Barbara Gordon is today’s feature for my Women in Comics post. Barbara Gordon was created for DC Comics by Gardiner Fox and Carmine Infantino. She debuted in Detective Comics #359. She was created so that the television producers of the Batman show in the 60s could introduce a female counterpart to Batman on the show.
Barbara Gordon is the daughter of James Gordon, who is the police commissioner of Gotham City. She is a librarian. She begins to help Batman by accident. She was wearing a Batman costume to a costume party, and helped prevent Bruce Wayne from being kidnapped. She continued to fight crime at night, against Batman’s wishes, until he eventually took her under his wing and began to train her. She becomes a trusted part of the Batman family, helping to protect Gotham City.
Batgirl served with Batman many years, until tragedy struck. The Joker, trying to strike at Commissioner Gordon, and not realizing Barbara was Batgirl, shot Barbara, causing her to become a paraplegic. This didn’t stop Barbara from fighting crime, however. She took on the persona of the Oracle, who helped other crime fighters by providing them information and ways to work together. She became a very inspirational character in the DC Universe.
In the New 52, Barbara is no longer paralyzed. She is still Batgirl, fighting crime to help Batman and her father keep Gotham safe.
Barbara appeared as Batgirl in the 1960s Batman show. She also appeared in that terrible Batman and Robin movie. As Oracle, she was in the Birds of Prey show in 2002. Barbara appeared as the police commissioner in the Batman Beyond cartoon.
Barbara Gordon is one of the best characters ever created for television that transitioned to the comic book. She adds a great dynamic to the Batman family. It was a pretty terrible thing when she was paralyzed, especially the way they marginalized her character. However, something good come out of it, as she became the Oracle, and was one of the most influential characters in comics over a 20+ year period. You can learn more about this inspirational character here.