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My name is Jim. I'm a hardworking detective with a beautiful wife who won't touch me even though I treat her like a queen and do everything for her. EVERYTHING!
— James Gordon

Commissioner James Gordon is a major character and occasional antagonist of the T.V. series, Harley Quinn. He is head of the Gotham City Police Department, one of Batman's closest allies and the father of Barbara Gordon.

Appearance

Jim Gordon's appearance reflects his constant stress and him being near his mental breaking point, with deep, dark bags under his eyes, which are typically very wide open. He wears thick black glasses and has messy brown hair, a mustache with grey stubble all over his face, and a notable cleft chin. He has graying areas over both sides of his hair, which were completely brown when he was younger. He wears a grey shirt with a very loose black tie, a small portion of his white undershirt showing out above his tie; the shirt can be seen only tucked on one side at all times instead of fully either way. He also wears black shoes, a dark green jacket, and brown pants.

Biography

Background

James Gordon is the police commissioner for Gotham City's law enforcement, although he has become somewhat mentally unstable over the years, partly due to his thankless job as well as the Joker supposedly paralyzing his partner. He was married to a woman named Barbara with whom he had a daughter, also named Barbara. He and his wife started having marital problems as she distanced herself from him and supposedly has been cheating on him.

Season 1

"Til Death Do Us Part"

Gordon interrogates Harley

Commissioner Gordon interrogates Harley Quinn on the roof of the Gotham City Police Department building alongside Batman after The Joker has escaped to make her give up where he is, although she refuses. Gordon appears stressed and behaves erratic, beginning by telling Harley she's cancer, getting overly upset when she says Batman fucks bats and freaking out over resorts never actually being all-inclusive. Months later, Gordon plays with the bat-signal while waiting for Batman. When he shows up he tries to invite him to spend time together although Batman quickly dismisses him and leaves.

"You're a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon"

Batman
You used to be such a damn good cop.
Jim Gordon
I damn still am!
Batman
Prove it!
— Batman gives Gordon the "evidence"

Jim Gordon used the Bat Signal to summon Batman to the roof of the police department and then proceeded to tell him about his crumbling marriage and how his wife was sleeping with someone else. Batman insisted the Bat signal was only for emergencies, so he took it away from Gordon and insisted that they were just coworkers, when Jim referred to them as friends. He then told him about Harley's break-in at WayneTech, focusing solely on the damage she could do with the technology she had stolen. He then gave Gordon "evidence" to interrogate, before leaving. The evidence turned out to be Clayface's lost arm, who separated from Clayface had grown sentient.

Commissioner Gordon interrogates The Arm

Determined to prove his usefulness, Gordon began to interrogate the sniffling Arm about Harley Quinn's whereabouts, although The Arm only wanted to "get back to my dad". Gordon then took a softer approach, urging him to talk about his "dad", but The Arm insisted that he's "not supposed to talk to strangers". Changing tact, Gordon tried to establish some rapport by introduced himself as "Jim", a "hardworking detective with a beautiful wife who won't touch me even though I treat her like a queen and do everything for her. Everything!" to which The Arm pointed out that "she doesn't sound like a friend to me", pleasing Gordon. He then realized he got sidetracked and insisted that this wasn't what they were there to talk about, yet The Arm suggested that "maybe it should be, Jim", so Gordon took The Arm to the roof to talk.

All I ask is that occasionally when my wife is emotionally distant during sex, he listens. Not to the sex, but to me talking about the...
— Gordon about Batman

Gordon imagines a friendship with The Arm

Gordon told The Arm all about his troubles, even about Batman taking away the Bat-Signal and not being there for him emotionally, and The Arm comforted and supported him, touching Gordon when he stated that he seemed like a really good cop, calling him his friend. Gordon was overjoyed by this, starting to imagining a deep friendship with The Arm. Still, he tried to leverage their new friendship to convince The Arm to reveal Harley Quinn's location. The Arm asked him if he was simply pretending, and although Gordon admitted that he was initially, he said they were true friends now as The Arm listened to him and didn't judge him. The Arm then agreed to reveal the location but was interrupted by the arrival of Harley Quinn and Clayface.

They both demanded Gordon turn over The Arm, who begged Gordon not to let them take him because he was "epidence". Gordon assured The Arm that he was far more than that and vowed to not let them touch him. Gordon spun around and started shooting at Clayface and Harley. Harley tried to reason with him, but he told them that he was "my friend. My only friend", at which point Harley brought up Batman, but Gordon insisted that Batman had abandoned him, so The Arm was all he had. Running out of options, Harley came out from behind cover with the device she stole from WayneTech, threatening to press the button and blow the place up if he didn't relinquish The Arm. Rather than give in, Gordon simply shot at Harley, who pressed the button in a panic and vanished into thin air, shocking Gordon.

Jim Gordon and Batman reconcile

With Harley gone however, Gordon was able to hold Clayface at gunpoint, who tried to reason with The Arm. Soon enough, Batman himself arrived with Harley, to talk to Gordon and although Gordon initially said that The Arm was his new friend, Batman apologized and Gordon immediately apologized back and hugged him, insisting their friendship went beyond the crime-fighting and they could lean on each other emotionally as well to which Batman simply said "sure" and put back the Bat Single. He then turned to the Arm, thanking him for all he had done and urged him to return to Clayface. With everything back to normal, Batman and Gordon turned to arrest Harley and Clayface but Doctor Psycho and Poison Ivy showed up to save them. As they fled, Gordon had a free hot but lowered his weapon, thinking of The Arm.

