- "We ruled Gotham's nights and answered to no one but ourselves. Maybe that was our mistake."
- —Barbara Gordon on her past as a vigilante[src]
Barbara Gordon is an English teacher at New Gotham High School. She once operated as a vigilante alongside Batman under the moniker Batgirl, but after being paralyzed from the waist down, she became Oracle and worked alongside Helena Kyle, and later Dinah Redmond, as part of the Birds of Prey.
- "Joining her in this struggle, Oracle, who was once Batman's protege, Batgirl - she was once caught in the crossfire of the war between Batman and Joker."
- —Alfred Pennyworth[src]
Barbara was trained by Bruce Wayne as his protégé, Batgirl.
One night, Barbara was present in a warehouse where she fought thugs hired by the Joker before Bruce, dressed as Batman, arrived and fought the criminal to a decisive victory. Barbara, tired after the fight, stripped of her costume and left it in plain sight as she showered; a knock caused her to open her door to find the Joker who shot her at point blank, making her a paraplegic.
Following this, she looked after Helena Kyle, Bruce's estranged daughter, watching her grow up. When she was old enough, Barbara assisted Helena as a vigilante duo, with Barbara operating from a lair as Oracle.
Seven years later
Barbara came to work as a school teacher in English. She met the school's new guidance counselor, Wade Brixton, who asked her on a date, to which she agreed. Barbara headed back to her lair, where she found news of a recent homicide. She attempted to contact Helena via her comms, but she'd taken them out. That night, Barbara went to confront Helena about not replying, before Helena began complaining about having been at a psychiatrist due to a previous mission that Barbara had instigated. She headed back to the lair, where she was met by a Huntress who'd just been out on the streets. Barbara viewed the evidence from the prior homicide, as well as another recent one. They were suddenly interrupted by an intruder, whom they found to be Dinah Redmond, whom Huntress had saved earlier in the night. She explained how she'd found the place through her meta-human abilities, and Barbara scanned her brain, confirming the facts. Helena took Barbara aside, incredulous that she'd consider taking Dinah in, but Barbara simply compared the situation to Helena's after her mother's passing.
The following morning, Barbara continued looking over the evidence, having a chat with Alfred. They were joined by Dinah, who noticed her working on the case, explaining how she'd been near one of the victims at his death, and that it wasn't a suicide as police suspected. Barbara found some more intel, discovering four businessman to be the target of the killer; they knew of two already dead. She sent out Huntress to watch out for the most likely of the remaining two targets, but she arrived with him already dead. Helena returned back, Barbara explaining that their last businessman was Helena's old neighbor, Larry Ketterly. With a lead located down at the dockyards, Barbara sent Dinah there while Helena went to watch over Ketterly. They soon realized that Ketterly was not in fact a victim, but the murderer, and so Barbara and Dinah rushed to Helena's location, Barbara attempting to talk her from the trance he'd put her under. Once she got there, Barbara sent a disc flying at Ketterly's head, knocking him over. The two women joined Helena, going into the dream world of Helena's mind. They were able to talk her out of it and Helena killed Ketterly's dream-self. Returning back to the real world, they had him sent to the New Gotham Police Department precinct. Returning back to their lair, Barbara and Helena discussed with Dinah that she could stay with them, before heading outside to survey the city, with Barbara reminiscing of her pursuits as Batgirl, as it was the seven-year anniversary of her paralysis.
First date with Wade
Barbara began filling out forms for Dinah as she enrolled at New Gotham High School. She scolded Dinah for skipping basic training, as she'd broken things using the automated weapons. Barbara asked Dinah for any records she had, such as a birth certificate or school records, but Dinah claimed them all to have been burned. Helena sat down with Barbara, making sure she knew she was lying, of which she was clearly aware.
Barbara headed to school, where she was met by Wade. He expressed how he'd thought she'd forgotten about their date, to which she realized they'd thought the same thing about the other. Claiming to be typically busy with a baking side-business, Wade offered to plan the date, to which she agreed.
Back at the clocktower, Barbara pulled up records on Dinah's past life, confirming her belief to Helena that she was safe. Dinah suddenly appeared, wearing Helena's favorite sweater, causing Barbara to step between them to diffuse the situation. Barbara and Helena went for a walk and talked, trying to make Helena see reason. Later, they received intel on the suspicious death of police officer Jack Barnstone. Barbara had Helena go and get a tissue sample of his lungs, while she got ready for her Friday night date. She headed off for her date, meeting Wade in a park, where he'd set up dinner. Eventually, Barbara received an urgent alert causing her to leave. Returning to the clocktower, she discovered the death of police officer Grace Tanner.
The team were able to determine the killer as Silas "Slick" Waters, and his next victim as Detective Reese. Helena headed to find him, while Barbara stayed in her ear. When they were attacked by Slick, Helena began to be choked. Barbara suggested looking for a fire extinguisher, cooling Slick down and forcing him to re-form. After Slick fled, going to hijack another armored truck, Barbara alerted Helena to this. Following an altercation, including Dinah assisting in knocking out a thug, Barbara was shocked to hear that Dinah was there. Dinah and Helena returned to the clocktower, whereupon Barbara grounded Dinah. She then opened up about her past to Helena and Barbara, admitting she finally felt at home with them.
