Writer: James Tynion IV & Sam Johns
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
One of the brightest sparks in James Tynion IV’s run on Batman so far, it’s still relatively early days, was the introduction of Punchline, the new sidekick for The Joker. At first glance it looked like Punchline would be a cheap Harley Quinn imitation, but in practice she has been much more. Almost as ruthless as the Clown Prince of Crime himself, Punchline has proven a worth partner for The Joker and I was really excited to finally get a deep look into her backstory today and I’ve got to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
The book demonstrated the character’s excellent ability to manipulate anyone around her, switching from her innocent, sincere act, to her genuine sinister self in a matter of moments.
The first meeting between Punchline and The Joker wasn’t the most original idea we could have seen, but it was simple and effective. The revelation that the character, who’s real name is Alexis Kaye, had spent years studying the Joker and his motives before finally seeking him out, all the while recording a podcast of her journey, was one that caught me by surprise and furthermore proved how sinister and calculated the character is.
She didn’t join the Joker on a whim, it wasn’t a spare of the moment decision, it was something she’d been working towards for a long time, perfectly demonstrating her evil.
Throughout the story we see how Punchline manages to manipulate a large portion of Gotham’s civilians into taking her side and even protesting outside of her court session in an effort to help free her. I’m really excited to see where we go from here, but I’m pretty bummed we have to wait until 2021 to get the next chapter in what promises to be a truly enthralling story.