Thomas Wayne, father of Bruce Wayne. Surgeon, Philanthropist, Husband. These are all titles that can be placed upon Mr. Wayne. To the public eye, he was a savior to a city in ashes. In his own eyes he was the messiah to a world corrupted by greed, lust, and hated. To an orphan named Joe Chill, Thomas Wayne was the monster that haunted his every nightmare. To understand Thomas Wayne, you must first understand his past, particularly his friendship with a young boy named Leo Eckhart.
Thomas grew up on Wayne manor. It was an ideal childhood. His parents allowed him to pursue his interests and made sure he had all of the tools and funds to allow him to create a happy, successful life for himself. While his Father was away often running Wayne Industries, he knew his Father cared deeply for him, and his Mother showered him in love. Thomas lived in a blissful state, untouched by the sins of the outside world.
When Thomas was thirteen, he met a boy named Leo Eckhart, a poor inner city kid who grew up on the harsh streets of Gotham. Leo was one year his elder and quickly became idolized by Thomas. They had met one day while Thomas was riding his bike. His chain came off and without his usually present Butler there, he was lost as to how to put it on himself. He was approached by Leo, who recognized Thomas from the many newspaper clippings about his Father. Even though Leo had a general dislike of the elite, he saw it as his duty to help someone who was unable to help themselves. After Leo had fixed the bike, Thomas invited him back to Wayne Manor. Intrigued by the idea of experiencing the higher class of living, Leo accepted Thomas’s offer. That day Thomas and Leo explored Wayne Manor. Even going into the underground caves that had always made Thomas uneasy.
The two boys soon became inseparable, the Wayne's accepting Leo as one of their own. Leo was strong willed, a natural leader. Thomas looked up to Leo's ideals and ethics, accepting them for his own. The only thing he could never connect with Leo on was the need to kill people that did evil. Thomas believed everyone had good in them. And that the world wasn't black and white enough to call anyone completely evil. The world must be a more complicated place after all.
Though the two boys were together often, Leo was very careful about keeping Thomas from meeting his parent's. And while Thomas was curious to as why, he trusted Leo and his choices. It was two years after the two boys met that Thomas's life was turned upside down.
It was a Saturday in December, the ground was touched with white and school had just gotten out for winter break. Thomas sat outside Wayne Manor, waiting for Leo to arrive as he did everyday. On this day, he was rather late. One thing Thomas had learned about Leo was that he was never late. Being punctual was very important to him. Leo didn't show up that day, and unknown to Thomas at the time, Leo would never show up again. The new's eventually reached Thomas's father that Leo's family had been killed by Falcone, the head of Gotham's biggest organized crime family. It appeared Leo’s family had got in deep with the wrong people.
This single event changed the trajectory of Thomas's life. After that day, Thomas became obsessed with seeing Leo's ideals manifest. To see a clean world without the sin and corruption that plagued the streets of Gotham. A disease with seemingly no cure. That day, Thomas Wayne decided he would become the cure. As a man, his journey led him many places. He traveled the world seeking the tools he needed to accomplish his mission. He sought out anyone who he believed could turn him into the weapon of destruction that he believed was what the city needed, though every master he found turned Thomas away, seeing the darkness in the young man’s heart. After a year of searching, Thomas turned to spirituality, hoping to find his answers in the esoteric. He traveled to Tibet, his vision of a new world still burning into his consciousness. He didn’t find spirituality on this trip, he instead found a vehicle for his vision in the form of a man known as Ra's Al Ghul. Ra's had visions of a new world that in many way paralleled Leo's. Ra's saw the anger and determination in Thomas and took him on as his pupil.
Over the next year, Ra's changed Thomas's views. He saw the seeds already planted in the man’s mind and simply helped them come to fruition. Thomas no longer believed that a perfect world was possible without the necessary deaths of those responsible for its corruption. Thomas had the desire, Ra's simply gave him the tool's to accomplish his goals, teaching him not only how to be a killer, but how to be a leader. He showed Thomas the importance of gaining favor in the public eye. Over the next two years, Thomas became a man capable of manifesting Leo’s vision for Gotham. Through out his training under Ra’s, Thomas made sure to keep a watchful eye over Gotham, keeping in contact with his Mother and Father through letters. His Father had grown sick over the last several years and Thomas knew he didn’t have much time before he had to take his place at the head of his Father’s company, so when the news came of his Father’s passing, Thomas was ready. Instead of seeing this as a problem, Ra's and Thomas both saw this as an opportunity to make their move on Gotham.
Thomas was inducted into the League of Assassins and returned to the city. He wasted no time in his actions, quickly leading his company in a new direction. He went to medical school and became a Doctor, using this as nothing but a ploy for his end goal. He began rebuilding the city, taking interest in the under privileged and the orphaned. He realized for his vision to become a reality, he needed to gain the approval of the public. Only then could he raise Gotham from the ashes and lead them towards a new day.
Though Ra’s helped turn Wayne Industries into from a company into an empire, Thomas realized that sitting behind the desk of a company wasn't enough. He grew impatient sitting behind the scenes watching the League do what he felt was his destiny. He felt the need to act. Thomas, still filled with rage towards the cruel world that had taken his closest friend, his brother away from him finally made his move. He descended upon Gotham like a hellish Messiah, killing those that he believed to be the problem.He spared no one. Over the next several months, he killed countless people. All drug dealers, minor crime bosses, prostitutes or any other criminal he could find. The crime or cause didn't matter to Thomas, he showed mercy to none. Though he justified his actions through his vision of a perfect world, he couldn't deny that he enjoyed killing the people that he saw as the disease that had taken Leo from him.
