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Ventriloquist & Scarface

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Batman rogue
Ventriloquist & Scarface
Venttie
Information
Real name: Arnold Wesker
Species: Human
Hair: Grey (balding)
Eyes: Black
Base: Gotham City
Rogue of: Batman
Counterpart(s): Justice Lords' world
Abilities: Criminal mastermind (At least, one of them is)
Voiced by: George Dzundza
You may also be looking for the thug Scarface.

"You've had your share of odd opponents, Sir, but this one does take the biscuit. Any idea where he or "they" might strike next?"
— Alfred

Arnold Wesker was a Ventriloquist who had Dissociative Identity Disorder. Unwittingly, Wesker developed a criminal mastermind personality which was vented through the dummy named Scarface.

History

Arnold Wesker was a former ventriloquist in Gotham City where he suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder, possibly from a psychological trauma in his youth. Wesker turned to crime and carved a dummy by the name of Scarface. His dissociative identity was manifested within the dummy, who became the dominant personality. Dubbing himself the Ventriloquist, Wesker and Scarface went on a crime spree in Gotham.

The duo planned a series of gold vault heists with clockwork precision. The Ventriloquist's downfall came when Batman learned about the heists and deduced they were arranged by a clever criminal with a knowledge of planning and logistics. While fighting Batman, one of Scarface's own henchmen accidentally shredded him with a hail of bullets and reduced the dummy to a pile of wood. Horrified by Scarface's "death," the distraught Ventriloquist was sent to Arkham Asylum. Wesker seemed to be a model inmate on the road to recovery, but he secretly built a new Scarface dummy in the workshop, proving that Scarface was still in charge.[1]

Wesker later escaped out of Arkham and plotted a new scheme. When Veronica Vreeland was holding an exhibit of stuffed extinct and endangered animals from a late relative's collection, the Ventriloquist and Scarface planned to steal the animals to sell them on the black market. However, the plan would likely fail without a decoy, so they recruited Catwoman into a 'partnership'. While she was framed for the heists, the Ventriloquist and Scarface started selling the stuffed animals amongst underworld figures to the highest bidder, including the Penguin. However, Batman saved Catwoman and together they defeated them. Wesker was sent back to Arkham.[2]

As did every inmate in Arkham at the time, the Ventriloquist participated in the "Trial of Batman" acting as bailiff, though Scarface commanded more respect, or even fear, among the inmates.[3] Wesker was also a victim of Lyle Boltons's barbaric inmate treatment, which even intimidated Scarface until Harley Quinn inspired fellow victims Wesker and the Scarecrow to finally speak out at a disciplinary hearing. The hearing resulted in Bolton's termination and led him to become the vigilante Lock-Up.[4]

Years later, Wesker passed his psychological treatment at Arkham and was given a clean bill of mental health. Wesker got a new job at Wayne Enterprises as a mail clerk and was given an apartment at Wayne Gardens Halfway House. While enjoying his new life, Wesker was confronted by Scarface's henchmen, Rhino and Mugsy. The goons even hired midget criminal Hips McManus to impersonate Scarface in an attempt to shatter Wesker's rebuilt sanity and bring back their boss. Ironically, their plan almost got Rhino and Mugsy killed. The real Scarface persona was actually laying dormant, planning to pull another heist until being prematurely awakened by his henchmen. Scarface attempted to kill them, but Batman and Batgirl intervened and saved the thugs.
Wesker peace

Wesker finally at peace.

Wesker then found himself caught in the middle of an intense psychological tug-of-war between Scarface and Batman, which Wesker ended by pulling out a gun and "killing" Scarface himself before getting the dummy shredded to dust by an industrial fan, thus ending Scarface once and for all. Afterwards, Wesker enjoyed a new quiet life, getting his job back at Wayne Enterprises and finding peace and quiet at last.[5]

Batman kept the Ventriloquist's first Scarface dummy and later displayed it under glass in the Batcave.[6][7]

Background information

In the DC Comics, Arnold Wesker was the son of a mob boss who was traumatized when his mother was killed by an assassin, causing him to suppress his emotions and develop DID. After killing a patron in a bar fight, Wesker was sent to Blackgate Prison, where he shared a cell with one Donnegan, who had made a puppet he called Woody. Sentenced to life and abused by Donnegan, Wesker heard what he thought was Woody telling him of an old tunnel Donnegan made and they escaped, killing Donnegan, who gave the dummy the scar that would lead to his name of "Scarface". Over the course of their career, Wesker and Scarface became a criminal duo, with Scarface being the dominant of the two (he even commanded his own territory during the events of No Man's Land). Wesker was later killed by Tally Man, and Scarface was picked up by Mob princess Peyton Riley (New Ventriloquist), who was much more in line with Scarface's personality. Peyton has developed a strong rivalry with Harley Quinn, who considered Wesker a friend.

In the comics, there is some evidence to suggest that Scarface is actually sentient. His origin showed that Scarface was made out of wood left over from a blood stained gallows on Blackgate Island, and Scarface has retained the same personality despite being used by several owners.

On the DVD commentary for "Read My Lips", Bruce Timm explained that there was a heated back-and-forth between producers and DC Comics as to Scarface's portrayal in Batman: The Animated Series. In the comics, the underlying "gag" was that Wesker was actually a poor ventriloquist who couldn't pronounce the letter B correctly. (In fact, Scarface famously and consistently refers to the Dark Knight as "Gatman" throughout his comic book history.) For the show, Wesker was re-envisioned as a world-class ventriloquist, particularly when Scarface yells from the other room while Wesker is being interrogated by Batman. Also in the comics, Wesker detested Scarface and hated working for him. On the show, Wesker was far more subservient and dependent on Scarface, at least until the events of "Double Talk".

Appearances

Batman: The Animated Series

The New Batman Adventures

Batman Beyond

Feature film

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited

External links

References

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