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Batman Wiki

Martha Wayne, née Martha Kane was the wife of Dr. Thomas Wayne, and the mother of Bruce Wayne, who would grow up to become Batman, sworn protector of the innocent of Gotham City. Dedicated to philanthropy as much as her husband was dedicated to medicine, Martha was well known and respected in Gotham City. She shared Thomas' charitable nature and was dedicated to her son Bruce's upbringing. Mrs. Wayne was fondly regarded in the city's social circles and helped host lavish charity balls at Wayne Manor. Her tragic murder at the hands of a desperate mugger in Gotham City's Crime Alley shook Gotham City to its core and indirectly led to years of urban blight. It also inspired Martha's son Bruce to eventually become Batman.


Born Martha Kane, Martha was the heir to the Kane Chemical fortune and a member of one of Gotham City's wealthiest families. It has not been revealed whether she has any connection to the other prominent Kanes of Gotham, Kathy or Bette. In her youth, Martha had a reputation as a notorious party girl, socialite, and debutante, frequenting all the most prestigious country clubs, night clubs, and soirees. However, she also had a developed social conscience and often used her family's wealth and status to champion causes and charities.

Martha's closest friend in those days was a woman named Celia Kazantkakis. Both were renowned for their beauty, which caught the attention of a gangster named Denholm. Martha dated Denholm for a time prior to meeting Thomas Wayne, though she was unaware of his true nature at the time. Celia, who had had previous dealings with Denholm, became very protective of her friend and conspired to get this thug out of her life. However, in the process it came to light just why Celia was familiar with him. Celia, it turned out, was a criminal herself and had been embezzling money from an orphanage that was one of Martha's charities. She attempted to hide the evidence of this by setting fire to the building but Martha discovered her duplicity. Before Celia departed for her family's home in Greece, Martha threatened to expose her should she ever return to Gotham.

Shortly after Celia's departure, Martha met and fell in love with prominent physician and philanthropist Dr. Thomas Wayne. They were wed soon after and Martha eventually gave birth to a son, Bruce.

Martha Comforts Bruce

Some stories have indicated that, like Bruce, she was unable to allow the crime of Gotham to continue unabated. Thus Martha Wayne fought against the abuse of Gotham's children and against the trafficking of children around the globe. She headed a covert detection agency with help from Commissioner Gordon and the family butler Alfred--their goals were to stem abuse against children, in the hopes that those children would not grow up to turn into abusers and criminals themselves. Learning of his mother's mission prior to death, Batman gained further inspiration and motive for helping the innocent of Gotham.

When Bruce was eight years old, his parents took him to a screening of The Mark of Zorro at a cinema in Gotham's Park Row. Returning to the car through an alley, they were confronted by a lone gunman, who attempted to steal Martha's pearl necklace, an anniversary gift from Thomas. In the ensuing struggle, the thief shot both the Waynes dead. In the wake of this tragedy, Park Row was given the nickname "Crime Alley."

The identity of the Waynes' killer has varied through different versions of the Batman story. Initially, he was said to be a criminal named Joe Chill. Later retellings would claim that Chill had been hired by gangster Lew Moxon, an enemy of Thomas Wayne, and told to make the killings look like a robbery. After DC Comics' history-altering Zero Hour series, this interpretation was abandoned in favor of the Waynes' deaths being a random street crime. The killer was thought to have never been caught, adding to the tragedy and universality of Batman's origin.

After the further continuity tweaks of the Infinite Crisis miniseries, DC has once again returned to the Joe Chill interpretation. It is unknown at this time whether Chill acted alone or under orders.


In the Flashpoint story arc, due to Barry Allen's meddling with time to save his mother from Professor Zoom, Martha Wayne and her husband Thomas Wayne ended up surviving the attack by Joe Chill with their son Bruce Wayne dying in their stead. Ironically, however, her fate afterward was even worse than the main timeline as she went completely insane out of grief for Bruce's death and became that timeline's equivalent of the Joker. She eventually regained some semblance of sanity when fighting Thomas Wayne (who became that timeline's equivalent of Batman) for the last time, and accepted her fate of being killed by Joe Chill if it ensured their son survived, although she quickly lost her sanity again and committed suicide when Thomas reluctantly revealed that their son in another timeline would "follow in [Thomas's] footsteps", and not by becoming a doctor.


