DC fans are driving up the price of Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3, the first full appearance of Punchline, a new villain who is taking Harley Quinn's place at the side of The Joker. Punchline joined the Year of the Villain in the climactic issue after her debut in Batman #89. Both that issue, and Hell Arisen #3, were treated to the news that they would get a second printing before the first was even in stores. Punchline is probably DC's hottest new character since the Dark Knights of Dark Nights: Metal, which is a bit ironic since the events of Hell Arisen are leading directly into the upcoming Dark Nights: Death Metal sequel from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
Unlike Harley Quinn, whose relationship with The Joker was one where she admired him and be neglected and abused her, Punchline's demeanor is less the fan/imitator thing that Harley had going on in her early appearances and more that she fancies herself a peer of his. She's cold, calculating, and sadistic -- things that apparently make The Joker happy, who'd have guessed? And she's a far cry from the more good-hearted women -- whether it's Harley or Sophie (Zazie Beetz), the kind-hearted single mom Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) became obsessed with in last year's Joker movie.
Copies on eBay are currently averaging between $20 and $40, but have sold for as much as $60. This speculation is likely driven, at least in part, by the fact that so many people missed out on The Batman Adventures #12, where the character of Harley Quinn transitioned from TV to make her first comic book appearance. Because DC did not announce the content of Hell Arisen #3 or Batman #89 before the final order cutoff date, many stores under-ordered the books relative to demand, and DC did not have a large overprint, driving a lot of speculation now. Fans who just want to read the book can get it on ComiXology while they wait for the reprints to start rolling out soon.
You can check out the official solicitation text for Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3 below for more details:
Apex Lex Luthor's first run-in with the Infected didn't go as planned, and the Batman Who Laughs' influence is continuing to spread. Now Lex must find out who in the world can think like the Batman Who Laughs-and there are only two folks who come to mind. The first is Batman, who probably has his own ideas for Lex; the other is The Joker, who also likely has his own ideas, but who just maybe wants to see this twisted doppelgänger sent back to the Dark Multiverse he came from. It's a gamble Lex has to take, because the Infected are gearing up for round two!