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Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and an ally of Batman as Batgirl. She also served as a member of the United States Congress.

As a teenager, Barbara eavesdropped on a coversation between her father and the enigmatic man called Batman. She became infatuated with the hero and eventually turned him into an idol.[1] Years later, Barbara graduated summa cum laude with a Ph.D in Library Science[1] at Gotham University,[2] which allowed her to start working as a librarian. This calm and quiet job left her plenty of time to explore martial arts. The position also allowed her the chance to learn about a wide variety of subjects and meet many of people in different fields of research.[3]

As the daughter of the police commissioner, she worked to some degree to spite her father. She intended to crash the Policeman's Masquerade Ball at Bruce Wayne's Wayne Manor with a Batman-inspired costume. On her way to the party, she discovered a plot by Killer Moth to ambush Wayne to extort money. Wearing her bat costume, she impulsively rushed in and beat the villain. The excitement she felt while fighting the criminal inspired her to create a proper Batsuit and she started fighting crime as Batgirl, with Killer Moth being her first criminal captured in collaboration with Batman and Robin[2] After the initial success, she decided to keep fighting crime as a close ally of Batman.

On her second adventure as Batgirl, she managed to capture a large gang that planned to steal the Amerindian Museum. At first she worked on the case alone, but she was soon joined by Batman and Robin, who tried to make her believe that Batman was Bruce Wayne, but she didn’t fall for the ruse, even though it was the truth.[4]

When Batman was affected by a rare swamp fever, Batgirl teamed-up with Robin in order to prevent the Caped Crusader from accelerating the process of the illness by overworking himself. When the fever reached the most critical stage, Batman received attention as Bruce Wayne and during his absence, the Batgirl-Robin team prowled the streets of Gotham.[5] Jealous of Batgirl’s success, Catwoman came out of retirement and tried to impress the Dark Knight by making Batgirl look bad. Her plan backfired as Batgirl found a way to outsmart Catwoman and Batman was able to arrest the feline criminal.[6]

Not long after this, Batman asked Batgirl and Wonder Woman to pretend to be in love with him in order to lure the criminal known as Copperhead into a trap. The plan backfired, but soon the trio worked together to capture Copperhead and recover the stolen loot.[7]

Solo Adventures

Barbara eventually started going out as Batgirl to investigate crimes on her own. The first time she did so, was in order to check upon a man called Mark Hanner, a frequent visitor at the Library, who had mysteriously disappeared.[8] She eventually discovered that Hanner was a private detective who was captured by some gangsters and after she rescued him and his sister, she went on a couple of dates with him as Barbara Gordon.[9]

Batgirl and Jason Bard

Batgirl and Jason Bard

After this, Barbara was tricked into posing as Batgirl on a costume contest in which she was the target of certain criminals.[10] She managed to defeat some of the crooks and learn that the woman who tricked her into becoming part of the contest was part of the gang, but she double-crossed them. Batgirl then located the woman and captured her as well, ending a large smuggling racket.[11] Shortly after this, Barbara met Jason Bard, a private investigator, which whom she started dating as Barbara Gordon and worked alongside him to solve cases as Batgirl.[12][13][14]

Afterwards, Batgirl started investigating the case of the Orchid Killer[15] and she managed to capture the criminal luring him into fake dates with her as Barbara.[16] Batgirl went on to clear Jason Bard’s name when he was framed of murder,[17][18] solved the case of a group of activists destroying private property,[19][20] travelled to Spain where she solved a murder mystery[21][22] stopped a plot to murder people using wigs,[23][24] tracked down a killer who wanted to murder a couple of famous actors,[25][26] helped her father capture a wanted killer and prevented him from being tricked by a Batgirl imposter.[27] However, after all these events, her double-life became apparent enough for Commissioner Gordon, who deduced Barbara’s secret identity and allowed her to continue her secret work until she decided to tell him all about it.[28] Barbara then worked as Batgirl on a couple more cases by solving a mystery murder[29][30] and capturing a blackmailing racket in Mexico.[31]

Barbara learned of a murder at the Hudson University and she tried to solve the case by herself, unaware that Robin was keeping a close eye on her until she was captured by an unknown assailant.[32] She was eventually saved by Robin and together, they captured the killer.[33]

