Thomas & Martha Wayne are the parents of Bruce Wayne in DC Comics and all other Batman media. Throughout every retelling of Batman's history, the Waynes are murdered in cold blood by a petty criminal in the notorious Crime Alley, a rough street in Gotham City. The eight-year-old Bruce Wayne watches in horror as his father is gunned down trying to prevent the crook from taking his mother's pearls, and Martha is shot as well when she screams. The crook then flees the scene, leaving Bruce huddled over the dead bodies of his parents. This event would spur Bruce into travelling the world later in life, training in all manner of martial arts and detective skills to hone his body and mind in order to wage war against the criminal element that claimed his parents' lives.

In some iterations of Batman's origins, the Waynes' killer is never identified. In the comics and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins as well as the animated cartoon Batman: The Brave & The Bold, Thomas and Martha's murderer is identified as petty criminal Joe Chill. In Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film, a young Jack Napier - the man who would become The Joker - is responsible for the murders.