Harley Quinn is a rare comic book character who originated outside the pages of a comic before being introduced into the comic universe. Since her first appearance on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, Harley Quinn has been a fan favorite among comic book, video game, television, and film fans. The character’s popularity cannot be ignored and many products have surfaced over the years that put her among any of her superhero counterparts in terms of collectibility.
While Quinn's origin and criminal motivations have varied over the years, the root of her story centers around a therapist at Arkham Asylum named Harleen Quinzel who develops feelings for The Joker that ranges from professional obsession to full-fledged love. Originally drawn in a jester’s costume, the character has evolved into a comic book sex symbol with a sassy attitude and a take-no-prisoners way of handling herself. In recent tellings of her story she is more of an antihero but continues to straddle the line between sanity and maniacal lunacy.
As a member of the extended Batman family of characters, Harley Quinn has been featured in several comic books and has been a focal point in the Arkham series of video games. Her many costume designs, often with an over-sized mallet in hand, have been an inspiration for scores of cosplay enthusiasts and the character is considered one of the sexiest comic stars of all-time. Like The Joker, Harley Quinn is the type of villain you don’t actually want to catch as her stories are too engrossing and entertaining to end.
What can be caught, however, is the collecting bug, and Harley Quinn is a great place to start. This guide will serve as an overview to Harley Quinn collectibles, with a focus on her key comics, trading cards and figures using the tabs above.
Harley Quinn is a relatively recent addition to the DC Universe which makes tracking down comics based on the character fairly easy to do. For collectors who may be interested in owning every comic appearance of Harley, searching through the bins of your local comic shop may prove to be fairly worthwhile and, of course, a quick search of online auctions will no doubt yield you the best return for your buck. Below are some of the titles you should seek out that are of significant importance to the character. A complete checklist will also include Detective Comics, Batman, Batgirl, and a slew of other Bat-centric titles.
Harley Quinn Comics
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Based upon the popular Batman cartoon, both in design and continuity, this series actually served as the comic book premiere of Harley Quinn in issue #12. It is not uncommon to find this book for several hundred dollars. In January of 2016, a graded copy (9.8) sold for over $1,400. Obviously, being her comic book debut, this will probably be the most expensive book in your Harley Quinn collection. However, considering it’s a 1990s issue based on the cartoon series, you may find someone selling it for very cheap, unknowing of its potential value.
This graphic novel is the official premiere of Harley Quinn as part of Batman continuity (the Batman Adventures was in television continuity) and is typically less costly than her comic debut but may still cost a few hundred dollars. There have been several reprints of this comic book so buyers should be very cautious in their search. While it is possible to find a first edition for fairly cheap, it is more likely that it is a second or third printing. The cover of this comic has become something of an icon all by itself, though, so picking up a third print for cheap to use as a decorative display may be a nice addition to your collection as well.
In 2001, DC gave Harley Quinn her own title which ran for 38 issues. Copies of this book appear online with regular frequency and are typically sold for a reasonable price. It would be possible for a smart and patient collector to get the entire original run for cheaper than The Batman Adventures #12. In 2011, as part of their New 52 line, DC relaunched the Harley Quinn title with some issues having variant covers to collect. Since these are incredibly recent, it is very easy and cost efficient to track down all of these issues and start building your collection with a complete publication.
Suicide Squad, which has been around in its current form since the late 80s, has featured many DC super villains forced into superhero captivity. In volume 4 of the comic, which ran in the New 52 continuity from 2011-2014, Harley Quinn was a key member of the team. This particular lineup is the inspiration of the 2016 film by the same name. In 2014, the title was revamped as The New Suicide Squad with a brand new lineup of antiheroes but Harley Quinn is still a focal point of these stories. These comics are easy to track down at a very reasonable price.
Although it seems inevitable to happen in the future, Harley Quinn has yet to receive a standalone set of trading cards. Cardboard enthusiasts are still in luck as she has appeared in several Batman and DC Universe sets since her introduction in the 1990s. Beyond base sets, Harley is also a popular character in chase sets and some of these cards are a little tougher to track down but make great additions to any collection.
Harley Quinn Trading Cards
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As a therapist at Arkham and a sidekick to Joker, Harley Quinn has become a prominent force around Gotham-based stories. Her inclusion in Batman trading cards, then, makes a lot of sense and has been a constant practically from the start. Her first appearance was in the Topps Batman: The Animated Series set from 1993 and she also appeared in the Skybox Adventures of Batman and Robin set from 1995 based on the cartoon designs. In the latter set she is featured on her first chase card as a cardboard pop-up. In 2013, Cryptozoic included Harley Quinn in their Batman: The Legend set with base cards, chase cards, and sketch cards.
Harley’s inclusion in DC trading cards has been fairly recent, since her involvement in DC continuity wasn’t until 1999. Cryptozoic, who now produces the bulk of DC-related trading cards, have included her in most of their DC offerings, including The New 52 (2012), Women of Legend (2013), Epic Battles (2014), and Super Villains (2015). She appears in the base sets for all of these collections as well in several chase sets.
For the Epic Battles set, Cryptozoic included Harley in their Totally Fabricated cards which include “relics” of costume pieces. Dr. Quinzel is also a very popular inspiration for sketch cards which can be quite valuable in the online market.
It should come as a surprise to nobody that Harley Quinn, with her sinister but fun personality and scantily clad physique, is a popular figure in, well, figures. From action figures to statues, Harley has inspired many artists, sculptors, and designers and continues to be one of the most popular characters in any display case.
Harley Quinn Figures
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In 1997, a Harley action figure was released in the Kenner Adventures of Batman and Robin line, designed in the style of the cartoon, and she has appeared in several lines released by Mattel and DC Collectibles since then. Among the many options, Quinn has been included in figure releases devoted to the popular Arkham video game series, the New 52 comic books, several television shows, and the 2016 Suicide Squad film. She has also appeared in the DC Multiverse, Justice League Unlimited, Super Villains, and Hush figure lines. All of these action figures are easy to track down online and are frequently available at comic book conventions.
Harley may very well be the most sculpted ancillary character in all of comic book statues. Despite having only been around since the 1990s, and a member of the comic book universe for even less time, Harley Quinn has been the subject of dozens of statues and busts. Among the many DC Collectibles releases is a popular statue that recreates the iconic cover of the Batman: Harley Quinn graphic novel, which, as stated in the comics section, was her introduction into DC continuity.
Sideshow has also released several statues, including a Premium Format statue of Harley sticking her tongue out, a Batman Animated Series homage and a Bombshell statue designed in the classic pinup style. Kotobukiya released a lovely statue of Harley with her oversized mallet that can be “unmasked” and also has a 9” statue that recreates the New 52 design.
Collecting Harley Quinn statues can be a costly and time consuming process, but with so many great options available, any collector is sure to find a statue or 12 to enhance their collection.
Funko has included Harley Quinn in nearly every line of figures they release and with all the variations and retail exclusives that go along with a typical Funko figure. There are several Funko Pop editions of Harley, including her classic design, her Arkham design, and her current design. She is included in their Vinyl Vixens collection as well as Arkham Mystery Minis, DC Mystery Minis, DC Rock Candy, and Wacky Wobblers. With so many figures and variations to collect, a complete Funko collection is a pretty substantial collection in and of itself and won’t break the bank to acquire.