Congresswoman Gordon

Terror of Crime

Terror of Crime

After two years of being Batgirl, Barbara talked to a parole board in order to get a former love interest out of prison. She had captured him on her early days as Batgirl and she decided to give him a second chance. Unfortunately, the man had not reformed and instead tried to use Barbara to help him on his criminal activities. It was then that Barbara realized that working only as Batgirl was not helpful as long as the system didn’t work. For this reason, Barbara decided to run for Congress, taking her father’s place as he didn’t want the job and by doing this, she finally revealed her secret identity as Batgirl to her father.[34]

With help from the youth of Gotham, Barbara had a successful bid despite the attempts to stop her election. After being elected, Barbara flew to Washington, D.C., leaving everyone and everything behind, including her relation with Jason Bard and her career as Batgirl.[35]

Despite her newfound duties as a Congresswoman, Barbara managed to find time in her busy schedule to resume her Batgirl activities in Washington.[36][37] Batgirl confronted and captured the small time crook known as Captain Aero, unaware that she was assisted by her long lost brother, Tony.[38] Eventually, Killer Moth attempted to learn the location of the Batcave from Batgirl, but she managed to fool the criminal and captured him, sending him to prison.[39] On a later occasion, Batgirl confronted the evil sorceress called Madame Zodiac, who had broken into the Pentagon and used the building’s geometric structure to augment her mystic powers. Batgirl managed to stop her, using all her gadgets and tearing her own Batsuit in the struggle.[40]

Dangerous Delight

Dangerous Delight

After fighting and defeating some Chinese versions of the American superheroes, Batgirl learned that her brother could still be alive.[41] Subsequently, Batgirl traveled to China as Barbara on a diplomatic mission, when she was once again attacked by the “Sino-Supermen” and their leader, Wo Fong. Barbara and a reporter were kidnapped by the villains,[42] but Barbara went into action as Batgirl and defeated the Sino-Supermen with help from her brother Tony. However, the reunion was short lived as a helpless Batgirl witnessed the death of Tony and Wo Fong inside a collapsing castle.[43]

Barbara returned to America and resumed her work as Batgirl, capturing Killer Moth once again. On her role as Congresswoman, Barbara attended a rally in Gotham, where she had to assist Batman against the evil Dr. Phoshorus, whom she managed to defeat almost by herself.[44] Back in Washington, D.C., Batgirl stopped a terrorist group with help from a young soldier who tried to court her.[45] Later, Batgirl located and captured a couple of criminals who wanted to kill Commissioner Gordon.[46]

Batgirl later foiled a burglary attempt on her apartment and ended up uncovering political corruption involving a U.S. Congressman.[47] Her last caper while in Washington was the capture of her sworn enemy, Killer Moth.[48]

When her period as Congresswoman was about done, Barbara returned to Gotham for the re-election campaign, but her duty as Batgirl caused her to neglect her campaign.[49] As a result, Barbara lost the electoral race and she focused her attention on her career as Batgirl.[50]

Working with Robin

Heroic Romance

Heroic Romance

While in Washington, Barbara summoned Dick Grayson to be her assistant. It was during this time that Robin and Batgirl started teaming-up more frequently and a flirtatious relation between them started.[51] The next time they worked together was in Pricetown, where they had to solve the mystery behind living dinosaurs and ancient warriors. They eventually learned that it was all part of an illusion and during this adventure they learned each other’s secret identities.[52] Afterwards, Robin and Batgirl stopped the criminal organization MAZE from murdering a foreign Princess, in what would be the first encounter against the hired killers.[53]

Batgirl and Robin were then kidnapped by Huntress and Sportsmaster and forced to compete against each other. The young heroes however, managed to turn the table against the crooks and captured them with team-work.[54] Later, Barbara went to Hudson University to give a speech. There, she learned that someone had stolen the plaque award for her and working together with Robin, they recovered the stolen prize.[55] Afterwards, Robin tricked MAZE and prepared a set-up to capture a large faction of the organization along with Batgirl’s help.[56] Later, Batgirl and Robin worked together again to put an end to the Five-In-One Foe’s crimes.[57] Working on a drug smuggling ring, Barbara was drugged and manipulated by an evil scientist who erased her memories. Robin helped Barbara recover most of her memories, but they agreed that she should not remember Batman and Robin’s true identities for the time being.[58]

