A Brief History of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon

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This week’s issue of Detective Comics introduces a “Commissioner Gordon” feature by Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla, which will appear in two issues as a backup story, and then start alternating with Snyder and Jock’s Batman stories in Detective‘s. It’s about time: for all his prominence in the 71-year history of Batman, Gordon’s rarely had the spotlight to himself.

James Gordon actually made his first appearance at the same time as Batman, in 1939’s Detective Comics #27. The first Batman story, by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, involves the gray-haired police commissioner “entertaining his young socialite friend Bruce Wayne” until they’re interrupted by a phone call that “Lambert, the chemical king” has been murdered. He appeared again the next month, and became a regular part of the Batman supporting cast by 1940.

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