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Barbara Gordon is the daughter of James Gordon. When James Gordon was divorced, he retained rights to Barbara and raised her in Gotham City. Perhaps traumatized by the divorce and lack of a maternal figure, Gordon the next years of her life searching for an identity. She sublimated her pyschosis by often answering the phone and pretending to be someone else and jumping from one trend to another. When it seemed like she settled on law enforcement, her father disagreed and made her take up gymnastics. His justification was he didn't want her to have the same life that he did, but wanted her to have a better one. For the next several years, Gordon trained to perfection and was in line to be an Olympics hopefu

During the final years of enrollment at Gotham High School, Gordon began taking part in plant-related protests with her one time friend, Pamela Isley. When Isley was found out to be the client of a corporate saboteur, Temblor, he attempted to kill her and Gordon. She saw Batman intervene and was mesmerized. Gordon crafted a home made costume modeled after the vigilante and called herself Batwoman. However, Batgirl seemed to stick. She then adapted a small arsenal for her utility belt, pinched from several places such as the Gotham Police Department. After a less than stellar outing, Gordon was about to give up when she realized her father was kidnapped by Isley, now Poison Ivy. Batgirl saved Batman and Commissioner Gordon by tossing one of Batman's freeze pellets into the shallow pool surrounding Ivy. Batman decided to tolerate Batgirl and aid him on some missions.

Gordon began to suspect Bruce Wayne was Batman but after a run in with the Penguin and an amnesiac Wayne, Gordon dismissed her theory. While fighting a Venom powered Joker, Gordon began to suspect her lack of physical strength was a weakness. Despite her slow progress at the Gotham Lanes Driving School, Batgirl drove the Batbot and confronted the Joker with her gymnastic moves. When that failed, Gordon realized she was small enough to avoid the Joker's reach and disable the power infusion module. Although Batman had yet to completely welcome her into the fold, Catwoman was impressed and even offered Batgirl to be her sidekick. Batgirl stuck to her instincts and suspected Catwoman of her trademark manipulations.

After the local election for Mayor, Batgirl and Batman were faced with the threat of Maxie Zeus. Batgirl infiltrated his airship, New Olympus, and sabotaged the Engine Room. With Zeus defeated and the Olympus crippled, Batgirl engaged a manual override and landed the ship in Gotham Harbor. After some consolation, Batman supplied her with a cache of official equipment and later, her own Batcycle. However, she as less than thrilled when she discovered Batman took a new partner, Robin, under his tutelage and begain training him. After an outing against Team Penguin, Batman decided to take Batgirl to the Batcave, reveal his secrets to her, and begin her training regime, as well. Batman had his hands full in keeping his two partners disciplined as they were often reprimanded for freelancing around Gotham without his presence.

Some time after the first invasion of the Joining, Gordon graduated high school and enrolled at Gotham University for the fall semester. After beginning in September, she and Batman uncovered a scheme hatched by three students to use Kirk Langstrom's mutagen to terrorize the campus. As a precautionary measure, Batgirl was instructed to remain on stand by at the WayneTech Batcave if the Joining ever resurfaced. When that day came, she, Robin, and the Justice League were faced with restoring the League's powers and stopping an invasion again. While she set up a signal with the Justice League Satellite, the Martian Manhunter used his telepathy to relay command codes into her mind that were instrumental in deactivating the Joining.

By the year 2027, Gordon took a new identity, Oracle. As an information retrieval expert, Gordon worked as a civilian for the government and as Oracle from the Batcave, both kept secret from her father. Due to an unknown incident, Gordon was also paralyzed from the hip down and was bound to a wheelchair. 1000 years later, her abandoned wheelchair was discovered in the Batcave.