Martha Wayne, along with her husband Thomas Wayne, was killed by a mugger in front of their eight year old son. The Waynes' murder would be the single most important event that drove Bruce Wayne to become Batman. Outside of this, not much is known about Martha Wayne's past.
Although her death had a lot to do with Batman's creation, she did not appear to be as important to him as his father. Bruce and his colleagues have often spoken of her husband and not her. When first infected with the Scarecrow's fear toxin, Batman saw visions of his father being mad at Bruce disgracing the family name but there was no mention nor memory of his mother. This would indicate that Bruce's greatest fear is disappointing his father but not so much his mother.
Unlike her husband, who has appeared in Bruce's childhood memories, the only memory Bruce is shown to have of Martha is her being murdered. Martha has appeared next to her husband in many of Bruce's nightmares and memories, but she rarely speaks and is never seen alone. Furthermore, when Batman was placed into the Mad Hatter's dream machine giving him a fantasy world, where both Thomas and Martha were alive, she only spoke one word, "Bruce!"
This does not necessarily mean that she did not have a significant influence on Bruce Wayne's life; he does remember her death along with his father's. However, as little is known about her past or her influence on Bruce it can be deduced that her husband's influence was the dominant influence on her son.
Appearances and references
- "The Forgotten" (Cameo in dreams)
- "Perchance to Dream" (Hallucination)
- "Two-Face" (in a nightmare)
- "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne" (in a memory brought about by a mind reading device)
- "Robin's Reckoning, Part I" (on painting)
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (on painting)
- "For the Man Who Has Everything" (Hallucination)