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Better look sharp, yous mugs! Scarface is back!
~ Scarface in The New Batman Adventures

The Ventriloquist and Scarface are a pair of villains in Batman comics, games and animations.

Ventriloquist

Arnold Wesker

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Arnold Wesker (a.k.a. The Ventriloquist) is a villain from the Batman series. He is always seen with the puppet Scarface. Many people believe he is crazy, and just puppetering Scarface, but he believes Scarface took possession over him.

In Detective Comics #818, an issue later included in the trade paperback Batman: Face the Face, Wesker is murdered by an unseen assailant. The puppet Scarface is stepped on and its head crushed. The dying Wesker uses Scarface's hand to leave a clue regarding his murder: a street name. Later in the storyline, it is revealed that Tally Man, acting as an enforcer for the Great White Shark, is responsible for the murder.

During the Blackest Night crossover, Wesker is among the many deceased villains that received a Black Lantern power ring and is reanimated into a Black Lantern. Using his power ring, Wesker creates a construct of Scarface made of black energy. He is shown murdering many police officers.

In The New 52 continuity, Arnold Wesker is now living, his death apparently erased from reality in the DC Universe. He appears in Batman: The Dark Knight #2. Implied to be in possession of the Venom steroid, he clashes briefly with Nightwing.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

The Ventriloquist doesn't appear in the game Batman: Arkham Asylum. One of the Riddler's riddles revolves around him.

He has an entry in the Character Bios. His profile states:

Arnold Wesker was a timid orphan whose deep repression erupted in a barroom brawl, resulting in him being send to Blackgate Prison. There he encountered the puppet Scarface, and promptly murdered the man who’d carved the puppet. The two are now inseparable, with Scarface directing a series of criminal activities. While most believe that Wesker is simply acting out a second personality through the puppet, Wesker sees himself as a reluctant lackey who merely does his puppet’s bidding.

Batman: The Telltale Series

Arnold Wesker appears in the fourth episode of Telltale's Batman series of games. He is shown as an inmate of Arkham Asylum who uses a sock pocket to represent Scarface.

Peyton Riley

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Peyton Riley is a former fiancée of Hush and the daughter of a mob boss, became the new Ventriloquist after the death of the original (Arnold Wesker), called Sugar by the dummy Scarface. She surfaced in the pages of Detective Comics and was hinted to be an old character long thought dead (as part of her face is shown to be scarred). She is a more compatible partner than Wesker, since Scarface no longer substitutes "b" with "g" and is much more compliant with Scarface's brutal methods. She and Scarface seem to have a relationship similar to the Joker and Harley Quinn, as she seems to believe that the dummy truly loves her. When nearly captured by Batman and Harley Quinn (who has a strong dislike for Sugar, borne out of strong feelings of friendship towards her predecessor), she has Scarface say, "Save yourself."

Background

In an attempt to unite the Irish and Italian mobs, Peyton's father married her off to his enemy's heir, Johnny Sabatino. Peyton wound up being trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage with Sabatino, who also wound up being an inept mobster and did nothing to help unite the gangs.

When Sabatino was caught stealing money from Scarface and Arnold Wesker (when Wesker was still alive) - the Ventriloquist, he and Peyton were about to be executed by Rhino until Peyton began pleading with Scarface. The Ventriloquist took a liking to her and decided to let the two of them live, given that Sabatino gave him a 30% cut of all his future profits. This encounter allowed Sabatino to turn his life around and he became a much more successful criminal. Success went to his head however, and he decided to have Peyton and her father killed. Sean Riley was assassinated in a church, while Peyton was brought to an old tenement to be taken out by Sabatino and his thugs. Sabatino shot her in the head, while his thugs shot her several more times and then left her bleeding on the floor as they left. Shortly afterward, Peyton heard two more shots coming from the next room, where it turned out Wesker and Scarface had been murdered by the second Tally Man. After dragging herself into the room while bleeding profusely, to her surprise, Peyton found Scarface had begun talking to her (she had actually just started talking to herself). She pulled herself out of the building and to the hospital, taking Scarface with her, where she made a full recovery. She repaired Scarface, and decided to take on the identity of the new Ventriloquist.

