Despite being a creation of the 1990s, Harley Quinn has become one of the most popular DC characters ever. Originally just “the Joker’s girlfriend,” Harley has stepped into her own spotlight, headlining multiple comics, video games, tv shows and now, movies. Created by Batman: The Animated Series’ Paul Dino and Bruce Timm, Harley first appeared in the iconic television program, before debuting in comic format in The Batman Adventures #12. With the commercially disappointing Birds of Prey hitting digital last week, I ask the simple question: Is Harley Quinn a sell?
Margot Robbie’s interpretation of Harley Quinn was one of the only redeeming factors of 2016’s Suicide Squad. She became the character, instantly being as recognizable in the role as Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool or Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man; Robbie was Harley. When news hit that she would be receiving her own spin-off film, at the time based on Gotham City Sirens, fans were beyond excited. However, that was not meant to be, and the film was redeveloped into February’s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
Is Harley Quinn A Sell?
Unfortunately, Birds of Prey, despite critical acclaim, did not perform to the best of its ability. As of writing this, the film has grossed $202 million worldwide, against a budget of $82 million. Now, look: This is not a bomb. Birds of Prey was a success for Warner Bros but was not as successful as it perhaps should have been. As Forbes pointed out in its coverage of the film’s box office, the movie’s fundamental flaw was its much-praised R rating. By giving the film a mature warning, Warner Bros alienated a huge percentage of Harley’s target audience: Younger women. This decision, to me, made absolutely no sense. Birds of Prey‘s box office brings me to the article’s main question: Is Harley Quinn A Sell?
Despite the underperformance of Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn is not going anywhere. The character has her own animated series on DC Universe and is set to star in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
So, is now a good time to invest in Harley’s first comic book appearance? Well, contrary to popular belief, Harley’s first appearance is still selling rather well. In fact, in March this year, a 9.8 grade of the book sold for $1,950 (USD). Over the last month alone, 38 graded copies of the book have sold. Bear in mind, this was a month following the release of Birds of Prey. On eBay at the moment, there are hundreds of copies of the book, and they are all selling. No matter the grade, people want this book, and I think I know why.
Despite Birds of Prey‘s underperformance, people know that Harley isn’t going anywhere. In fact, unlike Huntress or Black Canary, Harley already has a sequel coming up in The Suicide Squad, a film which will see another bump in price for The Batman Adventures #12. Audiences know that even if we never see Harley and the Birds of Prey team-up again, we will see Harley again. This reason, above all else, is why I think investing in The Batman Adventures #12, while at the time silly (considering Birds of Prey just came out a month ago), will lead you to a great sell in a few years. Think about it like this: People are buying this book like crazy after a box office disappointment. Now, imagine what it will sell for when The Suicide Squad grosses a billion dollars.