DC will launch a new monthly The Joker ongoing series in March, giving the publisher's new post-Future State line-up a jolt of the unexpected and perhaps some insight on the question of 'who is the second most popular character in comic books?'
Batman's James Tynion IV is the series' writer and he'll be joined by artist Guillem March, and we now know this is the second Batman-family title Tynion (who will remain on Batman with Jorge Jiménez) he's been teasing.
The Joker, who was the centerpiece of the big 2020 Batman crossover 'The Joker War,' the star of 2020's Black Label series Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns and is the inspiration for Dark Nights: Death Metal's The Batman Who Laughs/Darkest Knight, is arguably one of the most bankable comic book characters this side of his nemesis Batman at the moment.
And while a comic book villain being the star of an ongoing series is relatively unusual, this will actually be the second 'ongoing' series starring the Joker. He headlined his own title for nine issues in 1975-'76.
"After an unthinkable attack on Gotham City, the Clown Prince of Crime has become the most wanted man in the world!" reads DC's description of the new series. "The Joker is doing his best to stay several steps ahead of law enforcement overseas, but Jim Gordon, facing retirement, realizes this is the last manhunt of his life and vows to track down Gotham’s worst nemesis, completing his storied career.
"But there are some mysterious and deadly forces that are also on the hunt for the Joker, and they’re not going to let Gordon slow them down or get in the way."
Tynion says when he was approached by DC about the concept of an ongoing series spotlighting the Joker, he wondered, "What would that book even look like?"
Guess he figured it out because he adds, "I'm excited to share this story in a way that honors everything that a series about the Joker can be while coming at it from an exciting, unexpected angle."
Tynion will also be working with co-writer Sam Johns and artist Mirka Andolfo on expanding the Punchline story they began in November as a back-up feature in this new ongoing Joker series, a seeming trend worth watching at DC.
"'The Joker War' was only the beginning of the terror and mayhem we’re creating!" says Tynion.
"Alexis Kaye, a.k.a. Punchline becomes the newest resident of Blackgate Penitentiary, while on the outside Harper Row resumes her role as Bluebird to prevent her brother from falling under the influence of Punchline and her beguiling brand of anarchy and chaos," reads the description.
The $4.99 series debuts Tuesday, March 9 with a main cover art by Guillem March, and variant covers by Frank Quitely, Francesco Mattina, Riccardo Federici, and Mark Brooks.
Now’s as good a time as any to check out Newsarama’s countdown of the best Joker stories of all time.