Following the editorial retirement of the character's Batgirl persona in 1988, Alan Moore's graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke depicts the Joker shooting Gordon through the spinal cord in her civilian identity and leaving her a paraplegic.
Although Gordon would no longer resume her role as Batgirl in subsequent stories, editor Kim Yale and writer John Ostrander soon established the character as a computer expert and information broker code-named Oracle, providing intelligence and computer hacking services to assist other superheroes.
Bob Kane had a Bat-Girl for about three stories in the ’50s, but she had nothing to do with a bat. I knew we could do a lot better, so Julie and I came up with the real Batgirl, who was so popular she almost got her own TV show.
Barbara Gordon and alter ego Batgirl debuted in Detective Comics #359 (cover-dated 1967, although the comic was actually released in late 1966) as the daughter of Gotham City's Police Commissioner James Gordon.
When interviewed on his involvement with creating Batgirl, Infantino states- Batgirl came up in the mid-’60s.
The “Batman” TV producer called Julie and said Catwoman was a hit, could we come up with more female characters? I came up with Batgirl, Poison Ivy and one I called the Grey Fox, which Julie didn’t like as much.
These are readers who remember Batwoman and the other Bat-girls from year's back...
As the years went on, however, Barbara found her role as Batgirl less and less fulfilling, and she eventually more or less retired.But thanks to the big change and a foresighted editor, these hapless females are gone for good.In their place stands a girl who is a capable crime-fighter, a far cry from Batwoman who constantly had to be rescued from Batman.That's when The Joker showed up at her house, shooting and paralyzing her and when he kidnapped her Uncle Jim.Batman rescued Jim Gordon, but 19-year-old Barbara Gordon's career as a crime fighter was over. During the early eighties, Batman editors sporadically put Batgirl into retirement; the character resumed her role for special cases.