The inspiration for this week’s blog comes from my All New Marvel Roundup and Superconductivity podcast cohost Charlie Esser (@charlieesser). Charlie mentioned that now that Oswald is top dog of crime On Gotham now, he needs a new rival and the writers should introduce the Ventriloquist. Who is the Ventriloquist? 3 people have used the name. The first and best known was a timid man named Arnold Wesker who committed crimes by commanding his gang through his dummy Scarface, who was always dressed as a 1920’s gangster. Wesker and Scarface both first appeared in Detective Comics #583 (February 1988).
The pair was created when Wesker developed a dissociative identity disorder after witnessing his mother’s death by a rival Mafia family. Wesker’s only outlet after that was ventriloquism. The Scarface persona complete dominates Wesker and Wesker can only pronounce the letter “B” as a “G” when speaking in Scarface’s voice. After years as a crime boss, Wesker is killed along with several other Gotham criminals in Detective Comics #818 (June 2006).
Even after Wesker’s death though, Scarface returns to the Gotham underworld. Scarface returns with a new ventriloquist, a blond woman who at first is only called Sugar who can pronounce the letter “B” in Detective Comics #827 (March 2007).
“Sugar” is a better partner for Scarface, as she is more violent than Wesker ever was. She is later revealed to be Peyton Riley, who’s father was an Irish Mafia boss who married her off to rival boss Johnny Sabatino to create a truce. Sabatino eventually murders boss Riley and attempts to kill Peyton by shooting her in the head. Peyton survives and coincidently is shot at the same location at the same time Wesker is murdered. As Wesker dies, Peyton can hear Scarface “talking to her”. This is when their partnership is formed. It is also revealed that Peyton had a prior relationship with Tommy (Hush) Elliot. In their last encounter with Batman, Scarface “jumps” off a boat, abandoning Peyton. She has not been seen since.
After DC Comics New 52 continuity reboot, only one version of the Ventriloquist has appeared.
Shauna Belzer fought Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) after she stole her puppet “Ferdie” from a ventriloquist at a kids party and later becomes a psycho killer.
The Ventriloquist would make a great Gotham show villain. But which one? I say one of the first 2 with Scarface. What about you? Let the show writers hear our voices!
Twitter: @nightwingpdp or @beforethebatpod
You can hear me every week on the Before the Bat podcast with my cohosts along with several other shows on the Southgate Media Group www.southgatemediagroup.com
Until next time, be good. Remember, there’s a lot of gad boys, I mean bad boys out there!