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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harley Quinn Key Issues

Gonna have to divert a bit and fulfill this request by Andy. Harley Quinn is hot...well, she's been a popular and sought out character already, but since the Suicide Squad movie news and the casting of the character, Harley Quinn key issue comics concernning her early appearances are steaming up nicely or have already skyrocketed.

I felt this needed to be done in haste or asap, so this will be a short and sweet one, much like the Supergirl keys list. Alrighty, let's rock this!

1st appearance of Harley Quinn in comic books

This one I've mentioned a few times already and it's definitely up there in price, past the $1,000 mark for CGC 9.8. Sure this comic was already sought after and a Modern Age key worth snagging, but the Suicide Squad movie hype definitely pushed Batman Adventures into out of reach prices for super high grade.

To clear things up, Batman Adventures #12 is Harley Quinn's first appearance in a comic book format, but not in DC canon or mainstream. Regardless, it is still a first appearance and raw copies might be more appealing and less heavy on the wallet if you still want to gun after this issue.

eBay - No problem finding this one on eBay currently for both raw and slabbed. Mostly 9.8s and 9.6 NM+s at the moment for slabbed copies.

mycomicshop - Two CGC 9.8 copies on consignment and both pretty damn expensive for a Modern Age book.

ComicLink - Only one CGC 9.6 NM+ copy here.

2nd appearance of Harley Quinn in comics
First origin of Harley Quinn in comics

Mentioned just recently on the 2nd appearances key issues list, Batman Adventures Mad Love Special #1 is the 2nd appearance of Harley Quinn in comics (not canon), and it's also the first told origin of Harley Quinn in comics.

Just like stated before, this is one is pretty hot in the market already as most Harley Quinn related keys are, especially early Harley Quinn key comics in canon or not.

eBay - A few raw options and a bit more CGC options as well. 9.8s and 9.6s present and they are getting a bit up there already. Watch out for the 3rd prints of this issue. You won't be able to find this one cheap anymore in high grades for sure unless you get really lucky with a totally clueless seller. Could happen.

mycomicshop - Two copies here and one is a CGC 9.8 and the other a raw FN.

3rd comic appearance of Harley Quinn in comics
1st Batman Adventures Annual

If we're talking about the 3rd appearance of Harley Quinn in comic books and not canon, Batman Adventures Annual #1 is it. This definitely isn't over-looked at the moment. The market has heated up for this issue, but CGC 9.8s are not ridiculously out there yet. 9.8 copies is just breaking the $100 mark so far for auction listings.

So if you're a fan of Harley Quinn or her 1st and 2nd appearances are too expensive, this one may be a great alternative to get cheap and still in high grades.

eBay - Some raw options and some CGC options as well. 9.8s are present as well as 9.6 NM+s. 9.4 CGC NM copy on there is pretty cheap, and so are the 9.6 NM+s at time of this writing.

mycomicshop - A few copies here and only one is a CGC. It's a 9.6 NM+ and the rest are raw. Highest raw is a VF/NM. All comics here are on consignment so a buyer's premium will be charged.

First canonical appearance of Harley Quinn
More detailed origin of Harley Quinn (canonical)

I've yet to feature this comic, but I recently mentioned it briefly in the 2nd appearances list. This is the first canonical appearance of Harley Quinn in DC's mainstream continuity. Meaning it's official or DC considers it official and part of the mainstream DC universe of comics.

That fact has no bearing on the value of Batman Adventures #12 to just make it clear. Batman Adventures #12 is still the Harley Quinn first appearance that is coveted. It only means that this Batman: Harley Quinn comic has hit the hot burner since the market recognized it for it's key issue worthiness.

I should also note that this origin expands on the one told in Batman Adventures Mad Love and is still based on that. The origin presented in Batman: Harley Quinn just adds more details in order to fit into the regular Batman canon of comics.

eBay - Finding a 1st printing of this one won't be easy on eBay. A lot of people have already snagged up a lot of them. There is a CGC 9.8 that's a new listing. Already up there in price. Also spotted another 9.8 for considerably less. PGX 9.8 was also spotted.

mycomicshop - A handful of copies here and two will be going up for auction Jan 3rd of 2015. They are both raw and the highest auction will be a VF/NM. As for copies available now for sale, there are three and all three are on consignment. Only one of them is a CGC 9.8 and the other two are a raw FN and a VG/FN.

2nd appearance of Harley Quinn in canon
First appearance in mainstream title

Harley Quinn's 2nd appearance in DC's mainstream continuity, and the first time she's in a mainstream comic title. It's pretty fitting she starts this in a Batman title, right?

Definitely heating up and it's caught on before I even mentioned it in the 2nd appearances keys list. It hasn't caught on in huge numbers just yet, but with this character hitting the big screen and 2nd appearances on the rise in the market, it's only a matter of time for this Modern Age key issue to get as crazy as the character herself. Batman #570 was published October, 1999.

eBay - Really limited selection for this one currently. Only about two copies, and no CGC either.

mycomicshop - Only one FN/VF copy here on consignment.

