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Knight Terrors #1

It was new comic book day yesterday. What did you all like? Dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some news and reviews from around the web to start the day.

The Hollywood Reporter – ‘Superman: Legacy’ Nabs ‘Barry’ Star Anthony Carrigan as DC Hero Metamorpho – No-Ho!


Comicbook – Fallen Friend #1
Comicbook – Knight Terrors #1
CBR – Knight Terrors #1
Collected Editions – Punchline: The Trial of Alexis Kaye
Comicbook – Sirens of the City #1

Preview: Punchline: The Gotham Game #6 (of 6)

Punchline: The Gotham Game #6 (of 6)

(W) Tini Howard, Blake Howard (A) Max Raynor, Gleb Melnikov
In Shops: Mar 28, 2023
SRP: $3.99

RETURN OF THE CLOWN PRINCE! At the moment Punchline needed him the least, The Joker has returned to interfere with her war to take over as Gotham City’s queen of crime. In The Joker’s damaged and defeated state, will he help his former partner, or will he burn her the way he’s burned everyone else? The epic conclusion to the bestselling Punchline miniseries is here, and it will change the shape of Gotham’s villain world forever!

Punchline: The Gotham Game #6 (of 6)

Preview: Punchline: The Gotham Game #4 (of 6)

Punchline: The Gotham Game #4 (of 6)

(W) Blake M. Howard, Tini Howard (A) Gleb Melnikov, Max Raynor
In Shops: Jan 24, 2023
SRP: $3.99

BOYS’ CLUB! Punchline and the Royal Flush Gang’s crusade to reshape the Gotham City underworld continues with a vengeance. But Punchline is done dealing with henchmen and hired assassins…she’s going right to the top, forcing a meeting with Black Mask and his criminal hive. Will Punchline have their ear, or will they rip out her heart?! And how will Bluebird recover from the vicious defeat Punchline dealt her as she tries to help her brother?

Punchline: The Gotham Game #4 (of 6)

Preview: Punchline: The Gotham Game #3 (of 6)

Punchline: The Gotham Game #3 (of 6)

(W) Blake M. Howard, Tini Howard (A) Max Raynor, Gleb Melnikov
In Shops: Dec 27, 2022
SRP: $3.99

PUBLIC ENEMY number one! Punchline crossed a dangerous line at ACE Chemicals, and crossed Batman in the process. Now every masked vigilante and officer of the law is after Punchline, but this is exactly what she wants. What’s the point of being a public enemy if you’re not going to be public enemy number one? But the scariest person in the Gotham world isn’t the Bat…it’s the Cat. Catwoman will hunt Punchline and make her pay.

Punchline: The Gotham Game #3

Review: Punchline #1

Punchline #1

Throughout “Joker War,” Punchline to me came off as an attempt to create a new Harley Quinn. A Joker companion that wouldn’t become an anti-hero and instead could remain a villain. As the event progressed, you could tell she was a bit a schemer but as a whole, the character fell a little flat to me in her use. Punchline #1 though is exactly what I’ve been waiting for as far as the character. It’s an exploration of her descent into the world of the Joker and is a not so subtle exploration of Trump’s America.

Written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns, Punchline #1 is the character’s origin. We get to see her first crossing the path of the Joker and Batman and her journey to become Punchline. It’s an interesting issue that focuses on radicalization and the media.

With an impending trial, Punchline is doing what she can to continue the Joker’s vision, to bring “his joke” to the world. Through a series of podcasts and various characters we learn why a shy, quiet girl would seek out and become a partner to a sadistic murderer. We also get to see society’s reaction to her crimes and their manipulation to profess and cheer on her “innocence”.

The comic is an exploration of Trump’s America. An obvious criminal who has committed horrific acts on the populace and those who are not only willing to look the other way but also support and celebrate him. Punchline is a complicit enabler. She’s the Stephen Miller to the Joker’s Trump. Her mission is logical and focused and she sees her “boss” as a means to an end to achieve her goal which is intertwined with his. And much like the current administration, she uses the media to distort and manipulate the masses to achieve what she needs and wants.

