Punchline #1 View Preview
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Punchline #1

Writer: Sam Johns, James Tynion IV Artist: Mirka Andolfo Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: November 11, 2020 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 23 User Reviews: 33
7.1Critic Rating
6.5User Rating

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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!

  • 10
    Graphic Policy - Brett Nov 10, 2020

    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. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    You Don't Read Comics - Russ Bickerstaff Nov 11, 2020

    Tynion IV, Johns, and company do an impressive job of updating aspects of the hero/villain exploration of life in the amplified world of Gotham City. So much of the Batman/Joker dynamic has been pummeled to death. It's nice to see a fresh perspective on it. Between this and the work that Cecil Castellucci has done with Batgirl, there seems to be some refreshing life in a city that's been around since Bill Finger flipped through a New York City phone book and picked out a name for it back at the dawn of the 1940s.  Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Nov 10, 2020

    She might have started as a product of hype, but this issue indicates that she could wind up being the most important new Bat-villain in years"and that may be Tynion's legacy on this title. Read Full Review

  • 9.3
    The Super Powered Fancast - Deron Generally Nov 10, 2020

    As well done as the story is, the art from Mirka Andolfo is exactly what was needed to draw me in as a reader. Andolfo's style is amazing and the details as well as facial expressions and attention to character are visually engaging. This was a great looking issue from start to finish. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    But Why Tho? - Charles Hartford Nov 10, 2020

    When all is said and done I am thoroughly impressed with what Punchline #1delivers. It provides a deep, dark look into a woman who has become obsessed with madness. It is at times uncomfortable, and at times disturbing. Perhaps mostly due to how easily people see tears and allow them to wash away what Punchline had a hand in doing. And how I cant shake the feeling their would be a lot of people that really could be manipulated so willingly. But, horror always hits best when it touches real life. And there is definitely a feeling of horror to be found here. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Black Nerd Problems - Morgan Hampton Nov 11, 2020

    Punchline #1 gives Gotham's newest villain the spotlight in a series that promises to have as many twists and turns as it does "WTF" moments. If you like podcasts, this one is for you. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Comic Watch - Tyson Yurai Nov 10, 2020

    Punchline #1 does a lot right with trying to endear a new villain to us and I like the idea of her. She has every potential to be as terrifying as Joker is, but on a broader scale than Gotham City if she wanted, but her obsession with the Clown Prince of Crime hampers what could be a breakout role for herself. Tying her identity so close to such a prominent villain has a chance to overshadow her bright future, but James Tynion IV and whoever his team going forward with her will be has a chance to create a lasting character in Punchline. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    DC Comics News - Jay Nov 16, 2020

    Tynion has fleshed out what will grow to become a strong presence in the DC Universe. Punchline's manipulation of both the system and the public proves that she can step out of the shadow of The Joker if she chooses. And based on her revelation to Leslie, that's what she fully intends on doing. The personal consequences her movement inflicts upon Bluebird's family will perhaps make a nemesis out of her moreso than Batman. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    AIPT - Christopher Franey Nov 10, 2020

    Punchline #1 is a good setup issue that dives into Punchline's origins and motivations, but still enough to question her mentality. I appreciate the commentary she brings and how divisive she can be. Plus, getting to see Harper Row again is very exciting. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Comic Book Revolution - Kevin Lainez Nov 13, 2020

    James Tynion, Sam Johns, and Mirka Andolfo deliver on all the potential that Punchline #1 had and more. The story not only provides us with the full origin of Punchline but also showcasing how she is a villain as dangers as Joker. In addition, this one-shot further sets the stage for where the Batman franchise will be when March 2021 rolls around. For Batman fans this is definitely a must-buy as we get more into where Gotham City is in the post-Joker War world. Read Full Review

  • 7.3
    Sequential Planet - Hunter Sandlin Nov 18, 2020

    This issue gave us more about this new and exciting character in a fun and unique way. Anyone interested in the current Batman run should pick it up. Read Full Review

  • 7.3
    The Comicbook Dispatch - Dispatchdcu Nov 11, 2020

    Even though Tynion's job within this issue was to show just how far off the reservation Punchline has become, this issue fails to hit the mark with the overdone dialogue, excessive narration, and unneeded conversations that became a grudge. Read Full Review

