The Ultimate Guide to Collecting The Joker

The Ultimate Guide to Collecting The Joker

Overview

1989 Topps Batman Movie Base Cards JokerIf one were to compile a list of the most iconic fictional characters of all-time, the Joker would rank right up there among Superman and Mickey Mouse. With his green hair, white skin, shocking style, and striking wardrobe, the Joker has been frightening and delighting audiences for years. Like many of his pop culture contemporaries, an extensive Joker collectible market has been built around his likeness and this guide will navigate you through his many comics, trading cards, and action figures using the tabs above.

When the Joker was introduced to the comic book scene in 1940, the intention for the character was that of a one-off story where the Clown Prince of Crime would ultimately die at the end. Publishers thought wiser of this story line and let the Joker live and he was featured in many early issues of the Batman franchise. A criminal mastermind with an aptitude for chemistry, the Joker was originally a serial killer who took out his victims with a “joker venom” that left their faces smiling after death. This conceit has endured in the comics and was a critical component to the portrayal of the Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.

The Joker's portrayal in comic books, films, and television has varied wildly from gimmicky court jester to sinister genius and all points in between, making him a character with several documented personalities for fans to select. While some adore the campy portrayal of a crazed madmen (a la Cesar Romero) others prefer the deranged instability of a truly tortured soul (a la Heath Ledger) and these contradictions have only helped the Joker to endure in popular culture for decades.

Top eBay Listings

DC Comics BATMAN #19 CGC SS 9.6 NM+ Signed Jim Lee Variant ROBIN JOKER CATWOMAN
$99.99

DC Comics ALL-STAR BATMAN #8 CGC SS 9.8 Signed Jim Lee JOKER ROBIN CATWOMAN IVY
$99.99

Breyerfest 2006 special run carnival and celebration model joker SIGNED
$114.99

Secret Six #3 JOKER VARIANT CGC SS 9.8 signed x2 Gail Simone & Dan Jurgens NM MT
$54.95

Joker original 1 1 sketch on a Justice League sketch cover signed by artist.
$75.00

Gabriele Dell'Otto Lithograph Print Batman & Joker Limited SDCC EXCLUSIVE SIGNED
$250.00

CAMERON MONAGHAN GOTHAM JOKER DRAWING SKETCH & SIGNED AUTOGRAPH & PILOT SCRIPT
$179.10

The Batman Strikes #3 p.9 - Joker Action - 2005 Signed art by Christopher Jones
$180.00

Matthew Modine Signed Full Metal Jacket 11x14 Photo *Pvt Joker Beckett C10380
$79.96

MICHAEL CAINE signed BATMAN JOKER photo  REAL OBTAINED IN-PERSON EXACT PIC PROOF
$100.00

JARED LETO SIGNED AUTO'D 11X14 PHOTO PSA DNA AA30145 JOKER SUICIDE SQUAD HARLEY
$349.99

Jack Nicholson 1937- autograph signed 4"x6" postcard JOKER Batman
$90.00

" Batman Joker" Original Production Drawing Signed by Mark Hamill
$129.00

Jack Nicholson (Joker Batman) #2 11x14 Photo Signed w PSA 111917
$350.00

Salvation Run #7 - Joker Fine Art Print by Neal Adams Signed!
$69.99

ADAM WEST "BATMAN" (DECEASED) SIGNED 3 X'S THE JOKER & CATWOMAN JSA COA #Y86044
$999.95
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Comics
Batman’s rogues gallery is one of the most iconic and impressive of any fiction story telling. Ask any random person on the street to name ten comic villains and the majority of their list will probably be from the pages of Batman comic books. King of them all, though, is the Joker, who has appeared in some of the most groundbreaking Batman titles of all-time. This list is only a starting point for collecting Joker comics as there are dozens, if not hundreds, of issues to comb through to compile a complete set. The Joker has appeared in virtually every Batman title released since 1940 and many of the ancillary titles such as Batgirl, Robin, and Nightwing.

