|First appearance||Batman #49 (October 1948)|
|Created by||Bob Kane|
|Full name||Victoria Vale|
|Supporting character of||Batman|
Victoria Vale (usually called "Vicki" or "Vickie") is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with the superhero Batman. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the character debuted in Batman #49 (October 1948). Vicki Vale is a journalist, usually based in Gotham City, who has worked for a number of publications across various iterations of the character and the surrounding DC universe. She is frequently depicted as a romantic interest of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman.
Kim Basinger portrayed the character in the 1989 Batman film. Vicki has also been voiced by Tara Strong in the animated film The Batman vs. Dracula and by Grey DeLisle in the Batman: Arkham videogame series.
Vicki Vale first appeared in Batman #49 (Oct. 1948) in a 12-page story entitled, "Scoop of the Century!" written by Bill Finger with art by Bob Kane and Lew Schwartz.
In her early appearances, Vicki Vale revolved around her suspicions that Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person. Batman would usually manage to fool her by the end of each story into concluding that he was not really Bruce Wayne, but her suspicions would re-emerge in a later story.
Vicki Vale remained a prominent character in Batman stories from Batman #49, in 1948, until Detective #320 in October 1963. In 1964, Julius Schwartz became the editor of the Batman-related comics. Schwartz dropped a number of Batman's Silver Age backing characters, including Vicki Vale, Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, and Ace the Bat-Hound.
Vicki Vale surfaced 13 years later, in Batman Family #11 (June 1977). She was now married and known as Vicki Vale Powers. She was also mentioned in Batman Family #16. After that, she vanished for another five years.
She returned in February 1982 in Batman #344. The editor and writer were apparently unaware of her 1970s appearances, so there was no mention of her marriage, and it was stated in a footnote that she had not appeared since Detective #320. She had supposedly been in Europe for years, but now had returned to Gotham City. She became Bruce Wayne's romantic interest again, earning the wrath of Catwoman in Batman #355 (January 1983). She also had a rivalry for Bruce's affections with Julia Remarque, the daughter of Alfred Pennyworth and Mademoiselle Marie (Julia Remarque was wiped from continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths).
Vicki disappeared from the comics soon after Crisis on Infinite Earths, but in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, she is a gossip reporter who flirts with the judge during a shoplifting trial. Vicki returned in 1989 and 1990 in the Grant/Breyfogle era to coincide with release of Tim Burton's Batman. She once again began a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne, but became upset over his frequent absences. At one point, she was partnered with photojournalist Horten Spence to investigate the Fever phenomenon. This led to the two of them having an encounter with the Street Demonz as Horten fought them off. When hospitalized after an attack by the Ventriloquist, Bruce struggles over whether or not to tell her he is Batman, but decides not to, which leads to the end of their relationship. Bruce later regrets this when he descends into a brief depression following his defeat at the hands of Bane.
Vale appeared again in the Wonder Woman title as one of the hosts of the television program The Scene (similar to The View). Her co-hosts included Lia Briggs, Tawny Young, and Linda Park. Two episodes are shown in which they interview Wonder Woman on her career. In the "Black Glove" book she brusquely offers best wishes to Bruce and his new lady, Jezebel Jet, on the air.
Vicki appears (with blonde hair) in the 2008 two-part story Two-Face: Year One. She interviews a corrupt mob lawyer named Weinstein, who is running for Gotham district attorney against Harvey Dent. She is present when Dent, now the disfigured gangster Two-Face, confronts Weinstein and Bruce Wayne at a party in Wayne Manor.
In the 2009 Batman: Battle for the Cowl storyline, in the crossover miniseries Gotham Gazette, she claims to have discovered Batman's identity. Vicki has returned to the Gotham Gazette after her TV career failed. While the general public is more interested in what happened to Batman, Vale wants to know what happened to Bruce Wayne, who was last "seen" in Vietnam (which was actually Hush masquerading as Wayne). Vicki speaks with Lucius Fox but still cannot get a proper answer about Bruce's whereabouts. Feeling like "a real reporter" again, she is thrilled when she receives an invitation to join Bruce as his date at the Robinson Ball. In Battle for the Cowl #3, Vicki reports on the chaos that has been caused by Two-Face in the wake of Batman's disappearance.
In the next issue of Gotham Gazette, "Batman Alive", Vicki sees that Bruce is not present at the gala. While there, she observes the tension between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, as well as the scarring on Tim Drake, allowing her to discover the double lives they and Bruce have been leading. At the end of the story she is seen arranging pictures on her wall, connecting various members of the Batman Family to their secret identities, and declaring that she will prove her suspicions.
