James Worthington Gordon

commissionergordonfilmIt seems I missed a cameo character while playing Injustice: Gods Among Us, since in the opening cutscene another very well known face can be clearly seen: it’s Commissioner Gordon, one of the few onest policemen in Gotham City. He was first portrayed on screen by Lyle Talbot in 1949 serial Batman and Robin, in a version quite similar to his comics’ counterpart; he then appeared in the 1960s’ tv series and in the spin-off movie, portrayed by Neil Hamilton and depicted as a police officer who cannot do anything without the help of Batman. In Tim Burton‘s and Joel Schumacher‘s four films he was portrayed by Pat Hingle, again as a cop unable to stop Gotham’s crime and always depending on Batman’s help (in Batman & Robin he was also seduced and almost killed by Poison Ivy). Finally, we have a much more independent and tough version of the character in Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy, with Gary Oldman portraying the character first as Lt. Gordon, the only honest cop in Gotham, than as Commissioner Gordon, head of GCPD. Let’s see together who this upright man is in the comics.

James Worthington Gordon was a simple cop in Gotham City, one of USA’s most violent cities. Once, patrolling a street, he found two burglars sneeking out of a warehouse, and ordered them to stop; the two instead attacked him, and the agent was forced to shoot them down, just in front of their son, whom he didn’t see. It was later revealed that the two “burglars” were in fact a dirty cop and his wife, and Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb forced Gordon to leave Gotham in order to avoid scandal, sending him to Chicago. Gordon obeyed, and he and his wife, Barbara, moved to Illinois. In the big city, the young policeman was even more shocked by the power criminality had over commissionergordoncomics1normal citizens, and started to study by night in order to become an officer and to fight criminals in a more effective way. He became a lieutenant, and uncovered two fellow officers who were stacking the mayoral elections. Once again, Jim‘s integrity costed him his position, and Chicago’s police discredited him and sent him back to Gotham. After fifteen years of absence, Gordon found Gotham even worse than how he had left it: almost no policeman was honest, criminals ruled the city without even trying to hide themselves and corruption had invaded every single social level. With a family to protect (Barbara had given birth to a son, James Jr.), Lt. Gordon tried his best not to oppose Commissioner Loeb and his maneuvers too openly, but he was always a black sheep in a flock of corrupted agents. About the same time Gordon came back to Gotham, a new figure had appeared, a vigilante who struck criminality with brutality and precision: Batman, a mysterious coated hero who acted far beyond the limits of the law. At first, Gordon was more than suspicious towards Batman, but when the vigilante finally approached him and talked to him, the two of them understood they were on the same boat, and formed a secret alliance. From that moment, Gordon informed Batman about corrupt policemen, while Batman informed Gordon about Mafia’s organization.

Together, Gordon and Batman managed to uncover Loeb’s relation with the Falcone Family, the major criminal power in Gotham, and to have him arrested. Lt. Gordon then convinced Loeb’s temporary successor to build the Bat-Signal, in order to contact Batman whenever police needed him. Along with District Attorney Harvey Dent, another rare honest man in town, Gordon and Batman brought down Carmine Falcone and his so-called Roman Empire, thus inflicting a fatal blow to racquet. Unfortunately, victory didn’t come without a price to pay, and Dent lost his sanity when Sal commissionergordoncomics2Maroni, one of Falcone’s underlings, disfigured him with acid, turning him into murderous Two-Face. Dent was but the first psychopaths who would have haunted Gotham’s nights. Meanwhile, Gordon was promoted to commissioner, and he replaced Loeb at the head of Gotham’s police. Another picturesque menace came when the son of the couple shot down by Gordon in his youth came back as an adult, seeking vengeance. Inspired by Batman, he created the costumed identity of The Wrath and hunted down Gordon. The Wrath got killed after falling from a building he himself had set aflame, but Gordon understood that, being near to Batman and fighting with him against the city’s underworld, he himself wasn’t safe from this new, deadly kind of criminals. When Batman trained Robin, a partner in crime-fighting, Gordon was more than unpleased at the idea of a kid jumping from roof to roof and dealing with deadly psychos like Two-Face or The Joker, maybe the deadliest of them all, but in time he came to accept Robin and to trust him just like he did Batman. The bonds became even closer when Roger and Thelma, his brother and sister-in-law, died in a car accident, and Jim became the legal tutor of his niece, Barbara Gordon. Years later, a new heroine appeared and joined the Bat-Family, a girl named Batgirl: although he immediately realized that his niece/adoptive daughter was actually the new heroine, Gordon didn’t tell her anything, and kept fighting crime with Batman and his allies as he had always done.