The Joker Comics

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Batman Comics

The Joker makes his debut in Batman #1 from the spring of 1940 and appears in nine of the first 12 issues of the quarterly comic. In March of 2016, a graded copy (NG) of this book with missing pages and no cover, sold online for $4,500. Obviously, tracking down a copy of this book is going to cost a great deal of money as will most of the other early issues of this comic book. Later story arcs featuring the Joker will be easier on the pocket book such as "A Death in the Family," where Joker kills the second Robin, ran from issues #426 to #429. This has become one of the most important stories in Batman lore as well as comic books in general and can often be found online sold in complete bundles.

DC Batman 11 with Joker

Joker Comics

Notable for being the first book to have a Batman villain as the titular character, The Joker ran for nine issues from 1975 to 1976. These issues are relatively easy to find at an affordable price point so new collectors could compile the entire series with ease.

DC Joker Comic 2

Joker Graphic Novels

Collecting graphic novels may be more interesting to comic book readers than strict collectors but Joker is the subject of some very famous graphic novels that collectors would be wise to acquire. Batman: The Killing Joke, released in 1988, may be one of the most well known graphic novels in history and first editions can be found often through online auctions. Other books, like Arkham Asylum (1989), and Joker (2008) are additional one-off stories centered around the Joker. There have also been several volumes of collected works that highlight the Joker’s greatest stories. Again, these are easy to track down and rarely appreciate in the same way comic books can but they should be considered when compiling a complete comic collection.

DC Killing Joke Graphic Novel

Top eBay Listings

Batman #663 - Joker Cover!- 2007 (Grade 9.2 Or Better)
$9.66

NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #3 VARIANT HARLEY VS JOKER'S DAUGHTER DC COMICS NEW 52 2014
$7.49

The New 52 Catwoman #24 Joker's Daughter 1st Print DC Comics NM+ Free Return
$6.99

SHOWCASE 94 95 96 COMIC LOT 13 ISSUES DC COMICS JOKER HUNTRESS LOBO
$12.99

Batman #23.1 DC Comics 2013 3D Lenticular Villain Variant Cover Joker Comic Book
$11.95

NEWSSTAND! Batman #39 (2015 Vol 2)THE NEW 52 1st URIAH BOONE Joker Court of Owls
$5.95

SUPERMAN EMPEROR JOKER TP DC COMICS
$19.99

DARK NIGHTS METAL 1 TIM BRADSTREET BATMAN JOKER JESTER VIRGIN VARIANT SET 9.2
$21.50

Suiciders #1-6 Lee Bermejo DC Comics Vertigo Joker
$14.99

JOKER MASK #1 (2000) DC Batman Harley Quinn
$5.00

Batman #608 - 619, NM M HUSH Run, Joker, Harley Quinn, Superman, 612 613
$79.99

Emperor JOKER #1 (2000) DC Batman Superman
$10.00

BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #2 DF VARIANT W JOKER SKETCH HAESER ORIGINAL ART SEALED
$20.00

Detective Comics #49 Neal Adams Joker and Harley Quinn Variant NM-
$15.99

HARLEY QUINN #7 19 & Secret Six #5 JOKER BOMBSHELL VARIANT 3 Book Lot
$10.99

DC Showcase 94 #1 Joker Cover Catwoman #1 Bane
$9.95
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Trading Cards

Like the comic books, the Joker has been featured in just about every Batman-related trading card set ever produced, excepting those the cover movies he's not in. Although there is no single set devoted to the character, he can be found in many chase sets and insert cards. Being such a menacing subject inspires artists to come up with some truly scary and beautiful cards and a complete collection of Joker cards will not only be fun to acquire, but will look great and be fairly large.

The Joker Trading Cards

Click on the listings or images to shop on eBay. When available, linked sets in the body go directly to detailed product profiles or guides.   