Vicki becomes an important supporting player in Issue 6 in the Red Robin series. In that issue she begins asking questions and is met by Bruce Wayne (actually Hush/Thomas Elliot in disguise). He agrees to an interview/date with her. This happens in Issue 9 of Red Robin where Wayne/Elliot avoids questions. Vicki finally gets her proof in Batman #703.
In Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, before she publishes Bruce's secret, Vicki wants to know how and why he is Batman. She calls Wayne Manor and threatens to publish the article if Bruce does not meet with her to discuss it. Alfred sends the still-masquerading Thomas Elliot to meet with her. He tells Vicki before kissing her that he is not Batman. When she gets home, she realizes that he was not Bruce Wayne, and knowing that Dick Grayson is now in the role of Batman leads her to ask the question, "Where is Bruce Wayne?" Holding the story until she uncovers the truth behind that, Vicki goes to Wayne Manor and tells Alfred that she knows the truth. Alfred tells her that Bruce, who was feared dead, has returned, but has not told everyone yet. While holding the story, she encounters Barbara Gordon and tells her she knows the truth. She asks her ex-boyfriend, Jack Ryder, if she should publish the article and turn her career around. Vicki sets up a sting with Commissioner Gordon but things do not go as planned, which leads to Catwoman's finding out that she knows not just about the Bat-family, but also the Gotham Underground, especially Catwoman. Vicki is eventually hunted by the League of Assassins, after Ra's al Ghul realizes that she knew Batman's secret. However, Bruce eventually rescues her. She promises him that she will never reveals his secrets. Vicki realizes that Bruce's mission is bigger than the truth she's seeking, and decides not to expose his secrets, and becomes his ally. During the conflict, Ra's realizes that Vicki is a descendant of Marcel "The Hammer" du Valliere, a French soldier and one of the few who challenged Ra's and his warriors centuries before Batman. Ra's claims that du Valliere stole the woman (who was also Vicki's ancestor) he attempted to court. Despite having killed du Valliere after their final battle a long time ago, it is implied that al Ghul's business with Vicki is not complete as he vows to track down anything that related to his enemies.
In Batman and Robin #18, another ex-Wayne Girl, now a villain called The Absence, comes looking to rip out Vicki's eyes. In the following issue, Batman and Robin rush to her apartment only for Absence to reveal that Vicki is bound and gagged inside of a cabinet. Absence then explains that she never intended to kill Vicki, but that she used her as bait to lure Batman into a trap.
In 2011, "The New 52" rebooted the DC universe. Vale greets Bruce at a party and introduces him to mayoral candidate Lincoln March. In Batman #22, part of the "Batman: Zero Year" storyline, she is present during Wayne Enterprises' announcement that Bruce Wayne will take part in the family business.
After the Crime Syndicate of America's invasion of Earth, she begins investigating organized crime in Gotham. She is rescued by Harper Row when thugs attack her and her assistant in the Gotham Narrows. Harper berates Vicki for not knowing the type of territory she is venturing. Vicki further investigates the Crime Syndicate's connection to police corruption with the assistance of Jason Bard, Harvey Bullock and Maggie Sawyer. Vale later begins dating Bard, until her research reveals that Bard has a vendetta against vigilantes ever since an amateur Batman wannabe in Detroit led to the death of Jodie Hawkins, his partner/lover, this event leaving Bard with a hatred of Jim Gordon as he felt that a decent cop would not need Batman to help his city. When Vicki calls him in disgust at this revelation, Bard attempts to tell her that he has just 'taken down' Batman (Having hired Lucius Fox after the bankruptcy of Wayne Enterprises to develop a remote-control for the Batmobile that allowed Bard to crash it into a building with Batman inside), but Vicki informs him that he is pathetic, and that she is going to hang up before Batman (who she correctly assumes survived Bard's attack) shows up to give him the punch to the face he so richly deserves. Forced to acknowledge how far he has fallen, Bard resigns his police position due to his own connections to organized crime, then voluntarily tells Vicki the details.
Vicki Vale was listed at #3 in Comicbook.com's 2012 article, "Great Comic Book Journalists: Who's the Best of the Best?", #8 in CBR.com's list of the "15 Best Comic Book Journalists" and #11 in ScreenRant.com's list of "The 15 Most Powerful Journalists In Comic Book History". The character was ranked 93rd in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
Vicki Vale appears in the Batman: Arkham series voiced by Grey DeLisle and Jules de Jongh.
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