Thomas Wayne is the father of Bruce Wayne in DC Comics and all other Batman media. In most DC comics and other media, Thomas is a loving father to Bruce and well known throughout Gotham City as a philanthropist and leading citizen.
Throughout almost every retelling of Batman's history, Thomas and his wife Martha 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.
Thomas Wayne has always died in the same way across almost all DC media; he is shot while trying to protect his wife Martha from a mugger, though the identity of his killer has often changed. The following is a list of different incarnations of the character and the actors who have portrayed him.
- Batman (1989) - Thomas was portrayed by an uncredited actor in a single flashback scene. Both he and Martha were gunned down by a younger Jack Napier, the man who would later become the Joker.
- DC Animated Universe - Thomas Wayne has appeared in numerous flashbacks in both Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. He has been voiced by Richard Moll as well as Kevin Conroy, who has voiced Batman throughout the DCAU and in several other Batman productions.
- The Batman - In the 2004 animated series, Thomas was voiced by Kevin Conroy. This incarnation was killed by an unidentified criminal who was never brought to justice.
- Batman Begins - In the first instalment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, Thomas (portrayed by Linus Roache) was a caring father and philanthropist who was gunned down by Joe Chill, the same thug responsible for the Waynes' murder in the comics.
- DC Extended Universe - Thomas Wayne's murder is shown in a flashback at the beginning of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- Batman: The Brave & The Bold - In this animated series, Thomas Wayne appears in multiple episodes and is voiced by a different actor each time. These include Greg Ellis, Corey Burton, and Adam West who portrayed Batman in the 1960's TV series. This version of Thomas was also killed by Joe Chill.
- DC Animated Movie Universe - This version of Thomas appears in Batman vs. Robin and was voiced by Kevin Conroy. His killer was not identified.
- Joker - This incarnation of Thomas Wayne was portrayed by Brett Cullen and was a noticeably different take on the character. Unlike other versions, this iteration was far less caring towards the down-trodden citizens of Gotham, considering them not worth his time and responsible for their own misfortune. He is shot by a rioting citizen in a clown mask who was inspired by Arthur Fleck's murder of TV personality Murray Franklin.