Martha Katherine Kane-Wayne
- "Little ones... they're all that matter. You lose one... you'll go crazy. You lose both? Can you... should you imagine life without those anchors? Of course not. You'll go mad."
- ―Martha Wayne
Martha Wayne (born February 4, 1933 - died March 14, 1968) was a wealthy socialite and crime-fighter who helped found the Wayne Foundation.
Martha Katherine Kane was born into a wealthy Irish-Catholic family on February 4, 1933 in New York City, New York to Elizabeth Webb and Roderick Kane, the founder of Kane Chemical. In her formative years, Kane, who preferred going by her middle name, was primarily raised in Gotham alongside her brother, Nathan. By age eighteen, Kane was an underground film director, a poet, and something of a wild child. As she entered college, Martha had a reputation as a notorious party girl, socialite, and debutante, frequenting all the most prestigious country clubs, night clubs, and soirees. She also had a developed social conscience and often used her family's wealth and status to champion causes and charities.
Kane's closest friend in her college days was a woman named Celia Kazantkakis. Both were renowned for their beauty, which caught the attention of a gangster named Denholm. Martha dated Denholm for a time prior to meeting Thomas Wayne. Celia, who had had previous dealings with Denholm, became very protective of her friend and conspired to get this thug out of her life. In the process it came to light just why Celia was familiar with him. Celia, it turned out, was a criminal herself and had been embezzling money from an orphanage that was one of Martha's charities. She attempted to hide the evidence of this by setting fire to the building but Kane discovered her duplicity. Before Celia departed for her family's home in Greece, Martha threatened to expose her should she ever return to Gotham.
Life of adventure
- "Who do we have here?"
- ―Martha Kane, upon first meeting Thomas Wayne
Shortly after Celia's departure, Kane met the millionaire Thomas Wayne at a party that was hosted by Vincent Falcone. During the party, several gangsters led by a mob boss named Lew Moxon raided the mansion and accidentally shot Falcone. Wayne, as a part-time physician, volunteered to perform emergency surgery on the injured man. After saving Falcone's life, the gangsters kidnapped the skilled doctor as an insurance policy against the police. Knowing that they'd likely kill him anyway, Thomas tricked the criminals and got away. A few minutes after, the Bat-man showed up and managed to apprehend every one of them, resulting in their capture. After seeing him action, Kane became infatuated with the Bat-man.
Within weeks, she was approached by a secret organization called Spyral to find the Batman's secret identity. Assessing the information on the Caped Crusader, she decided the best approach was to make him chase her. To that end, she brushed up on detective skills, martial arts and motor-biking, fashioned herself a costume and started calling herself Batwoman. Her plan worked, but Batman was careful not to give her his secret identity, and in fact worked out her's first. However, after visiting Thomas Wayne's home one day, she figured out that he was the Batman and within a few months they were an item. This, coupled with her feelings for Batman, lead her to try and break off ties with Spyral.
- "I'm richer than you, I'm smarter than you, and there are no rules to this. Are we having a team-up, or not?"
- ―Martha Kane to Thomas Wayne
- "So let's enjoy the moment while we can. Once you're elected, the honeymoon with the Gotham press won't last long."
- ―Martha Wayne to Thomas Wayne
In 1967, Martha assisted her husband Thomas with his campaign after he decided to run for Mayor of Gotham.
When Bruce was twelve years old, his parents took him to a screening of The Mark of Zorro at a cinema in Gotham's Park Row. Returning to the car through an alley, they were assaulted by a lone gunman named Joe Chill, who attempted to steal Martha's pearl necklace, an anniversary gift from Thomas. In the ensuing struggle, the thief shot both the Wayne's dead. In the wake of this tragedy, Park Row was given the nickname "Crime Alley."
Chill had been hired by gangster Lew Moxon, an enemy of Thomas Wayne, and told to make the killings look like a robbery.