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Victoria Vale (New Earth)

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Quote1 Reading something other than the latest bestseller is the quickest escape from the mediocrity of the herd mind. Quote2
-- Vicki Vale src

Vicki Vale was a renowned reporter and photographer in Gotham City, whose job was to report on the Batman. This complicated things further for her as she was also romantically linked to billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Vicki would regularly have her suspicions about Batman and Bruce Wayne's identities, but Bruce is usually able to fool her into at least reasonable doubt.

Earth-Two

Vicki was a photographer for the Picture Magazine, where she was assigned to take pictures of Bruce Wayne and Batman, almost simultaneously. She became suspicious of Bruce Wayne and eventually deduced his secret identity as Batman. However, she wasn't able to prove her theory and instead, she proved useful when it came to crime-fighting as she helped the Dynamic Duo capture the new criminal in town, the Mad Hatter.[4]

After a first successful assignment, Vicki was tasked with taking pictures of various important law enforcers and among these were Batman and Robin. Vicki became an active member on one of their missions and even helped capture the main criminal, while also getting the pictures.[5]

Vicki had her first photo featured in the prestigious newspaper, the Gotham Gazette after she managed to take a picture of Alfred Beagle while he was tossing Bruce Wayne's body into the ocean. The picture was proof enough to send the butler to prison, but a few days later Bruce appeared alive and cleared Alfred's name.[6]

Vicki and Batman

Vicki and Batman

Later on, Vicki started dating Bruce Wayne while she tried to prove his connection with Batman, and because of her constant investigation she was also involved with some criminals for various reasons.[7] Her presence often proved useful for Batman, as she would help capture some criminals, often indirectly.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Vicki was once forced to fake an engagement with Batman to avoid rejecting an important politician without a reason. Batman played along with Vicki's charade, but when Vicki started working on the wedding plans, Batman tricked her into believing that she must change her appearance with plastic surgery in order to marry him, which caused her to cancel the wedding.[15]

Shortly after, Vicki was a member of the guest to a TV Show in Batman's honor, in which she expressed her gratitude for Batman's heroic feats. However, she was utterly disappointed when Batman started a relationship with an international supermodel and she tried to sabotage their relation, not knowing that it was all part of a plan to capture a wanted criminal. Vicki apologized for her mistake, but she didn't gave up her quest to earn Batman's love.[16]

Earth-One

Vicki moved away from Picture Magazine and started working for Vue Magazine. As their top photographer, Vicki was in constant lookout for pictures of Batman and Robin, and thus, she was able to learn some of the most interesting stories for the Magazine while working with the heroes.[17][18][19][20] During one of her usual hunts for stories, Vicki 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 Vicki get her story.[21]

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 Vicki and Batwoman would capture Moose Molloy's gang and both be crowned woman of the year.[22] Vicki then started working for the 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 Vicki's presence created conflict between the two girls.[23]

The Return

Vicki Vale Returns

Vicki Vale Returns

Vicki 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, Vicki married Tom Powers,[1] but she divorced shortly afterwards.[24] Eventually, Vicki returned to Gotham and the first thing she set out to do was prove Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person.[25] Soon, Vicki and Bruce resumed their relationship and although her feelings were true, she was determined to learn the truth.[26][27]

Once she gathered all the evidence required, Vicki 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.[28] Unaware to Vicki, her pictures were stolen by Ruper Thorne, who hired Deadshot to murder Bruce Wayne, as he had learned the truth.[29] During a date with Bruce, Vicki 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, Vicki stopped her quest to prove what was obviously untrue. However, she never knew that during that evening, The Human Targer was impersonating Bruce Wayne and that she had in fact, found the truth.[30]

After her editor at Picture Magazine committed suicide for fear of Thorne's retaliation, Vicki became the new Editor In-Chief of the Picture Magazine. This along with her relationship with Bruce made for a perfect time in her life. However, Vicki was soon threatened by Catwoman, who had returned to Gotham and wanted her out of Bruce's life.[31] As a result, Catwoman attacked both Bruce and Vicki, leaving Vicki with a mild concussion at Gotham General Hospital.[32]

A Woman's Wrath

A Woman's Wrath

After the event with Catwoman, Vicki’s relationship with Bruce became almost nonexistent.[33][34][35] Because of the declining situation between her and Bruce, Vicki decided to leave Gotham, also leaving her job.[36] Her publisher couldn’t allow that and instead, he gave Vicki what she wanted: an assignment on a foreign country so that she can distance herself from Gotham and Bruce.[37] While in Guatemala, Vicki learned of a criminal ring and she decided to find the culprits by herself.[38] During her investigations, Vicki was kidnapped by the Joker,[39] but she was saved by Batman.[40] When the Dark Knight started investigating the armed conflict in the country, Vicki 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.[41]

A New Rival

Vicki returned to Gotham to publish her story and she also hoped that Bruce would resume their relationship,[42] but her hopes were diminished when she learned that another woman was living in Wayne Manor.[43] Eventually, Vicki met Julia Pennyworth and was none too pleased about her presence in Wayne Manor.[44] However, Vicki soon learned that Julia was not interested in Bruce and instead, Julia asked Vicki to help her find a job at her magazine.[45]

Despite their understanding, Vicki was no less jealous of Julia for she spent most of her time in Wayne Manor, with Bruce.[46] Certain night, they put their differences aside and Vicki 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.[47] After these events, Vicki became distant with Bruce, as she feared they lost whatever they had[48] and after a series of unfortunate events, Vicki was forced to end their relationship as Bruce seemingly didn’t care about her.[49]

Jealous Yet?

