Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Ventriloquist #1

Comic Review: Ventriloquist #1

Ventriloquist Gail Simone DC Comics Villains Month
Gail Simone sets the bar for all Villains Month comics to come by giving the lesser-known Ventriloquist a superstar story in Ventriloquist #1.

I admit, I didn’t know anything about this Ventriloquist. I knew the chubby guy with the glasses from Batman: The Animated Series, but I didn’t know this apparently telekinetic female Ventriloquist named Shauna.

Now, I want more of her.

This is everything the other Villains books should aspire to be. It’s just a taste of the character, but it’s enough to tell us who she is and how she got that way.

Simone uses Ventriloquist #1 to showcase a sick, sick woman with way too much power. She’s Hannibal with a touch of Saw ‘s Jigsaw killer and a twist of the Joker’s delusion.

And that delusion is what sets this book apart, because while many Villains books are taking the broken childhood angle, Simone doesn’t go for that straightforward approach.

Instead, she turns the gimmick on its head.

We see the Ventriloquist’s childhood, and we hear about it, but the two stories don’t line up. It’s a subtle delusion at first, but as the story unfolds, the lies get bigger.

The backstory revolves around young Shauna, her twin brother Ferdie, the circumstances surrounding his death and, soon after, Shauna’s first meeting with her ventriloquist’s doll – also named Ferdie.

It’s a creepy as hell story told while the present day Ventriloquist lures desperate Gothamites to a rundown theatre to become her unsuspecting victims.

Simone writes a convincing serial killer who tells herself stories to justify her actions.

Between the front cover and the back, Gail Simone turned a character I didn’t know about into a character I’m afraid of.

That’s doing something right.

Artist Derlis Santacruz is also doing a lot right here. The Ventriloquist is a wan, strained, wispy-looking woman under his pencil. She’s bones and skin and hair, and emaciated and deluded monster who terrorizes the soft, desperate people of Gotham.

This is how you do a Villain book.

9.5 out of 10

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