There is a lot of confusion about the first appearances of Harley Quinn.  Most of the time, first appearance problems center around references or cameos of a character.  The most contentious example is Wolverine’s first appearance in Hulk 180 versus issue 181.  But with Dr. Harleen Quinzel people discuss continuity and out-of-continuity because all of the early appearances are in Batman animated books.  When you think about who Harley Quinn is, those early Batman Adventures books accurately portray her.  Trying to push Harley Quinn’s first appearance out 6 years because you don’t like the method of delivery is a little crazy.

Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, the creators of Ms. Quinn for the Batman Animated television show, worked on some of those books like Mad Love and Batman Adventures Annual #1.  To me, it’s disrespectful to those gentlemen to say that their issues don’t count for some minutia.  Because of that, we will not be differentiating between in-continuity and out-of-continuity.

Another reason you see for shifting the appearances is for money.  Batman #570 holds much less value as the 12th appearance rather than the 2nd appearance in continuity.  Routinely you will see the 4th appearance touted as the second appearance and all sorts of other variations.  Hopefully, this list will clearly show the appearances so that you can know exactly what you are buying or what you have in your collection.

Harley Quinn Appearances in Order

Order Issue Date Cover Artist
1st Batman Adventures #12 9/1993 Mike Parobeck Cover
2nd Batman Adventures Mad Love 2/1994 Bruce Timm Cover
3rd Batman Adventures Annual #1 11/1994 Bruce Timm Cover
4th Batman Adventures #28 1/1995 Mike Parobeck Cover
5th Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1 1/1995 Bruce Timm Cover
6th Batman & Robin Adventures #1 11/1995 Ty Templeton Cover
7th Batman & Robin Adventures #8 7/1996 Rick Burchett Cover
8th Batman & Robin Adventures #18 5/1997 Ty Templeton Cover
9th Batman: Harley Quinn #1 1/1999 Alex Ross Cover
10th Batman Gotham Adventures #10 3/1999 Bruce Timm Cover
11th Batman Gotham Adventures #14 7/1999 Craig Rousseau Cover
12th Batman #570 8/1999 Rodolfo Damaggio Cover


Harleen’s origin is intricately involved with three animated titles from the 1990s.  Because these titles were more kid-friendly and produced in lower numbers, high-grade issues are more difficult to find.  Her first appearance in Batman Adventures 12 has production numbers in the 20,000 range.  Currently, over 25% have been graded by CGC and CBCS.  On Comics Price Guide, Batman Adventures #12 is a book that is on hundreds of want lists. 

After the 1999 No Man’s Land appearance in Batman #570, Harley Quinn was everywhere and in October 2000, Harley Quinn #1 was released.  Now, Harley is a vital character in the DC universe with movies, television shows, toys, and comics.

by Ron Cloer
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