Now that Tom King ended his run on Batman, James Tynion IV sits at the helm of the Dark Knight’s solo series. In the past few weeks, he’s made his mark by introducing a new girlfriend for the Joker, just as his old one finally broke out from under his shadow. Preview art for Batman #92 shows that Harley Quinn will meet Punchline, the new girl, on a mission with Catwoman.
Batman will be busy, it seems, facing off with the Riddler in his hunt for the new, mysterious villain known as the Designer. Yet, always in the way, Eddie Nygma (and possibly Deathstroke) designed themselves a death trap that the World’s Greatest Detective has to figure his way out of.
Enter Punchline (and Who Is She, Anyway?)
Catwoman and Harley Quinn are seemingly confronted by Punchline, complete with two Joker goons at her back. Punchline is not just another Harley, since the entire history of Harley Quinn seems aimed at turning her into a hero. (Just like Catwoman.) Punchline is a sadistic killer, and she is also the strong, silent type. Effectively, she’s more of a mirror image to the Joker, in that she is also “a Joker.”
As Tynion wrote to artist Jorge Jiminez, via his newsletter:
“And she is Harley Quinn’s polar opposite. She is Joker’s #2… A silent, terrifying serial killer, sexy as hell. All of his henchmen are terrified of her and they should be. Imagine Joker being Joker and torturing a hostage, and then he gets tired and sighs, handing the scalpel to Punchline, who slits their throat.
“We don’t want her to just be anti-Harley Quinn, and we don’t just want her to be female joker. We don’t want to evoke The Batman Who Laughs or the Dark Multiverse with somebody who looks like she steps out of Hellraiser.
“Like in…Archie Comics where The Joker is Archie, and Harley Quinn is Betty, then Punchline is Veronica. If Harley is the Angel on The Joker’s shoulder, Punchline should be the devil.”
So, while Tynion’s words are not shown in the previews, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s going on. Honestly, it’s not that hard to guess what will happen when Harley Quin Will Meet Punchline, even without the art. Catwoman and Harley Quinn meet Punchline, and Harley doesn’t seem to grasp who she is. Catwoman, feeling awkward, tells her that she’s the Joker’s new girlfriend.
Harley and Punchline size each other up, and the latter character offers that sadistic smile. Then, Harley and she square off. Harley swings her hammer, and Punchline has a pair of knives.
Batman #92 will be written by Tynion with art from Guillem March and Tomeu Morey (featuring covers by Yasmin Putri and Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau). It hits comics stores on April 1st.
What do you think? Share your reactions in the comments below.
All images via DC
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.