Thomas Wayne, father of Bruce Wayne, husband to Martha Wayne; is the Batman.
That was one of the twists to the alternate reality tale in DC’s Flashpoint. One of the few Flash storylines that have actually captured my attention and to be honest, the public’s at large. With the popularity of the television series, the Flash, the comic history of the Flash has once again come back into popular culture. Which brings us to the five issue series of 2011, Flashpoint.
The main storyline of Flashpoint is Barry Allen, the Flash, enters a alternate reality where the Flash, Justice League and Superman does not exist and in Gotham, the vigilante known as the Batman kills. The Atlanteans under Aquaman and the Amazons under Wonder Woman are at war and have devastated much of Europe and now even the Americas are in danger. To understand what is happening, Barry Allen heads to Gotham and enters the Batcave where he is attacked by the Batman. Barry calls the Batman Bruce and the Batman responds by saying, “Bruce is dead.” The man in the cowl is Thomas Wayne.
In addition to Flashpoint, there were several tie-in mini-series released as well. One of the major ones was a three issue set called Batman-Knight of Vengeance, written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Eduardo Risso. This is the story of Flashpoint’s Batman. A vigilante who funds his crime fighting with proceeds from his gambling casinos. This Batman does not have rules. This Batman kills. This Batman is not a son who has sworn to keep the streets of Gotham safe after the murder of his parents. This Batman is a father who watched his young son murdered before his eyes. This Batman is Thomas Wayne.
In Crime Alley, two parents did not die and leave their young son alive. Instead the opposite happened. Two parents survived to hold the dead body of their son. Knight of Vengeance tells that story.
When Thomas Wayne, the Batman, learns from Barry Allen, the Flash, the truth of what happened that night in Crime Alley. That Bruce was supposed to survive while he and Martha were killed. Thomas decides to help the Flash return reality to its true timeline and bring Bruce back to life, but in effect, killing himself. He explains his plan to Martha and she begs him with her dying breath to bring Bruce back. Martha Wayne, this timeline’s Joker. Before the Flash leaves, Thomas gives him a letter to take back with him. A letter addressed to Bruce.
Thomas Wayne, the Batman, makes another appearance more recently in the DC Universe. During the convoluted and poorly developed Convergence storyline of this year, Thomas Wayne is transported to Gotham City where he enters the Batcave and meets his son. Bruce Wayne. It is perhaps one of the most touching moments in DC Batman history.
Thomas Wayne. The Batman.