Vicki Vale is a newspaper reporter that was introduced in the Detective Comics in the 1940s. She was created to mirror Lois Lane in the Superman comics. Vicki often spent her time trying to figure out Batman's secret identity.
Viki Vale was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Her first appearance was in Batman #49 in 1948. Her first appearance is noteworthy as being alongside (in the same story) as the first appearance of the Mad Hatter as well.
Although she can generally be considered to be a secondary character in the Gotham related stories, she nonetheless has over 60 years of publication history and thus the presentation of the character is representative of the portrayal of women in comics. In her first appearances she was viewed as a serious but somewhat gullible character, easily led astray but some subterfuge on the behalf of Batman (or his alter ego Bruce Wayne.) In these early cases she would be occasionally talked down to as doing things at weird times or for weird reasons simply because she was a woman. The character developed alongside Batman over the years, to the point that she is now essentially a career oriented woman with a high degree of independence, intelligence and self sufficiency.
Major Story Arcs
She would constantly conclude that Batman and Bruce Wayne were in fact, one person. However, Batman would always trick her into believing Batman is not Bruce Wayne.
When the Silver Age of Comics came into play in the 1950s, Vicki was dropped from the comics along with other characters from Batman's Golden Age era. However, she would reappear again in the 1970s in The Batman Family #16. She was now a married woman and went by Vicki Vale Powers. This posed as a problem, as the editors did not realize she made an appearance in this issue. Vicki would later reappear in 1982. This time she was not married, but had been living in Europe for years. Her married back story was erased completely because of an editorial error. Now back in Gotham City, Vicki became one of Bruce Wayne's love interest, rivaling Catwoman.
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Vicki disappeared from the Batman comics. She eventually returned in the late 80s/early 90s and resumed her role as Bruce's love interest. She has become a TV personality and host of "The Scene" (A TV talk show).
After the events of Batman R.I.P., she returns to print journalism and is invited to the Robinson Ball by Bruce Wayne (Hush in disguise.) She had been trying to figure out the disappearance of Bruce Wayne. When Vicki shows up at the Robinson ball in Batman Alive she does not see Bruce there but instead sees Tim Drake and Dick Grayson. She notices that Dick and Barbara Gordon are arguing and that Tim has the same kind of injuries that Bruce used to have. Vicki starts to put it together that Bruce is Batman. However, what a reporter needs to do is to prove something so at the end of the issue that is what she decides to do. In Red Robin #6 she finally gets an interview with Bruce Wayne, although it is Hush pretending to be Bruce Wayne. Lucius Fox says that Vicki has continued to ask questions about Bruce.
In Red Robin #10 VIcki ends up going to Wayne Manor and telling Alfred that she is there to see Tim Drake. She tried contacting him at school, only to hear he was absent due to a family emergency. She asked "Bruce" about the absence as his signature was on a note excusing Tim, but he does not know anything else about it.
In Red Robin #15 Time Drake lures Vicki out of her apartment to confirm his suspicions that she knows about the bat family double life. With Vicki covering Tim at a Press conference Tim "arranged" his attempted assassination. Vicki still does not buy his story of that he is not Red Robin after the Red Robin "saves" him. Later, Dick Grayson comes to her office and tells her to back off, as he thinks she is tipping off thieves and following them to catch Batman and Robin in the act and get proof. She does not back off and she does get proof in the end.
The Road Home
During the Road Home story arc, Vicki Vale was getting closer to getting the big secret out. Before the Road Home, Vicki Vale found a little bat-tracer that Dick Grayson left on her backpack. From that point, Vicki continued to grab information from super villains, thugs, and pickpockets about Batman and Robin. Vicki Vale had enough information about all the members of the Bat-family (who was who), and could (at any given time) blow the big secret. Vicki Vale was smart enough to know that Thomas Elliot (Hush) was an imposter covering for Bruce Wayne until his return. While this is all occurring, Bruce Wayne is operating under the guise of Insider, a new super hero who uses Amazo technology incorporated into a suit. Ra's Al Ghul eventually finds out about what Vicki knows, and wants her killed for it.
