The first appearance of Vicki Vale, in Batman # 49. Art by Dick Sprang.
|First appearance||Batman #49 (October/November 1948)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
|Full name||Victoria "Vicki" Vale|
|Supporting character of||Batman|
Victoria "Vicki" Vale is a fictional character who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Batman #49 (October/November 1948), and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The character was ranked 93rd in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
Fictional character biography
Vicki Vale first appeared in Batman #49 (Oct/Nov 1948), in a 12-page story entitled "Scoop of the Century!", written by Bill Finger, with art by Bob Kane and Lew Schwartz. Her look is said to have been modelled by Kane on that of young model Norma Jean Mortensen, who would later become known as Marilyn Monroe. Her role in the story consisted largely of reporting on Batman's activities for a newspaper (the Gotham Gazette).[volume & issue needed] She was frequently romantically attracted to Batman (and Bruce Wayne on occasion also), and repeatedly suspected they were the same person.[volume & issue needed]
Often the plot of a story featuring Vicki Vale revolved around her suspicions regarding Batman's identity. Batman would usually manage to fool her into concluding that he was not really Bruce Wayne by the end of the story, but then her suspicions would reemerge 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 thirteen 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 being married, and it was stated in a footnote that she had not appeared since Detective #320. Supposedly she had 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 (Jan 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 the Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted DC continuity, but in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, Vicki Vale is a gossip reporter who flirts with the judge during a shoplifting trial. Vicki returned in 1989/1990 in the Grant/Breyfogle era to coincide with the movie release. She once again began a romantic relationship with Bruce Wayne, but became upset over his frequent absences. When hospitalized after an attack by the Ventriloquist and Scarface, Bruce struggles over whether or not to tell her he is Batman, but decides not to, precipitating a break up. Bruce would later regret this when he descends into a brief depression following his defeat at the hands of Bane.
The character 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 wishes Bruce and his new lady Jezebel Jet well on the air, albeit grudgingly and in a somewhat brisk manner.
Vicki shows up (as a blonde) in the first of 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 also in part two of the story where Dent, now the disfigured gangster Two-Face, confronts Weinstein and Bruce Wayne at a party in Wayne Manor.
She plays something of prominent role in the 2009 Batman: Battle for the Cowl storyline, in a special issue entitled "Gotham Gazette" where she is stated to have figured out Batman's identity, having noted that both Bruce and Batman are missing. In it, Vicki is back at the Gotham Gazette after her TV career has ended in a horrible fashion. Vicki wants to know not what has happened to Batman, which is on everyone's mind, but what has happened to Bruce Wayne as he was last seen in Vietnam (actually Hush pretending to be Bruce). Vicki goes to Wayne Enterprises and speaks with Lucius Fox but still can not get a proper answer as to what happened to Bruce. She feels like a real reporter again and is thrilled when she receives an invitation to join Bruce (confirmation that he is alive at least) at the Robinson Ball as his date. 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 is set to be an important supporting player in the Red Robin series, starting at issue 6. In that issue she begins asking questions and is met by Bruce Wayne (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. In Batman #703, Vicki finally gets her proof.
In Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, before she publishes Bruce's secret, Vicki wants to know the how and why he does this. She calls Wayne Manor and threatens to publish the article if Bruce does not meet with her to discuss it. Alfred sends a still masquerading Thomas Elliot to meet with her who tells Vicki before kissing her that he is not Batman. When she gets home, she realizes that 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 all. 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 to tell Miss Gordon that she knows and her ex-boyfriend Jack Ryder to ask him 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 they are planned, which leads to Catwoman finding out, that she knows not just about the Bat-family, but also the Gotham Underground, especially Catwoman. Vicki is eventually being hunted by the League of Assassins, after Ra's al Ghul realizes that she knew Batman's secret. However, Vicki is eventually rescued by Bruce, and gives the immortal his words 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 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 stolen the woman he attempted to court with. Despite of having killed du Valliere a long time ago after their final battle, it is suggested that Ra's business with Vicki is not through yet.
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 safely bound and gagged inside of a cabinet. Absence then explains that she never had any intention of killing Vicki, but that she had simply wanted to use her as bait to lure Batman into a trap.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics 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 of the family business.
- In DC: The New Frontier, an article by Vicki Vale is shown.
- In All Star Batman and Robin by Frank Miller and Jim Lee, Vicki Vale plays the role of a romantic interest for Bruce Wayne.
- In the 2005 - 2007 miniseries Justice, Vicki appears once again as a reporter, talking about the absence of the Justice League in the wake of several villains making miracles happen all over the world.
- In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint storyline, Vicki Vale is a television reporter on the wedding day of Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
- Vicki Vale makes a brief appearance in The Batman Strikes! #15, which itself is a companion tale of The Batman vs. Dracula.
In other media
- In the pilot episode of the NBC action-comedy series Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Intersect", the main character's best friend, Morgan Grimes, is reminded of Kim Basinger's portrayal of Vicki Vale in the 1989 film when he meets the main female protagonist of the show, Sarah Walker.
- Vicki Vale doesn't appear at all in Batman: The Animated Series however, in her place came Summer Gleason, a reporter and talk show host for "Gotham Live", a news channel in Gotham City. Like Vicki, Summer also has red hair and works as a reporter (though Vale was a photojournalist).
