Vicki Vale first appeared in Batman #49 (Oct/Nov 1948). Her role in the story was very similar to that of Lois Lane: she reported on Batman's activities for a newspaper, she was romantically attracted to Batman (and sometimes Bruce Wayne as well), and she repeatedly suspected they were the same person.
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, Julie 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: Mrs. Vicki Vale Powers. She was also mentioned in Batman Family #16. After that, she vanished for another five years.
She returned around 1982 in Batman #344 (February 1982). 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 Mdme. Marie. (Julia Remarque was wiped from continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths).
1990s onwardVicki disappeared from the comics soon after the Crisis, but 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 and when left hospitalised after an attack by the Ventriloquist and Scarface, Bruce struggles over whether or not to tell her he is Batman and then decides not to, thus they break up. Bruce would later regret this when he descends into a brief depression following his defeat at the hands of Bane.
She eventually became one of the hosts of the television program The Scene, which is similar to The View. Her co-hosts included Lia Briggs, Tawny Young, and Linda Park. Two episodes were shown in which they interviewed Wonder Woman on her career, which was shown in that title comic. In the Black Glove she wishes Bruce and his latest girlfriend Jezebel Jet well on the air.
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 Batman: Battle for the Cowl, "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.
She discovers that Bruce Wayne is Batman and decides not to tell anyone when Batman saves her life from Ra's Al Ghul.
- While actress Kim Basinger has blond hair in the 1989 film Batman, Vicki Vale was red headed in the comics. According to Bob Kane, Vale was supposed to be blond in the comics but her hair came out red due to a coloring error in her first appearance.
In other media
Batman and Robin (serial film)
In the 1949 serial Batman and Robin, Vicki Vale was portrayed by Jane Adams. She is the principal love interest for Bruce Wayne and is deeply involved in the plot, which includes her brother Jimmy's involvement with a criminal gang.
Batman (1989 film)
Vicki was also portrayed by Brooke Burns in "Very Late", one of the Batman OnStar commercials that mimicked the look of the 1989 film. In the commercial, Batman is fighting The Penguin and contacts Vicki via OnStar to tell her that he will be very late.
Vicki Vale appeared in the direct-to-video film The Batman vs. Dracula, marking her first appearance in animation. She was voiced by Tara Strong, and is a reporter and Bruce Wayne's love interest, like previous versions. Instead of working for a newspaper, she is portrayed as a television reporter. She is also the lust object of Dracula, as he needs a female human soul to resurrect his bride Carmilla.
Batman: Arkham City
- Main article: Vicki Vale (Batman: Arkham City)
On the 1989 Batman film soundtrack, a song by Prince entitled "Vicki Waiting" details Bruce Wayne/Batman's conflicted feelings for Vicki.
All-Star Batman and Robin
Vicki Vale plays the role of a romantic interest for Bruce Wayne in the new series All Star Batman and Robin, which is written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee as part of DC's All Star line of comics. This depiction of Vicki drew some criticism for its very sexualized depiction of her, specifically her introduction in the first issue alone in her apartment wearing nothing but a pink bra and panties, with high heels and a necklace.
The Batman Strikes!
Vicki Vale makes a brief appearance in The Batman Strikes! #15, which itself is a companion tale of The Batman vs. Dracula.