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10 Best Versions Of Barbara Gordon From The Comics, Ranked

CBR logo CBR 5/18/2022 Cole Kennedy
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The Bat-Family of the Golden Age included several members, like Batwoman and Bat-Girl, who have since been retconned. When the Silver Age of DC Comics began, Batman and Robin were the only members of the Bat-Family. In 1967, Barbara Gordon made her comic book debut as the mysterious Batgirl in Detective Comics #359.

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Batgirl's identity was initially a secret, even to The Dark Knight. Against Batman's wishes, Barbara continued her crime-fighting career. Over the years, Barbara Gordon has been known as Batgirl, Oracle in post-Killing Joke stories, Black Bat in the Amalgam universe, Gotham City Police Commissioner in various future storylines, and more across DC's multiverse.

Black Bat Was A Fused Version Of Batgirl & Black Cat

Amalgam Comics was created when DC Comics and Marvel Comics partnered to publish several limited series that would feature characters from both companies. One of the most successful Amalgam series was DC vs. Marvel. This limited series explored the Amalgam universe, a reality where popular DC and Marvel characters were combined.

The character called Black Bat, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon Hardy, was the amalgamation of Batgirl and Black Cat. She possessed the power to manipulate probabilities and give her enemies "bad luck." After joining SHIELD, she helped this universe's Bruce Wayne save the world.

Oracle Became The Ruler Of Earth-33

New universes were created after the events of Infinite Crisis. One of these universes quickly developed advanced technology fueled by magic and sorcery. Classic DC characters were given new, extraordinary roles in this universe. The Bat-Mage was a master of dark magic, Lady Flash commanded the mystical Speed Force, and Barbara Gordon oversaw the entire world as Oracle.

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On Earth-33, Barbara Gordon possessed the ability to see the future, making her a true oracle. Even though the character only briefly appeared in the Countdown to Adventure series, this version of Oracle is certainly one of the most powerful versions of Barbara Gordon in the multiverse.

Commissioner Barbara Gordon Hunts Batman In A Dark Future

When the first volume of the Batman comic book series reached its 666th issue, writer Grant Morrison and artist Andy Kubert presented a possible future wherein Damian Wayne succeeded Bruce as Batman. In this grim future, Damian sold his soul to the devil for Gotham's protection.

Damian was depicted as a much more violent Batman, willing to do whatever it took to keep the city safe. Barbara Gordon, still paralyzed from the Joker's attack in Killing Joke, became the police commissioner. Barbara hunted Damian down, blaming him for the death of a loved one. Barbara, like the world of issue #666, was more aggressive and vengeful than her main continuity counterpart.

Barbara Gourdon Became A Vampire In DC Bombshells

Barbara Gourdon was first introduced in DC Bombshells #14. Bombshells was an alternate version of the DC universe that took place in the 1940s and 50s starring an all-female cast of superheroes and villains. Barbara was a French fighter pilot who fought in World War I. When she traveled to America, she encountered Harley Quinn, who spread rumors of a vampire pilot. Harley was correct in that Barbara did become a vampire who formed an alliance with the Enchantress and Killer Croc of this world. Batgirl's original Bombshell design, a version of her '66 costume melded with a pilot's uniform, was phenomenal. Her second appearance was equally memorable, evoking shades of Vampirella.

Batgirl & Robin Inspired Batman In Thrillkiller

In an Elseworlds miniseries known as Thrillkiller, Barbara Gordon used the money she acquired after her mother's death to fund her heroic adventures as Batgirl. Along with her boyfriend and crime-fighting partner Robin, Batgirl battled Bianca Steeplechase — a female version of the Joker.

Before Batgirl and Robin, Batman didn't exist in this universe. Instead, Bruce Wayne was a Gotham City Police Officer who was tasked with hunting the vigilantes. After the Joker murdered Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon became the new Robin in his honor, and inspired Bruce to join her crusade as Batman.

Batgirl & Supergirl Were Elseworld's Finest

Elseworlds allows the writers and artists to alter the worlds and characters of DC Comics in ways they never could in the main comic book universe. Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl was a one-shot written by Barbara Kesel, Matt Haley, and Tom Simmons, and illustrated by the latter two.

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In this alternate universe, Superman and Batman never existed. In their place, Supergirl and Batgirl debuted as the first superheroes of their respective cities. Kara Zor-El was the only survivor of Krypton, and Barbara Gordon became Batgirl after the death of her father. Being the first vigilante in Gotham City, this Batgirl was much more brooding than her other comic book versions.

Barbara Gordon Becomes President In Superman/Batman: Generations

Superman/Batman: Generations was a limited comic series that focused on the legacies of the World's Finest heroes. Their mantles would be taken up by their closest allies and children over several generations. In this universe, Barbara Gordon was the granddaughter of Commissioner James Gordon.

Like her Earth-Prime counterpart, she became Batgirl. She fought crime alongside her boyfriend, Dick Grayson, who had become the new Batman. After two decades of fighting crime in a cape and cowl, Barbara set her sights even higher and became President of the United States.

Barbara Gordon Reclaimed The Batgirl Title In The New 52

The New 52 was a new era for DC Comics, complete with new characters, revived characters, and revamped versions of histories and origins. Barbara Gordon was affected by these changes when her spinal injuries were healed. In this new history, Barbara reclaimed the role of Batgirl.

Gail Simone, who wrote the character of Oracle in Birds of Prey, was excited to write Barbara as Batgirl. Even though Barbara had recovered from her paralysis, the Batgirl series would explore her past trauma and recovery process. The series had one of the most successful New 52 debuts, and the character remained Batgirl through the entire New 52 and subsequent Rebirth era.

Commissioner Gordon Works With Batman Beyond In Neo-Gotham

Barbara Gordon starred alongside Bruce and Dick in Batman: The Animated Series and had a recurring role as police commissioner in Batman Beyond. She's portrayed Gotham's future commissioner in just about every iteration of Batman Beyond, including the Rebirth comic series set in the main DC universe.

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Earlier this year, Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #1 released, the first of a six-issue miniseries. The comic book is a continuation of the Batman Beyond animated series and the story that took place in Batman: Urban Legends #7. In Neo-Year, Barbara informs Terry that she's retiring from the force, but knowing Barbara, the first sign of trouble will bring her right back out of retirement.

Oracle Kept A Watchful Eye Over All Of Gotham

After a gun shot from the Joker paralyzed her from the waist down in The Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon's alias known as Oracle debuted one year later in Suicide Squad #23. Even though she wasn't fighting crime as Batgirl, Barbara still dedicated herself to protecting the city.

Barbara displayed her skills as tech genius and assisted various organizations in the DC universe, including Task Force X. She organized the Birds of Prey with Black Canary and Huntress and has coordinated many of DC's heroes during events like Infinite Crisis and Countdown to Final Crisis. As Oracle, Barbara could be ruthless and expressed interest in using lethal force if necessary, something her teammates disagreed with.


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