Hi all! I wasn’t actively collecting during the days of Batman Adventures/the early Harley days and such. I realize comic collecting was an entirely different world at the time, but I’m genuinely interested in how the character progressed and what the environment was in regards to her character. Was it months/years? When did her 1st appearance truly pop? What factors made it pop? Was it a pretty common book that just slowly escalated?
Perhaps one of you just “knew in your gut” she had potential and stockpiled hundreds of copies!!!
Just interested at her history and progression in contrast to the way 1st appearances take place/are driven by hype and spec these days.
Harley made her debut in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, and was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. One year later, 1993, Harley made her comic book debut in Batman Adventures#12. Harley was then introduced into the main DC universe in 1999, in ‘Batman: Harley Quinn’. I’m not sure of how the secondary market initially reacted to her, but, I do believe that it was a long, slow burn to get Harley’s keys to the point where they are today, although she was always a popular, well liked character.
Hmm, I would assume there were big fans of her relative to the animated series then…and anticipating her appearance in comics. I wonder if her 1st appearance was advertised/highly anticipated by comic book readers at the time. I wonder if it was advertised in things like Wizard and Previews even?
Her debut did come during the speculator boom in the 90s, but, I believe the print run on BA12 is relatively small for that era, as the book was more or less a childrens title. Because it was a non canon, child’s book at the time, a lot of copies were beat up by the kids who read them or passed on by speculators. I’m sure there were a few speculators who had sat on a few copies throughout the years. You must also consider that the landscape of the comic industry is like night and day when comparing to the same industry of yesteryear.
From what I can remember she was a hit with fans of the animated series right off the bat (no pun).That didn’t really resonate too much in regard to BA #12…at first anyway. It wasn’t necessarily a cover price book but it wasn’t going for fifty or one hundred dollars back then. That took a while. My timeline may be off a year or two but from what I can recall BA #12 really started to heat up around ten years ago. Even then it wasn’t an instant rise to many hundreds of dollars. Shortly before I bought my copy I noticed the book was staring to increase in value quickly. That was right around 2012/13. It was around that time the book started to explode. When rumors started to circulate that a Suicide Movie was going to be made and Harley would be in it BA #12 was nuclear hot for a time. For value and everything if a collector got on the Harley bandwagon by 2013 they did pretty good. If a collector got on the bandwagon around 2010 or before they did exceptionally well! This is all going from memory so I may be a little off but pretty close at least.
The big pop came from Mortal Kombat vs DC and the start of the New 52 simultaneous happenings. It was a $50 book then like 2009-10. The character gained the antihero grunge crown like tank girl and Marvel has never been able to replicate that. Then the casting of Margot Robbie and the rest is history.
There’s people wearing Harley Quinn shirts in China it’s really amazing for any female or Male comic book character to achieve worldwide recognizability like Harley and Deadpool have in the last decade.