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VENTRILOQUIST

Real Name: Arnold Wesker

Class: Human villain

Occupation: Crimelord

Group Affiliation: None

Known Relatives:None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Gotham City

First Appearance: Detective Comics #583 (February, 1988)

Powers: Ventriloquist was introverted and seemingly harmless, but when he spoke through his puppet Scarface he became a ruthless and cunning criminal strategist.

History: (Showcase '93 #8, 9) - Arnold Wesker was a mild-mannered man who abhored violence, but one night he accidentally stabbed a man in a bar fight. The man died and Arnold was sentenced to life in prison. His cellmate Donnegan was a hardened criminal whose only joy in life was his ventriloquist dummy Woody. Woody had been carved from the remains of a gallows, and seemed to have a mind of his own. Woody talked like a 1930s gangster, and was vulgar and short-tempered. Arnold was convinced that Woody was talking to him, and wanted to help him escape. Arnold killed his cellmate and escaped the prison with Woody. At this point Arnold started his career as a Gotham crimeboss, renaming the dummy Scarface, and naming himself the Ventriloquist.

(Detective Comics #583, 584)-Ventriloquist still acted peacefully most of the time, but expressed the darker side of his personality through Scarface. It is through Scarface that Ventriloquist dealt with his henchmen and ran his criminal activities. Ventriloquist started a drug-ring distributing a highly dangerous drug named Fever to the population of Gotham, until Batman busted it up and had Ventriloquist arrested.

Ventriloquist was convicted and sent to Gotham Penitentiary, but he was allowed to keep Scarface with him. Despite his imprisonment, he continued to run what remained of his drug-ring. He arranged a five million dollar shipment of cocaine to Gotham crimeboss Rafe Santini, but was overheard by inmate Kadaver. Kadaver and the Penguin broke out of jail and attempted to steal the drug shipment, but attracted the attention of Batman. Thus one of Ventriloquist's greatest criminal ventures was left in ruins.

(Detective Comics #642) - Ventriloquist retaliated against the Street Demonz, drug dealers stealing his territory, by blowing up one of their safe houses.

(Batman: Gotham Knights #5) - The Key locked every door in Arkham, including those in the kitchen, and the inmates were in danger of starving. Ventriloquist and Killer Croc managed to find a few scraps of food that lasted them until Batman defeated the Key.

(Batman #622, 624, 625) - Ventriloquist started seeing Elizabeth Lupo, sister of small-time criminal Angel Lupo. Elizabeth got pregnant, and Angel's girlfriend Margo Farr had her killed. Ventriloquist thought Angel was responsible, and gunned him down. He then let himself be taken into police custody by Batman.

(Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1) - The Society made plans for a worldwide prison break to free every incarcerated supervillain, and they sent Killer Croc to free Arkham Asylum's inmates. Ventriloquist was one of the released inmates, but most of them were captured and sent back to their cells by a group of superheroes called in by Oracle to deal with Arkham.

Comments: Created by Alan Grant, John Wagner & Norm Breyfogle

Ventriloquist received profiles in Who's Who Update '88 #4 and Who's Who in the DC Universe #8.

There was a pin-up of Ventriloquist in Batman: No-Man’s Land Gallery #1.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com