Martha Wayne is the mother of Bruce Wayne in DC Comics and all other Batman media. In most DC comics and other media, Martha is a loving mother to Bruce and well known throughout Gotham City as a philanthropist and leading citizen.
Throughout almost every retelling of Batman's history, Martha and her husband Thomas are murdered in cold blood by a petty criminal in the notorious Crime Alley, a rough street in Gotham City. The young Bruce Wayne watches in horror as his father is gunned down trying to prevent the crook from taking his mother's pearls, and Martha is shot as well when she screams. The crook then flees the scene, leaving Bruce huddled over the dead bodies of his parents. This event would spur Bruce into travelling the world later in life, training in all manner of martial arts and detective skills to hone his body and mind in order to wage war against the criminal element that claimed his parents' lives.
Martha Wayne has always died in the same way across almost all DC media; she is shot by a mugger, though the identity of her killer has often changed. The following is a list of different incarnations of the character and the actresses who have portrayed her.
- Batman (1989) - Martha was portrayed by an uncredited actress in a single flashback scene. Both she and Thomas were gunned down by a younger Jack Napier, the man who would later become the Joker.
- DC Animated Universe - Martha Wayne has appeared in numerous flashbacks in both Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. She was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau.
- The Batman - In the 2004 animated series, Martha and Thomas were killed by an unidentified criminal who was never brought to justice.
- Batman Begins - In the first instalment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, Martha (portrayed by Sara Stewart) was a caring mother and philanthropist who was gunned down by Joe Chill, the same thug responsible for the Waynes' murder in the comics.
- DC Extended Universe - Martha Wayne's murder is shown in a flashback at the beginning of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. She was portrayed by Lauren Cohan.
- Batman: The Brave & The Bold - In this animated series, Martha Wayne appears in multiple episodes and was voiced by Julie Newmar. This version of Martha was also killed by Joe Chill.
- DC Animated Movie Universe - This version of Martha appears in Batman vs. Robin. She has no dialogue in the film.
- Joker - This incarnation of Martha Wayne was portrayed by an uncredited actress. She is shot by a rioting citizen in a clown mask who was inspired by Arthur Fleck's murder of TV personality Murray Franklin.