- "And why do we fall, Bruce, so we can learn to pick ourselves up."
- ―Thomas Wayne to a young Bruce Wayne[src]
Dr. Thomas Wayne was a surgeon at the Gotham General Hospital, and of the fifth generation of the Wayne family to live in the Wayne Manor and father of Bruce Wayne. He was the chairman of Wayne Enterprises until his death, a position that his friend and board member Lucius Fox would get later on after Bruce gained control of the company. Being one of the most prominent citizens in Gotham, he was trying to change the city into a better place, up until the end of his life.
- "Bruce, don't be afraid."
- ―Thomas Wayne's final words[src]
When Bruce was injured by falling down an abandoned well, Thomas personally repelled down and rescued his son, and treated his injuries. After Bruce's accident, he began experiencing recurring nightmares about being attacked by bats. Thomas comforted him after he had a particularly horrifying nightmare. He gently told his son that the reason the bats came after him was because they were afraid of him and that all creatures feel fear.
Thomas took his son and wife to a performance of Mefistofele, but the family had to leave the opera early when Bruce becomes frightened by the bat-like demons onstage. Thomas, however, takes the blame, saying he needed some fresh air. Walking down the alley behind the theater, Thomas and his family are held up at gunpoint by Joe Chill, who demands their money and jewelry. Thomas complies, giving Chill his wallet, but when Chill turned his gun on Martha, demanding her jewelry, Thomas steps in between the two, causing Chill to shoot him, followed shortly by Martha. She died instantly, but Thomas survived for several seconds, and attempted to comfort his traumatized son, who had witnessed the event. He told Bruce not to be afraid, before dying in his arms.
Thomas and Martha's deaths encourages Gotham City's elite to bring it back from the brink of ruin, ending the depression that had plagued it for quite some time. It had also inspired a deep hatred inside their son, Bruce, that would later form into a desire to seek justice, causing him to eventually take up the mantle of the Batman.