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold. A character named Vilsi Vaylar appears in the episode "The Super-Batman of Planet X!" voiced by Dana Delany. She serves as the love interest for the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. She is apparently the Vicki Vale of Zur-En-Arrh and is clearly modeled after her Golden Age appearance. She is an amalgam of Vicki Vale and Lois Lane in one person and also works at the Solar Cycle Globe (a newspaper company similar to the Daily Planet). The actual Vicki Vale appears in episode "Battle of the Superheroes" voiced by Gabrielle Carteris. She is shown covering a bank heist orchestrated by King Tut (who has been renamed "Pharaoh") as well as the subsequent battle between the villain and Batman and Robin. Vicki later makes a cameo in "Night of the Batmen" where she is shown interviewing Aquaman during a book signing. She also appears in the episode "Triumvirate of Terror" where she and Batman were placed in Joker's death trap which involved them being strapped to a large pie and shot toward a nearby statue. Batman manages to free himself and Vicki from the large pie.
- Vicki Vale was portrayed by Brooke Burns in "Very Late" (AKA "Hot Date"), one of the "Batman" OnStar commercials that mimicked the look of the 1989 film.[dead link] In the commercial, Batman is fighting Penguin and contacts Vicki via OnStar to tell her that he will be 'very late'.
- Vicki Vale is featured prominently in the 1989 film Batman, played by Kim Basinger. Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki before being forced to bow out due to an injury from a horse-riding scene that was ultimately deleted from the film. When the movie begins, Vicki has come to Gotham City to do a story on Batman, but she soon becomes romantically involved with Bruce Wayne, unaware that he and Batman are one and the same person. She later becomes drawn into the conflict with the Joker when he develops an affection for her. Eventually Vicki does learn Bruce's secret identity and is present during Batman's final confrontation with the Joker on top of Gotham City Cathedral. At the end of the film, Alfred Pennyworth chauffeurs her to Wayne Manor to await Bruce's return once the night's crimefighting is done.
- Vicki does not appear in the sequel Batman Returns, but is mentioned once during a conversation between Bruce and Selina Kyle, where Bruce mentions that Vicki ended their relationship because ultimately she could not accept his dual life (Selina is the one to begin the relationship with Bruce as soon as he tells her this). She is also mentioned flippantly when Bruce reminds Alfred of him letting her into the Batcave in the first film (a reference to the scene's widely negative fan reaction). Vicki was not mentioned in subsequent sequels which did not star Keaton or have Burton as director.
- Vicki Vale appears in the direct-to-video film The Batman vs. Dracula voiced by Tara Strong marking her first animated appearance. Instead of working for a newspaper, she is portrayed as a television reporter, reporting on the "Lost Ones" (the victims of Dracula) and is nearly used by Dracula to resurrect his long-dead bride before Batman interrupts the ritual. Vale is also romantically linked to Bruce Wayne, even going as far as to mention the kind of impact the death of his parents could have on him, hinting that she may know he is Batman.
- In the animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, an uncredited Andrea Romano voices Vicki Vale as a Gotham News Radio anchor before Supergirl's ship crashes in Gotham Bay.
- Vicki Vale makes a cameo in Batman: Year One voiced by Grey DeLisle (who wasn't credited for this role). She greets Bruce at Gotham Airport.
- Vicki Vale appears in Batman: Arkham City voiced again by Grey DeLisle. An outspoken critic of Gotham City's new mayor, Quincy Sharp (and his equally controversial plans to segregate criminals from society by sealing them off in the new "Arkham City" prison project), Vale first makes a cameo in the game's introductory sequence as a colleague of Jack Ryder. After the Dark Knight surfaces inside Arkham City, Vicki commandeers a helicopter and attempts to cover his sightings. Joker promptly targets her aircraft with a surface-to-surface missile launched from his hideout, causing it to crash. Batman is then forced to rescue the character from a gang of thugs with sniper rifles, leaving Vale in the safety of a derelict building. Later in the game, the female reporter can be overhead on the local news networks interviewing Mayor Sharp about his involvement with Hugo Strange.
- Vicki Vale also appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes voiced by Anna Vocino. She appears as a news anchor for GCN. During the events she tries to keep the people conforted with heart lighted versions of the news happening during Batman missions, even criticizing the idea of having the criminals sealed in a section of the city.
- The 1989 Batman feature film soundtrack album includes a track titled "Vicki Waiting".
- On the "Batdance" single, a track titled "Batdance (Vicky Vale Mix)" appears.
- In Mark Aaron James' song, "Aquaman's Lament" she is the object of Aquaman's unrequited love, and the main focus of the song.
- In Spank Rock's track "Car Song," he mentions Vicky Vale.
- Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 58. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
- The Grand Comics Database: Batman #49. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- Norma Jean Mortensen: Trivia. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- Batman (vol. 1) #404-407 (February–May 1987)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #170 (July 2001)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #188 (March 2003)
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1 (May 2009)
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1 (July 2009)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Batman and Robin (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Red Robin (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Outsiders (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Commissioner Gordon (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Catwoman (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Oracle (October 2010)
- Bruce Wayne – The Road Home: Ra's al Ghul (October 2010)
- Snyder, Scott (w), Capullo, Greg (p), Glapion, Jonathan (i). Batman (vol. 2) #1 (November 2011). DC Comics.
- Snyder, Scott (w), Capullo, Greg (p), Miki, Danny K. (i). Batman #22 (September 20130. DC Comics.
- DC: The New Frontier #1-6 (March–November 2004)
- All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1-6 (September 2005-September 2006)
- Justice #7-8 (October–December 2006)
- Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 (June 2011). DC Comics.
- "Brooke Burns' filmography". Retrieved April 6, 2008.[dead link]