Gordon was a cop for 15 years in Chicago, Illinois before leaving to return for Gotham. A man of integrity, Gordon found that his only ally against the mob-controlled police department in his early days was the Batman, although he was forced to keep their working relationship out of the public eye whenever possible. He served in the Special Forces as well, before becoming a cop, and learned to be a more than capable hand-to-hand combatant. Gordon is able to constantly 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.
Gordon's life before Gotham is later reexamined in "Gordon of Gotham," which takes place a full ten years before "Batman: Year One." During his tenure in Chicago, Gordon struggled with his wife 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.
It was later revealed in the Batman Confidential storyline, Wrath Child, that Gordon was transferred from Gotham to Chicago for fifteen years as part of a plan by Gillian Loeb, then a captain, in a cover up (of events that would lead to the creation of the first Wrath). Gordon complied when Loeb threatened to kill the boy. Gordon would transfer back to Gotham around the same time Batman was starting his career.
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. Admittedly, 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. (arguably) Unexpectedly, The 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 diversity at first from Batman and Robin, she was eventually able to prove her mettle and become a full member of the Batman Family. 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.
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 brought 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 into 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 rescues Gordon. Despite the intense trauma he has 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 adopting the enigmatic persona of the wheelchair-bound computer presence, Oracle, information source for the superhero community, and leader of the all-female The Birds of Prey.
Following the "Contagion," "Legacy" and the "Batman: 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. Eventually their relationship was repaired.
After his relationship with his wife Barbara had become strained, Gordon eventually became divorced. He fell in love with and married fellow officer Sarah Essen, who he was much more compatible with. 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 incredibly worrying, 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.
During the events of "Batman: Officer Down," Gordon was gunned down by a crooked police officer, a man whose family he had been arrested by Gordon in front of. 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 the others hardest hits, 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.
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 has returned to the role of Gotham's Police Commissioner. The GCPD had uncovered immense corruption from within, reportedly reaching all the way up to Commissioner Akins himself. Commissioner Gordon continues to work with and without the aid of Batman and Robin, constantly striving for a better Gotham City.
Jim Gordon has a heart condition, which he contracted after a lifetime of cigarette smoking. He has since quit.
GCPD Standard Issue.
Gordon takes the Gotham City subway to and from work, but when involved with a case, he will usually ride along in a squad car with another police officer.
Standard Police Issue .38 calibre handgun.
Jim Gordon has made appearances in nearly every incarnation of the Batman mythos. He has appeared as a regular recurring character both in movies and on television.
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.