Arnold Wesker was a former ventriloquist in Gotham City when he suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder, a psychological trauma in his youth. Wesker turned to crime and carved a dummy by the name of Scarface. His disorder was manifested within the dummy, who became the dominant personality. Dubbing himself the Ventriloquist, he and Scarface went on a crime spree in Gotham.
The duo realized a series of gold vaults heists in a clockwork-like precision. The Ventriloquist's downfall came when Batman suspected about the heists, involving a criminal with logistics. After fighting Batman, Scarface was rushed away by a pile of bullets and reduced to a pile of wood. The Ventriloquist was later sent to Arkham Asylum.
He later escaped out of Arkham and plotted a new scheme. When Veronica Vreeland was holding an exhibit of stuffed extinct and endangered animals from a late relative, the Ventriloquist and Scarface planned to steal the animals to sell them into the black market. However, the plan would fail due to logistics, so they recruited Catwoman into a partnership. While she was framed for the heists, the Ventriloquist started selling the stuffed animals for the underworld figures to the highest bidder, including the Penguin. However, Batman saved Catwoman and together they defeated the Ventriloquist. He was sent back to Arkham.
As did every inmate from Arkham, the Ventriloquist acted as a bailiff in the Trial of Batman, though Scarface commanded more respect (or fear) among the inmates. He was also a victim of Lock-Up's barbaric inmate treatment.
At some point, Wesker passed up his psychological treatment at Arkham and was given a clean bill. He got a new job at Wayne Enterprises as a mail clerk and was given an apartment at Wayne Gardens Halfway House. While enjoying his new life, Wesker was confronted by Scarface's henchmen, Rhino and Mugsy who after some mind games involving a short man dressed like Scarface they were able to force him to take the dummy back. Scarface, while laying dormant to pull another heist, was prematurely awakened by his henchmen. He attempted to kill them, but Batman and Batgirl intervened and at the last moment, Wesker who was holding a tommy gun at the time was in position to kill Batman but instead turned about and riddled Scarface with bullets himself, ending him once for all.
Batman took possession of the dummy and kept it under glass in the Batcave.
In the alternate universe of Justice Lords, Ventriloquist was among the supervillains being lobotomized by that world's Superman. However, he was spared and Scarface was instead lobotomized, neutralizing the duo.
In the DCAU-continuity comic books, Scarface has his speech impediment from the mainstream DC Universe version. This was explained by Scarface claiming that, while "in prison" after one of Wesker's arrests, he was involved in a fight where a fellow inmate tore his lips off.