Season 2

"New Gotham"

Gordon is unimpressed by "Batman"

After the disappearance of Batman and the destruction of Gotham City, Gordon became dejected and took to waiting around the Bat signal in vain, hoping for Batman's return. One night, Robin arrived dressed as Batman, intending to "take up the mantle" of Batman, but Gordon simply threw his alcohol bottle at him in mockery. Robin did manage to tell Gordon that Batman was missing however, causing him to panic, and noted that Batman was not responding to any texts. Robin refused to share Batman or his own contact info with him despite Gordon's insistence.

With no other option, Gordon attempts to rally the GCPD to take back Gotham City, only for Two-Face and his goons to arrive and commandeer the entire organization, forcing Gordon to flee and lay down fire to cover his retreat. He vows revenge before leaving the city with the bat signal, only to end up having his tires blown out by spikes thrown by Bane's goons - his own policemen, now working for the criminals. They rob him and flee, leaving Gordon broken and dejected, throwing his badge into the Gotham harbor.

"It's all hopeless"

Gordon returns to his wife Barbara, finding solace in her comfort. He rallies himself and begins a plan to rebuild, using Barbara's brother's scuba gear to recover his badge from the harbor, using his house as new GCPD headquarters, and deputizing Barbara herself to be a husband and wife policing pair, and "unbreakable bond" as he puts it. However, at that exact moment Barbara finally says she wants a divorce and turns off the lights, ripping Gordon's newfound motivation out from under him and leaving him in a pit of despair.

"Riddler U"

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Just before the Riddler took over, a depressed Jim Gordon snuck into his daughter Barbara's dorm at Riddler University. He walked into her room just as she was being tied up by a plant with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy who were undercover as college students. He found the situation suspicious but Barbara told him it was just an "internet thing" that he wouldn't understand so he grabbed a beer before going back to crying in the shower. Later, Gordon was eating old chips from his chest hair while Barbara tried to convince him to get dressed and help her take down the Riddler although he insisted he couldn't do anything with Batman still missing.

"Batman's Back Man"

Gordon
What, have you you been in a coma these last few months?
Bruce Wayne
No. I've been doing stuff.
Gordon
Ah! [chuckles] You playboys, always doing stuff. Must be nice

After waking up from his months long coma, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, sets up a meeting with Jim Gordon at his mansion to discuss what to do about the chaos in the city. He quickly believes Batman's lie about "doing stuff" and jumps right into a list of things he wants Bruce to pay for "so I can take back the city", including both an entire bankrolled police force and personal frivolities for himself. When he is hesitant to fund his personal projects, Gordon exclaims how he is the only one left who can save the city since Batman's gone. Shocked, Bruce asks if there are truly no other heroes left in the city, at which point Gordon shows him the handful of amateurs who are trying: the Macaroni, an Englishman with a mechanical powdered wig; and Batgirl, taking up the mantle of Batman. Gordon shows clear disdain for both of them, claiming no one has the courage to fight back against the uprising of villains without Batman.

Gordon teams up with Batgirl

Later, Batman, finally back in his suit meets Gordon on their old meeting spot on the roof of Gotham City Police Department. Although Gordon is confused by him sitting down, he is excited by his return and starts planning all the ways they will take back Gotham together. However, Batman soon explains he is currently not physically able to work (hence why he is sitting) and needs some time to heal. Gordon desperately exclaims how the city "needs the bat" and he needs a partner, both of which Batman agrees with, introducing him to Batgirl. Although, Gordon is skeptical, he reluctantly agree to their new partnership and shakes Batgirl's hand.

"All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues"

TBA

"There's No Place to Go But Down"

TBA

"Inner (Para) Demons"

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"Dye Hard"

TBA

"Lovers' Quarrel"

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Gordon and Batgirl covered each others' eyes when Poison Ivy's memory of sleeping with Harley during "Bachelorette" was projected onto the sky over Gotham City by a vengeful Doctor Psycho.

"Something Borrowed, Something Green"

TBA

The Eat, Bang, Kill Tour

"Journey to Love"

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"Journey to Love Part 2"

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"Journey to Love Part 3"

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Personality

What would Commissioner Gordon actually be like if he was the Commissioner of the Gotham Police Department, saw what he saw every single day for 27 years, and never went to therapy? What would that look like? He'd be so fucked up and constantly on edge. He’s got a thankless job, He’s doing the day-to-day grunt work, filling out all the paper work, and he’s oftentimes maligned. That ultimately drives a man to madness. His marriage is falling apart, He’s drinking too much and has no real friends.
— Justin Halpern[1]

The show actually shows how being in charge of Gotham City would take a toll on someone. Unlike most media, where Gordon remains tough as hell in the face of overwhelming adversity, this Gordon is a deeply stressed-out mess of a man who's always on edge.

Gordon is also less generous than most versions, as he admitted he only became a cop to shoot bad people and accidentally innocent people. However, he said accidentally, which means he clearly tries to avoid shooting and killing innocent people encased on his look of regret when he says this. He is also very resourceful and manipulative, as shown when he tricked Ivy into thinking the plastic plants she was surrounded with were real plants. He also equipped those same plants with knockout gas, and he was also resourceful because the cops he led into the wedding were armed with laser guns.

Media Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red

The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour.

Trivia

  • He is apparently a C-Section birth.[2]

Gallery

References

  1. 'Harley Quinn' reveals a hilariously tragic new side to Commission Gordon, Inverse (October 9, 2019)
  2. "Dye Hard" DC Universe (June 5, 2020)
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