Harley Quinn: Books in Decline

by James Jou

179765_f82a4358f5990568d684542235f4c49874146829-150x150 Harley Quinn:  Books in DeclineWith Harley Quinn ascending to the front of the DC lineup in the mediascape, are Harley Quinn’s comic books also performing well in the market? If the title of this article hasn’t spoiled it yet, they are not. To be more specific, the Harley Quinn comics outside of The Batman Adventures #12. Yes, that book is the Harley Quinn key of keys, but it usually gets all the attention, so we will instead be shedding light on some of the other popular Harley Quinn books.



367002_04138798f0a98314a30f8f75d225848d8c500c01-196x300 Harley Quinn:  Books in DeclineGOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1 (2009)

One of the most popular Harley Quinn books on the market is Gotham City Sirens #1, which sees a union of the three popular villains: Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. With their powers combined, individual problems were no match. They fight off Hush’s repeated attempts to kill Catwoman (as if the events in Batman: Heart of Hush weren’t traumatizing enough), stop a jealous Gaggy’s attempts to kill Harley and take back his place as Joker’s sidekick, and help Poison Ivy reclaim the jungle from deforestation caused by drug lords.

Unfortunately, the efficacy of the Sirens has not translated to Gotham City Sirens #1. Sales for the book, graded CGC 9.8 (shown below), traded flat until late 2016 when they shot up as much as +400% in a few short days. The spike can be primarily attributed to reports of a fast-tracking of a live-action Gotham City Sirens spinoff movie. The euphoria would be short-lived; as the book has been on a slow and steady decline in sales prices ever since. This includes an indefinite hold on the Gotham City Sirens movie; with the focus shifted to the Birds of Prey. Prices still remain at an elevated level from pre-movie news, but at the current rate of decline, it should fully revert within the next year; assuming no new Gotham City Siren development.

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652693_a611fa83e184d9e0637c30cccb2502e628591629-195x300 Harley Quinn:  Books in DeclineHARLEY QUINN #1 (2013, ADAM HUGHES)

At the moment, one of the highest-valued Harley Quinn books in the market is none other than the Adam Hughes 1:25 variant of Harley Quinn #1. The current $425 FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy is a far cry from all-time highs the book reached in mid-2016 of $1,000. Sales data for the book, graded CGC 9.8 is shown below. Just a quick note, the main version of the book currently has an FMV of $44 for a CGC 9.8; exclusivity combined with Adam Hughes paid off in this instance. With the market behavior of the above book in mind, it appears 2016 was the year of Harley Quinn.

The main differences between the two books, however, is that Harley Quinn #1 experienced a rather aggressive, but steady rate of growth in the three years leading up to its peak. Furthermore, Harley Quinn #1’s peak preceded that of Gotham City Sirens #1 by six months. Although both books peaked in 2016, the causes of reversal for each are completely different; Harley Quinn #1 appears more closely tied to the influence of Suicide Squad’s 2016 release. The book has seen a steady decline in sales prices since 2016, despite the continued popularity of Harley Quinn and the upcoming Birds of Prey.

Overall, it seems unlikely that the prices will ever reach $1,000 again. Adding to the negative outlook is that the high volatility during the decline has not gone away. The best the market for this book can hope for at the moment is a slowing of the negative trend to flat, but even the chances of that are at the moment very slim.

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178059_edc2a803dbecc94dfaf0b9994629ebf1a4625154-195x300 Harley Quinn:  Books in DeclineBATMAN: HARLEY QUINN #1 (1999)

Next up on the most popular Harley Quinn books is Batman: Harley Quinn #1, which contains the first canonical appearance of Harley Quinn and a very iconic cover by Alex Ross. It is important to note that the most valuable version of this book is indeed the 1st printing; the 3rd printing shows a higher FMV, but that is a result of minimal sales with the last 9.8 being sold at a very high price in 2016.

Although Batman: Harley Quinn #1 has the lowest FMV of the three books featured here, it has held up in the market the best. Outside of a few outlier sales, the book reached a similar high in 2016. Where it performed better is that it has “only” experienced a 44% loss in value from the 2016 highs, as opposed to the 60% loss of Harley Quinn #1 and 70% loss of Gotham City Sirens #1. Overall, not good; but it’s the least worst. Glass half full.

Unfortunately, a new development has occurred for this book. The negative trend appears to have accelerated mid-2019. It’s too early to tell what effects this will have, but the last half of water in the glass is at risk of evaporating really soon.

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“I’m Harley Quinn. Twice the smarts of Batman and all the vitamins of a bowl of oranges.” – Harley Quinn




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