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James Gordon (New Earth)

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HelpCommissioner Gordon
James Gordon 001
Information-silkReal NameJames "Jim" Worthington Gordon
Information-silkCurrent AliasCommissioner Gordon
Information-silkRelativesBarbara Eileen Gordon (ex-wife); Sarah Essen Gordon (wife, deceased); Roger Gordon (brother, deceased); Thelma Gordon (sister-in-law, deceased); Barbara "Babs" Gordon (niece/adopted daughter); James Gordon, Jr. (son)
Information-silkAffiliationGotham City Police Department, Batman Family, Batman Incorporated, formerly U.S. Special Forces
Information-silkBase Of OperationsPolice Headquarters, Gotham City, formerly Chicago
Information-silkIdentityPublic Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusWidowed
Information-silkOccupationDetective; Police Commissioner
Information-silkHeight6' 0"
Information-silkWeight168 lbs (76 kg)
Information-silkHairWhite Red
Information-silkUniverseEarth-One, New Earth
Information-silkPlace of BirthChicago
Information-silkCreatorsBill Finger, Bob Kane
First Appearance

Quote1 No -- Gotham doesn't die -- not on MY watch! Quote2
-- Commissioner Gordon src



Rookie cop James W. Gordon was transferred from Gotham City to Chicago as part of a plan by Gillian Loeb, then a captain, to cover up events that would eventually lead to the creation of the first Wrath, Gordon having shot a dirty cop and his wife while they were sneaking out of a warehouse. Gordon complied when Loeb threatened to kill the couple's young son.[1] During his tenure in Chicago, Gordon struggled with his wife, Barbara Eileen Gordon over conceiving a child, and took university night classes in criminology. He faced brutality amongst the other officers after uncovering corruption within the force. Later, Gordon uncovered evidence of rigging in the mayoral election, and brought down two more of his fellow officers. Eventually, his commissioner recommended a speedy transfer to Gotham City for him, both for his own safety and for theirs.[2]

Sudden realization.

Sudden realization.

A man of integrity, the newly-promoted Lt. Gordon found that his only ally against the mob-controlled Gotham police department was the fledgling Batman, although he was forced to keep their working relationship out of the public eye whenever possible.[3] Gordon is able to contact Batman with the Bat-Signal, and usually meets with him on the rooftop of Gotham City Police Headquarters.

To his constant annoyance, Batman often disappears silently while Gordon's back is turned, often while he's in the middle of talking. Gordon forged an alliance in his early years with Batman and Harvey Dent, Gotham's District Attorney, as the three most dedicated and capable people to take down organized crime in Gotham, namely the "Roman Empire," the crime family led by Carmine Falcone. Although they did succeed, it was at the cost of Harvey's sanity, and he became the villainous Two-Face after being scarred with acid by one of Falcone's underlings, Sal Maroni. To this day, the loss of Harvey Dent, not just the ally but the man, is one of Gordon's greatest regrets, and he somewhat blames himself for not trusting Dent when the evidence pointed towards him. After Dent's transformation, Janice Porter became the new D.A. of Gotham. Gordon and Porter later began investigating a series of murders by a killer known as Hangman. Porter was killed by Two-Face, and the Hangman was soon revealed to be Sofia Gigante Falcone, the daughter of Carmine Falcone. Sofia, too, was killed by Two-Face, ending the Falcone crime family's influence over Gotham.[4]

Barbara Gordon

After his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car crash, Gordon became the legal guardian of his niece, Barbara Gordon, and later adopted her as his daughter. He functions largely as a father to her. Barbara had idolized the Batman all of her life, and was astonished after coming to Gotham to find that her uncle actually worked with him. At times, Barbara's relationship with Jim was strained, as all parent-child ones are. Because the Batman brought him stress, as a rebellious act she made her own Bat-Girl costume to wear to a large costume party fundraiser hosted by the GCPD with her uncle as the guest of honor. Unexpectedly, Killer Moth interrupted the festivities with his goons, and Barbara was forced to use her black belt in karate to save billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Afterwards, she began adopting the identity of Batgirl, and although she met with some resistance at first from Batman and Robin, she was eventually able to prove her mettle and become a full member of the Batman Family.[5] During her time as Batgirl, it was unclear as to whether or not Gordon knew her identity. He certainly seemed to suspect it, but she usually managed to at least create reasonable doubt. Robin, however, who had a crush on her from his interactions with her as Dick Grayson, was able to tell her identity from her facial features alone, and he did not live with her.

