Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon is police commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department. He has served in the rank since before the time Batman emerged as a crimefighter. At first he saw Batman as a vigilante working outside the law, but after his defeat of the mass murdering "Joker", he has developed a trust with the Batman to the point where he is in charge of activating the Bat-Signal in order to contact him whenever he is needed.
Gordon began his career as a patrolman in the GCPD. On the night Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha were murdered by Jack Napier, Gordon was the first responding officer on the scene. A photograph of Gordon comforting their orphaned son, Bruce, was printed in the Gotham Globe
Commissioner Gordon attended a celebratory banquet for the newly elected District Attorney, Harvey Dent. Bruce Wayne had a seat reserved next to Gordon but was unable to attend. Harvey Dent announced with Gordon and Mayor Borg their plans to target businesses suspected to involved with organized crime problem in Gotham.
During this time Gordon and Harvey Dent were heavily pressured by Mayor Borg to make citizens feel safe in time for the city's upcoming 200th Anniversary Festival. Their primary objective being to get Carl Grissom in a court house. Investigative reporter Alexander Knox was also hounding him about a rumored "giant bat"-like vigilante.
Gordon later attended a party with his wife at Wayne Manor, at which Harvey Dent and Mayor Borg were also in attendance. Gordon was forced to leave early after Officer Robert informed him of an anonymous tip that Jack Napier was planing to "clean out" Axis Chemicals. When Gordon arrived he established his dominance and took control of the operation from the corrupt Lt. Eckhardt. Gordon announced over a bullhorn that he wanted Napier taken alive. Soon after this, Gordon spotted Batman for the time. Standing above a mobster dangling in fear after being pulled by a line shot from his grappling hook pistol, he saw the silhouette of Batman. He was left in awe, with mouth agape.
Gordon witnessed Joker's last stand from afar at Gotham Cathedral. He attempted to move a massive bell blocking the entrance to the stairwell, by himself. After he ordered searchlights put on the tower. Later he saw the Joker's body land on the ground after Batman was through with him. He then examined a laughing bag he had activated while falling to his death.
Accepting Gotham's new guardian
Gordon attended the public announcement of the Batsignal, with all Gotham City officials in attendance. After Harvey Dent read a short letter left with the gift, Gordon dramatically presented it.
Sometime later, when the Red Triangle Gang attacked the Lighting of the Tree ceremony, the Tattooed Strongman threw a sled at his cruiser. Rather than emerge from the vehicle with his fellow officer and draw their guns on the unarmed circus strongman, Gordon promptly radioed for the Batsignal to be turned on. Gordon then allowed Batman to defuse the situation. Gordon and the Mayor later attempted to thank Batman for his assistance.
After Penguin and Catwoman executed their plan to kidnap the Ice Princess and frame Batman, Gordon appeared on television presenting Batman's bloodstained Batarang found in the missing girl's dressing room. He begrudgingly referred to it as "purely circumstantial" evidence.
Later when the Ice Princess fell to her death at the Re-lighting of the Tree ceremony, Gordon and three of his men rushed to the rooftop Batman was seen at. The patrolmen immediately started firing on Batman, causing Gordon to forcibly stop the two officers by his side from firing as he shouted orders to hold their fire.
Behind the Scenes
- "Any officer in this city, that is proved to have done something wrong, is going to be out so fast he will not know what hit him!"
- ―Commissioner Gordon[src]
- A portion of a deleted scene with Commissioner Gordon is shown on the Shadows of the Bat documentary. Gordon is speaking to the press about rooting out the corruption left in the police force. It is shown only in B-roll, and likely would've been used to show on a tv screen in another shot. Why the clip in not presented in its entirety elsewhere on the dvd is unknown.
- In Sam Hamm's first draft of the script, dated October 20, 1986, Knox had more lines about the photo of the Wayne murders. "Yep. He watched the whole thing happen. -- Recognize the beat cop? Jim Gordon." Vicki also mentions that she'd seen the photo before, and Knox says the photo won the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for photography. Although these lines were later dropped, the description of the photograph remains exactly the the same in all subsequent drafts. The photo made it into the film's newspaper prop exactly as scripted. Pat Hingle seemingly confirmed the 'Beat Cop' to be Gordon on the 2005 dvd release. The Gotham Globe article itself may also state this, but there is currently no version of it with text large enough to read.
- According to Hingle, in a unidentified draft, Alfred was going to reveal to Bruce that Gordon was the patrolman that comforted him on the night of his parents' murder. This would motivate Batman to "come to the aid" of the commissioner at some point in the story.
- Most likely a continuity error, the copy of the Gotham Globe article that Bruce keeps in a police file has a different photo. In this version, the beat cop's head and upper body are in frame, and he is seen leaning over and speaking to Bruce. A paramedic can also be seen with a body bag. The titles and bylines are exactly the same.
- Gordon or any other beat cop comforting Bruce at the murder scene was an original idea not drawn from any prior DC comic mythology. This idea was later used and expanded upon in the 2005 film, Batman Begins, in which Gordon is actually shown in flashback placing Thomas' coat over Bruce's shoulders at the police station. The 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, also mentions that this scenario happened the night of the Wayne murders.
- Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology, Heroes: Commissioner Gordon (2005):
Pat Hingle: "A lot of people don't know this, but in the first Batman script, the cop on the beat, that first comes to Bruce Wayne's aid when his parents were killed, was Commissioner Gordon. The picture got in the papers, of the boy clinging to this officer's leg, and kinda waist and the officer's arm around the boy." [sic]
- Batman script, 1st draft, October 20, 1986