Dear Diary: This week I read the words “big tiddy goth girlfriend” in a Batman comic and I could not have been more delighted. It was in Punchline #1, a one-shot focused on the further adventures of the Joker’s new anti-Harley Quinn, Punchline.
We knew she was a media-savvy former campus troll, but now that she’s behind bars and awaiting trial, Alexis Kaye is using her online presence to remake her image as a sad, innocent young woman in a big sweater who was manipulated by the Joker into believing that all the murder and torture she was doing was in the service of delivering an anti-status-quo message.
And the play for sympathy is working, as we see in a single extremely memorable panel of in-game chat from fictional team shooter Called to Honor. I ran this image by my gaming colleagues and they concurred. The keysmash. The “crush my head with her thighs.” The use of “big tiddy goth girlfriend.” This is the most accurate fake game-chat in a superhero comic. Maybe in any fiction.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
As Punchline’s new public image is catching on, it’s clear that her goal isn’t necessarily to reduce her sentence or walk free. Every view of her videos or listen of her old true-crime Joker podcast exposes more people to the idea that the Joker is a guy with a “message” about how ineffective or corrupt Gotham’s institutions are — including Batman. Coming at a moment when Gothamites are reasonably upset with the city’s status quo it’s even whipped up a supportive protest outsider her court. In a lot of ways, it feels like a shot across the bow of Joker (2019).
When it’s not about complicated city-domination plans or punching bad guys, James Tynion IV’s Batman run is walking a tight line of having truly guilty villains pointing out legitimate problems with Batman while sympathizing with the average Gothamite who wants something better than vigilante justice, and without making Batman into a villain himself. It’s easily the most interesting aspect of his take on the character, and I’m interested to see how he sticks the an eventual conclusion on the theme. As Punchline herself would say, it’s a situation that’s all about the payoff.
Time for your weekly X of Swords update: The tournament has well and truly begun! There have been several sword fights to the death, a (nonlethal) bout of arm wrestling, a drinking contest, and ... a competitive wedding? The score is five wins for Arakko and two for the X-Men. I have no idea how many are left. No one was sure what to expect from X of Swords, and the series is even bucking those expectations, in quite a fun way.
Detective Comics #1030
Shoutout to Bilquis Evely’s art on Detective Comics, it’s just good work.
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #3
In We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, a series where humanity harvests the corpses of giant space gods for resources because they only find them when they’re dead, THEY FOUND ONE WHEN IT WAS ALIVE. This was inevitable but also very exciting.
Iron Man #3
Almost as good as “big tiddy goth girlfriend,” in this week’s Iron Man a fast food cashier had to literally tell Iron Man “Sir, this is a Wendys” after he did an unhinged internal monologue out loud without realizing it.