|First appearance||Detective Comics #33 (November 1939)|
|Full name||Thomas Alan Wayne|
|Team affiliations||Wayne Enterprises|
Justice League Incarnate
|Supporting character of||Batman|
|Notable aliases||Batman (Flashpoint & DC Rebirth)|
Thomas Alan Wayne, M.D. is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He is the father of Bruce Wayne (Batman), and husband of Martha Wayne as well as the paternal grandfather of Damian Wayne. Wayne was introduced in Detective Comics #33 (November 1939), the first exposition of Batman's origin story. A gifted surgeon and philanthropist to Gotham City, Wayne inherited the Wayne family fortune after Patrick Wayne. When Wayne and his wife are murdered in a street mugging, Bruce is inspired to fight crime in Gotham as the vigilante Batman.
Wayne was revived in Geoff Johns' alternate timeline comic Flashpoint (2011), in which he plays a major role as a hardened version of Batman, whose son was killed instead of his wife and himself, and dies again by the end of the storyline. Wayne returned to the main DC Universe in DC Rebirth, as a revived amalgamation of his original self killed by Joe Chill and his Flashpoint Batman self killed in "The Button".
As a key figure in the origin of Batman, Thomas Wayne has appeared in multiple forms of media. Notable portrayals of the character in live-action include Linus Roache in Batman Begins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Brett Cullen in Joker, and Luke Roberts in The Batman. Ben Aldridge also portrays him in the television series Pennyworth.
Thomas Wayne, M.D. is seldom shown outside of Bruce Wayne's and Alfred Pennyworth's memories of him, and Bruce's dreams and nightmares. He is frequently depicted as looking very much like his son, but with a mustache.
A notable occurrence in Thomas’ 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 from Detective Comics #235, 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’ 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 somewhat distant, stern father, bestowing more kindness and generosity on his patients than his own son.
Dr. Wayne was once suspected to be the father of Bane. However, DNA testing proved this to be false, and Bane's real father was recently revealed to be King Snake.
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.
Main article: Origin of Batman
When exiting a movie theater (opera in some versions), Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered by a mugger 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 to become Batman.
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".
Main article: Batman (Thomas Wayne)
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).
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.
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 from their families.
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 named Thomas Wayne Jr. After Martha and Bruce are gunned down by a crooked police officer when Thomas Sr. refused to accompany him for questioning as Thomas Wayne had 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.
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.
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 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 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" and makes use of Miraclo to help him fight crime.
After Earth-2's destruction in the war with Apokolips as seen in the Convergence storyline, 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 of Villains that they will never hurt another Batman.
Thomas was succeeded in the Batman mantle by Dick.
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 3's Thomas Wayne is a cowardly and 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. Earth 3's 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.
When Earth 3 was rebooted during the "Infinite Frontier" storyline, Thomas Wayne Sr. and Martha Wayne were depicted as criminals. After they caused the death of Jimmy Gordon Jr., Boss Gordon sent Harvey Bullock to kill them where Bruce was also killed and Thomas Wayne Jr. was left alive. Years later, Thomas Wayne Jr. in the identity of Owlman would learn this fact when he interrogates Bullock.
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. However, in the final issue, set in 1960, the now grown up Bruce Wayne takes up training and becomes Batman, to honor the person who saved him and his parents' lives.
Main article: Batman in film § Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher
Main article: DC Extended Universe
Brett Cullen portrays Thomas Wayne in the 2019 film Joker.
In this film, Thomas Wayne is portrayed much less sympathetically than in other incarnations. He is a successful businessman who is running to become Mayor of Gotham City, but he has little sympathy for the lower classes, dismissing the poor as "clowns" who have no one but themselves to blame for their misfortune. During the course of the movie, Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) discovers from a letter his mother Penny (Frances Conroy) is writing that he may be Wayne's son, the product of Wayne's affair with Penny while she worked for him as a maid. Arthur sneaks backstage at a campaign event and confronts Wayne, who denies that Arthur is his son or that he and Penny ever had an affair; he says that Penny is delusional and made up the whole thing. Thomas then punches Arthur in the face for earlier speaking to his son Bruce, and threatens to kill him if he ever comes near Bruce again. Considering later revelations that some parts of Arthur's life were all a delusion, it is unclear how much of his meetings with Thomas should be taken literally or if any of these events happened at all.
At the end of the film, Thomas, Martha (Carrie Louise Putrello) and Bruce attempt to flee a riot that Arthur - now calling himself "Joker" - indirectly caused, only for one of the masked rioters to follow them and kill him and Martha in front of Bruce, starting him on the path to becoming Batman.
Luke Roberts portrayed Thomas in the 2022 film The Batman. As in the comics, Wayne saved Carmine Falcone's (John Turturro) life. While running for mayor, he was met by a reporter who threatened to reveal his wife Martha's family history of mental illness. Desperate, Wayne turned to Falcone to have the latter intimidate the reporter, only for Falcone to kill him so he could have something on the Wayne family. Wayne, wracked with guilt, threatened to reveal everything to the police; he and his wife to be killed were murdered a week later. It is implied they may have been assassinated on the orders of either Falcone or Salvatore Maroni, but it is left ambiguous.
Thomas Wayne is featured in the Batman Arkham series where Kevin Conroy reprises the role: