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The Joker going on the run with new ongoing DC Comics series from Batman writer James Tynion IV

By Matthew Jackson

With the Joker War event earlier this year, DC Comics' current Batman writer James Tynion IV put a fascinating and frightening new spin on The Clown Prince of Crime, but left the future of Batman's most famous nemesis very uncertain. Now, we know why.

DC Comics announced today that Tynion and artist Guillem March are teaming for The Joker, an all-new ongoing monthly comic spotlightling Mr. J's adventures in the aftermath of Joker War. After that devastating event, which ended with Joker escaping a full measure of justice in Gotham, the Clown Prince has become a wanted man and the subject of a massive international manhunt. But while he's evading efforts overseas to capture him, Joker might not be able to escape the wrath of Jim Gordon, who's determined to bring the killer clown back to Gotham before he retires. Of course, this is The Joker we're talking about, so we also shouldn't count on law enforcement to be the only people looking for him. 

“When I was approached by DC about the concept of an ongoing series spotlighting The Joker, I thought, ‘What would that book even look like?,’” Tynion said in a press release. “I’m excited to share this story in a way that honors everything that a series about The Joker can be, while coming at if from an exciting, unexpected angle. I’m also thrilled to continue working with Sam and Mirka to expand the Punchline story we began in November as a back-up feature in this new ongoing Joker series. The Joker War was only the beginning of the terror and mayhem we’re creating!”

Though The Joker is one of the most popular DC Comics characters ever, he hasn't had too many shots at ongoing titles of his very own, so DC is doing their best to make this one count. The Joker is billed as a 40-page monthly, in part because it won't just star Mr. J. His new main squeeze, Punchline, will also continue the story that picked up in her own one-shot special earlier this year, via backup tales written by Tynion and Sam Johns and drawn by Mirka Andolfo. So, while The Joker is running around the world, Punchline will be getting used to the confines of Arkham Asylum, and outside in Gotham, Harper Row is reassuming her old superhero identity of Bluebird. 

The Joker #1 begins the next chapter in Tynion's massive Batman saga when it launches March 9. Check out covers for the series launch, including a main cover by March and variants by Frank Quitely, Francesco Mattina, Riccardo Federici and Mark Brooks, in the gallery above.