Thomas Wayne: Batman Sr.
October 4, 2013
“Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.” Have you ever been in a class, bible study, or any random group that proposed this question? It’s rare when it happens, and, because it is so rare, I always have a different answer. Right now, my go to answer would be, “My name is Justin, I’m a 30 year old man, and I am addicted to Batman comics.”
What guy doesn’t love the idea of being a young billionaire playboy by day, and muscle bound vigilante by night? No wonder this storyline has spawned a comic that has run for over 70 years, 7 major films, a sea of merchandise, and enough Halloween costumes to last a lifetime. Growing up, I always wanted to be the caped crusader. I imagined leaping from roof tops, saving the day, and securing the safety of a city. I thought that Bruce Wayne (the man behind the bat) was the ultimate ‘man with a plan’ and emulated what he stood for. I thought protecting your community required a caveful of high-tech weaponry and 18-inch biceps.
Through the years my view of the world around me has changed, as it does for everyone. Bruce has not been safe from my paradigm shifts unfortunately. Wouldn’t it be great if everything from our childhood kept it’s same luster as we aged? Where Bruce Wayne, the hero, once stood in my young eyes now stands a schizophrenic outlaw that appears at times more dangerous than the villains he fights on a nightly basis. He is a friendless recluse, who never wishes to succeed in fear that there will no longer be a great battle to win. So where is the hero in this story? Is it the enabling butler Alfred? The sheepish boy wonder Robin?
Today I look to another source of inspiration in the Batman saga. Like most men, Bruce is shaped by the influence of his father Thomas. Now, Thomas was a physician in the community who delighted in philanthropic endeavors. His charitable nature knew no bounds and the city was better for it. I am fortunate to know men and women in our community just like Thomas in this way. Thomas fought injustice by setting a better example in the community, without a mask. He spent his nights in board meetings, not jumping roof tops. Thomas gave to his community with his heart, not with his body.
Let’s face it, no one would read a comic book about ‘Board Meeting Man’, who drinks coffee by day and types the minutes by night. Snoozefest. However, these are the men and women in our community today that make the differences every day. Exciting or not, and typically without any recognition. These are my heroes now. These are the folks I idealize in my age. I still read the adventures of Batman. I still want to have 18-inch biceps. Thomas does more for me now than Bruce. To me, Thomas is in reality, what Batman is in fantasy.