Ra's sends assassins, mercenaries, and super villains to burn the evidence and kill Vicki! When Bruce Wayne hears about this, he sends different members out Batgirl, the Birds Of Prey, Tim Drake, and others to protect Vicki Vale. Also Commissioner Gordon was in lock down with Vicki Vale until Insider saved him and Vicki from super powered freaks and corrupted cops. Ra's men eventually failed to kill Vicki Vale, and he decided to pay Vicki a personal visit. When Ra's was closing in for the kill, Bruce Wayne revealed himself to be the Insider and convinced Vicki to burn the evidence. Bruce also invited her to become one with the family, she once again felt useful and helpful again. The real reason why she wanted this is because she didn't feel important to Bruce anymore, so she wanted revenge. However, in the end all went well.
Vicki makes here New 52 appearance in issue two of Batman Eternal. Over the course of the story she and Jason Bard become romantically involved. However the initial reason Jason had for interacting with her was to use her, and by extension the Gotham Gazette, to print stories that would put Jason Bard into power and also to bend events in the favor of Hush. After writing a story that leads to marshal law being declared in Gotham City Vicki starts to suspect her prince charming of being as noble as he appears.
This leads Vicki to investigate Jason's past. Vicki discovers that the reason Jason been working for Hush was because a Batman wannabe had interfered in a drug bust that had resulted in the deaths of everyone there including Jason's partner and love (who creepily looks similar to Vicki).
Vicki promptly breaks up with Jason and begins to unravel the mystery of who is trying to defeat Batman. This does lead her to being nearly assassinated in the Gotham Gazette headquarters. At the end of the story Vicki writes her story and does accept Jason's help in telling her all that he knew as a sign of remorse for his actions against Gotham and her.
Powers and Abilities
Vicki is a regular human with no known superpowers. Although not particularly athletically gifted, she has displayed enough physical ability to survive through certain dangerous situations. She is also a skilled investigative reporter and depends on her intelligence above all else.
All Star Batman and Robin
Early in Batman's career, Vicki is a reporter in Gotham City. She went on a date with Bruce Wayne, where the two went to see a circus show. There, Vicki witnessed the death of Dick Grayson's parents. She would help Dick when corrupt cops came to take him away, however, she was struck by one of the cops and they left with the kid. Vicki took Alfred and followed the corrupt cops into the woods. She and Alfred got into a car crash, but the two would survive. However, Vicki was in critical condition and had to be taken to the hospital, where she would recuperate.
Appearances in Other Media
Batman and Robin (1949)
Jane Adams portrayed Vicki Vale in the 1949 movie serial.
Actress Kim Basinger played Vicki Vale in the Tim Burton film Batman (1989). In the film, she learns that Bruce Wayne is in fact Batman and is the first person to ever be let into the Batcave other than Alfred. She does not make an appearance in any of the other live-action Batman movies. Since Basinger was famous for her blonde hair, this Vicki was blonde rather than a redhead. (The role was originally cast to brunette actress Sean Young.) Though named Vicki Vale, her character as written in this film was more of a composite of Vicki and another Batman love interest, Silver St. Cloud.
The Batman vs Dracula (2005)
In The Batman vs. Dracula animated film, she is portrayed as a television reporter instead of her traditional job as a newspaper reporter. She date's Bruce Wayne and is kidnapped by Dracula who wants to make her his bride. She is saved by Batman. She is voiced by Tara Strong.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
Vicki Vale can be heard on the radio, voiced by an uncredited Andrea Romano.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
An Elseworlds composite of Lois Lane and Vicki Vale called "Vilsi Veylar" appears in the episode "The Super-Batman of Planet X!". However, she first appears normally in the episode "Battle of the Superheroes!" teaser where she photographs Batman and Robin taking on King Tut. Voiced by Gabrielle Carteris.
Vicki Vale was ranked 93rd in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list.