|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2010)|
|First appearance||Detective Comics #31 (September 1939)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
|Supporting character of||Batman|
Julie Madison first appeared in Detective Comics #31 (September 1939) only four issues after Batman's own debut. She made her last appearance in the Golden Age of Comics in Detective Comics #49 (March 1941).
She was originally portrayed an oft-imperiled socialite who is engaged to Bruce Wayne. She was not aware of his activities as Batman when, in her first appearance, she was used as a pawn in the vampiric Monk's battle with the Dark Knight.
Detective Comics #40 established her as an actress. In this issue she and others were targeted by the deranged actor Basil Karlo (aka the original Clayface) who was angry for not being given the chance to star in a remake of a movie he had previously appeared in.
Julie made her last appearance in the early series in Detective Comics #49. In this episode, the head of the film studio and his publicity agent got her to adopt the stage name "Portia Storme" (inspired by Portia of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and the fact that her last performance had "taken the world by storm"). Julie meanwhile ended her engagement to Bruce on the grounds that she felt that he ought to do something worthwhile with his life rather than just being a fun-loving playboy (she still did not know of his secret activities). The split was amicable and they remained on good terms. Batman and Robin intervened when Clayface escaped from custody and again went after Julie. In the course of capturing the villain, she became the first female to don the Robin costume as part of a complicated deception.
Julie Madison reappeared in two World's Finest stories in the 1970s as Princess Portia, ruler of the fictional country of Moldacia. This was intended as a loose parallel to Grace Kelly becoming Princess Grace of Monaco.
The six issue mini-series Batman and the Monster Men by Matt Wagner, published in 2006, is set early in (the current post-Crisis version of) Batman's career, and re-introduces Julie Madison. This version of the character is a law student, and the daughter of Norman Madison, a failing businessman who borrows money from mobster Sal Maroni. Bruce Wayne cares deeply for Julie, but is reluctant to tell her the secret of his nighttime activities. However, Julie herself suspects that Bruce is hiding something from her.
Julie takes on further importance in Wagner's follow-up mini-series Batman and the Mad Monk. Like Monster Men, this series retells an early story from Batman's publishing history, his conflict with the vampiric villain, The Monk. As in the original, Julie sleepwalks into the Monk's lair where she is bitten by the vampire, becoming his thrall. The Monk attempts to manipulate Julie into signing over her father's finances to his supernatural cult. In the end, Batman saves Julie, but her father is killed by Maroni's thugs, driven partly insane by his fear of Batman. Distraught, she leaves Bruce and Gotham and goes to Africa as a volunteer member of the Peace Corps.
In the Batman: Family miniseries, paparazzi ask Bruce Wayne if he is the "father of Julie Madison's baby."
Julie later makes a flashback appearance in Batman #682 as Darkseid's minions invade Batman's mind and distort his memories. In Batman's early days, she tells Alfred to inform Bruce she is leaving for Hollywood to try and make it as an actress; Batman later does not realize or recall that she has left.
She made her New 52 debut in Batman #30 in the beginning of the Savage City storyline, the final act of Zero Year. There she only appeared in a flashback/dream sequence, where Julie was dating Bruce who was her classmate. She reappeared in the last issue of the storyline, this time in the present time, as she has moved back to Gotham and wants to be reunited with Bruce. Alfred imagines what it would be like if Bruce and Julie got together and made a family, having a life without Batman. Unfortunately, Bruce couldn't meet with Julie because he was busy with crime fighting, much to Alfred's displeasure.
Other versions of the character
A version of Julie Madison appeared in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, played by Elle Macpherson. Many of her scenes were edited out of the film's final cut, thus she is the only film love interest of Batman's not to have a prominent role.
When the comic book Batman Adventures relaunched in 2003, early issues featured Julie Madison as Bruce Wayne's steady girlfriend. He nearly proposes to her before discovering that she is only interested in his money, and that she is prepared to go to deadly lengths to preserve their relationship.
Julie Madison has been featured as a love interest for Batman in Elseworlds stories, including the Gotham by Gaslight sequel Master of the Future; Dark Knight Dynasty; and Superman & Batman: Generations.
In Legends of the Dark Knight #94, a group of people in an elevator discuss Batman. One of these is an 80-year-old Julie Madison, who recalls her encounters with him in the 1930s, a homage to the original series.
- Detective Comics (vol. 1) #49 (March 1941)
- Detective Comics (vol. 1) #40 (June 1940)
- Batman and the Monster Men #1-6 (January-June 2006)
- Batman and the Mad Monk #1-6 (October 2006-March 2007)
- Batman (vol. 1) #682 (January 2009)
- Red Robin #11 (June 2010)
- Batman and Robin
- Batman: Master of the Future (December 1991)
- Superman & Batman: Generations I #1 (January 1999)
- Legends of the Dark Knight #94 (May 1997)