...his holy work. Cleaning the scum from Gotham! He needs to be severe...but not with us. No...he's gentle as a lamb with us. He simply...burns the sin out of us. We need him to. It's the woman's sins that are the worst, because they're hidden inside! James brings them out into the light!
~ Barbara shows her scars, both physical and mental

Barbara Kean is the wife of James Gordon and the secondary antagonist in the animated movie Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. Initially appearing as an ordinary housewife, it is later revealed that she is her husband's accomplice (and one of his victims), after Batman discovers that James Gordon is, in fact, Jack the Ripper.

She was voiced by Kahri Wuhrer.


Barbara is first introduced as the ostensibly ordinary, loyal, and pleasant housewife of James Gordon who supports him in his efforts against the criminal forces of Gotham City. It is made clear that the two have children also, but they are never seen.

Later, when Batman goes to Gordon's home to make sure Selina Kyle doesn't tell him Batman's secret identity (as she had earlier vowed to), he discovers a hidden passage in the home. Within, he finds evidence that proves Gordon is Jack the Ripper and is the man he's been looking for. Barbara, at first presenting herself as frightened by Batman's intrusion, attacks him, only to be easily subdued.

She then shows that her husband has scarred part of her face (hidden by her hair), as a means of "burning the sin out of her". Her mind in tatters, Barbara goes on about how her husband engages in a "holy war" against the filth of Gotham City, even condemning her own gender in the throes of her madness as having "the worst sins". Batman demands she tell him where her husband is and is not seen again afterward. 


  • This is the second version of Barbara Kean to be re-imagined as a villain, after her portrayal in Gotham.
  • Both she and her husband make reference to children, but they're never seen. In the comics, James and Barbara do indeed have two children, each of them named after one of them; Barbara Gordon and James Gordon, Jr. Ironically, Gordon's characterization in this film as a murderous psychopath greatly resembles that of his son in the comic books.
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