Topps Joker Cards

Topps has produced several cards with the Joker, dating back to their five 1966 sets. Three of those sets — Black Bat, Blue Bat, and Red Bat — are original art pieces while the other two sets are stills from the Batman film with Cesar Romero. These cards are incredibly valuable and will cost a fair amount of money to buy, especially graded. For much less expense, collectors may want to look into the Topps 1989 Batman cards based on the Tim Burton film. Many of these cards feature the Joker, as portrayed by Jack Nicholson, and are easy to track down at a low price.

1966 Topps Black Bat Joker

Skybox Joker Cards

For many years, Skybox was releasing several DC card sets a year, most of which included at least one Joker card. In 1994, he appears in both the DC Master Series and Batman: Saga of the Dark Knight sets as well as the less popular DC Stars. In 1995, he can be found in Batman Master Series, DC vs Marvel, and Batman & Robin, the latter of which is based on the animated series and includes a chase set of pop up cards. 1996 has the Joker in the Firepower set of embossed trading cards. Because the Joker rarely appears in general DC trading card sets, collectors should focus their attention on the Batman-specific base and chase sets from the Skybox era.

1994 Skybox Saga of the Dark Knight Joker

Cryptozoic Joker Cards

Current DC Comics trading card releases are handled by Cryptozoic. Quite a few Joker cards appear in base sets and chase sets and a great number of sketch cards have been released with his likeness. Because these cards are more recent releases, the likelihood of finding unopened hobby boxes, complete sets, or individual cards on online auctions is pretty high, but certain cards, particularly sketch cards which are all one-of-one, can command a high price immediately upon release. Cryptozoic’s Super-Villains (2015) includes a chase set of reprints from the 1966 Topps Batman series and the Batman Legend (2012) set includes a chase set of carnival posters — titled Carnival of Criminals — both of which feature the Joker.

2013-Cryptozoic-Batman-the-Legend-Villain-Posters-Joker

Top eBay Listings

1966 TOPPS BATMAN COLOR PENGUIN JOKER & BRUCE WAYNE CARD #47 PSA 7 NEAR MINT
$29.99

1995 DC VILLIANS 2 UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED RARE PROMO CARD P1 JOKER DARK JUDGEMENT
$13.99

" Joker " from " Batman " Sketch card # 67 Artist Turtle Original Art
$15.00

2008 Rittenhouse Batman Archives Lenticular The Joker Insert Card L4 NEAR MINT!
$10.00

Edward Vela Joker Limited Edition ACEO Art Print Sketch Card 4 9 SIGNED MINT!
$25.00

Edward Vela Joker Limited Edition ACEO Art Print Sketch Card 8 9 SIGNED MINT!
$25.00

1966 Topps BATMAN (A Series) Red Bat #26A "The Joker's Last Laugh" - PSA 7 NM
$25.00

1989 TOPPS Batman the movie Factory Sealed 2 Joker and 2 Batman cover DC Comics
$13.00

1966 Topps Batman Blue Bat with Bat Cowl Back (15B) The Joker Wishes Robin Well
$9.76

1966 Topps Batman Blue Bat with Bat Cowl Back (23B) The Joker's Juggernaut
$9.76

1966 Topps Batman Blue Bat with Bat Cowl Back (30B) Jostled By The Joker
$9.76

1966 BATMAN RED BAT 'THE JOKER's LAST LAUGH' NM #26A 111416HM
$6.00

4 RARE Batman Robin II Joker & Gotham Hologram Cards - 1991 DC Comics #1-4 NM MT
$59.99

Jamie Tyndall Metal Card Harley Bunny Quinn Batman Joker Style 1
$12.50

Jamie Tyndall Metal Card Harley Quinn Joker
$12.50

Jamie Tyndall Metal Card Harley Bunny Quinn Batman Joker Style 2
$12.50
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Figures
Between his slim cut suits, sadistic smile, and clown-like appearance, the Joker may be the character best suited for statues and action figures. In fact, he has a long history of action figures and his statues are very popular via online auctions. While compiling a full collection may be visually stunning and make your bookshelf look awesome, it’s going to cost a pretty penny, too.