That would make an interesting enough story but Tynion and Johns explore the chaos Punchline sows. We know her crimes and her guilt but she uses social media and specifically podcasting, to build support. We get to see the reaction and radicalization of her supporters as the story builds resulting in large rallies proclaiming her innocence. She’s the celebrity criminal who has duped those around her. It’s a reflection of what we see today with the claims of a rigged election and protests around the country. A group manipulated into believing a fantasy.

Punchline’s “adversary” in Dr. Leslie Thompkins also feels like it’s a stand-in and commentary on our political leadership. Thompkins could easily be the personification of opposition, easily manipulated by Punchline to achieve a goal. Thompkins is Pelosi, Schumer, and Democratic leadership to Punchline’s Trump and McConnell. A well-meaning individual who is out of their element and dealing with a force the likes of which they have never dealt with before. One who is playing a different game by completely different rules.

And again, that would make for an amazing story but there’s more. There’s also the aftermath of the “Joker War”. Already teased in the pages of Batman, those who supported Punchline and the Joker have slithered their way back into society, hiding their allegiance and complicity in the chaos and destruction. Much like the reckoning of those who have supported the abuses of the Trump administration, we are forced to question those around Punchline and where their loyalty lies. Is it with law, order, and justice, or is it with chaos?

This is the challenges we face today with those who just months ago said “f your feelings,” praised kids in cages, and supported the stripping of rights of their fellow Americans still among us. How does society treat them? Are they willing to atone for their sins? Are they the danger that lurks underneath? How can we look at our fellow citizens again and not question where their loyalty is and where they stood when it mattered?

Tynion and Johns are joined by Mirka Andolfo on art. Romulo Fajardo, Jr. provides colors with Gabriela Downie the letterer. For as solid as the writing is, the art matches the quality. It’s a fantastic looking comic with interesting use of panels. It plays off of the framing of the exploration well too. We’re forced to go back and forth between Punchline as she grows into her role and the current impending trial. Through that, we bounce around balancing the different visual aspects of the story including solid use of social media.

It’s all quite effective especially in that the visuals don’t give us an expected spiral into madness. Instead, the visuals take us along a journey of radicalization without shock. We too are asked to join in on the big picture and accept Punchline’s vision. There isn’t shock, there’s an invitation to enjoy through imagery. Like Trump, the visual is key to acceptance.

It’d have been interesting to have read Punchline #1 in the wake of a Trump re-election but that’s not reality. Instead, with President-elect Biden the reality, the comic is a clear exploration of the wake of the last four years and Trump’s America. It also teases what those four years mean for the world as Punchline, much like Trump, has sold his brand to other countries. Punchline’s “joke” is Trump’s nationalism. They’re both a cancer that threatens to engulf us, slowly killing society. Punchline #1 is one of the most intriguing comics to be released this year by the big two and shows that costumed superheroes can explore our society effectively. This is a comic that’s not to be missed.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Mirka Andolfo
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Gabriela Downie
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up (Graphix) – Why would any kid want to be an adult? This graphic novel explores the challengese of growing up.

Great Naval Battles of the Twentieth Century (Dead Reckoning) – In this collection, Jean-Yves Delitte and Giuseppe Baiguera plunge you into the heart of three of the twentieth century’s greatest naval battles: Tsushima (1905), Jutland (1916), and Midway (1942).

The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott (Avery Hill Publishing) – Billie Scott is an artist. Her debut gallery exhibition opens in a few months. Within a fortnight she’ll be completely blind. Already getting tons of praise, read our early review here.

Miskatonic #1 (AfterShock) – Miskatonic Valley holds many mysteries – cultists worshipping old gods, a doctor deadset on resurrecting the recently deceased, a house overrun by rats in the walls – but none more recent than a series of bombings targeting the Valley’s elite.

Plutocracy (NBM) – 2051. The world’s largest company, The Company, has seized power on a planetary scale and runs the world as if it were a business. In a plutocracy, the richer one is, the more powerful one is. A citizen decides to explore how the world came to this situation.

Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A new era for the Power Rangers is here and it’s a perfect opportunity to dive in and see what you’ve been missing.

Punchline #1 (DC Comics) – The hit character gets a spotlight in a not so veiled exploration of Trump’s America.

