by Ryan Rigley
The Dark Knight's villains come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, some of them being more overtly threatening than others. Bane, for example, is one of Batman's most physically threatening opponents and was the perfect villain for the epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's trilogy. And then, on the other side of that coin, is The Ventriloquist, a villain that is not very imposing and not that well known, to say the least.
But what Arnold Wesker lacks in notoriety he makes up for in being a genuinely interesting character. Often times, Batman villains will personify a certain psychosis, i.e. The Joker's antisocial personality disorder and The Riddler's obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Being a ventriloquist, Wesker has an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder, blaming all of his crimes on a puppet named Scarface.
Read on for more about how The Ventriloquist could have worked in the Nolanverse!
Born into one of the most powerful Mafia families in Gotham, Arnold Wesker developed Dissociative Identity Disorder at a very young age after witnessing the assassination of his own mother at the hands of a rival Mafia family. In order to distract himself from the horrors of real life, he turned to ventriloquism as a means of venting his pent up frustration. But when his anger got the better of him during a barroom brawl, Wesker was sent to Blackgate Penitentiary where he met Woody, a wooden dummy carved by his cellmate Donnegan.
Woody eventually convinced Wesker to kill Donnegan and escape Blackgate, resulting in a desperate struggle that scarred the dummy. Thus, Scarface was born. Dressing the dummy with a pinstripe suit, cigar, and tommy gun, Wesker imbued the persona of a 1920s gangster upon Scarface. In the comics, he lets his Scarface personality do most of the dirty work (i.e. armed robbery and murder) and is completely dominated by the dummy, who will often degrade Wesker verbally and physically.
It may sound silly at first, but think about how creepy it would be to see The Ventriloquist up on the silver screen. Especially in the hands of Christopher Nolan, who took the campy Joker of Tim Burton's "Batman" and transformed him into a cold-blooded serial killer. Arnold Wesker's multiple personalities could make for one really interesting "Dark Knight" villain, casting him in a somewhat sympathetic light. Audiences would even be able to draw a few key comparisons between Wesker's Scarface personality and Bruce Wayne's Batman personality.
Since The Ventriloquist is so prominent in Gotham's crime underworld in the comic books, it would make complete sense if he popped up as a new crime lord in the Nolanverse. Perhaps, we would be introduced to Arnold Wesker during his stay at Blackgate Penitentiary and witness the birth of his Scarface personality after he murders his cellmate and escapes.
Would It Work?
Are we really ready for an antagonist that essentially plays with dolls? Not only would the vast majority of people find The Ventriloquist to be the least threatening villain in the "Dark Knight" trilogy, but they'd also have a very hard time taking him seriously. Arnold Wesker may be one of Batman's most realistic enemies, when put up against guys like Killer Croc and Clayface, but he's still one of the least intimidating rogues ever invented in the history of comic books.
Would Ventriloquist have worked in the "Dark Knight" trilogy? Tell us why or why not in the comments section or on Twitter, and tune in tomorrow another rogue Nolan missed!