Commissioner James Gordon is an unbreakable man, with an indomitable will and a genuine thirst for justice. He cannot stand criminality in any possible way, and fights for what he believes is right, even sacrificing himself and his private life doing so. Gordon is an excellent marskman and an expert hand-to-hand combatant, trained to face Gotham’s many menaces; he’s also a skilled investigator and a charismatic leader for his agents. Despite being often seen just as a support for heroes like Batman and Robin, Gordon has proved more than once to be a hero by himself, able to stay focus and retain his sanity even in situation in which Batman himself, or even Superman, would have been broken.



  1. […] one of the most powerful men in town and not exactly a fan of young and idealist detective James Gordon. There’s really not much to say about him in the comics, but it’s worth to see who he […]

  2. […] that will become pivotal in the future of the city’s heroes. In The Blind Fortune Teller, Jim Gordon will bring his new love interest Leslie Thompkins to the circus, where they’ll assist to […]

  3. […] to the comics), but his nature was pretty much the same, a crooked cop who was partnered with Jim Gordon in his first assignment in GCPD. When the League of Shadows attacks Gotham City, Flass nearly […]

  4. […] with (through bribing, of course): even the commissioner showed up, so it must be pretty serious. Jim Gordon meets for the first time Gillian B. Loeb, portrayed by Peter Scolari, the man who’s the […]

  5. […] of new characters directly from the comics (more or less). In Rogues’ Gallery, we find Jim Gordon trying to do his best with his new job as a security guard in Arkham Asylum, but things […]

  6. […] and I wanted to see if there was a son somewhere with the original one). In The Mask, detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock investigate on the murder of an employee of Sionis Investments, an important […]

  7. […] season…and we also get a glimpse at one of the future major additions to the cast. Poor Jim Gordon has been demoted and now serves as a security guard for lunatics in Arkham Asylum, and […]

  8. […] Brandt. In the show, she proves to be quite a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, overwhelming both Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, and she also puts Gordon in an unpleasant situation by killing Dick […]

  9. […] character appeared in last week’s episode of Gotham, Arkham: when Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock start inverstigating the murder of the politicians related to the gang war […]

  10. […] himself with the only two other honest people in Gotham, D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner James Gordon, things got only worse for Italian “honest businessmen”, but luckily enough the trio of […]

  11. […] disturbing villain is coming to the show, if Mr. Zsasz wasn’t enough: the next case Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock will face, will revolve around a killer who ties his victims to meteorologic […]

  12. […] have a tally mark for the killing, his trademark. He then breaks into the police station asking for Jim Gordon, ignoring the fifty cops aiming at him. It seems that in the tv series he’ll be a hired gun […]

  13. […] promoted detective, and built a fame for himself as one of the most capable officers in MPD. When Commissioner James Gordon from Gotham City became in need of good policemen he could trust in order to face the spreading […]

  14. […] one of the early trailers of Gotham, we saw James Gordon speaking with an intimidating stranger, warning him about the many risks he would have faced in […]

  15. […] will be the head of the Homicide division in Gotham City Police Department, and that makes her Jim Gordon‘s boss. She’ll be quite a strong character, whose skills and attitude will create more […]

  16. […] appear as a detective in GCPD, and will have quite a peculiar relationship with her new colleague James Gordon: in fact, she once dated his fiancee, Barbara Kean. This marks the first live action appearance of […]

  17. […] there’s a character who’s only briefly seen in a love scene with protagonist James Gordon: we’re speaking of Barbara Kean, portrayed by Erin Richards. In the show, she’ll be […]

  18. […] He followed his slow transformation into Batman, and offered him cover anytime somebody (usually Commissioner Gordon) was close to realize Bruce Wayne and Batman were the same person. Despite being constantly worried […]

  19. […] husband, she’s likely not to appear too often in the tv show, since the protagonist, young Detective James Gordon, will investigate her death (and her husband’s) as his first case in GCPD. Martha already […]

  20. […] Clearly, he won’t stay alive for long in the show, since his homicide is the first case young James Gordon stumbles upon; his death also triggers a psychological transformation into his young […]

  21. […] protagonists, Detective Harvey Bullock, portrayed on screen by Donald Logue; Bullock will act as Jim Gordon‘s friend and senior partner in the series, a disenchanted cop who’s seen too much in […]