3rd appearance of Harley Quinn in canon
2nd appearance of Harley Quinn in mainstream comic title

Although published in the same month of the same year, this is the second and last part to the story line The Code. Therefore, it's Harley Quinn's 3rd appearance in DC canon or mainstream continuity.

This would also be Harley Quinn's 2nd appearance in a mainstream title, and it's no surprise that it's in Detective Comics. Still very much under the radar currently, so getting this one cheap shouldn't be a problem. Detective Comics #737 was published October, 1999 as well.

eBay - Selection is limited for this one at the moment on eBay. No CGC and not surprising as the market has yet to pick up on this one yet at all.

mycomicshop - VF and FN copies here. Both are raw and in stock, so no buyer's premium.

1st issue to 1st Harley Quinn titled on-going series

Much like the other #1 issues to some Modern Age comics that start off a character's title series, or a new version of a team's (Guardians of the Galaxy) titled series, it's no surprise that the first on-going Harley Quinn titled comic series would be hunted down by the market as well.

This comic in CGC 9.8 is getting to the mid $100 range for auctions, meaning the last dropped around $150. I think a high grade raw copy would be a better bet on the wallet or purse, since it is a Modern Age comic, just beginning to get heat, and will probably have a very low chance of restoration.

Still, if you want the guaranteed 9.8, might be best to wait for an auction or a Buy It Now at a decent price with a Best Offer. Plenty of over-bloated prices already on eBay for this issue. Look up the recent sold prices on eBay and you'll see what I mean.

December, 2000 was when this Harley Quinn #1 was published.

eBay - Will be a hunt for this one on eBay. There are copies of them but they are mixed in with everything Harley Quinn and there is a 2013 series as well. Saw some raw copies as well as CGC 9.8s that are nearing the $200 mark. Didn't see any 9.6s though I'm sure they are there. - Will be a hunt for this one on eBay. There are copies of them but they are mixed in with everything Harley Quinn and there is a 2013 series as well. Saw some raw copies as well as CGC 9.8s that are nearing the $200 mark. Didn't see any 9.6s though I'm sure they are there.

mycomicshop - Quite a lot of copies here for this issue. Two are CGC and the highest is a 9.8 and the other a 9.6 NM+. Raw copies available as well and the highest is a 9.4 NM and strangely over-priced higher than the CGC 9.8. High grade raw copies also in stock.

Alrighty, these are Harley Quinn's early appearances in comics that are 1st, 2nd and 3rd appearances. Much like the craziness of the character and the Joker she fell for, her various early appearances are quite strange themselves. Her earliest three appearances in comics are based off the Batman Animated Adventures, a cartoon, so it's no surprise that other issues in the regular mainstream comics are addressing all this canon and continuity key appearances as well.

Anyways, I felt it necessary to cut in on the 2nd appearances keys list to get this one out there as quick as possible. Hope this helps you in your hunt, and we'll return back to the 2nd appearances shortly.


  1. really appreciate you taking the time to do this. i know you were on a roll with the 2nd appearances. love the blog.

    1. No problem Andy, I actually shoulda done one earlier, so thanks for the request.

  2. what does in canon mean mayhem? just don't understand the term. thanks JW

    1. In canon is official DC or Marvel mainstream universe. Think of the bible. Some stories are accepted as canon and some aren't. So if there was a Lego Batman comic book, that's a completely different universe than what happens in titles like Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, JLA, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, etc.

      A story arc affects the official timeline - continuity or canon - like Crisis on Infinite Earths or Identity Crisis or the New 52, but won't affect Lego Batman comics or Batman Adventures comics.

      Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, etc are titles that are mainstream canon, which writers often adhere to. Comics that are based off of cartoons like Batman Adventures or Lego Batman, etc are specialty titles with their own set of events and universe. They often do not crossover and affect the regular universe.

      So like Batman Adventures comics are outside of DC's mainstream canon or continuity, because what happens in those comics don't affect DC's mainstream timeline or events.

      When the market says first appearance in canon for a character, it means it's taking the character of like Harley Quinn in the Batman Adventures (just example and that comic is based off the cartoon series) and plopping it into...the really real universe of DC or Marvel's mainstream continuity.

      For instance, just cause Peter Parker dies in the mainstream title of Amazing Spider-Man doesn't mean that Peter Parker dies in the Ultimate universe. Ultimate Peter Parker isn't affected and can carry on with further adventures.

    2. thanks, understand now had to read it twice but understand. lol JW

    3. To make it even more simple, think of it as if there was a cartoon based on you. All the events of your life would be considered canon - your history so to speak - but the cartoon wouldn't be, cause what happens to you or the characters in the stories of that cartoon series doesn't really happen to you in real life. The cartoon would be based on your life, not the other way around.

