Harley Quinn #1 Aspen Exclusive by Michael Turner
Hello again and welcome to Finding the Pattern. If it’s your first time reading this article, I suggest you take a look at the first article I wrote to see what it’s all about. Now let’s get to business!
This week, we’ll talk Harley Quinn. I know you’re probably tired of hearing her name but I also know you’ll keep on reading because of her! The first book we’ll discuss is one that made a lot of buzz in the comic industry. It is the Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 Michael Turner ASPEN Variant.
This book was released the same day as all the Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 variants, August 3, 2016, and could only be ordered via the AspenStore site. The art is by the late Michael Turner (1971-2008) with colors by Peter Steigerwald. The official print run for these is 9,000 for the color version, 6,000 for the black & white, and 1,000 for the Puddin’ (hatless) variant. Initially, Aspen was supposed to make that a 3,000/2,000/1,000 print run, but they decided to increase it because the demand was so strong. The funny thing is that they announced that the Puddin’ variant was supposed to increase to 2,500, but then decided to stick to the initial print run of 1,000. No need to explain why the customers weren't too happy about all this.
To be able to purchase the Puddin’ variant, you had to buy all 3 as a set for $60. The color and black & white versions could both be ordered individually for respectively $15 and $30.
Obviously the most desirable book of these 3 is the Puddin’ variant. This comic was released the same week as Suicide Squad (the movie) and you can easily see the similarities of the hair of the ‘’onscreen’’ Harley played by Margot Robbie and the Puddin’ variant. At that time, this book sold for no less than $200 bucks; but with the ASPEN print run ‘’fiasco’’ and the hype of the movie gone, it can now be yours for around $120 bucks. Another factor might be the release of the Bulletproof Dell’Otto Pink variant (limited to 1,000 copies printed with 200 expected to be damaged). Being the Harley book everyone's talking about right now, I think it has heavily affected the sales of the Turner variant. Yet, I really think that the Puddin’ Variant might see a jump in price in a couple years, or at the next appearance of Harley Quinn on the big screen.
So what comic do I expect to follow the pattern? The other book we’ll look at can be found a lot easier and can be had for a lot cheaper (at least for now). It is Gotham City Sirens #5:
This comic came out October 28, 2009 with a print run of 32,995. The cover art is done by none other than Guillem March, who is a very underrated artist in my opinion. The details on this cover and the colors looks simply amazing and I really think that it easily outshines the Turner Variant in term of art. The background is a lot more interesting to look at, and I feel this depiction of Harley Quinn is more “authentic”. A lot of people complained about the hair of the character when the Puddin’ variant was announced (frankly I do not mind it), but I honestly think that Mr. March has drawn one of the most beautiful and underrated iconic Harley covers to date regardless. Recents sales of this book are about $20, but as of today, most of the listings are reaching $30-$35. I do not think that this comic will go nuclear, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches the $50-$75 mark the closer to a solo Harley Quinn movie we are. In any case, it won’t be a $5 book again and it’s a perfect comic for the PC, so if you happen to see it, I suggest you buy it!
On a side note, you might be wondering why Harley Quinn is illustrated taking a similar pose on both covers. Well to that I can answer (shoutout to Skot Whitman on the G+ page for this one). There is an episode of Batman : The Animated Series that came out January 10, 1993 called ‘’The Laughing Fish’’. Bruce Timm was doing the art and Paul Dini was the writer of the show (both are the creators of Harley Quinn). Fun fact, Paul Dini also happens to be the writer of Gotham City Sirens. It’s in this episode that we were first introduced to that pose. I took the liberty of taking a screenshot for the sake of the argument.