Examining Dr. Wayne Part 3
The Final Diagnosis
When I first started to compile a psychological profile of the Thomas Wayne Batman I had him pegged as a stone cold killer. A man bereft of memories because they were too painful. A man who had chosen a life medicine but spurned it for a life of deadly vengeance. He habituated casinos that reflected his willingness to gamble away all his gains. He lurked in a stark Batcave beneath an empty mansion because he deserved no high born trappings and none of the benefits of wealth. He was a man that rejected leadership as it was too close to a family dynamic and a family was the one thing that was taken from Dr. Wayne.
At the very least you could label him as “Asocial”, someone who is averse to society, will not conform to its norms and rejects its standards. Perhaps he is a Sociopath, someone who shows a lack of remorse, has shallow emotions, a grandiose sense of self and an incapacity for love.
An incapacity for love?
Much of what I outlined above is true, but an incapacity for love? Not true.
What is undeniable though is his responsibility for the world that changed around him (not in the “Flashpoint” sense) and the effect on his friends and family. Martha Wayne was well on her way to madness before Thomas turned to the Knight of Vengeance. As Thomas delivered the news of Joe Chill’s death she had already cut herself with a macabre grin. But he may have been directly responsible for her transforming into the Joker. His rejection of medicine, the acceptance of gambling and his own transformation into the crepuscular avatar of revenge surely pushed her over the edge. Even after the grip of insanity had taken Martha she could still see what had become of Thomas Wayne.
As the Thomas Wayne Batman tried to appeal to the last grain of sanity in Martha Wayne’s mind, his admission that his son that survived in another life and followed in his footsteps was too much for Martha to bear.
In a world of justice this would have meant hope to Martha. But that is not the world Thomas Wayne built. The symbol of the Bat meant terror in her world. It meant murder and a never ending flow of blood. The hands that should have wielded a scalpel picked up the sword instead. In our world the symbol of the Bat meant fear yes, but to most it meant justice by someone who was unafraid to go where normal men tread.
Even in his final act the Thomas Wayne Batman brought the vengeance of death. The only justice he knew came with the ultimate price. Was this who he was? Was this the world he left behind him? Was he totally without remorse, a pathological killer devoid of all morality?
No, there was hope. Even in his darkest hour Thomas Wayne knew he had followed the wrong path. He couldn’t save his wife and his world was in tatters but a flicker of decency remained. A final note to the son he had lost turned that flicker into a flame.
Thomas Wayne was a man of many things, none of which he was proud of. But he was not a man bereft hope, a glimmer of which came to him in a Flash. In a world torn asunder that was crumbling beneath his feet Doctor Thomas Wayne still had the capacity to heal. The man of medicine was still there. Doctor Thomas Wayne was not a well man but in that hollow broken shell there was the capacity for love and in the end it led to his salvation.
Posted by Dave Healey