Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Gordon (comics)
James Gordon is a supporting character in the Batman comic books published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) and was the first Batman supporting character to be introduced.
In most versions of the Batman mythos, he is Gotham City's police commissioner. Gordon frequently contacts Batman for help in solving various crimes, particularly those committed by supervillains. Because DC Comics retconned its characters' history in the 1985 mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, and because of different interpretations in television and film, the details of Gordon's history vary from story to story.
In the Pre-Crisis version, Gordon was a police detective who initially bitterly resented the mysterious vigilante's interference in police business. Although the Batman seemed to fight on the side of justice, his bizarre methods and phenomenal track record for stopping crimes and capturing criminals embarrassed the police by comparison. Eventually, Batman met up with Gordon and persuaded the detective that they needed each other's help. Batman was deputized and worked with Gordon as an agent of the law.
The Post-Crisis version of the character is introduced in Batman: Year One written by Frank Miller. Gordon was transferred from Chicago to Gotham City's corrupt police department. A man of integrity, Gordon found that his only ally against the mob-controlled administration was the Batman. One of the most significant differences in this version is that Batman is never deputized and Gordon's relationship with him is kept out of the public eye whenever possible.
When Gordon needs to summon Batman, he uses the Batsignal, a specially modified Klieg searchlight with a stylized symbol of a bat placed on it so that it projects a large Bat emblem on the sky or buildings of Gotham City.
In most versions of the mythos, Gordon is ignorant of Batman's identity, though some fans and writers feel that Gordon is smart enough to solve the puzzle, but chooses not to in order to preserve Batman's effectiveness.
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