Dear Thomas and Martha Wayne,
Look, I don’t know you and you probably won’t read this because you’re both a) very busy people, b) fictional characters, and c) dead. And I know, open letters are the worst! It’s like a writer is too lazy to come up with something interesting, so they use this terrible format instead to make some sort of would-be grand and illustrious point. But here we are! There’s no other way for me to write to you two because you aren’t real and you are dead.
You two have died a lot of times. I tried to look up how many times you’ve died in the comics and cartoons and television shows and movies, and it’s difficult to get an accurate count. It’s a lot. You died in Tim Burton’s Batman, then you died again in Batman Forever, which was technically a sequel. Look at me, I’m rambling on and on and your time is very important because you’re probably going to be murdered again soon.
You two were first murdered 77 years ago. You probably had no idea you’d have to relive that day so many more times. Neither did we! When we saw you two murdered in 2005’s Batman Begins, we thought that might be the last time. Because, you know, we get it. But then we got to see your murders again in 2014’s premiere of Gotham. That one was interesting because it focuses on a young Bruce Wayne and there was an assumption we’d get to know you two a little better over the course of a few episodes before you were murdered. But no, all we really know is that you two are doing pretty well for yourselves and you like theater.
Now we see you die again in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A lot of us didn’t see that one coming! But there you are again, being shot in front of your son after leaving the theater – always culture lovers, you two. This time, it’s 1981. You know, you could have stayed home and watched Dallas. J.R. Ewing was shot, but he lived. You two never live.
At this point, I can’t believe how many times you two have died to ensure our entertainment. If you live, we don’t get a Batman. And without Batman, we can’t have a new Green Lantern movie, either. You have to understand that, right? Without you, we’d never have all those fun self-deprecating jokes that George Clooney tells about being Batman that one time. And that’s right, you gave birth to George Clooney! And Val Kilmer. And Christian Bale. And Michael Keaton. And now Ben Affleck. I bet you didn’t see that last one coming. Neither did we! He’s okay.
Your sacrifice means something to our culture. People love your son. People get really mad when mean things are said about your son. You didn’t die in vain those 30 or so times. But, you both seem nice and I’m sorry this keeps happening to you – but your son needs to be emotionally scarred for any of this to work. I at least hope the show you saw was good. I’m sure we’ll meet again the next time you two die. Until then, stay safe.
P.S. Do you two happen to know the radioactive spider? He’s around a lot, too.
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.