Peyton Riley, the former fiancée of Hush and the daughter of a mob boss, became the new Ventriloquist after the death of the original (Arnold Wesker), called Sugar by the dummy Scarface. She surfaced in the pages of Detective Comics and was hinted to be an old character long thought dead (as part of her face is shown to be scarred). 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, 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, borne out of strong feelings of friendship towards her predecessor), she has Scarface say, "Save yourself."
Peyton Riley was born into organized crime, her father "Sean Riley," one of Gotham City's most notorious Irish gangsters. To her immense annoyance as she grew up, she could never gain any real respect amongst her peers in the Gotham social circles, because she was looked down upon as just another "mafia princess." She finally found true love in a man named "Matthew Atkins," who judged her by her merits and not by her heritage. They were to be wed, but Peyton's father had other plans.
Sean Riley dreamed of a united Gotham City, where the Irish and the Italian mobs no longer fought. He planned to offer his daughter's hand in marriage to his enemy's heir, "Johnny Sabatino." Atkins told Riley that he would not be kept away from marrying his daughter, and Sean Riley put Matthew Atkins in the hospital. Later, he would send a note telling Matthew he admired his courage. So Peyton was trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage with Sabatino, who even worse, did nothing to help unite the gangs. When Sabatino was caught stealing money from his employer at the time, Arnold Wesker, the Ventriloquist and Scarface, he and Peyton were going to be executed by Rhino until Peyton's intervention. Peyton began talking to Scarface, and the Ventriloquist liked her enough that he decided to let both of them live, albeit, if Sabatino gave him a %30 cut of all of his future profits. This encounter led Sabatino to turn his life around, and he became a much more successful criminal, eventually making enough money to open up his own nightclub down the street from the Iceberg Lounge.
Eventually, tired and angry of and at both of them, Sabatino decided to have Peyton and her father killed. Sean Riley was gunned down in a church, and he had his thugs bring Peyton to an old tenement to be whacked. Peyton was shot many times, and lay bleeding on the floor as the men left. Shortly afterwards, she heard two more shots, and even later than that, she heard Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon investigating the other corpse, apparently the body of Arnold Wesker, with Scarface lying beside him. Wesker had been murdered by the second Tally Man.
After laboriously dragging herself into the room, to her surprise, Peyton found Scarface had begun talking to her (she had actually just started talking to herself). She pulled herself out of the building and to the hospital, taking Scarface with her, where she made a full recovery. She repaired Scarface, and decided to take on the identity of the new Ventriloquist.
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 Zatanna tries to talk down Peyton, trying to convince her that Peyton no longer needs to seek vengeance. Before she can have any effect, Moose (Rhino's sister) 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 desperately sends them both over the side.
During Gotham Underground, Peyton and Scarface, along with Lock-Up, Firefly, and Killer Moth are told by Scarecrow that The Penguin is working for the Suicide Squad. Furious, they go attack him, but end up meeting a team of criminals working for Penguin. While Peyton tries to escape she and her colleagues are brought to a dead end by Scarecrow. Firefly, Lock-Up, and Killer Moth survive with varying injuries, and Scarface is shot by Tobias Whale. Whale lets Peyton live, but later whispers to a subordinate that she is to be "hurt". Riley has not been seen in comics since.
Powers and Abilities
Criminal genius. Suffers from dissociative identity disorder, which manifests in her psychotic dummy, Scarface. Can throw her voice.
- Equipment: Scarface
- Weapons: Usually a tommy gun in Scarface's hands.
- Unlike the previous Ventriloquist Arnold Wesker, Riley can pronounce the letter "B" while throwing her voice, and so, in her companionship, Scarface is able to successfully say "Batman".
In other media
- It has been confirmed in the prequel comic series Arkham Unhinged that as of the events of Batman: Arkham City that Peyton Riley is the current Ventriloquist, though unlike her comic counterpart Riley obtained Scarface while Wesker was still alive.
- In Batman: Arkham Knight, Peyton Riley's gun can be found in the GCPD's evidence locker, though Aaron Cash was unsure whether it belonged to her or the puppet and was also uncertain about what was going on between her and Scarface.