- "You can't have both happiness and the truth. You have to choose. I beg of you, my son, please choose happiness. Unless... Unless you feel a calling. A true calling."
- —Thomas Wayne in his letter to Bruce[src]
Thomas Wayne was the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. He was the father of Bruce Wayne and the husband of Martha Wayne. After leaving from a musical with his family, Thomas along with Martha were murdered by a masked assailant.
Thomas was part of a hockey team alongside Hugo Strange. When Thomas discovered about inhumane experiments going on at a program known as Pinewood Farms, he had it shut down and put one of the subjects Karen Jennings into hiding. After that he formed a sort of father-daughter bond with Karen and bought her a music box. He was due to meet her just before he and his wife's murder.
At an unknown point in time, Thomas made a secret lair under Wayne Manor, and used it as his secret workplace, allowing no one in his study while he was in the process of using it, playing opera music for hours.In the case of his death, Thomas left a letter in his lair explaining that the need for the secret workplace was because that becoming a father had made him want to be a better man, and he began investigating Wayne Enterprises. Refraining from leaving Bruce too much fatherly advice, Thomas explained to Bruce that one couldn't have both happiness and the truth and that one had to choose. Though he begged of Bruce to choose happiness, unless in the circumstance, Bruce felt a true calling.
After leaving from a popular musical, and taking a shortcut through an alley, the Waynes and their son Bruce were mugged by an armed man. Although both Thomas and Martha gave the mugger what he wanted without any trouble, the mugger killed them both in front of their son Bruce, before running off.
Bruce began to look into Thomas and Martha's death, and detective Jim Gordon vowed that he would solve the case.
When confronted by Sid Bunderslaw, Bruce Wayne was told that Thomas and his mother had kept quiet about the illegal activities at Wayne Enterprises. Before being let out of Wayne Enterprises, Lucius Fox told Bruce that his father was a very guarded man, and kept his true self-hidden.
Two years after the death of Thomas and his wife, Martha, Bruce tracked down the killer who was revealed to be hitman Patrick Malone. Bruce thought against killing Malone and walked away, and Malone subsequently committed suicide with a gunshot to the head. Although the killer was identified, Jim planned to still find out who put out the hit.
- In DC Comics, the character of Thomas Wayne was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson and Gardner Fox. He first appears in Detective Comics #33 (November 1939), in the first exposition of Batman's origin story.
- Thomas is featured as a main character in the prequel tie-in book Gotham: Dawn of Darkness, which takes place two months prior to the murder of him and his wife in the series pilot.