The first issue of the new Joker series revealed that it actually starred former Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, dealing with a Gotham in the wake of The Joker's A-Day, and commissioned by yet another secret upper-class clique of Gothamites to assassinate the Joker. It also sees Gordon dealing with the death of his son as a result of The Joker War.
But The Joker #2, out in two weeks, will change the relationship between Jim Gordon and Barbara Gordon – Batgirl. In that it will reveal that Jim Gordon knows who Batgirl really is, and Barbara and him talk about it afterwards. It will also heavily imply that he knows Batman's secret identity too.
Now, this isn't anything entirely new.
That Jim would not recognise Batgirl as being his daughter, has stretched the suspension of disbelief almost as much as Oliver Queen not always being recognisable as The Green Arrow.
After her first appearances in the sixties, by the seventies even the campy comics had enough of that one, and had Jim know her secret, even if it took a while for Barbara to twig.
She revealed her identity to her father in the early seventies – to discover he had already worked it out. As one might expect.
Barbara then went on to serve as a member of the United States House of Representatives, occasionally returning to the Batgirl role. The events of Batman: The Killing Joke saw her paralysed before becoming Oracle.
But the reboot of the New 52 did away much of her history, though preserved the Killing Joke moments, returning Barbara to the role of a scarred Batgirl, and no mention that Jim Gordon knows Batgirl is his daughter.
Almost no mention. The zombie series DCeased written by Tom Taylor included a scene in which it was clear that Jim Gordon knew all along – about all of them. As his daughter died, he could drop the pretence.
Also the Harley Quinn animated series recently had Barbara Gordon reveal her secret life as Batgirl to her father, responding to Jim's claims that Batman inspired her, removing her cowl and saying "He inspired my costume. My dad inspired me."
Also written by Tom Taylor, in the other alternate Injustice: Gods Among Us future, with Jim Gordon dying, it is implied he knew about Bruce and Barbara all along.
But the current DC New 52 continuity onwards has restored the ignorance. However Batman: The Three Jokers by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok, following on from their story in Justice League, in which it was revealed to Batman that there were indeed Three Jokers, adds a little twist or two. With Barbara making a rather clear statement.
He knows. She knows he knows. This is not new information. And she's not the only one.
But the continuity-based relationship of The Three Jokers to the rest of the DC Universe was severed when Geoff Johns stepped down as CCO. However, in The Joker War, it was revealed that the Joker, at least, knew who everyone was.
Did the ongoing Batman titles want to get this in there before Geoff Johns did it? Today's Detective Comics #1028 seems to be taking the possibility further as well… is this heading to main Batman continuity too? However, in Batgirl #50, published at around the same time, Jim Gordon doesn't have a clue – indeed, he is openly insulting towards Batgirl, just as it looks like Barbara Gordon may be going back into politics.
In The Joker #2, as it is revealed that Jim Gordon knew all along, this behaviour will be addressed. If he knew, why be so cruel? Let's find out on the 13th of April. Oh yes, and it's $5.99. We need to talk about that as well.
(W) James Tynion IV – Sam Johns (A) Guillem March – Mirka Andolfo (CA) Guillem March
As the dust settles on Arkham Asylum and tragic recent events, The Joker is the most wanted man in the world—and powerful forces are lining up around the globe to hunt him…but where exactly is the Clown Price of Crime? Jim Gordon, facing his twilight years haunted by the madman, knows where to start the hunt, and he's been given the go-ahead to pursue him… but will he be willing to pay the price? And what shocking revelation will Gordon stun Batman with before he departs? And in the backup story, within the walls of Blackgate Penitentiary, Punchline has become the target of the Queen of Spades from the Royal Flush Gang. It'll take everything Punchline has just to survive, while on the outside, Bluebird digs deeper into Punchline's horrific past! In-Store: 4/13/2021 $5.99
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