The Killing Joke

Barbara Gordon Shot

Barbara Gordon Shot
See also: Batman: The Killing Joke

Later, in one particularly memorable night of mayhem, The Joker kidnapped Gordon from his home and shot Barbara, making her a paraplegic for life. He then took Gordon to a run-down amusement park he had souped-up, stripped him naked, put a collar with a leash on him, and caged him in a freak show. In an effort to drive Gordon insane, he forced him to look at massively enlarged photos of Barbara naked and bleeding, degraded and in pain, so he could prove to Batman that even the most grounded, seemingly normal person can lose their minds after having "one bad day." Batman eventually apprehended the Joker and rescued Gordon. Despite the intense trauma he had endured, Gordon's sanity and code of ethics remained intact; before Batman left to pursue The Joker, Jim insisted that Batman apprehend the Joker without harming him, despite his atrocities, because the Joker had to be shown "that our way works."

In the aftermath of her paralysis, Barbara was forced to end her career as Batgirl, but continued to fight crime. She adopted the enigmatic persona of the computer presence, Oracle, information source for the superhero community, and behind-the-scenes leader of the all-female The Birds of Prey.

No Man's Land

Main article: No Man's Land

Following the "Contagion," "Legacy" and the "Cataclysm," Gotham City was nearly completely destroyed, and quarantined and isolated from outside assistance by the U.S. Government. Gordon was one of the few who remained behind by choice, and struggled to maintain order amidst the rampant crime and anarchy. Batman was mysteriously absent for the initial three months of the crisis, and Gordon felt somewhat betrayed. He went as far as to renounce Batman's name, and deny his symbol as a means for protection, believing that it only symbolized false hope. He forged an uneasy alliance with his old friend Harvey Dent (Two-Face), but was later (naturally) double-crossed, kidnapped, and put on trial by Two-Face for breaking their "legally-binding" alliance. He escaped Two-Face's wrath, and later met with Batman once again. In this confrontation, Gordon expressed his disgust towards Batman for letting Gotham "fall into ruin". Batman offered to prove his trust by revealing his secret identity, but Gordon refused to look when Batman removed his mask.[6] Eventually their relationship was repaired.

New Gotham

After Gordon's relationship with his wife Barbara had become strained, the two eventually divorced. He fell in love with and married fellow officer Sarah Essen, with whom he was much more compatible. However, Essen could not comprehend why Gordon needed Batman so much, which occasionally also put a strain on their relationship, although basically they loved each other and got along well. Unfortunately, she was shot in the head by the Joker at the very end of "No Man's Land," for catching a baby he had thrown at her after he told her not to move. An enraged Gordon was barely able to restrain himself from killing the Joker, but did end up brutally shooting the Joker in the knee. Afterwards, the Joker was at first incredulous, believing that Gordon may have shot him so he could never walk again, but soon he began to laugh, after he "got the joke," that Gordon had just avenged his daughter.[7]

Officer Down

Officer Down

Officer Down

During the events of "Batman: Officer Down," Gordon was gunned down by a crooked police officer, a man in front of whose family he had been arrested by Gordon. Although Gordon was put into a coma, he did eventually pull through, and the true meaning of his relationship to Batman was more heavily gone into. Batman was nearly unable to work with the rest of the Gotham Knights in bringing down the shooter, spending all of his time at Gordon's bedside. Barbara, and his more loyal amongst the GCPD, such as his longtime friends Harvey Bullock, Renée Montoya and Crispus Allen were among those hardest hit, Barbara more so than anyone. Although the assailant was eventually brought in for interrogation, they were unable to successfully prosecute him, and he ended up with his revenge taken on Gordon, but still at large. This is arguably the fault of Crispus Allen, who refused to use the Batman as an interrogation tool until the very end of the time they were allowed legally to hold him, believing it immoral.


Gordon retired from the police force after having served in it for more than 20 years. He remained in Gotham, and occasionally enjoyed nighttime visits from Batman, who would come to him for advice and, although the topic was clearly directly avoided by Bruce, for companionship. Commissioner Michael Akins became the new head of the GCPD after his departure. Gordon's most prominent moment in Batman's life during this time was when he was contacted by the currently-reformed Harvey Dent to stop Batman from beating the Joker to death after the Joker was framed for the apparent murder of Thomas Elliot, helping Batman get through his rage to see that killing the Joker would accomplish nothing but make him just another criminal, Gordon refusing to allow his friend to fall like that.

