Arnold Wesker even as a child he was a meek and timid person. When he was very young, his parents took him to the Gotham City shipyards to see an albatross. The albatross was something of a local attraction, but Wesker was terrified of it. He yelled at his father, demanding that he take him home. A Spivey's Display Dummies truck screamed down the street striking Arnold's parents, instantly killing them before the young boy's eyes. Wesker was convinced that the albatross was an omen that brought doom to his family. The shock of witnessing his parents' murder forced Arnold to repress all emotion. He bottled up his anger and hostility for many years to come.
As an adult, Wesker suffered a psychotic breakdown and killed a man during a bar-fight (by Wesker's own account, the murder was completely accidental). He was arrested and sent to Blackgate Prison. The prison staff placed him in a bunk with a cellmate named Donnegan. Donnegan had built a puppet for himself named Woody, and had been mastering the art of ventriloquism. Wesker became enamored with the puppet, but Donnegan was very protective of Woody and refused to allow Wesker to touch him. One day, Arnold found himself alone with Woody. When Donnegan discovered them, he punched Wesker in the face, shouting that nobody touches his puppet.
Wesker eventually grew despondent with prison life and prepared to hang himself from the ceiling of his cell while Donnegan slept. Despite the fact that Donnegan was unconscious, Woody began talking to Wesker, who ignored him at first, believing that Donnegan's subconscious was acting through the puppet. However, Woody insisted that he was acting independently of Donnegan's control. He convinced Wesker to forgo suicide in favor of escaping from prison. He revealed that Donnegan had been secretly digging an escape tunnel from his cell for the past fifteen years, but he eventually gave up after becoming institutionalized. While the two spoke, Donnegan awakened and attacked Wesker, brutally beating him down onto the floor. He also stabbed at Woody with a corkscrew, creating a long scar across the right hand side of the puppet's face. Arnold fought back and smashed Donnegan along the side of the face with a loose brick. He strung his body up on the noose that he originally intended to use for himself, and Woody and he made their escape through Donnegan's tunnel.
The tunnel led to the shoreline of the island near the prison boathouse. At Woody's urging, Wesker picked up a riot shotgun and killed two guards, before stealing a raft. They paddled to the mainland of Gotham City and acquired a fresh set of clothes. The puppet, unsatisfied with the name that Donnegan had given him, decided to provide himself with a new name; one more befitting an angry criminal mind with high ambitions – Scarface.
Scarface became the vehicle through which Wesker could express all of his years of bottled-up rage. It was clear early on, however, that Scarface was the dominant partner in their relationship, and Wesker always maintained a subservient and obedient countenance.
Calling himself the Ventriloquist, Wesker became a powerful drug lord in Gotham City – but it was actually Scarface calling all of the shots. They operated out of a trendy hotspot on Electric Street called the Ventriloquist Club. The bouncer of the Ventriloquist Club was an over-sized leg-breaker named Rhino. Like many of the Ventriloquist's underlings, Rhino paid very little attention to Wesker himself, but was devoutly loyal to Scarface.
The Ventriloquist and Scarface made their marks in the Gotham underworld through the sale and distribution of a designer drug called Fever. Processed in Tijuana, Mexico, they had the drugs smuggled into Gotham City inside of human cadavers. This earned them the attention of Gotham's nocturnal vigilante, the Batman. The Batman raided Rizzo's Funeral Parlor, where the Ventriloquist and Scarface were busy extracting drugs from the remains of a dead gangster named William Henry "Fatman" Cherry. Batman fought through the Ventriloquist's armed men and apprehended the drug lord and his puppet master.
Wesker spent very little time in prison, however, and before long, Scarface and he were reunited and back in operation at the Ventriloquist Club. Wesker actually wanted to retire from a life of crime, but Scarface wouldn't hear of it. They discovered that while they were serving time, a criminal gang known as the Street Demonz had taken over Scarface's drug operations. One of Scarface's closest enforcers, Bruno, betrayed his former employer and threw his lot in with the Street Demonz. During a gunfight between Wesker's men and the Street Demonz, Scarface's body was riddled with bullets. For a brief moment, Wesker felt that he was finally free of the puppet's control. He even built a small coffin for his damaged wooden partner. Even from beyond the proverbial grave however, Scarface still had control over the Ventriloquist. Wesker heard the dummy's voice from within the coffin, and set him free. He repaired the damage from the bullets and Scarface was back in action.
