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Quote1 You really think Captain Jim Gordon is going to let a criminal raise his kid? People are already shooting at my baby. I have to protect him, or her. I have to be strong. Quote2
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Barbara Kean was an art gallery owner in Gotham City, the former fiancée of James Gordon and the ex-girlfriend of Renée Montoya. She was also the mother of Barbara Lee Gordon, a reformed criminal and former leader of the Sirens and the Sisters of the League.

Shortly after breaking up with Jim, Barbara was kidnapped by the serial killer known as "The Ogre", who eventually convinced her to kill her parents. After being saved, Barbara then tried to kill Gordon's new girlfriend; Dr. Lee Thompkins. So she was then deemed insane and imprisoned at Arkham Asylum, where she was recruited along with Jerome Valeska by siblings Theo and Tabitha Galavan to join the Maniax. Eventually, Barbara and Tabitha began a relationship and became partners in crime in Gotham, until Tabitha was killed by Penguin during the No Man's Land. Years later, Barbara managed to stay sane permanently and became a businesswoman.

Both his work and Leslie Thompkins eventually ended Jim and Barbara's relationship. Under the influence of the Ogre, she murdered her parents, which got her sent to Arkham Asylum.

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The Sirens

Following her escape from Arkham facilitated by Theo Galavan, she worked with him, bent on destroying Lee Thompkins and getting Jim back. After a failed attempt on Thompkins' life, Kean fell out of the top story of a church,[1] which landed her in a coma.[2] When Kean eventually awoke from her coma,[3] her mental illness seemingly dissipated. Professor Hugo Strange, the chief of psychiatry at Arkham Asylum, was unaware of whether or not Kean was faking her sanity. Curious of what would happen, Professor Strange declared Kean to be sane and released her to the public as part of an experiment.[4] Barbara, still in love with James Gordon, attempted to reconcile with Gordon by helping him obtain information about the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Gordon turned Barbara down, wanting nothing more to do with her. Desperate, Barbara sought refuge with Tabitha Galavan.[5] With Tabitha, Barbara Kean resided with Butch Gilzean and Oswald Cobblepot.[6]

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Barbara after No Man's Land

Eventually, Tabitha preferred Gilzean and killed Barbara, which was then resurrected by Ra's al Ghul to become his new bride. However, after he was killed by Bruce Wayne, Barbara became the new leader of the League of Shadows. After defecting members brought Ra's back to life, he decided to take back leadership of the League, but he was eventually killed for the final time by Barbara and Bruce, but his ally Jeremiah had already exploded several bombs around the city, creating the No Man's Land. During this, Barbara became pregnant with Jim and gave birth to their daughter Barbara Lee Gordon. Years later, Barbara managed to stay sane permanently and began her own company building, which is also a competitor of Wayne Enterprises.


  • Demon's Head (Formerly): Ra's al Ghul transfered his power known as the Demon's Head to Barbara before his death, Barbara was able to use this to summon members of the League. This power was returned to Ra's after his resurrection.
    • Precognition (?) (Formerly): Barbara was able to rewind time by a brief period, allowing her to recover from recent injuries and tactical mistakes.


Other Characteristics

Behind the Scenes

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Barbara in the fourth season

During the run of the show, the showrunners considered turning Barbara Kean into the iconic Batman villain Harley Quinn, the sidekick and girlfriend of the Joker. This is apparent during the second and third season, when Barbara's personality obviously mirrored the Harley character. Additionally, she also teamed up with Jerome Valeska for a brief period of time. The show would later introduce Ecco as the direct precursor of Harley Quinn.[10]

According to showrunner John Stephens, the producers were also thinking of turning Barbara into Magpie, a plan which was also discarded at a later point. During the first half of the fourth season, Barbara actually wore completely black outfits and had a white haircut very reminiscent of Magpie's modern redesign featured in the television series Beware the Batman. The real Magpie was eventually introuduced during the fifth season.[11]



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League of Assassins member
This character is or was a member of the League of Assassins, a international organization of the world's greatest killers, operating both for hire and their own agenda, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "League of Assassins members" category.