How Many Times Must We See Batman’s Parents Die?

If you were on the internet yesterday, you might have seen some images from the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice leak on to your computer screens. Part of the problem that comes with shooting on location in a real city — as opposed to in front of a blue screen inside a giant soundstage — is that there are real people with real cameraphones lurking around every corner.

BvS:DoJ has had its share of set leaks in the past, and this one isn’t all that revealing, honestly. But for me, it reveals something that I assumed we had moved past in a Batman movie. I won’t reveal anymore until after the cut, but if you’ve read the headline, you’ve already been spoiled. Sorry.

Here’s the thing: is it really a spoiler to reveal that Thomas and Martha Wayne get gunned down on the mean streets of Gotham City? It’s only the single most defining moment in all of the Bat mythos.

The image of Bruce Wayne kneeling at the feet of his dead parents has been depicted countless times in the comics, movies, animation, video games, and anything else that has the Bat symbol emblazoned on its cover. I mean, it was basically the entire cold open of the pilot episode of Fox’s not-Batman series Gotham.

In fact, the title of this post was lifted from this brilliant supercut of the Wayne Murders that was put together by Vulture a couple months back:

I guess the answer to the question is: at least one more time in 2016. Over at Superhero Hype, they’ve come across a bunch of set photos that show an old theater playing The Mark of Zorro. And every Batfan knows that this is the fateful last movie of Thomas and Martha Wayne (unless, of course, you get your Bat mythos from Christopher Nolan, in which case a night at the opera was the Waynes’ choice for pre-murder entertainment).

There’s even video footage of mini-Bruce and his Walking Dead parents being confronted, presumably, by Joe Chill (or the Joker, who knows at this point?):

Here’s the thing, I thought the whole point of casting Ben Affleck as an “older, established Batman” was to spare us yet another origin story? Do we really need another flashback to that night in Crime Alley?

I guess Zack Snyder really wanted to get in on that supercut.

UPDATE 11/18/14: Jason Concepcion (aka @netw3rk) just power ranked each Wayne Murder for Grantland.

6 thoughts on “How Many Times Must We See Batman’s Parents Die?

  1. This is why superhero comics is not at the same level as other classic literature. It’s bad enough they’re mixing two separate characters, but now they’re trying to impose character backstories like they’re important plot points. And there’s nothing so less epic, so much less than a novel, than a DC superhero origin. When Alan Moore wrote the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it was as a graphic novel, with additional reading for fans. It wasn’t to retell the history of each character but to bring them together to fight a hidden threat. This makes me want to watch classics like Les Miserables or Oliver Twist instead.

  2. While I agree that the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne has been done often, maybe too often, I think it’s only the single most defining moment in the mythos for existing fans. While I doubt there would be any newcomers to superheroes (except maybe some older kids) in the audience for Dawn of Justice, the murder is an important point to rehash for any newcomers.

  3. At least a billion, then (Once we have seen it enough) we will awaken cleansed of our humanity and be able to to rise up from the sewers (Assuming everyone here is also a C.H.U.D like myself) and murder parents who wander about, wearing pearls and fine clothes as if they are not in the C.H.U.D filled part of town.

  4. How different is this than seeing the freshly bitten Peter Parker react to the news of Uncle Ben’s death? It seems to be a common problem with these things: they presume that people are only interested in the origin story, so they make that story into a movie over and over. Some of these comics have over a thousand issues …. you would think they would have a nearly unlimited stock of plots to crib from for the movies.

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