Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Gotham Knights season 1, episode 2, “Scene of the Crime.”The origin of Batman has been changed in a big way in Gotham Knights. The new superhero series has deviated from the comic book DC Universe in some major ways, starting with the series opening with the death of Batman and most of the usual supporting cast not existing on this particular Earth. The latest change goes one step further, tying Batman’s life and death to one of his most infamous enemies.


Batman has perhaps the most famous and most frequently replicated origin story of any superhero. The death of Bruce Wayne’s parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, at the hands of a random mugger has been recreated in multiple films and television series. As a result, there are few that are aware of Batman as a character yet ignorant of how Bruce Wayne was inspired to wage war on crime. However, Gotham Knights challenges the idea that the Waynes died as the result of a botched robbery, suggesting a conspiracy that arranged for Thomas and Martha Wayne to be assassinated.

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How Gotham Knights’ Batman Origin Is Different

Batman Bruce Wayne Diary in Gotham Knights Show

The action of Gotham Knights episode 2, “Scene of the Crime,” sees Bruce Wayne’s adopted son Turner Hayes breaking into his father’s office at Wayne Tower with the assistance of the Robin of this Earth, Carrie Kelley. They hoped to find some clue as to who killed Batman among his most recent journals and case studies, which Carrie knew he kept locked in a hidden vault. They were surprised to discover that Bruce had apparently been rereading his first journal, where he discussed his investigation into his parents’ murder at the hands of a random robber named Joe Chill and how Chill was a hired gun working for The Court of Owls.

The young Batman believed that his parent’s death was not the result of a random crime, writing, “Joe Chill may have pulled the trigger, but he didn’t orchestrate the murder. The Court of Owls did.” This, coupled with Bruce Wayne being discovered clutching a coin with the Court of Owl’s emblem, suggested that he had begun exploring the connection between the death of his parents and the Court of Owls right before his death. However, the journal did not reveal any proof of Batman’s theory and concluded with the note that “despite my efforts, I found no evidence they ever existed.”

Gotham Knights’ Batman Origin Change Has Precedent In The Comics

The Court of Owls surrounding Batman.

The idea that the Waynes’ deaths were arranged by the Court of Owls harkens back to their introduction in the Batman comics by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, where a young Bruce Wayne researched rumors of the secret society, hoping to find a connection. He never found any proof in the core DC Universe reality of Earth-0. However, the Batman/Spawn crossover miniseries, which is believed to be set on another Earth, confirmed the Court of Owls were behind the deaths of Batman’s parents.

The conceit that the Waynes’ murder at Joe Chill’s hands was no random mugging was also explored in other stories. The idea that Joe Chill was a hitman was also utilized in the 2016 Batman: The Telltale Series video game. By contrast, the 1995 Batman novel The Ultimate Evil suggested that the Waynes were killed because of sociologist Martha Wayne’s investigation into a human trafficking syndicate. In the case of Gotham Knights, it remains to be seen if the Court of Owls is truly responsible for the deaths of Bruce Wayne and his parents or if they are just taking advantage of the chaos their deaths brought to Gotham City.

Gotham Knights airs Tuesdays on The CW.

More: Gotham Knights Premiere: 10 Batman & DC Easter Eggs That Set Up Season 1

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