- "We will not let these killers and these robbers and these rapists and these thugs win...Not on my watch."
- —Mayor Aubrey James to the citizens of Gotham[src]
When the homeless children were rescued by James Gordon and Harvey Bullock, his solution was to send the cute undamaged ones to foster homes, but would send most of them to a juvenile hall facility without trials. The press called this Mayor James' "Tough Love" program. When the homeless children were kidnapped during his program, he saw this as bad publicity.
Mayor James was caught in the middle of the power struggle between Don Falcone and Sal Maroni, and the target of a contract put out by Maroni on his life, in which the killer known as Richard Gladwell attempted to fulfill. Bullock and Gordon saved his life, killing his would-be assassin in the process. He then announced in an interview that a compromise would be made between the two plans presented, the reason behind this decision was to appease both crime lords Falcone and Maroni. The compromise would allow Falcone to construct his low-income housing, while also allowing Maroni's waste disposal plant to be constructed. As well as this, Maroni would be given the contract to refurbish the Arkham Asylum.
Mayor James was arrested by Gordon and Bullock for his role in the conspiracy to frame Mario Pepper for the Wayne murders. The two officers took James with them when they attempted to arrest Carmine Falcone. However, they opted not to arrest Falcone when he threatened to have Victor Zsasz kill Gordon's fiance, Barbara Kean. After having his handcuffs removed, James took this opportunity to walk out of the room.
Mayor Aubrey James later ordered Sarah Essen to find the Russian mob led by Gregor Kasyanov before they could use Ian Hargrove to bomb another location. He later held a press conference stating that Arkham Asylum will also be used to house the criminally insane to get them the help that they need.
After the murder of businessman Dick Lovecraft, Mayor James scolded Gordon and councilman Harvey Dent for their attempt to persecute Lovecraft and for "attacking the very foundations of Gotham". Mayor James then fabricated a story for Lovecraft's death, claiming to the media that an overzealous Gordon pushed Lovecraft to suicide. This allowed him to reassign Gordon to security duty at Arkham Asylum.
With Mayor James still in Galavan's clutches and Deputy Mayor Harrison Kane killed by Jerome Valeska, a mayoral election is held for an acting mayor with Theo, Janice Caulfield, and Randall Hobbs as it's candidates.
Thanks to information from Barbara before her fall from the Gotham Cathedral left her hospitalized, the Gotham City Police Department found Mayor Aubrey James tied up in a safehouse at China Docks. Upon his head being freed from the box, he was asked by Gordon on who did this to him. Mayor Aubrey James quotes "Who do you think?" This led to the arrest of Theo Galavan at the time when he was meeting with Bruce Wayne.
However, during the trial, a scared Aubrey James retracted his statement and claimed that Oswald Cobblepot was the one who kidnapped and tortured him, and threatened him to say it was Theo Galavan. The case is dismissed and Theo is free to go.
Aubrey James was present with Nathaniel Barnes at a press conference about the Indian Hill escapees. He and Barnes state to Valerie Vale and the press that they have no knowledge on Wayne Enterprises being associated with Indian Hill. Oswald Cobblebot crashes the press conference by informing the citizens that Fish Mooney is still alive and is leading the group of Indian Hill escapees. Cobblepot then puts out a million dollar bounty on Fish, demanding that she must be found, as nobody will be safe until then.
At a press conference, Aubrey James revealed that Gotham City's elective officials present have run Gotham City following Theo Galavan's death and mentions that they want him to be reinstated as Mayor of Gotham City "against his will". This will be until the mayoral elections begin. Cobblepot crashes the press conference and states that the people of Gotham City should choose who should be Mayor with Cobblepot taking credit for driving the "abominations" out of Gotham City. Cobblepot states that he is running for mayor and that an emergency election should be held forthwith. The people attending the press conference agree to Cobblepot's suggestion. Cobblepot later gets a call from Aubrey James wanting to meet with him alone. At a restaurant, James is recapped to what Galavan did to him. When James states that he has the judge, the union, and the Gotham City Police Department on his side while mentioning that Cobblepot needs help, he unleashes his gunmen on his side. Cobbolepot also summons his gunmen who outnumber James' gunmen. Though Cobblepot doesn't have James killed off since he didn't want to run for Mayor of Gotham City alone in the election. Cobblepot then comments that James is right about one thing, he does need help. Cobblepot then states that he has the right person to back him up.
James ends up losing the election to Cobblepot.
Following Cobblepot's disappearance and presumed death, James fills in his place as the Mayor of Gotham once again.
In order to get the identity of the Court of Owls, Riddler crashes a production of "Hamlet" and leaves a riddle that leads the Gotham City Police Department into figuring out that Riddler will be going after Mayor Aubrey James. James Gordon and Harvey Bullock visit Mayor James in his office to warn him about Riddler's attack and that they need to get him to a safe place. While stating that he'll have a lot of protection, Mayor James states to feel dizzy. Thinking that it's is blood sugar acting up, Mayor James goes for his blood medication only to find pills that have question marks on them. Gordon and Bullock take Mayor James to the hospital. Riddler was able to abduct Mayor James while the police were occupied with the angry biker gang members whose fellow bikers were badly injured from the bomb that Tabitha Galavan placed there. In his hidden lair where he has Mayor James blindfolded, Riddler learns about the Court of Owls where he states that he only does what they tell him to. On TV, Riddler uses a neck bomb on Mayor James where he threatens to have the Court of Owls come out. Upon getting called by Kathryn, Gordon makes a plan to get Riddler to come to him by evacuating the police station. Once the police station is evacuated, Gordon meets with Nygma and persuades him to release Mayor James. Riddler ends up doing so when he learns that Tabitha Galavan told Gordon about how to disable the neck bomb. As Gordon agrees to accompany Nygma to meet the Court of Owls, Mayor James makes a run for it.
Like most people in position of power, Aubrey is corrupt and arrogant, he is also selfish as he cares more about his political career and power than he does about the welfare of the people of Gotham City, underneath Aubrey's arrogance, he is quite cowardly, as he is afraid of anyone who is not afraid of him, like Jim Gordon; as the latter threatened to beat up Aubrey if he ever threatens him again, according to Oswald Cobblepot, Aubrey is always three steps behind his opponent(s), which is a true fact, as he is not very intelligent.
Because Aubrey's career as mayor was not very popular with the people of Gotham City; he ultimately lost the mayoral election to Oswald and later to Burke.
- Aubrey James was created by Justin Gray and Steven Cummings and seen in the flashbacks in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #204-205 (June 2006), where he was the Mayor of Gotham City back when Thomas Wayne was still alive.
- According to Oswald, he is illiterate.