- Reading something other than the latest bestseller is the quickest escape from the mediocrity of the herd mind.
- — Vicki Vale src
Vicki Vale was a renowned photojournalist in Gotham City who became romantically involved with Bruce Wayne.
Vicki Vale was the top photographer of Vue Magazine, always looking to take some pictures of Batman and Robin. She managed to learn some of the most interesting stories for the Magazine while working with the heroes. During one of her usual hunts for stories, Vale managed to discover the secret identity of the masked vigilante Mysteryman as Commissioner Gordon. Afterwards, she learned that Batman allowed her to learn the truth in order to help Gordon be recognized by the Mayor and Vale get her story.
When both Vicki Vale and Batwoman are nominated as Gotham City's "Woman of the Year", both try to upstage each other to try and get the lead so that they win the contest. With the help of Batman and Robin both Vale and Batwoman would capture Moose Molloy's gang and both be crowned woman of the year. Vale then started working for View Magazine and she was sent on a long assignment to Europe. She returned months later to Gotham and assisted Batman in locating some killers on the loose. However, in the time she was gone, Batman had developed a more personal relationship with Batwoman, and Vale's presence created conflict between the two girls.
Vale moved out of Gotham and relocated in Europe, where she worked for several years in Paris as Bureau Chief for Picture News Magazine. During her time in Europe, Vale married Tom Powers, but they divorced shortly afterwards. Eventually, Vale returned to Gotham and the first thing she set out to do was prove Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person. Soon, Vale and Bruce resumed their relationship and although her feelings were true, she was determined to learn the truth.
Once she gathered all the evidence required, Vale scheduled the pictures to be released on her magazine unless Bruce could prove her wrong. Unfortunately, Bruce wasn't available at the time and she showed the pictures to Alfred, who immediately started working to prove her wrong. Unaware to Vale, her pictures were stolen by Rupert Thorne, who hired Deadshot to murder Bruce Wayne, as he had learned the truth. During a date with Bruce, Vale witnessed Deadshot's murder attempt on Bruce and how Batman showed up to stop Deadshot and save Bruce Wayne. Having learned that she made a grave mistake, Vale stopped her quest to prove what was obviously untrue. However, she never knew that during that evening, the Human Target was impersonating Bruce Wayne and that she had in fact, found the truth.
After her editor at Picture Magazine committed suicide for fear of Thorne's retaliation, Vale became the new Editor In-Chief of Picture Magazine. This along with her relationship with Bruce made for a perfect time in her life. However, Vale was soon threatened by Catwoman, who had returned to Gotham and wanted her out of Bruce's life. As a result, Catwoman attacked both Bruce and Vale, leaving Vale with a mild concussion at Gotham General Hospital.
After the event with Catwoman, Vale's relationship with Bruce became almost nonexistent. Because of the declining situation between her and Bruce, Vale decided to leave Gotham, also leaving her job. Her publisher couldn't allow that and instead, he gave Vale what she wanted: an assignment on a foreign country so that she can distance herself from Gotham and Bruce. While in Guatemala, Vale learned of a criminal ring and she decided to find the culprits by herself. During her investigations, Vale was kidnapped by the Joker, but she was saved by Batman. When the Dark Knight started investigating the armed conflict in the country, Vale got the best news first hand and she even got the exclusive of the awaited reunion of Batman and Robin, unaware that the boy wonder was someone different.
A New Rival
Vale returned to Gotham to publish her story and she also hoped that Bruce would resume their relationship, but her hopes were diminished when she learned that another woman was living in Wayne Manor. Eventually, Vale met Julia Pennyworth and was none too pleased about her presence in Wayne Manor. However, Vale soon learned that Julia was not interested in Bruce and instead, Julia asked Vale to help her find a job at her magazine.
Despite their understanding, Vale was no less jealous of Julia for she spent most of her time in Wayne Manor, with Bruce. One night, they put their differences aside and Vale worked with Julia to get exclusive pictures about Mister Freeze's recent crime. They were captured by the villain, but during the final struggle between Freeze and Batman, they helped the Dark Knight defeat Freeze. After these events, Vale became distant with Bruce, as she feared they lost whatever they had and after a series of unfortunate events, Vale was forced to end their relationship as Bruce seemingly didn't care about her.
