"A Fire in the Heavens"
Four years ago, Barbara Gordon was an exceptional student, an exceptional achiever, and the daughter of an exceptional man. While every girl fantasized about her father as a white knight, Barbara's was a real one. James Gordon was the police commissioner. Since her mother had left, Jim had raised his daughter and son, James, Jr., alone. Strange to note, they all had a sort of obsession with the darker side of life. Barbara's obsession had manifested itself in her studies, as she enrolled in an introductory course in Criminology.
One day, she talked her way into taking interviews for a school project at Gotham City Police Headquarters. Her father had been busy, so he left Barbara and James, Jr. in the care of officer Dwight Morgan. Morgan showed them around, giving them an altogether mundane view of how the precinct functioned. He did not know that Barbara had an ulterior motive. She had come to learn more about the Batman. She spotted a team of cops selected to track down the vigilante, and listened in. From their analysis, she realized that despite the urban legend that he had become, the Batman was a man - a very smart man - like her.
At that moment, she became distracted by the appearance of Harry X. A Canadian criminal, awaiting extradition after having murdered several European women and escaped across the border. Babs took an interest in him, thinking that perhaps he could be the key to getting an A+ on her paper - if she could work up the nerve to ask him a question. He, however, took an interest in her too. She could tell that he wanted to make her his victim. He noticed James, Jr. too, but something about the boy made him react strangely.
Suddenly, there was an explosion, and Harry X's followers crashed through the wall, hoping to help him escape. There was a gunfight, and while Harry freed himself, Barbara and James, Jr. ran for a safer hiding place. Harry had realized whose children they were, and knew that one of them would make a good hostage. They hid in a stairwell, where James, Jr. discovered several canisters of tear gas. He set one off, causing Barbara to lose track of him, while Harry made his way toward them, having decided that James, the abomination, should die, while Barbara would live.
With James, Jr. obscured by the gas, Harry chased Barbara further up the stairs, and had nearly caught her when Officer Morgan appeared, and leapt onto his back. Harry swore he would kill Morgan as Barbara's punishment for running away, and Barbara knew he meant it. Desperately, she searched for an edge that would help her get through this situation and keep Morgan alive.
A short time later, Harry X was startled by Barbara, now dressed in the prototypical Batsuit that the department had been making in order to prove that the Batman was just a man. Harry charged at her, but her skill with escrima sticks proved an asset. In fact, she was surprised by how well all of the self-defence training she had done since she was young paid off. Dodging his punches with a combination of luck and skill, she landed a final blow on his head that knocked him unconscious. As the gas cleared away, she was stunned to find that the real Batman had watched her, and was impressed with both her skill, and her attempt to save Morgan's life.
Over the next year, Barbara ingratiated herself with the Batman, and became Batgirl. The thrill and excitement of being a vigilante consumed her - another sign of her obsession with the darkness. However, after making a big mistake, Barbara decided that it was time to hang up the mask. She finished school, met a boy, and took a day job. However, even after abandoning her obsession with the darkness, she forgot that one day, the darkness could come for her.
Three years ago, the darkness came in the form of the Joker, and changed her life forever with just one bullet.
"A Fire in the Heavens"
- Barbara Gordon
- James Gordon
- James Gordon Jr.
- Dwight Morgan
- Officer Rankin
- Detective Peters
- Harry X
- The Joker (Cameo)
- Danny "The Weasel" Weaver
- The Line ("“Witness Barbara Gordon’s shocking injury and her inspiring drive to recover and walk again!") appeared in the first version of the DC Comics Issue #0 Solicitations for this issue.