Scarenthood #1 (IDW Publishing) – With the kids away the parents away in this ghost-hunting/demonic entity fighting twist of a story.

Terminal Punks #1 (Mad Cave Studios) – Mutant animals are unleashed at an airport and four punk teens take them on.

Taskmaster #1 (Marvel) – Framed for the murder of Maria Hill, Taskmaster is on the run attempting to survive and prove his innocence.

Preview: Punchline #1

Punchline #1

Written by: Sam Johns, James Tynion IV
Art by: Mirka Andolfo

Spinning out of the pages of “The Joker War” comes the first solo book starring the blockbuster new character Punchline. As she faces the consequences for her role in “The Joker War,” the story of how Alexis Kaye became Punchline will take Leslie Thompkins, Harper Row, and Cullen Row on a harrowing journey that reveals a fringe teenager’s radicalization to the ideology of a madman. It’s a terrifying tale so big it demanded an oversize special issue!

Punchline #1

Punchline Gets a One-Shot in November

From her first appearance in the pages of Batman to her spotlight story in The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular, Punchline has quickly established herself as one of 2020’s breakout comic book characters. On November 10, the mystery behind this new character is explored further in Punchline #1, a special oversized (48-Page) one-shot.

Written by Batman scribe James Tynion IV and Sam Johns with art by Mirka Andolfo, this one-shot will also feature a main cover by Yasmine Putri, and variant cover by Frank Cho.

Facing the consequences of her role in “The Joker War,” Punchline is the story of Alexis Kaye, and how she’ll take Leslie Thompkins, Harper Row and Cullen Row on a harrowing journey that reveals her radicalization to The Joker’s ideology.

Punchline #1 arrives in open and operating comic book stores and participating digital retailers on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Punchline #1

It’s Punchline vs. Harley Quinn in Francesco Mattina’s Batman Variant Covers

Ahead of “Joker War” launching in Batman #95 on May 20, tensions are rising in Gotham City! To give readers a hint at the epic showdown in the pages of Batman #93 and 94, fan-favorite cover artist Francesco Mattina’s variant covers featuring Harley Quinn (on Batman #93) and Punchline (on Batman #94) have been revealed!

The final two chapters of “Their Dark Designs” by James Tynion IV and Guillem MarchTomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles will arrive in shops Apr 15 and May 6, and will feature a cutthroat confrontation between the Clown Princess of Crime and the Joker’s new Second-in-Command, who has already propelled sellouts and social media buzz!

Meanwhile, Batman faces off with the Designer without Alfred (R.I.P.) or Bat-Family to lean on. In these thrilling issues putting a spotlight on the chaos in the Dark Knight’s life, he stands alone against the ascendance of his greatest adversary!

“Joker War” is coming, and Gotham City will never be the same!

Francesco Mattina Batman #93 variant cover
Francesco Mattina Batman #94 variant cover

Punchline Delivers as Two DC Comics Get Reprints

With DC‘s recent reveal of the new character Punchline, fans have jumped at the chance to add Batman #89 (on sale February 19) to their pull lists to get any clues about this new villain and her connection to the Joker. And with more Punchline to come in Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3 (on sale February 26) the mayhem will only get bloodier as Punchline and the Clown Prince of Crime square off against Batman and the rest of the Bat-Family in a “Joker War” story arc beginning this May.

The debut of Punchline, the Joker’s deadly new henchperson, has led to pre-on sale sellouts of both Batman #89 and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3—and now both issues are rushing back to press for second printings!

Batman #89’s second printing is part four of “Their Dark Designs,” written by James Tynion IV with art by Carlo Pagulayan, Guillem March, and Danny Miki. This issue features an unnamed cameo appearance by Punchline, and will arrive in stores with a recolored version of its original cover by Tony S. Daniel.

Batman #89

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3’s second printing covers the confrontation between Lex Luthor and The Joker, with help from Punchline and Mercy, as the conflict between the forces of Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs reaches the boiling point. Written by Tynion IV with art by Steve Epting, this issue will arrive in stores with a recolored version of its original cover by Epting.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3

The second printings of Batman #89 and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3 will both be published on March 4. If the comics aren’t already on your pull lists, contact your local comic book shop and let them know you’re looking for these issues to be added!

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