Story Arcs

Scarface and Peyton plan to kill Sabatino by throwing him over the side of his own yacht (ironically a wedding present from Sean Riley). In a conversation with captured Wayne, Riley seems to shake off the Scarface personality and speaks to Wayne as her true self. Through this conversation she reveals that she knew Wayne, having been engaged to one of his friends: Tommy Elliot, the man who would become Hush, and her name of Peyton Riley is revealed as well, as Bruce recognizes her. It wasn't long before the Scarface personality, however, reasserts dominance over Peyton and hits her, deciding she was flirting with Wayne. In their hideout, Peyton goes on to talk of the rest of her origin, including her father and how Sabatino had him killed and tried to have her killed.Zatanna rescues Wayne and, as Batman, he rescues Sabatino while Zatanna tries to talk down Peyton, trying to convince her that Peyton no longer needs to seek vengeance. Before she can have any effect, Moose (Rhino's sister) hits her with an oar. While Batman protects Zatanna from Moose, Peyton makes another attempt to throw Sabatino over the side, but gets too close, and he begins to strangle her with his own bonds. Scarface quietly says "Jump, Sugar" and Peyton desperately sends them both over the side.

Peyton later resurfaces during the Gotham Underground Story Arc, when she teams up with Lock-Up, Firefly and Killer Moth under the orders of Scarface. The group learns from Scarecrow that the Penguin is working for the Suicide Squad who are rounding up villains to be sent off-world to the prison planet. However, upon learning the information, the group shun Scarecrow and move to an assault on the Penguin at the Iceberg Lounge but are defeated by the Penguin's super-powered forces. Upon retreating, they meet Scarecrow once again who leads them to an alley to escape. However it is actually a betrayal and the group are ambushed by Tobias Whale's men who are out to cleanse Gotham from mask-themed villains and restore Gotham to its former glory (by belonging once more to the mob). Peyton ducks for cover as Tobias Whale's men begin to shoot while Scarface attempts to fight back and is gunned down. Peyton cries over the broken dummy while Tobias Whale comforts her. She tells him that anything she did wasn't her fault since she is under Scarface's influence, to which Tobias sardonically smiles and asks one of his men to escort her away. However it is a ruse and when she is out of earshot, Tobias tells his men that "she is to be hurt, understand?"

Peyton Riley has not been seen in comics since.

Shauna Belzer

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Shauna Belzer, also known as the Ventriloquist, is a villain in the Batman comics. A telekinetic with a psychological obsession with murder, Shauna murdered her twin brother as a child and would go on to become the serial killer Ventriloquist.

History

As a child, Shauna was neglected by her parents in favor of her twin brother, Ferdie, and was often bullied by her peers. Shauna discovered that she had telekinesis, and used this ability to retaliate, often killing her tormenters. Eventually, Shauna, growing jealous of her brother, killed him by manipulating the swings he was on and causing him to fall off, snapping his neck and killing him. Shauna would go on to murder a clown at another girl's birthday party, Rainbow Rodney, and steal his ventriloquist dummy, whom she named Ferdie after her brother. As she grew up, she would go on to murder other victims, including her parents, and transform them into human puppets.

Scarface

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Scarface is a villain from the Batman series. He isn't a human, but a puppet. He is being controlled by the Ventriloquist.

The Ventriloquist believes that the puppet controls him, because it is possessed by the souls that died beneath the tree from which he was made. Most people believe the Ventriloquist controls Scarface, and uses Scarface to commit his crimes.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Scarface isn't an actual villain in the videogame Batman: Arkham Asylum. He can only be seen in the closet in the warden's office, and on the televisions. One of The Riddler's riddles revolves around him. He has an entry in the Character bios. His profile states: Gotham’s Blackgate Penitentiary once had a Gallows Tree from which 313 criminals with death sentence were hanged.

The wood from that tree was whittled by an inmate into the puppet Scarface, and that inmate was murdered by Arnold Wesker, a man who soon fell under Scarface’s influence. While most believe that Scarface is simply a tool through which Wesker, as the criminal mastermind the Ventriloquist, acts out a dark side to his personality, Wesker himself believes that Scarface is possessed by the souls who died beneath the Gallows Tree, and the puppet actually motivates him to commit the duo’s many crimes.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Ventriloquist is diagnosed with delusional schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder
  • Ventriloquist is obsessed with his puppet, Scarface, whom he puppeteers with unsettling skill
  • When teamed with Scarface, the two operate as a brilliant criminal mastermind
  • Puppet animated with eerie verisimilitude by the Ventriloquist
  • Frequently wields under-sized but lethal weaponry
  • When teamed with the Ventriloquist, acts as an old-style mob boss, with a sociopathic disregard for human life
  • He sometimes tries to kill the Ventriloquist despite the fact that killing the Ventriloquist will also kill Scarface himself.
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