfred Pennyworth.

Thomas Wayne has no power. He is not even a superhero but he is a good and generous man. He has dedicated his life and his fortune to helping the less fortunate in Gotham.

Little interested in business in the financial circles, he decided to advance his career as a doctor, saving the lives of many people.

Thomas Wayne is portrayed as someone who looks a lot like Bruce Wayne but also has a very thick mustache. In one story it is said that Thomas Wayne is sort of the first Batman as he had arrested thugs at a masquerade ball and was dressed as … a bat!

However Thomas Wayne is a mere human being, therefore totally vulnerable!

There are many alternative versions of Thomas Wayne. For example in Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s “JLA: Earth 2”, Thomas Wayne is still alive and has even become the Gotham Police Commissioner.

Martha Wayne

Like Thomas Wayne, Martha was created by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson and first appeared in Detective Comics # 33 (November 1939). Martha Wayne is the wife of a doctor and millionaire Thomas Wayne and the mother of Bruce Wayne.

She too rarely appears and is only seen through the memories of Bruce Wayne or Alfred Pennyworth. Martha Wayne has no powers. She is not even a superhero. But she was known to be, like her husband, a good and generous person.

Martha has dedicated her life and her fortune to helping the less fortunate in Gotham. Like her husband, she was not very interested in business in financial circles and she preferred to use her fortune to create various foundations and charities. The character has no clothing, gadgets, or special equipment. She has never worn a costume except to masquerade balls. Martha resides with her husband at Wayne Manor and is also very attached to Alfred Pennyworth. She is a very beautiful and devoted woman who loves her son very much.

As with her husband, there are many alternate versions of Martha Wayne. For example, in Mark Millar’s Superman Red Son, Martha and her husband Thomas are Russian nationals and oppose Stalin’s regime. In retaliation, they will be executed by the head of the NKVD, Pierre Roslov. Their son survived him and he will then decide to take revenge and overthrow Stalin’s communist regime by becoming Batman.

How did Bruce’s parents die?

On the famous June 26th Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered by a criminal on their way to the cinema to see “The Mask of Zorro.” The show the Waynes went to see before the assault varies from version to version: the movie of the years ’20 The Sign of Zorro with Douglas Fairbanks or the 1940s version of the same film with Tyrone Power. In Batman Begins it is about Mefistofele, the work of Arrigo Boito.

Young Bruce, then eight years old, will be traumatized and decide to avenge his parents by fighting crime: Batman is born.

It should be added that, considering the large number of writers who have written about Batman, some facts about Wayne’s murder vary from film to film. For example, Bruce’s age at the time of the event typically ranges from six to ten years. However, the authors decided to set it at eight years. The Batman Begins movie confirms this thesis.

Who is Thomas and Martha Wayne’s killer?

The killer is almost always Joe Chill, although according to some stories Batman has never discovered the identity of the latter. It is unclear if Chill was there by accident, he was a robber or if he was a hitman tasked with killing the Waynes with forethought.

Both director Christophen Nolan in Batman Begins, and Zack Snyder in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, choose to follow this version. This last film begins and ends with a death, that of the Waynes and that of Superman. The cannon shot fired at Superman’s funeral echoes the bullet fired from Joe Chill’s gun at the beginning of the film. Snyder said the cyclical nature of the film was important to him and Thomas and Martha Wayne’s deaths broke something, while Superman’s death allowed healing to begin, not just for Bruce Wayne but for humanity.

And who hasn’t noticed that Batman and Superman’s mothers are both called Martha?

In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film Chili is replaced by Jack Napier who will become the future Joker. This version of the murder gives a different view of things: when Batman confronts Joker, his enemy, the viewer witnesses a unique moment, that of a personal battle between Bruce Wayne and the killer of his parents.

Tim Burton is not the only one to have made the Joker the murderer of the Waynes. In the Joker by Todd Philips (masterpiece film in which Joaquin Phoenix won the Oscar in 2020however, the clown Arthur Fleck is indirectly responsible for the death of Batman’s parents. In fact, Fleck kills a citizen of Gotham live, triggering riots in the city in which the Wayne spouses are also involved. But he doesn’t kill them, he’s a rebel to do it, he doesn’t even rob them, but he sues Joker and hits.

In the prequel series Gotham, it is Matches Malone, a mafia informant on the city’s underworld, who is responsible for the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Whoever is the culprit, today we remember this imaginary date to talk about the birth of Batman, the hero. If, nowadays, he were real rather than fictional, he would do a lot of good for humanity.



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