Barbara Gordon is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with the superhero Batman. The character was created by William Dozier, Julius Schwartz, and Carmine Infantino. At the request of the producers of the 1960s Batman television series, DC editor Schwartz called for a new female counterpart to the superhero Batman that could be introduced into publication and the third season of the show simultaneously. The character subsequently made her first comic book appearance as Batgirl in Detective Comics #359, titled The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl! (January 1967), by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino.Barbara Gordon is written as the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, the brother of James Gordon Jr., and is initially employed as head of the Gotham City Public Library. Although the character appeared in various DC Comics publications, she was prominently featured in Batman Family which debuted in 1975, partnered with the original Robin, Dick Grayson. In 1988, following the editorial retirement of the characters Batgirl persona in Batgirl Special #1, the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke depicts the Joker shooting her through the spinal cord in her civilian identity, resulting in paraplegia. In subsequent stories, the character was reestablished as a computer expert and information broker known as Oracle. Providing intelligence and computer hacking services to assist other superheroes, she makes her first appearance as Oracle in Suicide Squad #23 (1989) and later became a featured lead of the Birds of Prey series. Reverting the character to her Batgirl persona, DC Comics relaunched its comic book titles in 2011 during The New 52 event, featuring her in the eponymous Batgirl monthly title as well as Birds of Prey. These changes were retained for the second company wide relaunch in 2016 known as DC Rebirth.The character was a popular comic book figure during the Silver Age of Comic Books, due to her appearances in the Batman television series and continued media exposure. She has achieved similar popularity in the Modern Age of Comic Books under the Birds of Prey publication and as a disabled icon. The character has been the subject of academic analysis concerning the roles of women, librarians and disabled people in mainstream media. The events of The Killing Joke, which led to the characters paralysis, as well as the restoration of her mobility, has also been a subject of debate among comic book writers, artists, editors and readership. Viewpoints range from sexism in comic books, to the limited visibility of disabled characters and the practicality of disabilities existing in a fictional universe where magic, technology, and medical science exceed the limitations of the real world.As both Batgirl and Oracle, Barbara Gordon has been adapted into various media relating to the Batman franchise, including television, film, animation, video games, and other merchandise. The character has been portrayed by Yvonne Craig and Dina Meyer and has been voiced by Melissa Gilbert, Tara Strong, Danielle Judovits, Alyson Stoner, Mae Whitman, Kimberly Brooks and Rosario Dawson, among others. In 2011, she was ranked 17th in both Comics Buyers Guides 100 Sexiest Women in Comics and IGNs Top 100 Comic Books Heroes.
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