She is one of the most popular and coolest characters to appear in the comics industry in the last year, and this is none other than the Joker’s new partner, Alexis, aka Punchline. As one of the most powerful supervillainesses in the DC universe, she has quickly become a fan favorite for readers of all ages.
But who exactly is Punchline? What are her origins and why does she have such an influence over the DC multiverse? Let’s take a look at Punchline’s history and reveal how she became one of DC’s most notorious villains. We’ll also delve into her motivations, her powers, and her relationships with some of the most iconic superheroes in comic book history. So buckle up and join us as we explore the fascinating story behind Punchline from DC Comics.
Punchline First Appearance
Punchline first appeared in DC’s Batman 89 in February 2020, she was created by James Tynion IV. She appeared in this comic in only two panels. In one she observes Harley Quinn and Catwoman attacking two hired killers when she says about Harley, “She isn’t that tough.” And if Harley isn’t a badass, I don’t know who is…
Punchline also appears at the end of the comic when she calls the Joker and tells him that they saw someone in the grave who looks like the Joker, but they are investigating a different direction. And Joker tells her not to worry, while he’s standing next to a board with all the secret identities of the Bat-family. Because Punchline makes a very brief appearance in issue 89, people don’t consider it her first appearance.
Many consider her first appearance in Year Of The Villain: Hell Arisen #3. While the almighty Lex Luthor arrives at the Joker’s hideout along with his assistant Marcy Grave, Punchline kidnaps the assistant, and Joker tries to eliminate Luthor because he didn’t eliminate Batman Who Laughs. Basically, Joker officially introduces Punchline as his new girlfriend and declares her to be the funniest girl he’s ever met in his life.
Punchline is pretty much everything Harley Quinn isn’t
So not only is Punchlune tougher than Harley Quinn, but she’s also funnier than her, which raises the question of whether she’s his lover or just a partner in crime.
We get the answer in “Batman #92” Harley asks Catwoman who is this Joker fan? And Catwoman tells her that Punchline is his new girlfriend. Punchline makes it clear “I’m his partner”.
Harley and Punchline finally face off, and she tells Harley why she hates her. According to Punchline, Harley always tried to fix the Joker and didn’t allow his madness to come out, and she is the one who will release the real Joker into the world.
Punchline comes out with the upper hand and slaughters Harley while saying to her “What, don’t you have something funny to say with all the blood in your throat?” Talk about badass! and she throws her body into the sewer. So who is more dangerous? Yeah, I’d say Punchline.
Joker never had a Harley Quinn replacement, and Punchline is pretty much everything Harley Quinn isn’t. While Harley is funny, masochistic and the angel on the Joker’s shoulder, Punchline is the complete opposite, serious, and sadistic, and doesn’t try to fix the Joker but appreciates him as a partner in madness.
The differences between Punchline and Harley Quinn
I’d h say they are almost completely different characters. Punchline is her own person and not under the direct control of the Joker. Unlike Harley Quinn, who was originally depicted as the Joker’s loyal accomplice and lover, Punchline is a young, up-and-coming villain who idolizes the Joker and aims to follow in his footsteps.
While she may be influenced by the Joker’s ideology, she is motivated by her own desires and ambitions, rather than being controlled by him. In this sense, Punchline is more independent and self-motivated, as opposed to Harley Quinn, who was originally portrayed as being dependent on the Joker.
Harley Quinn was originally a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who fell in love with the Joker, while Punchline is a young, up-and-coming villain who idolizes the Joker. Harley Quinn is known for her chaotic, impulsive, and flirtatious personality, while Punchline is a dangerous new villain who represents the next generation of evil in the DC Universe.
She is ruthless, and cunning, and has the potential to be one of the most dangerous villains Batman has ever faced. Harley Quinn is trained in gymnastics and is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, while Punchline is depicted as more intelligent and resourceful, relying on her wit and mastery of psychology to achieve her goals.
Punchline’s Origin Story
What is her story you ask? In The Joker 80th Anniversary issue there is one story called “What comes after a Joke” where we get Punchline’s origin story.
The story begins at Snyder college, fun fact about the College’s name, it was named after the writer Scott Snyder who was the mentor of James Tynion IV and he was the one who introduced him to DC.
It’s a special day at the college, and the students dress up as their favorite superheroes. While everyone is dressing up as Green Hornet or the Flash, a chemistry student named Alexi Kayne decides to dress up as the Joker.
The dean tries to understand why she choose a villain to admire, and he wants her to know that her roommate Sara, is deeply hurt because her brother’s friends died from the Joker’s gas attack. The dean tells her that he came to her as a friend, and Alexis tells him that he did not come as a friend, he came because he is afraid that she believes that Joker is a character who has come to change the world.
She tells him that he doesn’t want to be the dean who revokes her right to speak and that he actually came to stop her to practice her free will. The Dean starts laughing hysterically, he doesn’t understand why, and then Alexis reveals that she used the Joker’s laughing gas. And she assures him that she will use his body so Sarah won’t forget what he looks like. Yep, this is one twisted villain.
At this point Punchline explains her world view, she explains to him that it is because of mothers, fathers, because of the Internet, and of everything. All the people in the world say “It’s fine to be who you are, but what if not everyone wants to be good people?” She declares that the old world is crumbling, and she wants to live in the new world, this world is a joke and she is his punchline.
In fact, Punchline passed Joker’s test and promises her that from now on there will be lots of laughs. So not only is Punchline tougher than Harley, but she also has “ideals” and that’s what makes her character so interesting.
Punchline, being a fictional character in the DC Comics universe, does not have any inherent supernatural powers. She is depicted as a highly intelligent and resourceful criminal mastermind who uses her wit, charisma, and mastery of psychology to manipulate her enemies and carry out her schemes. She is also an expert in hand-to-hand combat and weapons, having trained herself to become a formidable physical opponent. In essence, her “powers” lie in her intellect, cunning, and determination.