DC Comics looks like they’re in the process of turning Harley Quinn into a hero (or at least, antihero), especially given rising profile thanks to movies like Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey. Given her rising stardom, she’s left her toxic relationship with the Joker to become her own woman (and even set off on new relationships, like the one she’s had with Poison Ivy).
Until recently, Punchline has only made several small appearances but to hugely positive fan reaction. Given that response, DC Comics has finally revealed her origin in the Joker 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular, in a story called “What Comes at the End of a Joke.”
Check it out:
The story shows Alexis speaking with the dean of Snyder College (named after Scott Snyder, geddit?) about why she chose to dress like the Joker on “Dress Like Your Hero Day.” He describes her actions as provocative, especially since the Joker recently killed several people with a laughing gas attack. Alexis is unfazed and defends her freedom of expression. The dean suddenly starts laughing uncontrollably and it is here that Alexis reveals she’s made her own version of the Joker’s toxin, which she’s tested on homeless people. She then tells the dying dean that “we grew up with all of you whispering in our ears we could be anything we wanted. But you never realized the downside to all of that… some of us don’t want to be good guys,” before changing into Punchline.
The murder turns out to be a test by the Joker, who was hiding in the closet the entire time, to see if she was truly ready and serious about being his new partner. Impressed with what he’s just seen, he tells her, “What comes next is going to be funny.”
This prelude leads into Batman #95 and the start of the Joker War. We can’t wait for what comes next!