Victoria Elizabeth Vale

vickivalefilmNext stop in Brick89‘s list is one of the most meaningful women in Bruce Wayne‘s life, reporter Vicki Vale. The character was first portrayed by Jane Adams in 1949 Batman and Robin serial. In here, she appeared alongside her brother Jimmy, and she aided the Dynamic Duo in discovering the secret identity of The Wizard. The second, more recent and more popular portrayal came with the 1989 Batman movie: Kim Basinger‘s version of Vicki Vale is a famous photographer who investigates on the Batman, and eventually becomes the love interest of both the supehero (and, of course, his billionaire alias Bruce Wayne) and the deranged Joker. Vicki and Batman interrupt their relationship somewhere between Batman and Batman Returns, and she doesn’t appear again. In Gotham we recently met Vicki’s aunt, Valerie Vale, who’s pretty much like her…and maybe this means we’ll eventually see a child version of Vicki as well, but that’s far from sure. Anyway, let’s take a look at the original Vicki Vale, originally a pastiche of Lois Lane, then evolved into her own character.

Not much is known about Victoria “Vicki” Vale‘s early life, apart from the fact that she grew up in Gotham City along with her younger sister, Anne. As an adult, she became a skilled photographer, and she found a job in the gossip paper Picture Magazine, mostly taking pictures of celebrities. When she was assigned with the task of taking a picture of Bruce Wayne, Vicki started studying the billionaire philanthropist, until she realised something was amiss with his public image and his activities; further investigation led her to theorize that Bruce Wayne was secretly Gotham’s protector, Batman. She tried to follow Batman to prove her theory, but she eventually found herself in danger, as a new supervillain, Mad Hatter, tried to use her as a hostage: a tougher cookie than she looked, Vicki eventually helped Batman and Robin arrest the Mad Hatter, but she had no evidence of her theory. While she kept trying to prove Wayne and Batman were one and the same, she also made quite a name for herself as a photographer, as some of her pictures were published by the famous Gotham Gazette…but discovering Batman’s vickivalecomics1true identity had become quite an obsession, and she even started dating both Wayne and Batman to prove her point (usually, the hero ended up using her to capture criminals, while always putting some doubts about her theories concerning the man under the cape). Eventually, Vicki left Picture Magazine and started a new job with Vue Magazine, and being their top photographer she could chose the stories to follow…needless to say, she always chose ones with Batman and Robin involved. Her attempts to discover the Dynamic Duo’s secret identities always failed, but eventually she truly fell in love with Bruce Wayne: she really tried to make their love work, but she grew wary of her man disappearing for no reason and staying away from her without sharing with her what he was doing. The two broke up, and she tried at first to bury herself in her work, also becoming a host for a talk show, The Scene, along with Emily BriggsLinda Park and Tawny Young. However, she finally decided to truly make a cut in her life, and she accepted a long assignment in Europe.

Not much is known about Vicki’s time in Europe, but she met a man named Powers, and she even married him. Things didn’t go too well, apparently, as when she came back to Gotham the two were divorced. Anyway, her time in Europe had given her experience, skills and resolution, and she was more determined than ever to be a true photojournalist, not a classy paparazzi anymore. She quit Vue Magazine and she started working full time for the Gotham Gazette, covering important stories about crime, politics and major news, often making use of some connection in the GCPD like Harvey Bullock, who provided her with informations. Vicki came back to Gotham in a dour time, as Batman had been apparently killed by the masked criminal Bane, and the city was in chaos; plus, she tried more than once to rekindle the relationship with Bruce Wayne, but the billionaire never answered to her calls. Albeit frustrated for realising things could never work out for the two of them, Vicki obviously made a connection between Batman’s “death” and Bruce Wayne’s new seclusive state, and she resumed her old investigation. Trying to lure Wayne to the open, she started publicing articles in which she selectively revealed secrets of the Bat-Family, and she realised she was on the right path when Dick Grayson, who she now knew was Nightwing, told her to vickivalecomics2stop, and even put a tracer in her camera. Vicki found the device, and used it to force Bruce to meet her…but the one she met at dinner was actually a decoy, Tom Elliot, and Vicki realised this as well; she tried to force a meeting with the real Bruce, but the only thing she obtained was that Alfred managed to steal the tracer from her, this cutting her connection with Wayne. She didn’t give up, albeit failing a meeting with Barbara Gordon, and a following one with an informer that was abruptly interrupted by Harley Quinn, who was in a chaotic mood and was wreaking havoc. Vicki wasn’t even sure she wanted to publish what she found about Batman’s secret identity: she just wanted to know the truth, even just for herself, and nothing would have prevented her from getting to the end of a story when she had sniffed a good trail.

Vicki Vale is a stubborn, smart and determined woman, a skilled reporter who uses her remarkable investigative abilities to dig in every news she covers in her job. Resolved to the point of being quite obsessive, Vicki is among the very few people who managed to discover the truth about Batman’s secret identity (more than once!) barely upon deduction; albeit ambitious, she doesn’t want to use her knowledge for making profit or getting fame: she pursued the truth for truth’s sake, and she only wants to help Bruce Wayne/Batman defend Gotham City the best she can with her position. Not all heroes wear masks…

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