Jealous Yet?

In order to get over her breakup, Vicki focused on other activities such as intense exercise and avoided commitments with other men.[50] After a few weeks of training, Vicki was able to show off her new athletic shape, which actually surprised Bruce Wayne,[51] but Vicki refused to continue their relationship and instead, she started a relationship with her personal trainer.[52]

When a new criminal appeared in town, Vicki was among the first photographers to be on the scene and her co-worker, Julia gave the crook the alias of Film Freak.[53] While Julia continued investigating the criminal, Vicki saved her from a certain death after she deduced one of Film Freak’s clues based on the movie “Psycho”.[54]

New Earth

Vicki Vale was a photographer and managing editor at Vue Magazine, which made her a valuable source of information for her eventual romantic partner, Bruce Wayne.[55][56]

Vicki has at one point been seen as one of the four hostesses of daytime talk show The Scene, along with Tawny Young, Emily Briggs, and Linda Park.[citation needed]

Vicki won the Press Club's top award for photos of super heroes taken during Infinite Crisis.[citation needed]

Battle for the Cowl

Some time later, Vicki 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.[57] Vicki tried to get relevant information in cases about murder, which pissed some people in the GCPD including Harvey Bullock.[58] After this, Vicki reported live the events during Black Mask's attack on Gotham, and she did an interview with Batman Jones.[59]

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. Vicki 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.[60]

Return of Bruce Wayne

Obsessed to prove her theory, Vicki followed Batman's every activity and published articles in the Gotham Gazette to give away some of Batman's secrets. Dick Grayson told Vicki to stop publishing her articles and placed a tracer on Vicki's camera to follow her activities closely. However, Vicki found the device and planned to use it in her advantage.[61]

Vicki knows the truth

Vicki knows the truth
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. Vicki 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 Vicki that Bruce Wayne had nothing to do with Batman, but the whole set-up made Vicki realize that he wasn't Bruce and that somehow Dick Grayson had become Batman.[62]

Unsatisfied with the events, Vicki 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, Vicki realized that, in order to succeed, she must find someone who had uncovered Batman's real identity in the past.[63] 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, Vicki realized that even if she didn't want to reveal the truth, she still needed to know if Bruce was Batman.[64] With that in mind, Vicki 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.[65]

Later, Vicki 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 Vicki was forced to leave the place when Harley Quinn broke into the building and created chaos. Hours later at her apartment, Vicki was called once more by the same person and a second meeting was arranged. Vicki left her apartment and Catwoman seized the chance to take pictures of Vicki's wall of evidence. Moments later, Vicki returned from another failed meeting and found the apartment intact except for the window, which was wide open.[66]

A few days later, Vicki 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, Vicki 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 Vicki had to be saved by Gordon and the Insider. However, as soon as she got the chance, she slipped away from police custody.[67]

Insider found Vicki 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 Vicki to run. Knowing that her life was in imminent danger, Vicki called Wayne Manor and asked Alfred for help right before she was found by the White Ghost.[68]

Vicki 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, Vicki 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. Vicki 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, Vicki destroyed all the evidence about Batman's real identity and asked Bruce if she could join his efforts to save Gotham.[69]


Abilities

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
  • 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.
  • Vicki was originally created as Batman's response to Lois Lane, and the two women share many similarities.

Related


Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Batman Family #11
  2. Batman #64
  3. See Notes section
  4. Batman #49
  5. Batman #50
  6. Batman #52
  7. Batman #73
  8. Detective Comics #152
  9. Detective Comics #155
  10. Detective Comics #157
  11. Batman #56
  12. Batman #61
  13. Batman #64
  14. Batman #81
  15. Batman #79
  16. Batman #87
  17. Batman #75
  18. Detective Comics #216
  19. Batman #85
  20. Batman #98
  21. Detective Comics #245
  22. Batman #119
  23. Detective Comics #309
  24. Batman #352 (See Notes)
  25. Batman #344
  26. Detective Comics #512
  27. Batman #346
  28. Detective Comics #515
  29. Batman #351
  30. Detective Comics #518
  31. Detective Comics #520
  32. Batman #355
  33. Detective Comics #525
  34. Detective Comics #527
  35. Batman #361
  36. Detective Comics #530
  37. Batman #364
  38. Detective Comics #531
  39. Batman #365
  40. Detective Comics #532
  41. Batman #366
  42. Batman #367
  43. Batman #371
  44. Detective Comics #538
  45. Batman #371
  46. Batman #374
  47. Batman #375
  48. Batman #379
  49. Batman #383
  50. Batman #385
  51. Batman #387
  52. Batman #390
  53. Batman #395
  54. Detective Comics #562
  55. Batman #408
  56. Batman #412
  57. Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1
  58. Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1
  59. Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3
  60. Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
  61. Batman #703
  62. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman and Robin #1
  63. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Red Robin #1
  64. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders #1
  65. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batgirl #1
  66. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Catwoman #1
  67. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Commissioner Gordon #1
  68. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Oracle #1
  69. Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Ra's al Ghul #1


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