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Grant, Wagner and Breyfogle conclude their two-part introduction of the Ventriloquist in Detective 584 (March), with inks by Steve Mitchell.

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Having tracked him as the source the fever drug, Batman confronts the Ventriloquist at his club.  I really love the conceit that Scarface is incapable of pronouncing the letter “b,” so he winds up calling the hero Gatman.  Batman has no patience for the pair, refusing to deal with Scarface as if he were real.

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On the flip side, this issue also allows us to see how the Ventriloquist and Scarface interact with each other.  The word balloons just help emphasize the degree to which Scarface is treated as a real person.

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Batman figures out their plot to smuggle the drugs in the corpse of one of their own gang, but gets doused with the  fever himself in the final battle.

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The final scene, with the Ventriloquist and Scarface fighting it out in a prison cell, all but ensured that this was a villain we needed to see again.

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