- When we have the wisdom to use mercy and compassion instead of force -- we human creatures will finally be on the path to perfection.
- — Leslie Thompkins src
Leslie Thompkins was a doctor in Gotham City, running her own clinic in the East End. She was the first to help Bruce Wayne after his parents were shot, and worked with him for years thereafter, even though she disapproves of some aspects of his vigilantism.
Leslie Thompkins was a close friend of Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha. She took it upon herself to look after their orphaned son, Bruce, after the two of them were gunned down in Park Row. She often acted with the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as a parental figure and guardian; trying to teach Bruce how to deal with his grief. During that time, Dr. Thompkins was concerned with Bruce's behavior as he grew increasingly antisocial. She was even more perturbed when she discovered that, in his adult years, Bruce spent his nights fighting the criminal elements of Gotham as the Batman.
Dr. Thompkins ran the free Thomas Wayne Memorial Clinic for criminals and drug addicts in Gotham City. While the majority of her patients were repeat offenders, she continued to do her job with great perseverance and determination.
As an active member of Gotham City, Dr. Thompkins encountered various of the most notorious criminals of the city. Fortunately, she was never seriously harmed, although this might be a result of the constant protection by Gotham's vigilantes.
During Batman's early activities in Gotham, Dr. Thompkins strongly disapproved of him, until she learned Batman's secret identity. Knowing Bruce was behind the mask, caused her to shift her attitude towards Batman, feeling guilty for having failed to save Bruce from such a grim fate. Ever since, Dr. Thompkins became an ally to the Dark Knight, although she still disapproved of his methods.
During Batman's early years, he would visit Dr. Thompkins in Crime Alley on the anniversary of his parents' deaths. On one of those visits, Batman and Dr. Thompkins learned of an attempt to kill a man who lived in Park Row and they tried to warn him. In the process, Dr. Thompkins was mugged and slightly injured. After Batman stopped the criminals, Dr. Thompkins was taken to the Gotham General Hospital, where she recovered. Later, Dr. Thompkins was kidnapped by the villain called Wrath, who used her to lure Batman and Commissioner Gordon into a trap. Dr. Thompkins was rescued by Batman and then she comforted the partner of Wrath, after the villain died by his own hand in the confrontation with Batman.
While working as a supervisor of Shondra Kinsolving's free clinic, Dr. Thompkins hosted the Charity Function ceremony in which Wayne Foundation supported the clinic with a generous donation. However, she was hypnotized by Poison Ivy, as well as everybody at the event, but the effects didn't last long to cause permanent damage.
A short time later, Dr. Thompkins became aware of the murder attempt on her friend Graham Etchinson and she was threatened by Clayface 3, when he came looking for the victim. Dr. Thompkins was saved by Graham, who agreed to be taken instead of allowing her to sacrifice for him.
Stephanie Brown, "The Spoiler," suffered serious injuries at the hands of the Black Mask during the events of War Games, and was taken to Doctor Thompkins' clinic for treatment, where she later died. Originally feeling responsible, thinking Spoiler had died of her injuries because he failed to bring her to the hospital in time, Batman later discovered that Dr. Thompkins deliberately neglected her. She had been pushed past her limit by all of the terrible things she had seen, and hoped that the death of a young girl on his hands would finally cause Bruce to put a stop to Batman's violence. She was distraught with herself. After liquidating her assets and giving them to Spoiler's daughter, she fled to Africa. Batman followed her and forced a confession, coldly informing her that he may not stop all violence, but he had never thrown another body onto the pile in the hopes of making a statement. He left warning her that she was just another murderer in his database, and if she ever returned to the United States, or even practiced medicine again, he would have her arrested.
Later on, a mysterious familiar figure was stalking Tim Drake wearing Stephanie's Spoiler costume, which at one point Tim thought he imagined it to be Stephanie herself. It is later revealed that the stalker is indeed Stephanie, which led into question of whether Dr. Thompkins truly did neglect treatment for her. Some time later, Dr. Thompkins revealed that she faked the death of the girl and switched the body with a gang war victim who had a similar body type.
Return to Gotham
One year after her departure, Dr. Thompkins returned to Gotham City after learning of Bruce's death. She returned with the intention of redeeming herself and in such attempt, she found an injured Mortimer Drake, a.k.a. The Cavalier, and approached the man to heal him. A few weeks later, she reopened her Community Clinic with Drake working as her personal bodyguard. Around this time, she attended the Robinson Ball with Dick Grayson and Timothy Drake.
Powers and Abilities
- Medicine: Leslie Thompkins is an expert healer in every sense of the word.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Dr. Thompkins disapproves of Bruce's vigilantism, and feels partly responsible for his transformation into Batman, fearing that somehow she failed him as a role model. Bruce has on occasion admitted to feeling guilty for being unable to live up to her pacifist example. She also has been linked to Alfred romantically on more than one occasion.
- Writer Dennis O'Neil, creator of Leslie Thompkins, based the character in social activist Dorothy Day.
- 150 Appearances of Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)
- 16 Images featuring Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)
- 15 Quotations by or about Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Leslie Thompkins (New Earth)
- Detective Comics #457
- Batman: Faith
- Detective Comics #483
- Batman Special #1
- Batman #495
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat #26
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat #27
- Batman Chronicles #18
- Batman #633
- Batman #644
- Robin (Volume 2) #170
- Robin (Volume 2) #174
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
- Denny O'Neil's interview in BTAS Podcast (1h30min)
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