When Monday morning arrived, Barbara went to work, where she surprised Wade with a make-up date in her classroom. That evening, she and Helena hypothesized that there was someone behind Slick's attacks, figuring that someone else was pulling his strings.
While the Huntress dealt with a criminal, Barbara talked to her over comms. After he mysteriously suddenly died, seemingly being killed by his own acidic spit, Barbara began researching multiple meta-humans having the same power, but came up with nothing. She instead suggested Helena go and check out No Man's Land, checking in with Gibson Kafka. The following morning, Barbara helped Dinah with her first day at school. She made her way to her classroom, where Wade met her, asking if she wanted to join for dinner with his parents, who were passing through town. She was initially apprehensive, due to her disability, but Wade reassured her and she accepted. That night they went for dinner, but during the entire night Wade's mother told him that she believed Barbara wasn't good enough for him due to her paraplegia, deeply hurting Barbara. She returned home, where Helena told her of their killer, Detective Claude Morton. Barbara wished to do some research on how to take him down, but Helena didn't want to wait, getting upset that her people were dying. Following this, Barbara headed to No Man's Land, surprised to find Dinah there. She joined her and Gibson for a drink, but they were interrupted by Helena, who'd taken the fight with Morton to a rooftop. Dinah, Gibson and a number of other meta-humans joined Helena to help, overwhelming Morton's senses and causing him to choose to jump off of the roof. The Birds of Prey regrouped atop their clocktower and discussed the recent events, Barbara informing Dinah of how badly her dinner had gone. They decided to cap the night off by going back to the No Man's Land bar.
Barbara was in the clocktower when Helena returned back, having found a baby. The three women decided to look after him, naming him "Guy". While Helena went to retrieve diapers, Barbara was forced to change him despite not having any. When she returned, Barbara continued with her work, scanning Guy's brain and discovering he and his purported "mother" to be related to Simcron Labs. They gave the lab a call, heading in to investigate it. They were met by Dr. Lewis Melfin, who they'd talked to on the phone. The situation soon became apparent that it was a trap, when they were joined by Helena, who helped to fight off all of Melfin's thugs. Guy, who'd been waiting in the car, also joined them, accidentally killing Dr. Melfin. Back at the clocktower, Barbara told Helena of how she'd determined that Guy had both a "passive mode" and an "active mode", the latter being programmed in and why he'd killed Melfin. Guy overheard their talk and was convinced that he was a freak, yelling at Helena and running off. After eventually finding him, Helena brought Guy back to the clocktower, where he rapidly aged into a 40 year old. They sat around with him, giving him a cupcake to ceremoniously celebrate his birthday, a wish he'd wanted. He then proceeded to age again, before finally passing on. The women congregated as usual at the top of the clocktower, discussing how there'd been a woman at the club, and likely the same person they'd been repeatedly coming up against. Helena then presented a candled cupcake in memory of Guy.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Barbara as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new multiverse.
- "I'm as broody and romantically self-destructive as the next girl."
- —Barbara Gordon to Helena Kyle[src]
Barbara was very headstrong and stubborn as Batgirl. With retrospect, she saw it was the suit and the status as one of Gotham's vigilantes that caused her to feel invincible on New Gotham's rooftops.
However, when Barbara was shot, she had experienced a new sense of vulnerability and helplessness. Constantly trying to figure out a way out of the chair even at the cost of her own detriment. As Oracle, she had eventually worked to seeing regret in the actions of her past. She became a mentor instead of just a student of Batman. Often passing on her skills not only as a vigilante, but as a teacher.
When she was disabled, Barbara was very private and reclusive. With her biggest challenge being to get back out into the world and just be herself.
- Genius-level intellect/Expert tactician/Leader: Barbara is a highly intelligent individual, an excellent tactician and leader.
- Skilled hand-to-hand-combatant/Martial artist: From Barbara's time as Batgirl, she has shown great skill in hand-to-hand combat, being able to take down an entire group of thugs without help from Batman. Even after paraplegia, Barbara still showed proficiency in combat, despite being bound to a wheelchair.
- Batarangs: Barbara had designed batarangs in her career as Batgirl, and continued using them as weapons when she occasionally went out into the field again, either in self defense in her wheelchair or when she suited up briefly as Batgirl once more. She also used them to help train Dinah Redmond as well as keeping her own skills sharp.
- Spinal implant: Barbara has a spinal implant of her own design that allows her to control her wheelchair by thought. She later works on using the tech in order to allow her to walk. She uses this technology to minimal success against Lady Shiva. However, later she managed to use it much better when enacting her revenge against Harleen Quinzel.
- Batgirl suit: As the vigilante Batgirl, Barbara wore a black suit, emblazoned with a yellow bat symbol on the chest. It featured yellow boots and a black cowl, pointed on the top like a bat's ears.
Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey