Harvey Bullock was named after a real-life television writer. Before the Crisis on Infinite Earths story line, Bullock was originally a corrupted detective. He was ordered by Mayor Hamilton Hill to sabotage Commissioner James Gordon’s career. He would do so by pretending to be clumsy and ruining their plans on a stake. When Bullock accidentally gave Gordon a heart-attack, it changed Bullock. He turned over a new leaf and tried his best to make up for what he did.
Bullock later became a Bishop in the Checkmate Organization.
Origin – Post-Crisis
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Harvey Bullock once again became a corrupt cop. He gained a reputation for taking bribes, police brutality, and ties to organized crimes, though his co-workers still believed him to be a good cop. However, Bullock was very loyal to Commissioner Gordon from the very beginning, and helped Gordon foil the plans of many well-known criminals in Gotham City. Whenever Batman was not around, Bullock would take the role of bad cop to intimidate and threaten those he needed information from. His previous partner on the Gotham Police Department was Renee Montoya. Later, after Commissioner Gordon is shot three times in the back, it is discovered that Gordon's shooter was formerly in the Chicago mob and had a grudge against Gordon. However, the GCPD lack the evidence to convict Gordon's shooter. Bullock gives up the location of Commissioner Gordon's shooter to the mafia, leading to the shooter's murder. After this event, Bullock resigned from the GCPD and occasionally worked as a private detective.
Writer Archie Goodwin and artist Howard Chaykin created Harvey Bullock for Detective Comics #441 dated June 1974.
Major Story Arcs
In the Batman: Cataclysm story line, Bullock is confronting Anarky when an earthquake strikes. Both men survive but Harvey is severely injured, having had is arm impaled by a metal tube. Despite this he is able to make it back to Gotham's police headquarters and rescue James Gordon from the rubble of his own office. Gotham city is later shut down.
During No Man's Land Bullock, along with Renee Montoya, decide to stay behind to assist Gordon.
One Year Later
After Infinite CrisisAs part of the One Year Later story line, Bullock was allowed to rejoin the GCPD police force under the condition that he is not to make one mistake this time. Batman and Bullock have made peace and they both agreed to give each other a second chance.
In the future, Bullock's legacy lives on through his grandson.
JLA: The Nail
In the Elseworlds series JLA: The Nail, Bullock is the Gotham's police commissioner after James Gordon is murdered.
In the Flashpoint universe, Harvey is a severe alcoholic.
In the Batman: Earth One graphic novel series, Harvey Bullock is a young, handsome T.V star of a show called Hollywood Detectives. He comes to Gotham with the intention of solving the Wayne murder case in order to gain more fame.
In Other Media
Batman: The Animated Series
Voiced by Robert Costanzo. Bullock is featured often on the show. His personality is a mix of pre and post-crisis versions being both a comedic relief character and a more serious opponent of Batman. Some episodes such as "POV" and "A Bullet for Bullock" focus on him heavily. He shown to be loyal to the Commissioner and partnered with Renee Montoya.
He also made appearances on Batman related episodes of Superman: the Animated Series and Static Shock as well Batman: The Animated Series spin-off movies Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, Mystery of Batwoman and Mask of the Phantasm.
Although never appearing in a Batman film, both Detective Flass in Batman Begins (2005) and Stephens in The Dark Knight (2008) as well as Detective Eckhart in Batman (1989) have all taken aspects of Bullock's character.
Harvey Bullock finally made his live action debut portrayed by actor Donal Logue in the 2014 Fox drama Gotham, set in the years just after the Wayne's are murdered and Jim Gordon starts as a new detective.
Logue portrays an older Bullock and as Gordon's partner, is responsible for showing the young cop how to survive in a city like Gotham.
Bullock has made several cameo and cut-scene appearances in Batman video games, including Batman: The Animated Series Video Game, Batman: Chaos in Gotham, Batman: Dark Tomorrow and DC Universe Online. His biggest video game role came in Batman: Arkham Origins where Robert Costanzo reprises his voice role from the animated series.