Many people envision Batman as a dark, brooding figure, keeping a solitary watch over Gotham while zipping from building to building on seemingly endless lines.
But that's not true. Well, the dark, brooding part and the lines part are true, but not the solitary part. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Since his debut in Detective Comics in 1939, Batman has had a litany of supporting characters, heroes, anti-heroes, and civilians. In more recent years, this supporting cast has become known as the Batman Family - Batman's 'team' who operate with his approval, oversight, and resources.
The term is actually quite appropriate. For many years, it has been said that Batman had one of, if not the best, rogue's gallery in comics. And how do you stand up to your rogues? You call on your allies. In Batman's case, not only do the members of the Bat-Family aid his war on crime, they help keep Bruce grounded and serve as a substitute family that keeps him from sliding too far into his identity as Batman.
When you start to look at the alternate DC Earths, Crises, New 52s, and other continuity resets, there are a myriad of different characters who could be considered part of the modern Bat-Family. Here's what happened to them all...
19. Jim Gordon
Commissioner James 'Jim' Gordon is Bruce's oldest ally, debuting in May 1939.
Gordon has a deep commitment to ridding Gotham of crime of all types, including dirty cops. This latter point has gotten him into many scrapes with fellow officers who are in the pockets of organized crime.
Jim is often criticized for condoning Batman operating in Gotham, but he maintains that Batman is an ally and in Gotham, any ally should be seized on.
Gordon is also the father of Barbara Gordon, who has operated as both Batgirl and Oracle. Gordon himself once donned a high-tech suit of Batman-style armour when Bruce was away from Gotham.