  • Dedicated philanthropist
  • Mother to Bruce Wayne, wife to Thomas Wayne

In other media


Motion Picture Anthology

See: Martha Wayne (Burtonverse) Sharon Holm portrayed Martha in a flashback in Batman and by [[Ei
Batman 1989 (J

Martha Wayne in Batman 89

Sharon Holm portrayed Martha in a flashback in Batman and by Eileen Seeley in Batman Forever.

Dark Knight Trilogy

See: Martha Wayne (Nolanverse)

Martha Wayne in Dark Knight Trilogy

Sara Stewart portrayed Martha in Batman Begins.

Batman v Superman

See: Martha Wayne (Snyderverse)

Lauren Cohan portrays Martha in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The Batman

See: Martha Wayne (Reevesverse)

Martha Arkham The Batman Movie 001

Martha Arkham in The Batman (2022)

Martha is referenced several times in this film as Bruce's dead mother. Martha's family is changed from the Kanes to the Arkhams and it is stated she had mental-illness and a history of institutionalization, stemming from witnessing her parents' murder-suicide as a child. When a reporter named Edward Elliot threatened to release this information to the public, Thomas made a deal with Carmine Falcone to silence the reporter which ended in said reporter's death. Not long after this, the Waynes were shot dead by an unknown gunman.

Animated Films


In Batman: The Animated Series, Martha Wayne makes a few appearances in flashbacks, dreams and hallucinations as well as in pictures and photographs. She was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau, though she went uncredited for the role.


See: Martha Wayne (Gotham)

Martha Wayne appears in the FOX television series Gotham, played by Brette Taylor. His and Thomas's murder is the main focus of the show's first season. A masked man with shiny shoes shoots them dead. His murder was witnessed by Selina Kyle.


See: Martha Wayne (Emma Paetz)

Martha Wayne appears in the prequel series Pennyworth set many years before Gotham, played by Emma Paetz. She serves as an agent for the No Name League, who hires Alfred Pennyworth to help her on dangerous missions, while developing a friendship with CIA agent Thomas Wayne. In the second season, Martha and Thomas marry and have a daughter, Samantha.

Video Games

Batman: Arkham Series

Batman Arkham Knight Character Thomas-Martha Waynejpg

The Wayne's from the Arkhamverse

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: Bruce, while under the effects of Scarecrow's fear toxin, sees a zombie form of his mother and father in the Arkham Asylum morgue.

    Martha's corpse seen in a Scarecrow Hallucination.

  • Batman: Arkham City: While near death after being exposed to the Titan poison affecting the Joker, Bruce imagines his mother asking him to step into the light to be with her and his father.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins: Martha briefly appears and Thomas both after in a hallucination when Bruce returns to the Batcave, following the fight at the Gotham Royal Hotel.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: Under the influence of Joker's blood, Bruce once again hallucinates Martha and Thomas' bodies in Crime Alley. Her name is also used as the conformation word to start Batman's Knightfall Protocol.
  • Batman: Arkham VR: Martha appears briefly at the start of the game, which appears to be a recollection of her and Thomas' murder by Joe Chill.

Telltale Series

Martha Wayne appears in Batman: The Telltale Series, voiced by Lorri Holt in flashbacks. In the game's continuity, her husband Thomas Wayne had criminal ties to Carmine Falcone and Hamilton Hill, acting as the group's money launderer. They took most of their power in Gotham by interning those who stood in their way at Arkham Asylum, injecting them with a psychosis-inducing chemical to drive them insane. Once he discovered the full extent of his crimes, he became disgusted and decided to gather enough evidence for the police and have Thomas imprisoned. Mayor Hill discovered her plan and sent Joe Chill to kill her and Thomas.