Coldest Comics: Hard Times for Harley Quinn

by Matt Tuck

101322A-1024x536 Coldest Comics: Hard Times for Harley QuinnDespite every reason not to, Harley Quinn’s debut was barely clinging to the Hottest Comics this week. At least she wasn’t alone. 

The Batman Adventures #12 had another DC key issue to keep Harley company—The Sandman #1. Between both first appearances, it was a rough week for DC Comics and its subsidiaries, but don’t fret; the law of averages will see these rebound eventually. As I say often in the Coldest Comics blog, this could present a golden investment opportunity for potential buyers.

For those new to the blog, allow me to give you the rundown. The Hottest Comics rank the 100 best-selling single issues across eBay. Updated daily, the data is driven purely by sales volume, so fair market values are not part of the equation. While you may see some impressive price tags flying all around, that doesn’t necessarily mean those issues are selling in high numbers. However, the two are oftentimes interconnected. 

On that note, let’s see what issues got the cold shoulder this week.

74. THE SANDMAN #1 (-55)

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Once again, Morpheus has been shunned. 

The Sandman #1 followed the usual trajectory for any key that enjoyed the live-action inflation. When the hype for the movie or television show first kicks in, it sends buyers to the auction sites for those popular comics. In this case, it naturally led to a bump for Morpheus’ first appearance in 1989’s Sandman #1. 

Since this isn’t a Marvel key, it didn’t light up the night sky to quite the degree as those MCU issues. Still, it was enough to push the graded 9.8 to anywhere from $800 to as much as $1,200 heading into the first week of August when the series premiered. 

There were so many question marks hovering over the Netflix show that no one knew what to expect. The final product delivered on all fronts, making longtime comic readers happy while engrossing mainstream audiences as well. That had the 9.8 consistently earning $900-$1k into September. 

As with all movie and show-related keys, once the new wore off, things began to change for The Sandman #1, and the figures began to dip. Along with the sales volume diving, the FMVs slipped below that $900 mark. By the end of the month and heading into October, it has averaged $679. 

What will drive interest back up is a second season. Netflix’s propensity for ending popular series out of nowhere has fans and even Neil Gaiman himself anxious. The writer had said that The Sandman is such an expensive show that a second season is not guaranteed. However, the streaming series had been such a massive hit that it would seem likely Netflix would greenlight S2. If that happens, we’ll likely see a spike in sales once more.


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Normally, this is one of the most popular key issues on the market. Thanks to Margot Robbie’s performances in both Suicide Squad movies, not to mention the hit HBO Max Harley Quinn cartoon series, the character is more popular than ever. Now there’s word that popstar/actress Lady Gaga will deliver an all-new Harley interpretation to the big screen when Joker: Folie à Deux lands in theaters in 2024. Of course, the Joker sequel will be the first big-screen musical for characters from a superhero comic series, which I can assume is why Gaga got the nod over the ever-popular Robbie. 

With so much happening for Harley Quinn in the mainstream spotlight, you’d think her first comic appearance in The Batman Adventures would be soaring. Yet, here it is barely clinging to the top-100 Hottest Comics. Why?

High prices could be working against TBA #12. Since the beginning of September, the graded 9.8 has routinely sold in the $3k range. It’s made for a 30-day average of $2,895, which is actually down from the $3,071 12-month FMV. While it is significantly cheaper, the 9.6 has a 30-day average that’s over $1,200 itself. With prices like those, it’s no wonder collectors on tighter budgets are shying away from Harley’s debut.

63. UNCANNY X-MEN #221 (-33)

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Mister Sinister has returned to the Coldest Comics, but I doubt he will stay here for too long. With Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine in Deadpool 3, the X-Men speculation is once again ruling the secondary market. While we still have no idea when the mutants will arrive in the MCU, all eyes will be on Jackman’s performance for any hints at the X-Men’s future. Will he remain for the long haul or is this his actual swan song in the role? That will be the number one question once Deadpool 3 hits theaters in 2024. 

Once plot details start rolling out, speculation will turn toward the movie’s villain. Although it will most likely center on the Weapon X program, don’t rule out Nathaniel Essex playing some role in the film. There’s no telling how much Marvel Studios will retcon Deadpool and Wolverine’s origins to fit into the MCU, and that could put him in the mix. Don’t forget that Mister Sinister and his Essex Corporation was linked to Wolverine in both X-Men: Apocalypse and Logan. That could be our clue that Sinister will be either the main antagonist for Deadpool 3 or at least serve as an evil mastermind pulling the puppet strings once again. 

A-list actor Jon Hamm has said that he was in talks to bring Sinister to life for the Fox X-Men films, and he added that he would still be up for playing the part. No doubt, Kevin Feige loves his A-list actors (evidently more than he loves A-list writers and directors, considering Marvel’s recent behind-the-scenes woes), and Hamm would be a nice piece to add to the collection. It’s not like he’s aged out of the part, either. After seeing him in Top Gun: Maverick, CGC would easily grade him at least in the 8.0 range. 

If Hamm (or anyone else, for that matter) suits up as Mister Sinister, UXM #221 will experience a boom, and you’ll want part of that action. For the past year, the graded 9.8’s FMV has remained steady in the $420-$430 range, and that won’t be a bad price after Sinister is announced for the MCU in some capacity.

98. MS. MARVEL #1 (-33)

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Another once-popular key was clawing to stay inside the top 100 this time around. Joining Harley at the bottom of the stack was Ms. Marvel’s first appearance. Of course, this isn’t Carol Danvers’ first appearance, which is the much more popular key, nor is it the premiere of current Ms. Marvel of comic and screen, Kamala Khan. Instead, this was the first time Danvers took on the Ms. Marvel moniker, which makes it a less-important key compared to the previously mentioned characters. Still, a graded 9.8 did manage to earn over $2k last month, so there’s life left in Ms. Marvel #1. 

Until we get a new trailer or at least some concrete details about The Marvels, don’t expect to see this issue make any major moves. If anything, it may fall out of the top 100 Hottest Comics in the coming days and weeks. However, it is sure to rebound in light of the upcoming film. 


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Dragging up the rear today, we have Secret Wars #1. With all the hoopla for Avengers: Secret Wars in the works for Marvel Studios, you would think this issue would be on the way up. To this point, it had been. Just days ago, it was ranked firmly inside the top-10 Hottest Comics. This round, Secret Wars #1 lost nearly 30 spots to fall to the 36th overall position. What gives?

There’s so much going for this issue that any dip is only momentary. For one thing, it’s the very first Secret Wars comic. Sure, the movie is mostly likely going to follow the plot points for the story’s 2015 incarnation, but there’s no substitute in the collection for that first comic. Another point is that it featured the debut of pivotal SW figure, The Beyonder. While he was only seen as a godly ball of light with a voice, it remains his first appearance. Laurence Fishburne will voice the character for the animated Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and we have to wonder how that could fit into the overall The Multiverse Saga

I wouldn’t go so far to say that prices for the graded 9.8 are cheap at the moment, but this is the best prices we’ve seen in the past year. For the previous 90 days, it’s averaged $676, but the 30-day average is currently $467. That should tempt all you investors and speculators out there, considering the potential for Secret Wars #1.

Keep up with Movers & Shakers of all temps!

000052721D-1-Footer Coldest Comics: Hard Times for Harley Quinn*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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