While the gunman may change from story to story, Batman‘s origin is always the same: A childlike Bruce Wayne is out with his parents after seeing The Mask of Zorro when they are stopped in an alleyway by a thief. The Wayne’s are shot and killed, while Bruce survives the ordeal and goes on to a life of crime-fighting as the Batman.
But who exactly are Bruce Wayne’s parents, and what were their lives like before their untimely deaths? Here’s everything you need to know about Thomas and Martha Wayne, as well as their legacy in the DC Comics universe.
Who are Thomas and Martha Wayne?
Batman’s parents Thomas and Martha Wayne were two of Gotham City’s most well-respected socialites. Philanthropists by nature, the Wayne family empire was built upon industrial and property endeavors as well as righteous causes to better Gotham as a whole.
Despite being born into wealth, Thomas pursued a career as a surgeon and became one of the most renowned members of Gotham City Hospital. Martha similarly hailed from Gotham’s upper-crust as heir to the Kane family and its massive chemical industry fortune. Both were considered as charming and lovable as they were successful. And with no shortage of money on either side, Martha and Thomas were heavily involved in assisting the city and those in need through charity endeavors.
In an ironic twist, their deaths would spark a chain of events that led to Gotham’s citizens living in fear across the crime-riddled metropolis.
Following their passing, Bruce created The Wayne Foundation in a continued attempt to help out Gotham’s citizens. Split into two branches, The Thomas Wayne Foundation set out to reward those who achieved excellence in medicine, while The Martha Wayne Foundation assists establishments such as orphanages, schools, art centers, and homeless shelters with their financial needs. But most of all, Thomas and Martha’s love for Gotham lives on through their son, who protects the city’s most vulnerable residents as Batman.