  22. […] Wesley Mathis was found and exposed, and, when he tried to resist arrest, a young cop named Jim Gordon shot him down, killing him right before his son’s eyes. Son of a dead killer, alone in the […]

  23. […] Wilson and her origin modified, so that she was Alfred Pennyworth‘s niece instead of Commissioner Gordon‘s adoptive daughter. In the movie, she turned from biker to superheroine in one night, thus […]

  24. […] and gained an even stronger resolution in his mission. He formed an alliance with Batman and James Gordon, possibly the one and only honest policeman in Gotham, to take down Falcone. Unfortunately, […]

  25. […] of the two honest law-defenders in Gotham: assistant district attorney Harvey Dent and Lt. James Gordon, who helped him from the inside warning him of the corrupt agents’ moves and arresting the […]

  26. […] He is introduced as an officer of Gotham City Police Department, a subordinate of the well known Commissioner Gordon. At a certain point of his career, he left his job, becoming a private detective. He had a strong […]

  27. […] master of the city’s underground criminality, giving up to his original nature. Batman and Commissioner Gordon managed to publicly unveil his schemes, and Deadshot was arrested. Years later, Lawton stole a […]

  28. […] quite a surprise. In Strike Force, new GCPD captain Nathaniel Barnes leads his new right-hand man Jim Gordon to the local police academy, in order to collect a team of idealistic recruits not compromised by […]

  29. […] yet another character. In Strike Force, when Gus Freeman is introducing to Nathaniel Barnes and Jim Gordon the recruits for the new team they’re assembling, he first brings them to the ring, telling […]

  30. […] yet another villain, and quite a creepy one. In the trailer for A Bitter Pill to Swallow, we see Jim Gordon fighting with a man wearing a pink jacket in an elevator, and then pointing his gun directly into […]

  31. […] in particular of Batman. Again, his intelligence obtained credit, and he was hired by GCPD as Captain James Gordon‘s anti-vigilante task-force’s professional consultant. Now, Hugo Strange had the chance […]

  32. […] protection of Gotham City to her mentor, and resumed her civilian life, living with her uncle Jim Gordon. Even if she abandoned Gotham’s criminality, however, the latter didn’t abandon her at […]

  33. […] Joker, who planned to contribute to the destruction of Batman by kidnapping his closest ally, Commissioner Gordon. The cannibal volunteered for the mission, and he appeared to the Commissioner as Batman […]

  34. […] Let’s start with a controversial identification: in Better to Reign in Hell…, we meet Jim Gordon as a bounty hunter going after the monsters released from Indian Hill. Most of the mutants have […]

  35. […] who found her thanks to Mario’s unwilling intelligence. Mario sought protection from Commissioner Gordon, since the deal he had with Janice Porter was now invalid, but it was too late for him: the […]

  36. […] clean from Bullock’s inquiry: she kept serving in her Unit under the new (old) Commissioner, Jim Gordon, and she even started a new love story with a woman met at a dance, Kate Kane. Funny thing was, […]

  37. […] Bruce Wayne; one of these times, he nearly managed to do so, but he was stopped by Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon‘s niece, who from that moment became the heroine Batgirl. Frustrated, with nobody taking him […]

  38. […] been infected with Alice Tetch‘s blood. The super-strong vigilante with a grudge against Jim Gordon doesn’t appear in the comics in this form, but there’s a really old costumed […]

  39. […] to the recurring cast: Sofia Falcone, portrayed by Crystal Reed. In the show, Sofia will be Jim Gordon‘s new love interest (so much for lecturing Lee for her relationship with Mario…), […]

  40. […] a picture of her as Catwoman murdering a cop. Selina did as she was told, but Batman, called by Commissioner Gordon, intervened to help his wife against Cernak. In the following fight, Catwoman was shot and fell […]

  41. […] Vincent Morelli, who wanted to get rid of at least one of the greatest threats to his business: Commissioner Gordon, the one who had put him behind bars to begin with. The Headhunter accepted the contract, but the […]

  42. […] spree, killing John Claridge on live television, nearly assassinating Mayor Hady, hospitalizing Commissioner Gordon and even revealing via radio the secret identities of some members of the Batman Family. As the […]

  43. […] herself involved in yet another shoot out as the terrorist Agent Orange, who was under custody of Commissioner Gordon, was freed by some of his followers. Once again, Batman intervened, but this time he was backed up […]

  44. […] was made to a relative with a different name, something that didn’t happen. In Gotham, Captain Gordon can count on a brand new detective, a honest one just for change: Vanessa Harper, portrayed by […]

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