Thomas Wayne was a gifted surgeon, philanthropist and heir to the Wayne fortune; spearheading the board of Wayne Enterprises. Dedicated to philanthropy as much as medicine, he and his wife, Martha Wayne, were well-known and respected in Gotham City; dubbed the "Kennedy's of Gotham".
Their tragic murder at the hands of a desperate burglar, Joe Chill, in Gotham's Park Row, shook the city to its core, and led to years of urban blight. Their tragic deaths inspired their son, Bruce Wayne to continue their philanthropy and save Gotham from blight and corruption as the Batman.
Inheriting the Wayne Family fortune from his father, Patrick Morgan Wayne, Dr. Thomas Wayne was one of the most respected patrons in all of Gotham City. He inherited his family's ancestral home, Wayne Manor, and took charge of the family business, Wayne Enterprises. A skilled surgeon, Thomas was non-the-less an infamous playboy and "party animal". During one such party, a gala for Gotham's high society, he met and became endeared with a young woman named Martha Kane, who had attended the gala in an attempt to gather benefactors for the East End Free Clinic, but being drunk his attempts to impress her resulted in him vomiting on her shoes.
Profusely regretful, he had Alfred Pennyworth chauffeur him to the East End clinic to try to apologize and in the process interrupted a mob hit on Kane. While the clinic's doctors recovered from the attack, Thomas volunteered to work at the clinic alongside Martha and became content with charity. While working together, it wasn't long before Thomas and Martha became romantically involved and Thomas established himself as an official sponsor for the clinic. Using his vast resources to keep the clinic running, while distancing himself from his previous carefree lifestyle; Thomas cited Martha as his inspiration to change and became an esteemed figure in the business community.
Marrying Martha and gaining a reputation as a philanthropist, Thomas and Martha were traveling across the American midwest when they witnessed a glowing light falling from the sky. Thomas went to inspect the item and discovered a strange alien crystal. Upon physical contact with the artifact, his consciousness was transported through space and time to the planet Krypton where he met Kryptonian scientist Jor-El. Jor-El explained to Thomas that the item he discovered was a Kryptonian probe, one of dozens that he had sent out throughout the universe in search of a suitable world in which to send his infant son Kal-El. Jor-El instantly developed a respect for Thomas Wayne and because of this determined that Earth was the ideal world to send his son.
A few months later, Thomas and his wife Martha gave birth to their only son, Bruce Wayne. Thomas never forgot his experience on Krypton and, still in possession of the Kryptonian probe, he reverse-engineered the probe's technology to save Wayne Enterprises from bankruptcy.
When Bruce was still a young child, his family attended a costume fundraiser; the theme of which was "Creatures of the Night". Thomas decided to masquerade as a bat, and wore a costume consisting of a pointed mask, and large, dark blue scalloped wings.
During the party, several gangsters raided the mansion and Wayne as a physician. Kidnapping him, they brought him to an old warehouse to perform surgery on mob boss Lew Moxon, who had suffered a serious gunshot wound. Wayne knew that once he removed the bullet, the gangster would likely kill him. Instead of performing the surgery, Thomas dove into the gangsters and managed to apprehend every one of them. He called the police and handed the thugs over to a young police lieutenant named James Gordon. The courts sentenced Moxon to ten years in prison.
However, Moxon only served a few years in jail and upon release he decided to pay a visit to Thomas Wayne and promised the philanthropist that he would find a way to "get even" with him.
Thomas Wayne saved the life of Carmine Falcone. Falcone's father Vincent Falcone came to Wayne Manor and begged Thomas to save his dying son, who have been shot by his rival Luigi Maroni. Thomas wanted to take the younger Falcone to Gotham General Hospital, but Vincent insisted know about the shooting: he was offered reward of favor, but refused of accept any form of payment. Unbeknownst to Thomas, young Bruce watched this all in silence from afar.
One night Thomas, Martha and Bruce were walking home from a night out at the Park Row Theatre when a mugger leapt from the shadows of Park Row and assaulted them, demanding money and the pearls around Martha's neck. While Thomas tried to fight back, the mugger shot him in the chest. The mugger then turned his gun on Martha and shot her while attempting to steal her pearls. As he watched the mugger run away, Bruce made a promise that he would bring the killer to justice and avenge his parent's deaths.
Decades later, the Wayne murders were considered the start of the city's fall to crime and corruption, as, once it became clear that even people like Thomas and Martha Wayne could be murdered, the city's people began to lose faith in its police, and the police themselves started to lose faith in their importance, leading to corruption within the force and the free reign of syndicates like the Gotham City Organized Crime Family.
Since becoming the Batman, on the anniversary of their deaths, Bruce always visits the site where his parents died; leaving a memorial of flowers over where they fell. This ritual is recognized by the other members of the Bat Family and they actively ensure that the alley is clear for their mentor to place the flowers without witnesses or interruption.
- In an attempt to dissuade the New Heroes from traveling further into Trigon's Prison, Trigon will summon a family of spirits to attack them. One of those families is the Wayne Family.
- Thomas and Martha Wayne first appeared in Detective Comics #33 (November 1939).
- The movie that the Waynes went to see has fluctuated between the The Mark of Zorro (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks and The Mark of Zorro (1940) starring Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone.
- Martha and Thomas Wayne died June 26th at 9:47pm.
- The concept of Bruce visiting the alley where his parents died every year came from Detective Comics #457 (1976).
- When Thomas wore the "Bat-Man" costume, the impressionable Bruce admired his father's outfit and openly asked if one day he might be able to wear such a fearsome costume. Following his father's death, Bruce keeps a replica of the costume his father wore in the Batcave and considers his father the first "Bat-Man".
- Thomas Wayne was a close colleague of Roger Elliot, another influential businessman, who was the father of Thomas Elliot; who would later become the super villain Hush.
- As a child, Thomas was a member of the Green Lantern fan club. As a result Bruce (who occasionally works with his father's hero) keeps an autographed picture of his father as a ten-year-old with the Green Lantern amongst his parents' keepsakes.