In order to get over her breakup, Vale focused on other activities such as intense exercise and avoided commitments with other men. After a few weeks of training, Vale was able to show off her new athletic shape, which actually surprised Bruce Wayne, but Vale refused to continue their relationship and instead, she started a relationship with her personal trainer.
When a new criminal appeared in town, Vale was among the first photographers to be on the scene, and her co-worker Julia gave the crook the alias of Film Freak. While Julia continued investigating the criminal, Vale saved her from a certain death after she deduced one of Film Freak's clues based on the movie Psycho.
Vicki Vale was a photographer and managing editor at Vue Magazine, which made her a valuable source of information for her occasional romantic partner, Bruce Wayne. Eventually, Vale came across Bruce during an assignment in Russia and they resumed their somewhat forgotten relationship. Bruce and Vale dated in Gotham City from time to time, but nothing developed between the two.
While Vale was taking pictures of homeless people in Gotham as part of a note for View Magazine, she came across the case of the "crimes of whim". She decided to investigate and followed a clue she got from her pictures, but she was captured by the criminals responsible for the crimes. Batman followed them to rescue Vale and came across Scarecrow, who was the criminal mastermind. Scarecrow got the upper hand against Batman and exposed him and Vale to a new version of fear toxin. Scarecrow was stopped by Tim Drake in his last case prior to becoming Robin. Vale was then taken to the hospital to recover.
Afterwards, Vale continued dating Bruce Wayne, but her last encounter with Scarecrow gained her new popularity among Gotham readers. Like this, Vale became involved in the Catwoman crimes and even teamed up with the criminal and Sargeant Sarah Essen to capture a notorious slave trader in Gotham, posing as a museum curator. Vale's pictures of the case were also featured in the main news outlets of Gotham.
Vicki maintained a steady, yet shallow relationship with Bruce Wayne; often dating him without taking their relationship to the next level. Eventually, Vale became attracted to Horton Spence, a co-worker with whom she shared common interests. Her relationship with Bruce deteriorated and not long afterwards, they broke up for good, choosing to remain friends. Vale continued dating Spence long after her relationship with Bruce was over.
Battle for the Cowl
Main article: Batman: Battle for the Cowl
Some time later, Vale returned to her old job at the Gotham Gazette, where she reported the uncertain status of Batman and at the same time she tried to contact Bruce. Vale tried to get relevant information in cases about murder, which pissed some people in the GCPD including Harvey Bullock. After this, Vale reported live the events during Black Mask's attack on Gotham, and she did an interview with Batman Jones.
After one last failed attempt to contact Bruce, she finally accepted that they would no longer work out together. However, with this realization her mind worked an interesting and plausible theory. Vale started collecting information of the Bat-Family, including Bruce, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Barbara Gordon in their Bat-Identities, and she was determined to prove the connections.
Return of Bruce Wayne
Main article: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home
Obsessed to prove her theory, Vale followed Batman's every activity and published articles in the Gotham Gazette to give away some of Batman's secrets. Dick Grayson told Vale to stop publishing her articles and placed a tracer on Vale's camera to follow her activities closely. However, Vale found the device and planned to use it in her advantage.
Using the device, she sent a message for Bruce Wayne to meet her as soon as possible if he didn't wanted the truth revealed. Vale was immediately invited to dinner with Bruce, who was in fact Thomas Elliot posing as Bruce and forced to act as such by Alfred. Elliot tried too hard to convince Vale that Bruce Wayne had nothing to do with Batman, but the whole set-up made Vicki Vale that he wasn't Bruce and that somehow Dick Grayson had become Batman.
Unsatisfied with the events, Vale went to Wayne Manor, where she tried to talk with the real Bruce. Alfred managed to take away the device from her and switched it with a toy, and after a brief discussion, Vale realized that, in order to succeed, she must find someone who had uncovered Batman's real identity in the past. The next day she realized that she had lost the tracer and with it, the will to find the truth. However, after a meeting with former colleague, Jack Ryder, Vale realized that even if she didn't want to reveal the truth, she still needed to know if Bruce was Batman. With that in mind, Vale tried to get a straight answer from Barbara Gordon, who she knew was Batgirl, but her plan backfired as Barbara got information from her instead.
