Ventriloquist (Riley)

    Character » Ventriloquist (Riley) appears in 41 issues.

    A new Ventriloquist appeared after the first's death. Taking the role of the gangster's moll, Scarface's behavior toward her is in fact a manifestation of her own split personality.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Ventriloquist (Riley) last edited by njg5595 on 10/20/18 10:08AM View full history

    This page is for the second Ventriloquist, Peyton Riley.

    For the the original Ventriloquist, see Arnold Wesker


    Peyton Riley was born into a life of organized crime, with her father, Sean Riley, being one of Gotham City's most notorious Irish gangsters. In an attempt to unite the Irish and Italian mobs, Peyton's father married her off to his enemy's heir, Johnny Sabatino. Peyton wound up being trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage with Sabatino, who also wound up being an inept mobster and did nothing to help unite the gangs.

    When Sabatino was caught stealing money from Scarface and Arnold Wesker - the Ventriloquist, he and Peyton were about to be executed by Rhino until Peyton began pleading with Scarface. The Ventriloquist took a liking to her and decided to let the two of them live, given that Sabatino gave him a 30% cut of all his future profits. This encounter allowed Sabatino to turn his life around and he became a much more successful criminal. Success went to his head however, and he decided to have Peyton and her father killed. Sean Riley was gunned down in a church, while Peyton was brought to an old tenement to be taken out by Sabatino and his thugs. Sabatino shot her in the head, while his thugs shot her several more times and then left her bleeding on the floor as they left. Shortly afterward, Peyton heard two more shots coming from the next room, where it turned out Wesker and Scarface had been murdered by the second Tally Man.

    A souvenir from Sabatino.
    A souvenir from Sabatino.

    After laboriously dragging herself into the next room, Peyton surprisingly found Scarface had begun talking to her - although she suspected she was simply hallucinating. Despite her doubts, she dragged herself and Scarface out of the building and to a hospital. After months of plastic surgery and rehabilitation, Peyton made a full recovery, repaired Scarface, and became the new Ventriloquist.


    Peyton Riley was created by Paul Dini and Simone Bianchi

    Character Evolution

    Ventriloquist II (New Earth)
    Ventriloquist II (New Earth)

    Peyton Riley is the new Ventriloquist that emerged after the death of the original. Unlike the previous Ventriloquist, she is more compliant with Scarface's methods and believes that the dummy truly loves her. The dummies she uses are rigged to explode in order to cover her escape should she need it, she then uses one of many identical dummies in her hideout; the new dummy becomes the "real" Scarface.

    Major Story Arcs

    The New Ventriloquist
    The New Ventriloquist

    Peyton and Scarface kidnap the gangster, Johnny Sabatino as well as Bruce Wayne. In a conversation with Wayne, Riley seems to shake off the Scarface personality and speaks to Wayne as her true self. Through this conversation she reveals that she knew Wayne, having been engaged to one of his friends -- Tommy Elliot, the man who became Hush -- and her name of Peyton Riley is revealed as well, as Bruce recognizes her. The Scarface personality, however, reasserts dominance over Peyton and hits her, deciding she was flirting with Wayne. In their hideout, Peyton goes on to talk of the rest of her origin, including her father and how Sabatino had him killed and tried to have her killed.

    Later, aboard a yacht, Riley and Scarface decide to throw Sabatino overboard. Zatanna shows up to save Wayne who dons his Batman disguise and saves Sabatino. Zatanna attempts to talk down Peyton, explaining to her that dolls have powerful magic but that such magic is no longer needed for Peyton to have her vengeance. Unfortunately before Zatanna can get through to Peyton, the magician is attacked by one of Scarface's bodyguards with an oar, forcing Batman to defend Zatanna. Peyton attempts to throw Sabatino overboard, but he attempts to strangle her until Scarface convinces her to heave them both overboard.

    Gotham Underground

    Peyton later resurfaces during the Gotham Underground Story Arc, when she teams up with Lock-Up, Firefly and Killer Moth under the orders of Scarface. The group learns from Scarecrow that the Penguin is working for the Suicide Squad who are rounding up villains to be sent off-world to the prison planet. However, upon learning the information, the group shun Scarecrow and move to an assault on the Penguin at the Iceberg Lounge but are defeated by the Penguin's super-powered forces. Upon retreating, they meet Scarecrow once again who leads them to an alley to escape. However it is actually a betrayal and the group are ambushed by Tobias Whale's men who are out to cleanse Gotham from mask-themed villains and restore Gotham to its former glory (by belonging once more to the mob). Peyton ducks for cover as Tobias Whale's men begin to shoot while Scarface attempts to fight back and is gunned down. Peyton cries over the broken dummy while Tobias Whale comforts her. She tells him that anything she did wasn't her fault since she is under Scarface's influence, to which Tobias smiles and asks one of his men to escort her away. However it is a ruse and when she is out of earshot, Tobias tells his men that "she is to be hurt, understand?"

    Powers & Abilities

    Peyton Riley is a skilled criminal leader, although this manifests itself through Scarface. She is an accomplished ventriloquist, even able to pronounce her "B's" properly, something Wesker tended to have trouble with.

    Scarface traditionally uses a 1930's Handgun or Tommy Gun.


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