Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So I had a really, really long post written for today. It was about a bunch of different stuff, with many images, loads of formatting etc. But Blogger makes it look like crap and after writing all that, I can't be bothered to dabble in HTML and make it look acceptable. So instead what you're getting is this post about exactly how cool Scarface and Ventriloquist are! Enjoy!

    My first Scarface comic (Batman #475 by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle)

    Let's just get this out of the way: ventriloquists freak me right the fuck out. Even sans the dummy. Speak to me in a weird voice while your mouth is shut and there's just no telling what I'll do. 
    This may actually be part of the reason why I consider Scarface/Ventriloquist (it's always the same problem with a good creepy ventriloquists and their, often supernatural, dummies! You're not sure which one to focus on) one of my favorite Batman villains. It certainly helps a lot that he isn't as played out or overused as some of his top tier enemies.

    Scarface's second appearance was one of my first Batman comics, but I don't think I was immediately a fan. It probably weirded me out a bit. I mean, it was a dummy with speech impediment in a mobster suit that had all the thugs listening to it's orders, and it kept constantly berating the timid (and seemingly unwilling) ventriloquist that was holding it. I like! Makes for a good villain, if you ask me.
    Sure, he might not be a threat to Batman but let's be honest here: 90% of Batman villains are no threat to him. He's/They're (aw jeez...) a creepy guy/duo (*sigh*) and a threat in the Gotham crime scene. Scarface is a sadistic maniac. Every time you see him dealing with other gangsters he's always threatening them or killing them and just being an all around 100% crazy creep.

    I think the fact that the dummy may have some sort of free will was already hinted at in those early appearances and it made it all the cooler for me. The contrast between Wesker's (the original Ventriloquist) and Scarface's characters was also crucial. For some reason, I don't think the later Scarface stories measured up to his earliest appearances (I liked the Showcase 94 issues that presented his origin, too). I might be wrong and in need of a schooling here, though (leave your comments!).
    Norm Breyfogle & Alan Grant (along with Aparo and Grant, natch) are the authors of my favorite run of Batman comics and they made a lot of great stories together. If you haven't read those comics, I highly recommend them. Some of my favorite arcs from those years are "The Idiot Root", "Last Arkham" and all the Scarface appearances.

    GARGECUE! Scarface, Ventriloquist, Breyfogle and Grant return in "Batman Retroactive 1990s" (click to enlarge).

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Mike Sterling of Progressive Ruin (CLICK) (AKA the Godfather of Soul; previously known as Silvermane) once admitted to having a ventriloquist dummy. While it's definitely something to keep in mind, don't let it stop you from reading his blog daily.


    1. So, was there more than one ventriloquist?

    2. Yeah, apparently some blonde babe took over as the Ventriloquist later on, after Wesker was killed. I haven't read that though, and I heard it's retconned now in the "new 52".

    3. Oh, yeah, that sounds about right!

      I dunno, most of Batman's past is intact. I haven't heard anything about it, though.