Later, Vale was called by an unknown informant with the promise of evidence that would help her and she was asked to meet him at Club V. However, the informant never showed up and Vale was forced to leave the place when Harley Quinn broke into the building and created chaos. Hours later at her apartment, Vale was called once more by the same person and a second meeting was arranged. Vale left her apartment and Catwoman seized the chance to take pictures of Vicki's wall of evidence. Moments later, Vale returned from another failed meeting and found the apartment intact except for the window, which was wide open.
A few days later, Vale was taken into a special protection program by the Gotham City Police Department, as her life was threatened by several criminals, who wanted to get her to learn about her investigation. While hiding at the Aames Hotel, Vale tried to get Commissioner Gordon to reveal any information about Batman, to no avail. The place was soon located by a couple of Penguin's mercenaries and Vale had to be saved by Gordon and the Insider. However, as soon as she got the chance, she slipped away from police custody.
Insider found Vale and took her to a construction site to keep her away from the assassins who were trying to kill her. However, they were found by one of them and Insider tried to save her but he was forced to fight the killer so he told Vale to run. Knowing that her life was in imminent danger, Vale called Wayne Manor and asked Alfred for help right before she was found by the White Ghost.
Vale ran from her attacker and she encountered various other dangers that she managed to avoid with help from Insider. After a long chase across the city, Vale reached her apartment where she was confronted by Ra's al Ghul, who wanted to kill her before she could spread the truth about Batman. Vale was saved by the timely arrival of Insider and Ra's was forced to leave the place. Insider revealed his identity as Bruce Wayne and upon learning that her deductions were all right, Vale destroyed all the evidence about Batman's real identity and asked Bruce if she could join his efforts to save Gotham.
Powers and Abilities
- Although today Vicki Vale seems to be more of a footnote, she was a very frequently used character from her first appearance in 1948 until 1964, when Julius Schwartz became Batman editor. He decided to drop her, along with many other Batman Family supporting characters, such as Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite and Ace, the Bat-Hound.
- After years of absence following the aforementioned editorial change, Vicki Vale made one single appearance during the 70s in Batman Family #11, where she was married. This small cameo appearance was forgotten by the creative team of the Batman books in the early 80s, when Vicki was officially brought back to the Batman mythos. Because of this "faux pas", Vicki was once again portrayed as a possible romantic partner for Bruce Wayne, but the audience informed editor Dick Giordano of the continuity mistake, as shown in the letter pages of Batman #349 and Batman #350. Unable to have Bruce dating a "married woman", Giordano and the writers of Batman inserted a mention to Vicki's "divorce" to clear their mistake in Batman #352. For all intents and purposes, Vicki Vale has always been single.
- Bob Kane says he based Vicki Vale's look on the features of young model "Norma Jean Mortensen," who would later become Marilyn Monroe. Kane claims to have met Mortensen early in her career. However, there is little evidence to support this claim.
- Vicki was originally created as Batman's response to Lois Lane, and the two women share many similarities.
- 180 Appearances of Victoria Vale (New Earth)
- 34 Images featuring Victoria Vale (New Earth)
- 10 Quotations by or about Victoria Vale (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Victoria Vale (New Earth)
- Batman Family #11
- See Notes section
- Batman #98
- Detective Comics #245
- Batman #119
- Detective Comics #309
- Batman #352 (See Notes)
- Batman #344
- Detective Comics #512
- Batman #346
- Detective Comics #515
- Batman #351
- Detective Comics #518
- Detective Comics #520
- Batman #355
- Detective Comics #525
- Detective Comics #527
- Batman #361
- Detective Comics #530
- Batman #364
- Detective Comics #531
- Batman #365
- Detective Comics #532
- Batman #366
- Batman #367
- Batman #371
- Detective Comics #538
- Batman #374
- Batman #375
- Batman #379
- Batman #383
- Batman #385
- Batman #387
- Batman #390
- Batman #395
- Detective Comics #562
- Batman Annual #13
- Batman #408
- Batman #412
- Batman #445
- Batman #446
- Batman #447
- Detective Comics #613
- Batman #455
- Batman #456
- Batman #457
- Batman #460
- Batman #461
- Batman #465
- Detective Comics #642
- Batman #475– #476
- Batman #484
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1
- Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1
- Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3
- Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
- Batman #703
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman and Robin #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Red Robin #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Catwoman #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Commissioner Gordon #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Oracle #1
- Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Ra's al Ghul #1
- Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale