Fans who’ve been looking forward to more information about the newest sidekick for The Joker, Punchline, can finally rest easy. DC Comics has released previews of three of the stories from the clown prince of crime’s upcoming 80th anniversary special, including the story outlining Punchline’s mysterious origin. The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is set for release on June 9th, 2020. That’s a Tuesday, not Wednesday, as per what appears to be DC’s new release plan for the time being. Much like other recent DC anniversary anthologies for icons like Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin and The Flash, the Joker celebration promises an all-star lineup of creators for short stories, pin-ups, and an array of decade-specific variant covers by all-star artists including Art Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Jock, among others.
The most notable preview here is for “WHAT COMES AT THE END OF A JOKE?” Written by current Batman scribe James Tynion IV with art by Mikel Janin and Jordie Bellaire, the story presents readers’ first look at the origin of recent breakout character Punchline. After several cameos, delayed issues due to a global pandemic, and a lot of anticipation, we’ll finally see how she got those scars (does she have scars? I don’t think she has scars).
The other previewed stories include “BIRTHDAY BUGS,” by writer Tom Taylor (DCeased; Injustice) and artist Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets; Dark Night: A True Batman Story). “The Joker turns birthday clown” sounds like the perfect set-up for the kind of creepy, darkly-funny tale Joker fans will eat up. It doesn’t look like Punchline is in that story, though.
The same goes for “KILL THE BATMAN,” written by screenwriter Gary Whitta and podcaster Greg Miller, with art by Dan Mora (Klaus; Once and Future). It looks to be an Elseworlds tale of sorts, with the Joker underwhelmed by the deaths of Batman and other DC heroes. This one also appears to lack Punchline, so your mileage may vary.
Those are far from the only stories to look forward to for the Joker’s 80th Anniversary. DC also promises “stories from fan-favorite creators such as Scott Snyder and Jock (The Batman Who Laughs, Batman: The Black Mirror), Denny O’Neil (Batman) and José Luís Garcia-López, Paul Dini, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo (Joker), Tony S. Daniel (Batman) and more.”
Read on for the full press release that accompanied the preview, and look for Punchline…er, The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 in stores on June 9th.:
The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
On June 9, some of the most talented names in comic books will gather together to pay tribute to the Clown Prince of Crime in a special 100-page must-have collector’s item. And DC wants to give you a first look at some of the stories that will make up this landmark issue.
“WHAT COMES AT THE END OF A JOKE?”
Spinning out of the pages of his best-selling run on Batman, series writer James Tynion IV tells the origin story of the sensational new character Punchline! With stellar art from the acclaimed art team of Mikel Janín and Jordie Bellaire.
The Joker turns birthday clown in this tale by Tom Taylor and Eduardo Risso. When The Joker goes to the home of an accomplice that did him wrong, he finds the man’s young son sitting alone picking apart bugs on his stoop. The boy assumes that the Joker is the clown for his birthday party and tells him that no one is coming. The Joker finds this unacceptable and goes around the neighborhood, “convincing” families to attend the birthday party and make it the best day he’s ever had. As for the boy’s father, he’s in for the worst moment of his life!
“KILL THE BATMAN”
In a story set in a not-so-distant future the Joker has finally made his dream come true of killing the Batman and we see the all the DC universe in mourning. But this act doesn’t provide the catharsis the Joker thought it would…he needs an encore…something at Batman’s public memorial perhaps? Written by acclaimed screenwriter Gary Whitta, popular writer/podcaster Greg Miller and rising star comic artist Dan Mora.
This is a must-have one-shot for any fan of The Joker; this 100-page tribute also includes stories from fan-favorite creators such as Scott Snyder and JOCK (The Batman Who Laughs, Batman: The Black Mirror), Denny O’Neil (Batman) and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Paul Dini, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo (Joker), Tony S. Daniel (Batman) and more. The comic book also features a gallery of covers spotlighting key moments in The Joker’s history, along with a gallery of tribute from renowned comic artists such as Kelley Jones, Ivan Reis, Fiona Staples, John Romita Jr. and others. For the ultimate collector, eight variant covers will be available (check stores for details) celebrating eighty years of the Harlequin of Hate.
The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular will be available in open and operating comic book stores and participating digital platforms on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 for $9.99. To find the nearest open and operating store near you, check out DC’s Comic Shop Tracker at www.dccomics.com/comicshoptracker.