He left no witnesses to his killings, making sure to take care of them as well, innocent or not. His mission couldn't be compromised. Ra’s had taught him well. But even the most careful of men can make mistakes.....
Thomas had finally started his way closer to Falcone, targeting two of his drug dealers. Little did he know that as he cut the man and woman down, their son, a young Joe Chill watched in horror. The boy was seven when Thomas Wayne killed his parents as he watched in horror. He managed to stay quiet from his hiding place, knowing one sound and this devil disguised as a good looking man in a sleek black suit would turn his blade on him. Visions of the way Thomas Wayne ruthlessly cut his parents apart would haunt Joe for the remainder of his life. It didn't help that the general public hailed this man as a hero.
Thomas was ignorant to the life he had effected and truthfully, if he had known, he probably wouldn't have felt guilt. Just annoyance of his mistake.
One night while hunting down a known rapist, Thomas saved a beautiful woman named Martha. Martha fell in love with Thomas immediately, seeing him as the change Gotham needed. Thomas saw in Martha a queen that was strong enough to rule his empire by his side. Soon, Wayne Industries had a new heir in the form of Bruce Wayne. Thomas felt his legacy was safe. He taught his son the concepts of right and wrong from a young age, knowing that when he died, Bruce would be there to carry on his work, and like all son’s to members of the league, when the boy was of age, he too would become an initiate.
As Bruce grew up, Thomas felt it was time for all of his years of patience to pay off. He had just opened a state of the art clinic in downtown Gotham and many of his other ventures had gained him much notoriety and favor with the public. Every night he was disposing of the criminals that wandered the streets. Even though the police were aware of the murders, they were swept under the rug rather quietly because of who the victims were, it was one less problem for Gotham PD . Yet he still felt unfulfilled. His friend's death still haunted and drove Thomas. It had been thirty years since Leo had been murdered and Thomas felt it was time to begin tearing down the empire that Falcone had built. On the anniversary of Leo's death, he turned his sights upon Falcone's only son. Before he killed Falcone, he wanted to make the man suffer for all that he had taken from him.
He waited until Falcone's son was alone until he made his move.The usually calculated Thomas was taken over by his emotions and continued hacking away at the body long after the man had died.. Through it all, he made sure the body was still able to be identified. He left it outside one of Falcone's known hangouts.
When Falcone learned of his son's death, he was stricken with rage. He flooded the streets with his men, searching for his son's killer. A tall order considering there had been no clues as to who it could have been. No other crime boss in Gotham was brave enough to start a war with Falcone. No one knew who would have done such a thing. No one except a now grown Joe Chill.
Joe approached Falcone and told him his story and his suspicions about the man who killed his parents. Through out the the years, Joe had kept his attention on Mr. Wayne, waiting for him to make a mistake.. Falcone was in disbelief at first, but he always had his doubts about Wayne. If Falcone knew one thing, he knew that no man was without his demons. Falcone ordered Joe to kill Wayne and his family, knowing that if Chill got caught, he was disposable. Joe felt this was his chance to finally erase the man who haunted his every dream. A man Gotham hailed as a hero..
He followed Wayne from afar, patiently waiting for the man to leave himself exposed. As cautious as Thomas was, Joe knew he would eventually find an opening.. He finally got his chance one night after he followed the Wayne's to an opera in downtown Gotham. He sat outside the building, preparing himself for what was next. To his surprise, the Wayne's came out early, and for the first time he noticed they had a son. The boy was no older than seven. At once, the night his family was murdered flashed before his eyes. He fought back his doubts as his hand clenched around the cold medal that was his gun. He approached the Waynes, ready to slay the monster that had taken his life from him.
Thomas noticed Chill approaching them,gun in hand. He instructed Bruce to look away. Martha saw the gun and hid Bruce’s face in her stomach. Joe pointed the gun at Thomas trying to keep his hand from shaking. Thomas smiled at Chill, offering him money and telling him that no one needed to get hurt. Joe once again became flooded with emotions, unsure if the reasonable man before him could really be the same man who he saw that night, so many years ago. Thomas noticed Joe's hesitation and leaped at the man, his friendly smile twisted into a sadistic grin. Joe fired the gun out of panic, killing Thomas. Martha ran to Thomas, leaving Bruce behind. Joe fired again, killing Martha. Joe turned the gun on Bruce. He looked at the boy who was on his knees in disbelief. The child’s entire world ripped from his hands by the piece of steel in Joe's hands. It became too much for Joe. He turned away and ran as tears streamed down his face. He was not Thomas Wayne. He was not a killer. He was simply the product of a monster who believed himself to be God. But as with all men, this monster too had died. The live's Thomas Wayne had taken were not his to take. Though the image of Thomas Wayne would forever live on in the hearts Gotham as a hero, a great man who left before his time, he would live on in the hearts of few as the first of many terrors that would roam the streets of Gotham.
This was not the end of Thomas’s legacy. The league mourned their brother’s death, desiring revenge against the one who killed him. But Ra’s understood the importance of patience and saw in the Bruce the same potential he had once seen in Thomas. This was the end of Thomas Wayne, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new spirit of vengeance was born. One that would correct the wrongs of those before him. One whose legacy would not be written in the blood of others. The legacy of Batman.