Punchline: The Gotham Game #4
Written by Tini Howard and Blake Howard
Art by Max Raynor
Colors by Luis Guerrero
Letters by Becca Carey
The Rundown: The Royal Flush Gang may have met their match when they are targeted by Gotham’s biggest mobsters.
The story opens with a conversation between Cullen and Bluff that later leads to a promotion of the latter from Punchline. Then the leader of the Royal Flush Gang assembles a team to confront their enemies. Meanwhile, Nightwing and Bluebird discuss freeing an important captive before setting off in the night. Elsewhere, a group of powerful villains review Punchline’s activities. When Punchline arrives, her disdain for the bosses leads to a conflict. Finally, back at the Royal Flush Gang’s later. Infiltrators cause a commotion.
The Story: There are a lot of really interesting things happening in this chapter. For one, Punchline’s increasing sense of self-importance is finally coming to a head as she learns that she may only be a pawn in a much larger game. She is such an interesting character. Her mix of hubris and madness has so far allowed her an unprecedented amount of success. However, she has yet to deal one on one with truly seasoned heroes and villains. I’m curious as to how Punchline will fare now that more powerful forces than she are in the mix. Then there is Cullen, whose compassion may be a more powerful force than his sister’s trained abilities. And finally, the second most tactical member of the Bat family has arrived on the scene. With only two chapters left, I am excited for a high-octane wrap up that will have meaningful repercussions in the broader universe.
The Art: This issue uses a modern comic book styling and color work that changes with location and tone. This good-looking issue focuses on both character expression and form and does much to enhance the reader’s connection with the story.