  • 7.2
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - Jose "Jody" Cardona Nov 13, 2020

    Punchline's one-off story provides background for the character with great art but misses a great opportunity to tackle a societal topic. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Weird Science - Eric Shea Nov 10, 2020

    While I found the story compelling, I wish it were a bit more exciting in its execution because the way it came off, even with the things that I enjoyed, is that it was a bit over-written, and reading excessive narration boxes throughout a book is a bit of a slog. Even with that though, I did enjoy this issue and loved the art in this book and look forward to diving in deeper with Punchline. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Crusaders - Johnny "The Machine" Hughes Nov 12, 2020

    I am totally on the fence with this book. Whilst there are parts I like, there are more parts that I am uncertain about. I am also not particularly fond of DC's recent move to not supply an actual ending to this over sized issues, rather preferring to sow the seeds for next year. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    The Batman Universe - Ian Miller Nov 11, 2020

    Solid art and evocative writing lift this meandering prologue into an entertaining territory, but still leave the reader hungry for plot. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Nov 10, 2020

    Punchline is on the verge of becoming an overexposed character and its best if a few months before her next appearance. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Dark Knight News - Steve J Ray Nov 10, 2020

    Let's hope that whatever 2021 brings for the character delivers more than her premiere issue did, because as of right now, I hope the Gotham judiciary system finds her guilty and fries her. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Forces Of Geek - Lenny Schwartz Nov 11, 2020

    Point is, you can't copy a proven success. Punchline has no magic. I wish it did. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Batman-News - Joshua McDonald Nov 11, 2020

    Punchline is definitely a James Tynion book. By that, I mean that it is a misguided, overwritten mess that continues to yell to readers that "Punchline is awesome," but we still haven't gotten anything to really support that argument. Alexis' origin as Punchline doesn't really hold-up, and the inclusion of Harper, Cullen, and Leslie Thompkins is" odd. I wanted to like this, and the premise itself is solid enough, but the execution leaves so much to be desired. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon Nov 11, 2020

    Punchline Special #1 may not be the origin story that readers expected but it's probably not one they'll be dying to see expanded on either. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Major Spoilers - Matthew Peterson Nov 12, 2020

    Punchline's back story is horrifying, even in the context of Gotham City's caravan of horrors, but there's something that feels forced about the whole thing. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    ComicBook.com - Spencer Perry Nov 12, 2020

    That its entire lead-in is buried in this one-shot that fails to justify itself is (as yet another Joker-got-away storyline) a massive headache. Read Full Review

  • 5.5
    Nihilist Nov 10, 2020

    For all this hype regarding the titular character and her own solo book, her origin story is basically a simple tale of an edgy girl who started to watch PragerU and Breitbart, to inevitably lose her sanity. It's straight forward and simple, and alone wouldn't be a problem, but what makes this book fail to accomplish what tries to, is its lack of any actual story. I mean, yeah, okay, Punchline's genuine origin is revealed, but does it mean anthing in the larger scale, does it push the arc in any particular direction? I don't think so. Everything we've learned about her is just background - overall not bad, but ultimately pretty meaningless, since it doesn't flesh out anything established so far. It's just an extra layer worth of content you more

    + LikeComments (1)
  • 5.0
    Hellblazer Nov 10, 2020

    PUNCHLINE is basically a teenage version of Harley Quinn(a tab crazier though) who idolise anarchy. The good part of the story was definitely her blogs which gave a comprehensible insight on how she became enamoured with the Joker and above-all, that part of characterisation came in the first issue itself. However that was it as the story did not really got me interested. We could even find that they copied ideas from THE JOKER movie and simply replaced Arthur Fleck's character with Punchline especially at the part where she narrates how her voice reached the world to tell the joke, how society could not get the joke and also the clown mask. In the end, PUNCHLINE just seems to be another useless series from DC and a pale teenage boring ver more

  • 6.0
    Spacey Medicine Nov 15, 2020

    Honestly this was better than I expected, but I didn’t fully believe the story being told here.

