Batman famously has the greatest rogues gallery in pop culture, so when there’s a high-profile new addition, it’s a big deal. And fans were suitably excited to get their first glimpse of Punchline—the Joker’s new partner in chaos—in February’s Batman #89, which has already gone back for a third printing.
Punchline has inspired waves of social media buzz and reader speculation, and is set to make a major impact on “The Joker War,” which starts in Batman #95. But before that, Punchline has her most significant appearance yet in a “you knew it had to happen” face-off against Harley Quinn in Batman #92 and #93, as current story arc “Their Dark Designs” heads to its twisty climax.
As Punchline steps out of the shadows and continues to captivate Bat-fans, DC Nation talked to the character’s creators—Batman series writer James Tynion IV and artist Jorge Jimenez—for their insight on how the “anti-Harley Quinn” came to life.
James Tynion IV
“I think my favorite trope in all of super-villainy has to be the idea of the henchman. There's always something so eerie about the followers of a truly dangerous person. They raise all sorts of questions of what kind of person would go to work for a lunatic like the Joker. And my favorite character of all has always been the number two...the underboss, helping organize the henchmen and direct them for the final attack. A foil for the super-villain. The character they bounce their horrifying plans off of.
“Years ago, Harley was in that role in Joker's gang, but she's never going back. I wanted to have a character to bounce off of the Joker, and work as a foil for him in a radically different way than Harley Quinn. Why is she in this game? What is her relationship with the Joker? What does she think about Harley Quinn? We'll be answering all of that and more as the story progresses. Stay tuned!”
"As soon as I read the description, I was very clear on what I wanted to do: the anti-Harley Quinn. Could there be anything more fun? I added freckles that give personality to her face, and I have noticed that it is fashionable in makeup to place a point just below the eye, and I thought it would be super cool to add this to her cold and tenebrous look. As soon as I finished the drawing, I felt that this was just what James was looking for, and I was very happy when I found out that I was right.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it works when it comes to life in comics, cartoons…and I think I'd love to see cosplay and action figures of this!”