Bat-Family

During a visit to Provincetown, Batgirl captured the long-forgotten criminal called Cavalier. Unfortunately, he was soon sprung out of prison by Killer Moth and the criminals worked together against Batgirl. The odds were even when Batwoman joined Batgirl and together, they stopped the crooks. Barbara and Kathy soon learned each other’s identities, but Kathy Kane decided to remain in retirement, allowing Barbara to be the main female member of the Bat-Family.[59] Not long after this, Batgirl was lured to a trap along with Robin to New York City, where they teamed-up with Man-Bat in order to defeat the menace of the Outsider.[60] Right after the last mission, Batgirl witnessed the disintegration of Batwoman and she called Robin to help her find a cure to the virus that caused Batwoman’s disappearance.[61]

Batgirl and Robin

Batgirl and Robin

After this, Barbara was introduced to Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Bruce Wayne of Earth-Two. Helena had recently adopted the identity of the Huntress to fight crime and she sought the advice of more seasoned heroines as Batgirl and Batwoman. The three girls shared some stories and advice and they eventually worked together to stop and capture Poison Ivy and Catwoman.[62]

When a new villain created a massive emergency in Washington, Batgirl called Robin to help her against the Power Sower. With help from Red Tornado and Elongated Man, they stopped the villain’s evil scheme.[63] When Robin was contacted by Alfred in order to help Batman with a fear related problem, he enlisted Batgirl’s help and they located the Scarecrow, who was responsible of drugging Batman with a variation of his fear toxin. Although Robin and Batgirl were captured by the Scarecrow, their information was vital for Batman to stop the Scarecrow and save them.[64]

Gotham City

After Barbara failed to get re-elected for Congress, she started working as Batgirl in Gotham City, solving regular crimes and eventually confronted costumed criminals.[65]

Barbara as Head of R&D

Barbara as Head of R&D

Barbara eventually found a job as head of the Social Services Department at an Research and Development Company. Around the same time as this happened, Batgirl became target of a criminal called General Scarr, who prepared a deadly trap for her.[66] Barbara was slightly injured in the trap and she feigned her death in order to give up the role of Batgirl. However, Batman and her father encouraged her to confront her fears and she stopped General Scarr, returning to her masked identity.[67] Eventually, Barbara resumed her activities at the R&D enterprise as well as her Batgirl duties.[68][69][70][71][72]

Soon, Barbara Gordon started a serious relationship with Jim Dovers, the father of a girl that was affected during one of Batgirl’s cases. Around the same time, Batgirl confronted the villain called Doctor Voodoo, but failed to capture him.[73] Right after that, Barbara was arrested for the assassination of Congressman Scanlon,[74] but thanks to his father and boyfriend, Barbara was released on parole, which allowed Batgirl to go looking for evidence of the truth to clear Barbara’s name.[75] Batgirl confronted several crooks until she found the evidence she needed to clear Barbara’s name and find the responsible for the frame-up.[76] Soon, James Gordon was fired from his job as police commissioner and he fell into a depression. In order to return the favor for having her released from prison, Barbara contacted Jason Bard to help hed father and they soon started working together as partners.[77][78]

Supernatural Threats

Riding the Night

Riding the Night

Eventually, Barbara broke up with her boyfriend and continued her adventures as Batgirl. Thus, she was challenged once again by Dr.Voodoo, who started a crusade to cause Batgirl an emotional breakdown,[79] but Batgirl put an end to Voodoo’s criminal activities, overcoming her feelings of despair.[80] Like this, Batgirl stopped several other criminals, from regular mobsters to crazed killers.[81][82] Later, Batgirl and Supergirl teamed-up to stop The Annihilator.[83][84][85]

When Batgirl learned about recent “vampire” attacks, she investigated and confronted the monstrous Lady Viper,[86] but failed to stop her and was bitten by her.[87] The venom caused Batgirl to transform into a snake-lady,[88] but Batgirl eventually found a cure just as Lady Viper turned into a snake, permanently.[89] After this encounter, Batgirl came in conflict with Velvet Tiger,[90] but the villain escaped.[91]

