Written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, and illustrated by Norm Breyfogle, Fever is a two-part story about a designer drug. Originally published in 1988 in issues #583 & #584 of Detective Comics, the story marks the first appearance of Scarface and The Ventriloquist – one of the creepiest pairings in Batman mythology – and centres around the Dark Knight’s attempts to get the deadly drug off the streets of Gotham.
What happens in Batman: Fever?
Part One: Fever
A new drug called Fever has hit Gotham City. Those who use Fever become wild, crazed miscreants and even murderers.
Horrified by the drug’s potency, as well as its prevalence in Gotham, Batman heads to the source. But little does the Caped Crusader know that a ventriloquist’s dummy, calling himself Scarface, is responsible for the city’s latest problem.
Part Two: Fever Break
The Dark Knight crosses paths with The Ventriloquist and Scarface – am unusual pairing that are more deadly than they seem. Using the encounter to his advantage, Batman bugs Scarface with a listening device, so he can keep tabs on The Ventriloquist.
Keeping track of his foe(s), Batman is able to interrupt Scarface’s operation, but his victory comes at a price. The Caped Crusader is exposed to Fever, sending him on a horrifying trip.
Is Batman: Fever worth reading?
The Ventriloquist and Scarface make for a deadly combination. One is a straight-laced, seemingly mild mannered middle-aged man, while the other is a murderous doll.
In reality, they are one and the same. The Ventriloquist operates Scarface, giving him life and a personality separate from his own.
And what a personality. It is clear from this story, that The Ventriloquist/Scarface is/are a force to be reckoned with and a deadly adversary to the Dark Knight.
In Fever, John Wagner and Alan Grant write a psychologically fascinating duo, while Norm Breyfogle’s illustrations really bring this bizarre creation to life. Breyfogle was a master when he came to crazy, creepy characters and The Ventriloquist/Scarface combination is easily one of his best designs.
The Ventriloquist and Scarface are two of my favourite villains and their first comic book appearance makes for a solid tale. Fever isn’t a complex Batman story, but it sure is a memorable one, that reads well and looks great.
Has Batman: Fever been adapted for film?
Fever has not been adapted for film, but an element of the story did get incorporated into the Batman: The Animated Series episode, Read My Lips. If you have never watched Read My Lips you should check it out – it is a superb episode.
As for movies in general, to date, The Ventriloquist and Scarface have not appeared in a Batman movie. I am hopeful that one day it will happen as I would love to see them on the big screen.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post on I’ll Get Drive-Thru. For more Batman related posts, please check out one of the recommended reads below.