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

History

Ventriloquist II 1

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.

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.

Gallery

           Batman Villains

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