Punchline: The Gotham Game picks up directly from the character’s previous appearances featuring in The Joker back-ups since last year. I’m happy Tynion got to somewhat develop his creation before handing her over to new creative team Tini and Blake Howard, Gleb Melnikov, Luis Guerrero, and Becca Carey. Building her a base over some time rather than one giant annual gives us more to digest and dig into.
We start off learning Punchline has been dropped of all charges and accusations of working with The Joker. I’ll admit there is some excitement brewing within discovering Punchline is manipulating the admiration of the general public so smoothly. I’m really hoping this run satisfies the deep itch for this character to become exciting and big. I’ve been following the drips and the drabs throughout the months and I’m eager to discover more about her.
I’m relieved she is out of prison and back on the streets of Gotham. I feel with her character being so new, she should be out in the world making her statement and not confined to a limited area. Prison was good for understanding how she thinks and reacts to her surroundings, but didn’t really give us a feel for what she’s like interacting with a larger roster of our favorite main characters. However, it’s all a part of the plan to pass the public into her favor. Do the time and gain trust. Simple.
Straight from the start, the art popped out at me. I’ve said before it really helps a story when the art stimulates you. Comic book characters, in my opinion, should look shiny and loud. Melnikov draws with precision. I despise when art is rushed, and not enough detail goes into the characters. Guerrero’s colors feel like something from the Cyberpunk 2077 game. Super vibrant and complimentary against one another. I don’t know about you, but I pay more attention when comic villains are magnetizing, and the art certainly does that for me in Punchline The Gotham Game. It just helps when the book looks good.
The King and Queen of the Royal Flush Gang made a return, which is something I am looking forward to seeing more of. I enjoy the element of experienced characters mixing with brand new. Perhaps they can bring some familiarity into the story and submerge Punchline into the universe which creates more of a connection with characters who have been there much longer. I do hope we see Punchline build her own supporting cast and not fall into the “sidekick” category. I feel she has a lot of potential to grow and add her own story across Gotham.
Tini Howard writing Catwoman, Punchline, and Harley Quinn has me speculating we will be getting numerous crossovers. We’ve already seen the Catwoman Vs. Punchline cover for #49 of Catwoman – which looks amazing, by the way. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to resist crossing over all of the characters I was writing. Not to forget, these three characters fought during The Joker War. I am keen on this idea. It seems like a good opportunity for both the creative teams and characters. It also makes for good plot lines while also expanding the universe. Placing more authentic relationships among old and new characters alike.
I’m definitely going to keep my eye on the series as it comes to full fruition, and of course, I’d never pass up an opportunity to read a crossover event. As I said, I’m hopeful and anxious for this run to bring out much more intricate and entertaining traits within the character and her surroundings. I’m curious to see if she becomes a staple point within this comic era, and I’m eager to see what Tini Howard and her teams do next.