Born into a powerful Mafia Family, Arnold Wesker developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (incorrectly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder) after seeing his mother murdered by an assassin from a rival Family. Growing up, his only outlet is ventriloquism.
The issues Showcase '94 #8-9 establish an alternate origin story: After a barroom brawl in which he kills someone during a violent release of his repressed anger, Wesker is sent to Blackgate Penitentiary. He is introduced to "Woody" - a dummy carved from the former gallows by cellmate Donnegan - who convinces him to escape and kill Donnegan in a fight which scars the dummy, thus resulting in the birth of Scarface.
Wesker lets the Scarface personality do the dirty work, including robbery and murder. He is dominated by Scarface, who barks orders at him and degrades him with verbal abuse. Wesker is unable to enunciate the letter "B" while throwing his voice, and replaces them with the letter "G" instead. For example, Scarface often calls Batman "Gatman."
It is often made ambiguous whether Scarface is an aspect of Wesker's personality, or actually has sentience. In the 1995 Riddler story The Riddle Factory, it is revealed that a gangster named "Scarface" Scarelli had once been active in Gotham City, though had apparently died long before Batman's era. A supernatural aspect to Scarface was hinted at in Wesker's origin story in Showcase '94, when Wesker's cellmate creates the first Scarface doll from a piece of gallows wood. 2001's Batman/Scarface: A Psychodrama reinforces this and shows the dummy to be indirectly responsible for two accidents while separated from Wesker (with at least one fatality). The dummy also retained his speech impediment while operated by a young boy and seemed to even show awareness of his name during this period.
The Ventriloquist is one of many villains in the Rogues Gallery to be confined to Arkham Asylum when Batman apprehends him. One particularly memorable series of events concerning him took place during the Knightfall saga, after Bane had destroyed Arkham and released its inmates. Unable to find Scarface, the Ventriloquist uses a sock puppet in his place for a short time. After robbing a toy store, he procures a number of other hand puppets to fill in for Scarface, including one of a police officer which he refers to as "Chief O'Hara" (in reference to a character from the 1960s Batman TV show). Wesker uses a sock puppet to fill in as an alter-ego until he can find a suitable replacement for Scarface; later, Scarface and "Socko" are set at odds until a standoff occurs, and the puppets shoot each other, leaving Wesker unconscious and bleeding from two wounded hands.
In one issue, he is apparently killed, and in a bizarre twist, Scarface appears to still talk and act alive before he is destroyed. This death appears to have been retconned in "One Year Later" (presumably due to the events of the Infinite Crisis crossover). Wesker appears as one of the members of the Secret Society of Super Villains that faces the Jade Canary, who pitches Scarface off the top of a roof.
In Detective Comics #818, an issue in what would later become the book Batman: Face the Face, Wesker is fatally shot by an unseen assailant. The puppet Scarface is stepped on and its head crushed. The dying Wesker uses Scarface's hand to leave a clue regarding his murder: a street name. Later in the storyline, it is revealed that Tally Man, acting as an enforcer for the Great White Shark, is responsible for the murder.
Rhino also has a sister named Moose, who nearly as strong and loyal as he is. She takes his place on Scarface's team, in place of her brother who is currently in prison. During an appearance in Legends of the Dark Knight, Moose briefly takes over the role of ventriloquist to Scarface until the puppet could be re-united with Wesker. Rhino is also always partnered with another member of the gang Mugsy. Mugsy is normally a smaller person in size, but is a reliable criminal.
A new female Ventriloquist, called Sugar by Scarface, has surfaced in the page of Detective Comics. She is a more compatible partner than Wesker, since Scarface no longer substitutes "b" with "g" and is much more compliant with Scarface's brutal methods. She and Scarface seem to have a relationship similar to the Joker and Harley Quinn (also created by Dini), as she seems to believe that the dummy truly loves her. When nearly captured by Batman and Harley Quinn (who has a strong dislike for Sugar), she has Scarface say, "Save yourself."
Unlike Wesker, who was horrified at any damage to Scarface, Sugar rigs her dummies to explode, using this to cover her escapes. She has numerous identical dummies at her hideout, one of which then becomes the "real" Scarface.
