Martha Wayne was the wife of Thomas Wayne, Sr. — a noted physican and millionaire philanthropist of Gotham City. Very little is known about her before she married Thomas. Thomas and Martha Wayne had two sons, Thomas, Jr. and Bruce. Thomas, Jr. was more introverted while Bruce was far more excitable and extrovert than his brother. One night when Bruce was a young child, his family attended a costume fundraiser. The theme of the party was 'Flying Creatures'. Thomas Wayne decided to masquerade as a bat, and wore a costume consisting of a pointed mask, and large, dark blue scalloped wings. The impressionable Bruce admired his father's outfit and openly asked if one day he might be able to wear such a fearsome costume. Thomas had no idea how prophetic the innocent question truly was. (Detective #235 "The First Batman").
During the party, several gangsters raided the mansion and recognized that Wayne was a physician. Kidnapping the skilled doctor, the criminals took him to an old warehouse where he was to perform emergency surgery on a mob boss named Lew Moxon who had been suffering from a serious gunshot wound.
Dr. Wayne knew that once he removed the bullet from Moxon's body, the gangster would likely kill him. Instead of performing the surgery, Thomas tricked the criminals resulting in their capture. The courts sentenced Moxon to ten years in prison.
While Moxon was actually sent to prison, he was able to contract a killer to carry out his threat. A few weeks later, Thomas, Martha and young Bruce were walking home from a night out at the movies. A mugger named Joe Chill leapt from the shadows of Park Row and assaulted them, demanding the pearl necklace Martha was wearing. Thomas tried to fight back, but the mugger shot him directly in the chest, killing him. He then turned his gun on Martha and viciously ended her life as well. Bruce Wayne stared on in horror, as his parents lay dead beside him. Chill turned on his heel and ran from the alleyway. The boys' uncle Philip took custody of the two, placing Thomas, Jr. into a mental institution as the boy suffered a complete emotional collapse from the event. Bruce would turn his obvious energies into a longstanding anger that would drive him to seek vengeance on all criminals as the Batman. The Wayne brothers would not meet again until far later in their adult lives where personal tragedy resulting from criminals would again befall them, ending in Thomas, Jr.'s death.
- This version of Martha Wayne, including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 56 Appearances of Martha Wayne (Earth-One)
- 3 Images featuring Martha Wayne (Earth-One)
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- Character Gallery: Martha Wayne (Earth-One)