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Dr. Leslie Tompkins

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Dr. Leslie Tompkins

Dr. Leslie Thompkins
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Detective Comics #457 (March 1976)
Created by Dennis O'Neil
Dick Giordano
In-story information
Full name Dr. Leslie Maurin Thompkins
Team affiliations Batman Family
Supporting character of Batman
Robin
Nightwing
Stephanie Brown

Dr. Leslie Maurin Thompkins (sometimes spelled Tompkins) is a fictional character from the Batman mythos. Created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Dick Giordano, she first appeared in Detective Comics #457 (March 1976).[1] Her character draws partial inspiration from Dorothy Day.

A close friend and medical colleague of Thomas Wayne, Leslie serves as a surrogate parental figure to Bruce after his parents are murdered, and later becomes a confidant in his crusade as Batman, as well as an occasional critic against some of his extreme tendencies. In addition to being one of Batman's allies, Leslie is also a renowned medical professional who has dedicated her considerable skills toward helping Gotham's neglected and impoverished population.

Fictional character biography

Leslie Thompkins's first appearance was in Detective Comics #457, in which she is depicted as comforting the young Bruce Wayne on the night that his parents were murdered. Inspired, she would spend the rest of her life helping slum kids avoid a life of crime, and every year on the anniversary of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Batman would visit the now elderly woman in Park Row (which was now referred to as Crime Alley). However, Leslie had no idea he was the boy she had helped decades before.

In later years, Leslie is portrayed as having been a close friend of Thomas Wayne. She took it upon herself to look after Wayne's son, Bruce, after the boy's parents were murdered, often acting with the family butler Alfred Pennyworth as a parental figure and guardian. In Batman Special #1 (1984), after costumed cop-killer Wrath dies in combat with Batman, Leslie comforted Wrath's grieving girlfriend much as she had young Bruce.

Leslie disapproves of Bruce's vigilantism, and feels partly responsible for his transformation into Batman, fearing that somehow she failed him as a role model. She also has been linked to Alfred romantically on more than one occasion.[2]

She runs a clinic for criminals and drug addicts in Gotham City. While the majority of her patients are repeat offenders, she continues to do her job with great perseverance and determination. During the No Man's Land storyline, she runs Gotham's only medical clinic, operating under a strict 'No Violence' policy regardless of her patients's actions and intent. Even Killer Croc respects the rule and stays out, despite his strong desire for revenge against Victor Zsasz.[3]

Spoiler suffers serious injuries at the hands of Black Mask during the War Games crossover, and is taken to Leslie's clinic for treatment. Initially thinking Spoiler died of her injuries, Batman later discovers, during the War Crimes storyline, that Leslie deliberately treated her improperly, resulting in her death while hoping that it would teach Batman the lesson that his constant use of children as partners was only putting their lives in danger.

After liquidating her assets and giving them to Spoiler's daughter, she flees to Africa. Batman follows her and forces a confession, coldly informing her that he may not stop violence, but he had never thrown another body onto the pile in the hopes of making a statement. He warns her that she was just another murderer in his eyes, and if she ever returned to the United States or practiced medicine again, he would bring her to justice.[4]

A mysterious familiar figure has been stalking Tim Drake wearing Stephanie's Spoiler costume, which at one point Tim thinks he imagined it to be Stephanie herself.[5] The stalker indeed turns out to be Stephanie; Robin #174 reveals that Leslie faked the girl's death and switched the body with an overdose victim who had a similar body type.

A 2008 Robin/Spoiler one-shot special shows both Leslie and Stephanie alive and in exile, protecting a village somewhere in Africa.

After the events of Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Leslie Thompkins has once again set up shop in Gotham, attempting to start over and continue to help unfortunates. She gained the Cavalier as her bodyguard and has, along with Barbara Gordon, begun helping a former associate of the Teen Titans named Wendy Harris deal with the loss of the use of her legs.[6] Leslie meanwhile, has been welcomed back warmly by Alfred and Dick Grayson. Tim Drake, however, maintains a frosty attitude towards her due to her actions regarding Stephanie.

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Leslie Thompkins appears in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws. She is featured in Jason Todd's flashbacks as she took him in at her clinic in Gotham City.[7]

In other media

Television

  • Leslie Thompkins appears on several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series voiced by Diana Muldaur. She is depicted as a lifelong friend and ally of Bruce Wayne, having attended medical school with his father Thomas. She knows Batman's secret identity, and serves as his on-site doctor, treating injuries that would be unexplainable for Bruce Wayne to have suffered.
  • When the series was retooled as The New Batman Adventures, Leslie is absent except for a cameo appearance in the episode "Chemistry".

Film

Video games

  • In the game Batman: Arkham City, Leslie Thompkins' medical clinic is located in the far northeast corner of the game map.

Novelization

  • Leslie Thompkins is referenced in the novelization of Batman Begins.

Short story collection

  • In Marco Palmieri's short story "Best of All," featured in the non-canonical anthology The Further Adventures of The Joker, the Joker tells Batman that Leslie is his mother. He says that she committed him to a mental institution as a child after he murdered his father, who was abusing her. The story leaves ambiguous whether the Joker is telling the truth.

References

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