The Joker Figures

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Joker Action Figures

As with many comic book action figures, the Joker begins with Mego in the 1970s. While these may not be the most visually stunning figures by today’s standards, they are highly sought-after in collector circles and come in many variations, including packaging, costuming, face molds and colors. Mego released several Joker figures between 1974 and the end of the decade before Kenner released the action figure every child of the 80s/90s owned with 1984’s Super Powers Joker. Kenner produced that figure for many years but 12 backs from Series 1 can be very valuable. Kenner also released Joker figures in 1989 that were modeled after the Jack Nicholson likeness.

Mattel has released many Joker action figures in their current lines, including a Heath Ledger inspired figure and a recreation of the famous Joker/Harley Quinn comic book cover. Tracking these down in gradable condition is pretty easy but they’re a great place to begin an action figure collection.

Kenner Dark Knight Action Figure Joker

Joker Statues

Joker has been the subject of some very vibrant and downright frightening statues over the years and many of those have become quite valuable. Sideshow has been prolific in their releases of Joker statues with designs based on the comics, the Arkham video games, and the Dark Knight film. These limited edition statues are of exceptional quality and are often sold above retail value almost immediately after release. Kotobukiya is another option, coming in at a slightly lower but still premium price point, with exciting statues in full-action mode, including a Frank Miller-inspired fight between Batman and Joker and a stunning recreation of the Killing Joke comic book cover. There are other smaller designers releasing brilliant work in addition to the DC Direct line of statues, so every price point is fairly represented on the market.

Kotobukiya Joker Statue

Funko Joker

With his inclusion in every Batman film franchise, a legacy of comic stories to rival any superhero, and his pivotal role in one of the best received Batman video games of all time, Joker has managed to find himself in several Funko forms. Joker is represented in Funko’s standard Pop line as well as their Wacky Wobblers series fashioned after the 1966 television show, the Dark Knight film, and several comic designs. When considering Funko figures into a collection, it is important to seek out retail or comic-con exclusives and discontinued figures as their value is more likely to climb at an accelerated pace.

2015 Vinyl Idolz 1960s Batman Figures Joker

Top eBay Listings

Suicide Squad- 2 pcs Set - 12" Harley Quinn & Joker Action Doll Figure
$45.99

Suicide Squad Joker Harley Quinn 1:6 Scale Head Sculpt Model F 12'' Figure
$16.99

1 6 Suicide Squad Joker Harley Quinn Head Carving Model F 12'' Female Figure
$23.86

NEW DC UNIVERSE SUICIDE SQUAD JOKER 1 6 FIGURE COLLECTIBLE PVC STATUE FIGURINE
$44.66

Kenner rare Joker lot Knockout Batman Movie Collection Sky Escape Plasma Glow
$49.99

7 DC Multiverse Action Figure Lot King Shark Joker Zoom Hawkman Robin no BAF
$59.99

DC Direct JOKER & BATMAN 1:6 Scale Deluxe Figure HEATH LEDGER & CHRISTIAN BALE 
$159.95

Funko Pop Heroes Custom Chase Metallic Harley Quinn Joker Batman Villain
$29.99

Medicom Toys MAFEX Batman The Dark Knight Heath Ledger Joker Action Figure
$60.00

DC Designer Series BATMAN Action Figure New 52 Comics Joker Capullo
$19.95

Funko Pop Dr. Harleen & The Joker Suit Walmart Exclusive Suicide Squad 135 & 107
$76.95

SDCC 2017 Exclusive Funko Pop Suicide Squad Joker Batman & Man Bat- Unopened
$18.99

DC DIRECT The Dark Knight The Joker Set Poker Prop Replica Limited 1637 3000 NIB
$49.99

funko pop the joker 8 bit chase gamestop exclusive MINT!!
$45.77

DC Comics Multiverse Suicide Squad The Joker Figure
$22.39

NEW DC COMICS SUICIDE SQUAD JOKER 12" FIGURE COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE 1 6 PVC STATUE
$49.83
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Tony Frye

E-Mail Author |  https://www.cardboardconnection.com/author/tony-frye/

Tony is a musician and writer in the SF bay area and is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.


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