Every Reason Why Bruce Wayne’s Father Was Murdered in the Comics

Today, based on the recent film, The Batman, tackling the topic, we take a look at the various reasons why Thomas Wayne was murdered in the comics (spoiler warning for The Batman and I guess some decades-old comic books, as well) .

This is “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking,” a feature spotlighting notable examples of retcons that don’t fit into the framework of Abandoned an’ Forsaked, which is specifically about stories that outright “overturn” older stories. There are many examples of “retroactive continuity” that do not actively abandon the works of the past (especially cases where the overall continuity was rebooted). Some of them are minor, some of them are major, all of them are interesting enough to me that I figure that they are worth writing about.


One of the interesting aspects of the new hit film, The Batman, is how Matt Reeves decided to handle the murder of Thomas and Marth Wayne. The Riddler spent the film diabolically exposing the various enemies against Gotham and one of the big reveals was that Thomas Wayne, who was killed while running for Mayor of Gotham City (and in his death, saw the Gotham renewal fund he set up used by the mob boss, Carmine Falcone) may have been killed by Falcone’s rival mob boss, Salvatore Maroni, as Maroni believed that Wayne was in bed with Falcone (as Wayne had performed surgery on Falcone and saved his life and the two men had struck up a friendship , with Wayne even asking Falcone to threaten a journalist who was planning to write about Martha Wayne’s history of mental instability) and wanted Wayne killed before he could become Mayor. However, Wayne didn’t know that Falcone was going to kill the journalist and when he found out that it happened, Wayne was prepared to turn himself in for his role in the murder, only to be killed before he could do so, so it might have been Falcone who had killed him. Or, of course, it could be that it was just a random mugging gone wrong. The film offers us three possibilities, with none more likely than the other.


This is interesting because it speaks to the history of Thomas Wayne’s death in the comics, as well, which also has had an unclear history over the years.

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WHY WAS THOMS WAYNE ORIGINALLY MRUDERED IN THE COMICS?

While Batman’s origin (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff) was first revealed in Detective Comics #33, I’m always going to share Batman #1’s version, because they change the first panel so that it is not a teaser for the main story from Detective Comics #33. It always kind of weirds me out that Batman’s first origin has a big panel for an unrelated story at the start of the page…



In any event, the original origin sure made it seem like it was just a regular mugging gone horribly wrong, right?


Almost a decade later, in Batman #47 (by Finger, Kane and Charles Paris), we see the murder again, with us now learning the name of the man who did the killing, Joe Chill…


Batman confronts Chill and gets him to confess to murdering Thomas Wayne, but he is then killed by his fellow gangsters for “creating Batman” before he can tell anyone Batman’s secret identity…


WHAT ROLE MIGHT A CRIME BOSS PLAYED IN THOMAS WAYNE’S MURDER?

In Detective Comics #235 (by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye), Batman sees some old home movies and remembers that his father actually dressed up as a Batman years earlier. Thomas Wayne, while in his “Batman” costume, was forced to perform surgery on mob boss Lew Moxon, but Wayne turned the tables and got Moxon arrested. That’s when Batman realized that it was Moxon who hired Joe Chill to kill Thomas Wayne!



Moxon then had amnesia from a car accident and forgot his role in the Wayne’s murder, but Batman dressed in his father’s old costume to jog his memory and it worked and Moxon remembered it, just in time to be scared so much that he ran into it. street and was killed by a truck…


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HOW DID ZERO HOUR CHANGE THING FOR THOMAS WAYNE’S MURDER?

despues de Zero Hour altered DC continuity, Batman now once again did not know who killed his parents, as referenced in Detective Comics #0 (by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna)…


However, Infinite Crisis then put it back into continuity and by Batman #673 (by Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel, Jonathan Glapion and Sandu Florea), basically the Batman #47 story was redone in the present day, with an older Joe Chill getting what was coming to him…



DID THE BLACK GLOVE HAVE A ROLE IN THOMAS WAYNE’S MURDER?

During the Batman RIP storyline, in Batman #677 (by Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea and Guy Major), old documents seemed to suggest that Thomas Wayne actually FAKED his death and had Martha Wayne murdered because she was having an affair with Alfred which led to the birth of Bruce Wayne …


In the next issue, the Black Glove, led by “Simon Hurt,” also known as Doctor Hurt, invaded the Bat-Cave and Hurt, claiming to be Thomas Wayne, having faked his death, takes the old Batman costume that Thomas Wayne once wore…


In the end, of course, Batman proves that he is not his father and that his father did not have his own mother murdered, but it later turns out that Simon Hurt actually IS Thomas Wayne…just an ancestor of Batman’s father who is essentially immortal and just happened to also be named Thomas Wayne. We did n’t learn that in RIP, though, just that he was n’t Batman’s father having fakes his own murder of him…


WAS THE COURT OF OWLS INVOLVED IN THE WAYNE’S MURDER?

Interestingly, when we learned about the Court of Owls, another underground evil society, in the New 52 era of the Batman comics, there was always the chance that they could have been involved in the murder of the Waynes, but in Batman #4 (by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO), we see that young Bruce Wayne BELIEVED them to be tied to it, but they weren’t…


Okay folks, feel free to suggest more examples of this sort of thing! Obscure ones, famous ones, whatever! Send your suggestions to brianc@cbr.com!

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