Following another resounding defeat at the hands of the Batman, the Ventriloquist was apprehended and sent to Arkham Asylum. Time passed until one day a criminal known as Bane masterminded an elaborate scheme to weaken the Batman's resolve by blowing up the side of Arkham, setting dozens of psychopathic felons free. Wesker was but one of many violent patients to escape from Arkham during the chaos. Although no longer confined to a cell, he was still lost without the commanding presence of Scarface.
Desperate to compensate for Scarface's absence, Arnold briefly took to using an old sock as a hand puppet, naming it (appropriately enough), Socko.
Wesker and Scarface were reunited soon after and attempted to gain a foothold in the Wharfdale area of Gotham by eliminating a rival gangster named Marty Vetch. Scarface made a severe impact in Vetch's operations by killing one of his main drug suppliers and by contaminating a shipment of heroin that belonged to his cartel. The feud between Scarface and Vetch came to a head outside of the Ventriloquist Club. During this time, Bruce Wayne had relinquished the role of Batman and passed the mantle along to his first ward Dick Grayson. As Batman, Grayson and Robin (Tim Drake) raided Marty Vetch's penthouse and fought with the Ventriloquist's thugs. Wesker attempted to flee down a fire escape and Scarface and he were separated. The Ventriloquist was captured once again and sent to Blackgate Prison for psychological evaluation.
While Wesker languished away in prison, Scarface wound up in the hands of his old enforcer, Rhino. Rhino attempted to operate the puppet, but Scarface wouldn't respond to him. After numerous attempts however, Scarface began to communicate through Rhino, who instructed him to make a deal with the Penguin in order to stage a prison breakout. The Penguin agreed, and before long, the Ventriloquist was free.
The two resumed their old lifestyle and crossed paths with the Batman on several more encounters. In one instance, a crazed Batman nearly killed the Ventriloquist, but instead opted to destroy Scarface instead. The Ventriloquist repaired Scarface yet again, only this time the criminal duo set their sights on their competition, notably the Penguin.
Not long ago, a rising star in the Gotham City underworld known as the Great White Shark sent his assassin, the Tally Man, on a citywide spree, murdering many costumed criminals. The Tally Man targeted the Ventriloquist and fired a fatal shot into his head.
During Blackest Night, the Ventriloquist is resurrected by the forces of Nekron to become a member of the new Black Lantern Corps. Although he no longer has the physical Scarface, he has been seen creating an army of constructs that look like them with his Black Lantern Ring.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
This individual does not possess any superhuman capabilities.
- Ventriloquism: Arnold is a skilled Ventriloquist, an act of stagecraft in which the person changes his voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere, usually a his puppet Scarface. The ability to do so is called throwing one's voice.
- Tactical Analysis: The Scarface persona is a brilliant criminal strategist and tactician.
- Business Management:
- Mental Illness: Arnold is a delusional schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder, and is thus obsessed with his dummy Scarface.
- Pronouncing the Letter "B": Arnold is unable to pronounce any word with a letter "B" accurately without moving his lips, giving Scarface a speech impediment. He compensates for this by using the letter "G" as he often calls the Dark Knight "Gatman".
Traditionally some sort of classic 1930's gangster looking Handgun or Tommy Gun.
- It has never been clear whether Scarface was actually just an aspect of Wesker’s multiple personality disorder, or if he had actually somehow gained sentience. There have been several instances where Scarface has functioned independently of a human controller, but this may also be a reflection of the controller's mental state at the given moment. On occasion, Scarface has been animate during times when Wesker was asleep or unconscious, or not even present at all. One of the strongest arguments for suggesting that Scarface may be a separate consciousness is the fact that he always maintains the same personality no matter who is operating him. In the case of Donnegan, however, Scarface's diction was much better, and he didn’t replace the letter "B" with a "G" as was the case with Wesker.
- 93 Appearances of Arnold Wesker (New Earth)
- 14 Images featuring Arnold Wesker (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Arnold Wesker (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Arnold Wesker (New Earth)
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