Is Harley Quinn getting a rematch with Punchline, and if so, does this mean she survived her fight with Joker’s newest fling?
It looks like fans won’t have to wait long to see Harley Quinn square off against Punchline, as newly-released artwork from Ian MacDonald shows Joker’s ex Harley facing off with his current beau Punchline in a variant cover for issue #75. This is the final issue, so all bets are off, but so far the odds are against Quinn.
Punchline first appeared in Batman #89 in April 2020. Like Harley before her, Punchline started out as a regular woman – a college student named Alexis – whose infatuation with the Joker led her to become his criminal associate. With the Joker War heating up, Punchline ran afoul of Catwoman and Harley, but in their first confrontation, succeeded in apparently killing them both, with Harley having her throat cut before being tossed into the sewers.
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Still, Catwoman and Harley Quinn are among the most iconic of Batman’s allies, and it seems unlikely either of them is permanently down for the count, especially if the covers are any indication (which they may or may not be). Case in point, Ian MacDonald’s newly-released variant seems to indicate the two are about to square off once again, with MacDonald showing off the finished product on Instagram. MacDonald says he was inspired by video versus screens, and the influence is clear on the cover, which shows both characters paired up against one another. Harley has a neon blue aura, while Punchline is set against a magenta backdrop that compliments her purple costume. All the while the Joker’s toothy grin hangs ominously in the background.
It will be interesting to see what exactly transpires in this final issue. Has Harley somehow survived Punchline’s assault, and if that’s the case, is Punchline coming to finish the job? While Punchline’s attack was ruthlessly effective, it seems a bit premature since Quinn’s body has yet to be found. Having Punchline tear through two of Batman’s most recognizable allies certainly makes sense, as it establishes her as a true threat, but on the other hand, it feels a bit too early for Harley to have a definitive rematch with Punchline. Then again, Quinn will definitely be throwing down with not only Punchline but also her devious ex the Joker . . . if she survives at all. Regardless, Harley’s final issue definitely seems to be setting up a major conflict for the character. Time will tell if this is Harley Quinn’s swan song – or the start of something completely new for the character.
Harley Quinn #75, written by Sam Humphries with art by Nicola Scott, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ramon Villalobos, Joe Quinones, Riley Rossmo, and Ngozi Ukazu, Ian MacDonald Guillem March and Frank Cho, goes on sale August 4th.
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