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James Gordon
James Gordon BYO
Alias(es) Jim Gordon
Commissioner Gordon
Appeared in Batman: Year One
Status Alive
Actor Bryan Cranston

James "Jim" Gordon is the Police Commissioner of Gotham City Police Department.


Batman: Year One

Lieutenant James Gordon arrived in Gotham from an unspecified city. It is revealed over time that he had transferred from there because of the falling out he suffered over betraying a corrupt cop in the police department where he previously worked to internal affairs. He transferred to Gotham, despite his awareness of its reputation for crime and corruption, to try to make a fresh start. However, this intention was complicated by his wife, Barbara, becoming unintentionally pregnant shortly before his arrival.

In the first days of his new job he became intimately familiar with the top-down total corruption and malfeasance within the Gotham Police. He witnessed his partner Detective Flass beat down a teenager for entertainment and became aware of several schemes involving active mob bribery of police officers and occasionally police participation in crime. Though aware of Commissioner Gillian Loeb’s sponsorship of this culture, he took it upon himself to reign in the officers under his command.

Flass chafed at this and went to Loeb, prompting the Commissioner to arrange for Flass and several other corrupt cops to ambush Gordon in the parking garage late at night. Though Gordon was remarkably well equipped to defend himself, he was caught off-guard by one of the assailants and severely beaten. Flass warned him to turn a blind eye to the corruption, and threatened Barbara and their unborn child. Gordon later exacted revenge on Flass as he left a party by beating him and leaving him cuffed naked in the snow.

Gordon later single-handedly resolved a hostage situation by distracting the hostage-taker and disarming him. This heroic act won the affection of the public after the press depicted him with the children he saved on front-page news. Loeb became frustrated as this rendered Gordon effectively untouchable by the corrupt police. Around this time, Batman first appeared in Gotham, and Gordon was assigned to stop the vigilante. However, Gordon and Detective Sarah Essen were repeatedly unsuccessful in trapping him.

One evening, while he and Essen were driving on patrol, he attempted to stop a speeding van whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. An elderly woman was nearly killed but Batman arrived just in time to save her. Essen attempted to arrest Batman, but is disarmed and Gordon’s men chased the vigilante into an abandoned building. Determined to kill Batman by any means necessary, the corrupt police on the orders of mob boss Carmine “Roman” Falcone dropped a large bomb on the building.

Gordon attempted to resolve the situation peacefully as he had come to respect Batman’s altruism, but is pushed aside by corrupt SWAT Team leader Branden, who leads all of his men in the building to kill Batman. After a protracted battle where several innocent people are injured by the SWAT Team’s reckless gunfire, Batman managed to escape by using a high-tech device to summon a swarm of bats. In the aftermath of this incident, Gordon began a brief affair with Essen, which caused him a great deal of guilt and self-doubt.

As the birth of his child nears, and Batman continued his mission to take down the police-mob corruption ring, Gordon broke off his affair with Essen. She transferred out of Gotham. Shortly afterward, Gordon simultaneously learned of a source that could potentially break open the corruption ring. However, this man is bribed and intimidated by the mob, and appeared a dead end. Increasingly pressured by Gordon’s anti-corruption crusade, Loeb and his henchman Branden learned of Gordon’s affair, and attempted to blackmail him.

The source that Gordon had identified as capable of implicating Flass, and Loeb by extension, was visited by Batman, who intimidated him into talking. Ironically, at the same time, Gordon was still attempting to uncover the vigilante’s identity. Before his affair and separation from Essen, she had deduced that billionaire Bruce Wayne’s recent extended absence from Gotham and vast resources might explain how he could be Batman. Gordon arranged an interview with Wayne to follow up on this.

Wayne assumed a playboy persona to divert suspicion. Combined with a false alibi that placed Wayne in Europe for the past several months, where he was reportedly injured in a ski accident, this diverted Gordon. During the interview, Wayne suggestively flirted with an attractive woman in his company, and she made sexual advances on Wayne. This may have been an attempt on Wayne’s part to guilt Gordon into confessing his affair to his wife, or simply part of his act. Either way, Gordon does this immediately after leaving Wayne Manor.

Liberated from Loeb’s blackmail and with the testimony of the police-mob corruption ring insider secured by Batman, Gordon focused all of his attention on bringing the ring down. Shortly after he and his wife reconciled and began marriage counseling, his child was born. Desperate to stop him, Loeb and Falcone plotted to kidnap his wife and the infant. Gordon received a call from Loeb, drawing him away from his apartment, but he hurried back after witnessing a mysterious man on a motorcycle speed into his parking garage.

Confronted by Falcone’s son Vitti and his men there holding his family hostage, Gordon resolved to intervene, certain that Vitti would kill them at the first opportunity. He killed several of Vitti’s thugs in the process, and liberated his wife, but Vitti fled in a car with his son. Gordon pursued as the mysterious man on the motorcycle attempted to follow, but Barbara picked up a gun and shot him. Surviving thanks to a bullet-resistant helmet, Bruce Wayne revealed himself and promised to save her son.

Gordon managed to stop Vitti at nearby bridge and after disabling his last guard and driver, engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the mob henchman. The fight progressed over the side of the bridge, but Wayne arrived just in time to dive and save the baby. Vitti died from the fall, and Wayne is forced to reveal himself to Gordon. Despite the knowledge that this can only mean that Wayne is Batman, Gordon claimed to be rendered blind by the loss of his glasses, and allowed Wayne to leave just as police reinforcements arrived.

Gordon later executed his mission to bring the ring down, as the witness implicated Flass and Flass implicated Loeb. Loeb managed to avoid jail by betraying his henchman Branden, who bitterly followed the events from prison. Gordon later learned of a new threat to Gotham, in the form a super-criminal known as “The Joker.” He called on Batman to help.


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