The Batman And Robin Adventures #7
DC Comics (June, 1996)“His Master’s Voice” WRITER: Ty Templeton ARTIST: Rick Burchett COLORIST: Linda Medley LETTERER: Tim Harkins ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo EDITOR: Scott Peterson
When Scarface finds out that Weskler has another puppet and is convinced the Ventriloquist is trying to replace him (and thus “kill” that persona), he hijacks Riddler’s escape plan with the mission of killing someone in Arnold’s family. That someone turns out to be his mother, or rather the only thing Arnold has, a picture of her, so Scarface can prove he is all Arnold has. It’s here we learn about Arnold Weskler’s past as part of a crime family and surmise how he became The Ventriloquist.
What they got right: I don’t recall the cartoon really going into the history of the Ventriloquist. His mother wanted him out of the life and he didn’t like all of the gunplay. I’m guessing Scarface is that part of him that grew up with that family and thus is still tied at least to the mobster life he wanted to avoid so badly for both his and his mother’s sake (who took a bullet meant for her husband according to this story) that he split off into two personas. I’m no psychologist but that makes sense to me. I keep rooting for Arnold to get away from Scarface.
What they got wrong: Learning a bit more about Scarface and the Ventriloquist since the last time I reviewed a comic they were in, I was reminded that Scarface never had to replace his “B”s with “G”s, something comic writers has put in as a fault in Weskler’s ventriloquism skills. (I also learned that DC wanted it in there but for whatever reason Bruce Timm didn’t.) The comic (explained in an earlier issue that during one of Arnold’s stays in Arkham his lips were ripped off) said “who cares what the show creator wants, we already play this closer to the regular comics when we can anyway” and gave him the speech impediment. This is why, while they may be good stories, the Adventures titles were terrible tie-ins.
Recommendation: Comic or show universe, this is a good examination of the Ventriloquist’s origins. Pick this issue up.