Season 3 introduced us to a brand new version of Barbara Gordon, but she looks a little different from how she did in the comics. What happened to Barbara's leg? Comic fans will likely be familiar with her backstory, despite a few changes.
What happened to Barbara Gordon’s leg in ‘Titans’?
Barbara Gordon is one of the main characters on the TV show, and she’s known by a few names. She’s the commissioner of Gotham City, daughter to now-deceased Commissioner Jim Gordon. She grew up in Gotham City and knew Batman — which is how she was introduced to the life of being a vigilante.
When she was younger, Barbara was also known as Batgirl. She fought alongside Batman, and his team takes down those responsible for crime in their city.
And it’s one of those fateful nights that led to a change in Barbara’s life forever. When out fighting crime, Barbara came close to the Joker, one of Batman’s biggest nemeses, and he got the better of her. During an exchange, the Joker shot her, and as a result, she lost the ability to use her legs. This plays out slightly differently in Titans, as Barbara lost one of her legs.
Her career as a vigilante ended, and she had to learn to navigate life as a wheelchair user. And when her father passed away at the hands of Mr. Freeze, Barbara took over as commissioner of Gotham. That became her way to continue her fight for the city she grew up in.
Savannah Welch, who plays Barbara Gordon in ‘Titans,’ lost her leg after an accident.
Savannah Welch has a limb difference herself, and it’s rare to see a disabled person in the actual role of another disabled person, which Savannah took seriously when she signed on to the role.
She herself had her right leg amputated after an accident in 2016, and she used her own experience to add to her portrayal of Barbara in a respectful and authentic way.
“There are so many people who, like you said, love this character and have looked up to her, and she’s been a symbol for the disability community in media, and one of the very few,’ Savannah told W Magazine. "So it was really important to me to honor what existed out there already with the history of this character and all of the evolutions and incarnations that she’s had in the DC Universe.”
She explained that for her and Warner Bros., it was important to find someone who could relate to Barbara as someone with a disability. “I had done a little bit of research, it is something like 90 percent or 95 percent of characters who have disabilities are played by able-bodied actors,” she said. "It’s not necessary. I’m not [using a wheelchair], so that was a part of this character that I really wanted to portray as accurately and honestly as I possibly could."
"I drew from my own experience of having limitations, having to rely on other people for help here and there, but also being very independent and deciding this is not going to limit my ability to do the things that I want to do in my life," she explained. "Barbara Gordon certainly hasn’t let it slow her down.”
New episodes of Titans Season 3 drop every Thursday on HBO Max.