Later, Barbara managed to deduce the identities of Batman and Robin, which had been previously removed from her mind. Like this, Batgirl joined Robin against a horde of villains that had escaped from Arkham and they helped Batman against the new and vicious crimelord called Killer Croc.[92]

After this adventure, Batgirl largely retired from her crime-fighting activities. When her father, James Gordon suffered a stroke, Barbara watched over him while he was hospitalized. Some criminals tried to murder Gordon while he was recovering and Barbara managed to call the police, relocating her father in order to prevent them from hurting him. When the crooks eventually found them, Barbara worked with Batman to stop them and Gordon recovered in time to witness her heroic actions.[93]

After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barbara Gordon's existence and history was completely altered, transforming her into a different person, existing on a different reality.


Abilities

Equipment

  • Batgirl Costume: In her early days, Barbara incorporated her costume in her everyday clothes. Her skirt became a cape, her beret a cowl and her handbag doubled as a utlity pocketbook.
  • Utility Belt: As Batgirl, her equipment included Batarangs, smoke bombs, a grappling hook, and some other gadgets. In her early years, she also used a pocketbook, but discarded it as it was too bulky.[3]

Transportation

  • Batcycle: Batgirl rides a specially modified moped.
  • This version of Batgirl, including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Batgirl was created for the Batman TV series, first appearing in "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin". However, she first appeared in the DC Universe in Detective Comics #359, months earlier to her TV debut.

Related


Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Untold Legend of the Batman #3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Detective Comics #359
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #2
  4. Detective Comics #363
  5. Detective Comics #369
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Batman #197
  7. Brave and the Bold #78
  8. Detective Comics #384
  9. Detective Comics #385
  10. Detective Comics #388
  11. Detective Comics #389
  12. Detective Comics #392
  13. Detective Comics #393
  14. Detective Comics #404
  15. Detective Comics #396
  16. Detective Comics #397
  17. Detective Comics #404
  18. Detective Comics #405
  19. Detective Comics #406
  20. Detective Comics #407
  21. Detective Comics #408
  22. Detective Comics #409
  23. Detective Comics #412
  24. Detective Comics #413
  25. Detective Comics #414
  26. Detective Comics #415
  27. Detective Comics #416
  28. Detective Comics #417
  29. Detective Comics #418
  30. Detective Comics #419
  31. Detective Comics #421
  32. Detective Comics #400
  33. Detective Comics #401
  34. Detective Comics #422
  35. Detective Comics #424
  36. Batman Family #4
  37. Batman Family #6
  38. Batman Family #12
  39. Batman Family #15
  40. 40.0 40.1 Batman Family #18
  41. Batman Family #19
  42. Detective Comics #481
  43. Detective Comics #482
  44. Batman #311
  45. Detective Comics #483
  46. Detective Comics #484
  47. Detective Comics #485
  48. Detective Comics #486
  49. Detective Comics #486
  50. Detective Comics #488
  51. Batman Family #1
  52. Batman Family #3
  53. Batman Family #5
  54. Batman Family #7
  55. Batman Family #9
  56. Batman Family #11
  57. Batman Family #16
  58. Detective Comics #489
  59. Batman Family #10
  60. Batman Family #13
  61. Batman Family #14
  62. Batman Family #17
  63. Batman Family #20
  64. Detective Comics #503
  65. Detective Comics #490
  66. Detective Comics #491
  67. Detective Comics #492
  68. Detective Comics #493
  69. Detective Comics #494
  70. Detective Comics #495
  71. Detective Comics #512
  72. Detective Comics #513
  73. Detective Comics #496
  74. Detective Comics #497
  75. Detective Comics #498
  76. Detective Comics #499
  77. Batman #348
  78. Batman #349
  79. Detective Comics #501
  80. Detective Comics #502
  81. Detective Comics #505
  82. Detective Comics #506
  83. Detective Comics #508
  84. Detective Comics #509
  85. Detective Comics #510
  86. Detective Comics #514
  87. Detective Comics #515
  88. Detective Comics #516
  89. Detective Comics #517
  90. Detective Comics #518
  91. Detective Comics #519
  92. Detective Comics #526
  93. Detective Comics #533
  94. Man of Two Worlds; 2000 (Schwartz Autobiography)


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This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.