  • 5.5
    Batfan Nov 10, 2020

    This wasn’t as bad as what I thought it would be, but it still hasn’t convinced me Punchline is a character I want to read about anymore, even with all the pushing DC will be doing next year. I won’t be reading anything to do with the character and appreciate this comic for depicting her as she actually is.

    I recommend this to anyone who wants to get to know what the character’s about, she is not as cold or sadistic as DC made her out to be, rather she is someone who acts on emotion, kills mostly for the joker’s sake and has brainwashed herself into believing the joker is a figure who can show the world how corrupt it is, with her help.

    The back and forth of the past and present was ok, sometimes punchline’ more

  • 5.0
    YourGreenMuse Nov 12, 2020

    I guess this idea that people are being radicalized to fringe ideologies is something that writers are going to be pumping out in the shadow of things like Trump, the alt-right, and... Pffft, Tankies, I guess. It's an interesting idea, and I think one that has potential, but this iteration of it isn't very interesting. I don't think it even captures the important aspects of how someone becomes indoctrinated. It's just the barest form of that, which I guess is realistic enough for the DC universe. Using the Joker as an analogous figure doesn't really work. You need someone who actually has a personality that people would latch onto. Joker isn't that. I don't know anything about Harper Row and her brother, but I have a friend who liked them b more

  • 10
    NerdettesNewsStand Nov 11, 2020


  • 10
    cincyfan Nov 11, 2020

    This was a fantastic book! It tells us more about punchline and her thought process. I am so intrigued by punchline I think she is on track to being one of the great villains in the bay books and has potential to go many different directions in the future all of which has potential to be great! Tynion is a fantastic writer one of my absolute favorite and he has created a fantastic new character!

  • 10
    c.oliv Nov 13, 2020


  • 8.0
    M1sf1r3 Nov 10, 2020

    Well apparently DC decided to give us a Punchline one-shot for some reason with way too many variant covers. Makes me wonder which character is going to be thrusted onto us readers more? The Batman Who Laughs or Punchline. Anyway, let's get this over with.

    The Good:
    It's been a good while since we've seen Bluebird, feels good to have her back and looking to have more focus in 2021.

    I do like the podcast history and how Punchline's story started and continued.

    It's a very interesting direction for her character.

    The Bad:
    However, it's a very basic origin that really could've been guessed without this one-shot.

    Not a big fan of Harper and Cullen arguing with each o more

  • 7.5
    EDiakota Nov 18, 2020

    NO ! No, dammit ! You're suppose to be laughing ! I said start laughing ! "

  • 6.0
    雨人点雪 Nov 14, 2020

    It's a little more entertaining than the boring Joker War, but not much convincing

  • 1.0
    fenixalasnegras Nov 16, 2020

    A very common, simple story that I would accept if DC weren't canceling so many numbers to give rise to unattractive themes and characters and Puncheline is a very simple character.

  • 9.0
    Justin Ray Nov 13, 2020

  • 8.5
    Rauld Nov 12, 2020

  • 8.0
    Gorr Nov 11, 2020

  • 8.0
    KFuqua Nov 13, 2020

  • 8.0
    BitchWitcher Nov 13, 2020

  • 7.5
    tonpas1989 Nov 10, 2020

  • 7.5
    Duke of Krakoa Nov 11, 2020

  • 7.5
    Wolf Warner Nov 14, 2020

  • 7.5
    DoorMan Nov 29, 2020

  • 7.0
    Josecab79 Nov 10, 2020

  • 7.0
    Watchtower022 Nov 14, 2020

  • 7.0
    Jason The Dude Nov 16, 2020

  • 7.0
    Bananaknight Nov 17, 2020

  • 7.0
    Ellenkh Nov 21, 2020

  • 6.5
    ActionCity Nov 13, 2020

  • 6.0
    Magik Nov 11, 2020

  • 4.5
    Silver Rocket Nov 10, 2020

  • 4.5
    haniballecto Nov 23, 2020

  • 3.0
    Bat-ears99 Nov 11, 2020

  • 3.0
    neilbreen Nov 15, 2020

  • 1.0
    Bruno Mael Nov 17, 2020

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