      I should stop there, probably making it more confusing lol.

    4. no it makes since cant wait to c that cartoon of me. awesome lol JW

  3. Any chance you'll do a key issues list for Aquaman? Looking forward to seeing him in Justice League movie.

    1. Heya BP, for some odd reason this comment was in the spam section. Have no idea why, but yeah, Aquaman key issues are in the pipeline.

    2. That would be great! I think Aquaman books are undervalued (under appreciated as well). I figure the JLA and solo film could really boost his image and value of his books. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  4. hey mayhem just picked up a black panther 1 for 26 dollars at a local shop and it looks great maybe grade around 8.5 or 9. thanks for that panther list. got a question my nephew has 150 too spend and he wants to buy some comics, hes in high school but he loves the silver age covers espically batman, superman, flash and daredevil, any suggestions. thanks JW

    1. Depends on the market place - eBay, comic con, or comic shop - but you can get these for under or around $150 for raw copies (some will need haggling if at a comic con):

      Daredevil #3 FN or FN+ maybe even a 7.0 3rd appearance Daredevil.

      Daredevil #7 VG to VG+ 1st red costume.

      Daredevil #16 8.0 to 8.5 1st Romita Spidey artwork.

      Flash #111 VG to FN 2nd Kid Flash.

      Flash #135 VF to VF+ 1st Kid Flash yellow costume.

  5. It's not Silver Age but for that price he could probably find some pretty good stuff during Neal Adams run on Batman. Batman #251 comes to mind.

  6. thanks for the advice Jessie ill pass it on. jeremy

  7. Hi, love your site and columns. Please can you let me know where Batman: Thrillkiller and Batman: Thrillkiller '62 from 1997 fit into things. Or are they of no interest to a Harley Quinn collector?

    1. Hmmmm....the Thrillkiller universe is considered an elseworlds universe and not part of mainstream continuity. Earth 37 is the universe Thrillkiller is on. Not saying they shouldn't be important collector's issues for Harley Quinn fans. They just aren't on the radar at the moment. Thanks for the question Jon, the Thrillkiller stories were actually good reads.

  8. Hi. Don't know if this discussion is still open. Loved the article. I just bought Harley Quinn #1 on ebay for about $80 including postage (€73). It's CGC rated at 9.6, just wondering was it a good buy? I know CGC grading costs €60 so I kinda only paid €13 for it. I also saw a ungraded one with Batman Adventures #1 for $1.99 and nearly $20 for postage. Would they be worth getting and getting CGC doneon both?

    1. Hiya Padraigh, Not sure whether it was a good buy or not. Which Harley Quinn #1 are you talking about. There's a few of them.

      One in 2000? 1st issue of the 2013 series?

  9. What is the deal with the book batman almost got im? Is that Harleys 1st appearance but not recognized by collectors? Just wondering Thanks for any info.

  10. Hello just curious about the book batman almost got im. Does that predated adventures #12? For Harleys 1st appearance or do collectors just not recognize that book? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. It most likely does predate Batman Aventures #12 but it is not an actual comic book. Let me explain this as I've gotten questions about it before.

      That book with cassette tape was marketed towards kids and not the actual comic book market. It was sold in book stores, not comic shops so it wasn't geared or printed for the actual comic market and comic collectors.

      Most likely, that's why it's not recognized by comic collectors.

  11. Would Batman Adventures #1 count as a Harley appearance. She appears quite often in the story but not dressed in her attire. Is a first appearance in comics only allowed when full attire is shown?

  12. Hey mayhem. Got a quick question for you! I have a chance to pick up Batman adventures #12. It's in very nice condition with a few litlet dings on the spine with no color break's however in the lower right hand corner it looks to be creased on an angle like the corner at one time was bent back. It is barley noticible but concerning. It doesn't appear that it breaks color thoughly but not sure if it will come out with a good pressing. The guy wants $400 for it but I'm thinking much lower. Based on this info what would you suggest might be a good price? Thanks

    1. Do you think that copy has the potential to be a 9.4 or 9.6 if you get it pressed? Do you plan on slabbing the comic? 9.0s and 9.2s are going around the $400 mark for CGC copies. 9.0s sometimes dip into the $300 range.

      If you think that copy will only be a 9.2 after pressing, you might as well buy a copy already slabbed at those grades. Let's say the copy is a 9.2 and you get it pressed and then graded and it comes back a 9.4. You spent $400 for the book plus the cost of pressing and shipping and return shipping and then getting it graded plus shipping and return shipping.

      The amount of all that work and the cost could be worth it since 9.4s sell around the $500 range. Anything lower than a 9.4 potential won't be worth buying raw instead of slab at that price of $400.

      A barely noticeable corner crease that does not break color should come out with a good pressing.