In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the major conflict between Superman and Batman ended after Batman got to know about Superman's mother's name:

Batman: [suffocating Superman with his foot on his throat] You were never a god. You were never even a man!

Superman: [hardly breathing] You're letting them kill Martha...

Batman: What does that mean? Why did you say that name?

Superman: Find him... Save Martha...

Batman: Why did you say that name? Martha? Why did you say that name? WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?

Lois Lane: [enters running] It's his mother's name! It's his mother's name. src

This made Batman stop harming Superman and rethink his actions. But before this film I never realised that both superhero's mothers have the same first name - Martha Kent and Martha Wayne. Is it just a random coincidence that their mother's share same name, or is one character inspired by the other, or is this a reference to some other work?

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    I really believe the only reason they made the movie is because of that coincidence
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 8:58
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    Note that Superman has both a biological and adoptive mother. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 14:00
  • Can you copyright first names? See also, the first First Lady of the United States. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:48
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    Why did you say that name?
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 17:12
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    @PoloHoleSet No, first names aren't copyrightable. They are proper, but common. Even Count Dracula's wife's name is Martha in Hotel Transylvania franchise. Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


It's just a coincidence that the mothers of Superman and Batman share the same name. Martha was the most common name in that era. However, before Superman's adoptive mother got named Martha in the 1950s, she was called Mary and Sarah. After the 1950s, This was started by DC comics to frequent more team-ups of Superman and Batman. This appears to be Easter eggs, but we can't know it for sure now as original authors are gone now.

However, sharing the common name was something that Zack Snyder played with in this movie. He wanted to get to a moment with Batman where that moment with Martha resonates and according to him, this Martha scene pays off for the viewer because of the relationship established between Clark and Ma Kent in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman.

From his interview with Forbes

You know, they’re both born and live in a world where someone can care about them and mourn them, and they can love their mother. And that’s the cool thing, you know we spend so much time with the Martha-Clark relationship that I think it kind of pays off there. You realize, oh, we needed that as viewers, so we could get to a moment with Batman where that moment with Martha resonates. Because we’ve lived on with Clark’s relationship with his mother, so that moment is like, “Wow, that’s ringing for me and I feel it.”

When we were shooting the title sequence, that whole idea about, “Do we really need to see the death of the Waynes again,” is a big thing to take a shot at again. But you realize you need it, because it actually pays off. And I really wanted to do it all the way.

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    So your saying it was deliberate to lead to more team ups? I would like to see more than your word, and perhaps some explanation on how both mothers having the first same name would logically lead to more team ups.
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 10:35
  • Well, I can't really get a word as the original authors are gone now.
    – A J
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 10:37
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    Saying "this was done to do X" and having no evidence to actually show that your statement is true doesn't seem like it should stay. This answer would be improved by either proving or removing the assertion. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 21:33
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    I agree with others that the "team up" claim needs to be sourced, because why would the name of their mothers matter for a team up? - I'm pretty sure there a several members of the Justice League who don't have a mother whose name is Martha.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 22:41
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    Martha was never the "most common name", of any era. The highest it ever got is #18 in the 1880s. Yes, it used to be more common than it is now, but it's still quite a coincidence that both Mrs. Kent and Mrs. Wayne are named Martha.
    – Martha
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 5:18

Coincidence, I think.

Martha Kane/Wayne has always been Martha since 1939

Martha Clarke/Kent was variously called Mary, Sarah, and perhaps others in the 1940s before settling on Martha in 1951 and sticking with it.

There's nothing in the well-rounded Wikipedia articles on both characters to suggest that they'd have cause to conflict in Batman/Superman stories.

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    You might want to keep the same order in writing the "maiden name/married name" of the mothers. Bruce Wayne's mom was born Martha Kane, and Clark Kent's mother was born Martha Clark. I don't know about others, but it confused me.
    – insanity
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 11:10
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    Is it worth saying something about the popularity of the names? It may seem like a weird coincidence to us, but the name was much more popular back then: behindthename.com/name/martha/top
    – Simon
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 14:54
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    @Simon - Yeah, AJ's answer covers this angle quite nicely. It might also be worth pointing out the cultural values in America when these comics were first written - it would seem very odd to those audiences that comic book heroes would come into conflict with each other - these guys were role models of morality and behaviour for countless kids.
    – user43022
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:15

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