In Punchline, DC hopes to have a breakout villain with some staying power à la Harley Quinn, and the new character introduced in Batman #86 continues her journey in her first solo special.
The 48-page one-shot by writers James Tynion IV and Sam Johns with art by Mirka Andolfo and a cover by Yasmine Putri spinning out of Tynion's 'The Joker War' goes on sale November 10. It tells the story about how a seemingly average but fringe college student Alexis Kaye is radicalized by Clown Prince of Crime and pulls in Leslie Thompkins and Harper and Cullen Row along the way.
DC says the special provides "glimpses of her terrifying past while also setting up her next chapter."
"Did you know that her first interaction with the Joker was as one of his victims?" the publisher asks. "Nothing says romance like being held hostage, right? Look, we're not going to judge Punchline (and we certainly don't want to make her angry), but it's clear after reading this first look at the comic that her history with the Clown Prince of Crime is far more complicated than we realized. Could she truly have been a victim of the Joker all this time?"
Either way, DC's intentions are pretty clear. Tynion is on record saying advance orders for the one-shot are "absolutely staggering" and that DC has "big, big plans for her in 2021…"
Newsarama wonders aloud if Tynion could be referring to a Punchline solo series - perhaps the project Tynion said he and Batman artist Guillem March (who drew the Punchline story in Batman #100) are working on?
Either way, check out the preview of Punchline #1 below.