In Detective Comics #843, Scarface kidnaps a rival gangster, Johnny Sabatino, and takes Bruce Wayne hostage. While alone, "Sugar" breaks from Scarface and talks to Bruce in what appears to be her 'real' personality. She reveals that she knows Wayne, as she was engaged to a friend of his 'years ago.' Her name is revealed to be Peyton Riley, as Wayne recognizes her, and she expresses remorse before the Scarface reappears and interrupts their conversation.
In the following issue, Riley reveals her father, an Irish mob boss named Sean Riley, wanted to marry her off to Sabatino, forming a permanent alliance between Gotham's Irish and Italian gangs. Sean Riley therefore assaults Peyton's fiance, leaving him in intensive care. He subsequently becomes an alcoholic, and Peyton is forced to marry Sabatino. This does not lead to the hoped for gang alliance, as Sabatino is an inept gangster. He and Peyton are eventually taken to see Scarface, as Sabatino had cheated him on a weapons deal. Both Scarface and Wesker are impressed by Peyton's intelligence, and gave Sabatino a second chance, taking 30% of his profits.
When Scarface's hold on the mobs begins to crumble, Sabatino, now a successful criminal, decides to cement his own position by wiping out the Rileys. After killing his father-in-law, he takes Peyton to a gangster hide-out and shoots her. She is not killed, but recovers conciousness just as Tally Man is killing Wesker nearby. Peyton finds the body of Wesker, and is shocked to hear Scarface talking to her. Although suspecting she may be hallucinating, she forms a partnership with him.
Scarface and Peyton plan to throw Sabatino over the side of his own yacht (ironically a wedding present from Sean Riley). Zatanna rescues Wayne and, as Batman, he rescues Sabatino while she tries to talk down Peyton, explaining that dolls and puppets have powerful magic, but Peyton no longer needs to seek vengence. Before she can have any effect, Moose hits her with an oar. While Batman protects Zatanna from Moose, Peyton makes another attempt to throw Sabatino over the side, but gets too close, and he begins to strangle her with his own bonds. Scarface quietly says "Jump, Sugar" and Peyton sends them both over the side. Before they hit the water, Scarface says "G'bye, kiddo. I loved y..."
The Ventriloquist and Scarface also appear in The Batman, where they are voiced by Dan Castellaneta. In the series, Wesker is a ventriloquist who snapped when he was booed off the stage one night, and turned to a life of crime, with his first successful act being the robbery of each and every person in the audience who had booed him. The Scarface dummy itself is not cast in the mould of a 1920s gangster, but is instead based upon the character Tony Montana in the 1983 film Scarface. In his debut episode, "The Big Dummy", Wesker arranges for the theft of various gadgets which are used to construct a giant Scarface robot, which holds Wesker in its hand in a reversal of their roles, however Scarface still needs Wesker to actually move and talk as he is just an oversized "Dummy". In the end, Scarface is "killed" after he is run over by a train, his last word to Wesker being "Dummy". Wesker is then taken to Arkham Asylum.
In the episode "Fistful of Felt", Wesker returns with a new Scarface. It is then revealed that Wesker once had a TV show known as Cockamanee Junction, which was cancelled. After Batman stops them from stealing dollar molds from a treasury, Wesker and Scarface are seen in Arkham during Hugo Strange's therapy group with the Joker and the Penguin. Strange considers Wesker his main patient and "frees" Wesker from Scarface. Wesker starts to do kids' parties with a puppet named Mr. Snoots, until Strange takes the next stage into his hands. He places Scarface in Wesker's apartment where he can see him, perhaps to see if Wesker is completely cured, and able to stand up to Scarface's overbearing demands. In a confrontation with Batman in a newly opened building for children, Scarface and Mr. Snoots start fighting and are both once again destroyed by a train. Wesker is then returned to Arkham.
Wesker and Scarface both feature in the season five episode "The End of The Batman", being assisted by Wrath and Scorn.
In both Batman: the Animated Series and The Batman, the Ventriloquist's henchmen are Rhino and Mugsy (voiced by Earl Boen and Townsend Coleman respectively in the former series; both voiced by John DiMaggio in the latter).