When Barbara required surgery to save her life from the Brainiac virus while in Metropolis, Gordon visited her. She revealed to him her current role as Oracle, as well as her past as Batgirl. Gordon admitted that he knew of her life as Batgirl, but was pleasantly surprised to hear that even after being crippled, she had found a way to continue her life as a superhero. He is very proud of her accomplishments.


As of "One Year Later" after the Infinite Crisis, Gordon had returned to the role of Gotham's Police Commissioner.[8] The GCPD had uncovered immense corruption from within, reportedly reaching all the way up to Commissioner Akins himself. Commissioner Gordon continued to work with and without the aid of Batman and Robin, constantly striving for a better Gotham City.

Blackest Night

Main article: Blackest Night

While mourning the passing of the original Dark Knight Detective, who was apparently killed in action during Final Crisis, Gordon and his daughter witnessed Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) crash into the Bat-Signal, after being assaulted by a reanimated version of the deceased Martian Manhunter.[9] After offering the hero a spare car, the Gordons then find themselves fighting for their lives against the reanimated versions of the original Dark Knight Detective's rogue gallery members at Gotham Central, where Gordon made short work of serial killer Abattoir (in Black Lantern form) with a shotgun (pumping rounds into him leaving nothing but his feet intact, showcasing his nastiness with the 12 gauge). They were rescued by the current Dark Knight, Robin, Red Robin, and Deadman, but were later attacked by Batman's and Red Robin's parents, the reanimated Flying Graysons and the Drakes.[10] While Batman and Red Robin battled the Black Lanterns, Robin took the Gordons to their underground base where Alfred Pennyworth tended his wounds (Gordon was unconscious, thus protecting the team's secret identities) along with Barbara's at the bunker's infirmary.[11]

The Black Mirror

The Commissioner is surprised when his son James Jr. returns to Gotham.[12] Barbara tries to warn him that her step-brother is a psychopath, but young James confronts his father.[13] He explains that he's taking medication for his psychopathic tendencies, and asks his father not to get in the way of him getting a job with Leslie Thompkins.[14] Gordon hunts down an old child murderer, and begins to suspect that he might've been wrong about the young girl they believe his son killed as a child.[15] Sonia Zucco is targeted by the super-villains Roadrunner and Tiger Shark, so Gordon has Batman help track down her friend's killer.[16] Barbara runs tests on James Jr.'s medication and finds he's reversed the formula, to increase psychopathic tendencies instead of limit them. They realize he's using his job with Leslie Thompkins to turn thousands of infants into psychopaths like him.[17] Barbara Eileen is attacked by toxin and they hunt down the Joker, but James Jr. reveals himself as the culprit when he kidnaps his step-sister.[18] Batman hunts James Jr. down and stops him, the Commissioner shoots his own son in the legs and then stops him from jumping off a bridge. They're left unsure whether or not they really stopped his plan to turn infants into psychopaths, but it's implied he might have succeeded.[19]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit



  • Criminology: James Gordon received an honorary doctorate in the field of criminology from Gotham State University.[20]
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Gordon served in the United States military and was trained in hand-to-hand combat. By his own account, his martial prowess was honed to the point that he could defeat a Green Beret in physical combat.
  • Law: James Gordon is proficient in all aspects of criminal detective work and police procedural matters. He also has a keen instinct in regards to the political aspects of managing the Gotham City Police Department.
  • Investigation
  • Indomitable Will: He has also shown remarkable strength of will and an ability to maintain his mental fortitude and sanity in situations when other characters such as Batman or Superman would have cracked.
  • Leadership: He is also an expert leader, having spent decades as the leader of the world's most corrupt police force in the most dangerous city. That he has managed to not only survive, but to make the GCPD stronger is a testament to his abilities.
  • Marksmanship
  • Military Protocol: In his youth, Gordon served in the United States military.


  • Cardiac Condition: Jim Gordon has a heart condition, which he contracted after a lifetime of cigarette smoking. He has since quit but occasionally relapses in times of stress or as an excuse to go to the top of the GCPD building.





James Gordon

James Gordon
  • The character of Commissioner Gordon was originally created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics #27. The modern incarnation of James Gordon's character is mostly attributed to Dennis O'Neil and Frank Miller, first appearing in Batman #404.
  • 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.


  • Throughout his career James Gordon has been known as: the Commish; Jim Gordon; Sgt. Gordon; Lt. Gordon; and Captain Gordon.
Gordon's Law

Gordon's Law


Discover and Discuss


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This character is or was an officer of, or held a title in the Gotham City Police Department, in any of its various incarnations. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "GCPD members" and "Police Officers" categories.

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