10 Best Harley Quinn Comics To Read

Iconic DC Comics character Harley Quinn has captured the hearts of fans with her unique blend of chaos, humour, and complexity, though few know that the character didn’t start off as a comic book character. From her humble origins as the Joker’s sidekick in Batman: The Animated Series, to her evolution as an independent anti-hero, Harley has become an iconic character in the comic book world.

Naturally, it helped that noted Australian actress Margot Robbie played the Cupid of Crime in the short-lived DC Extended Universe films with great affection, cementing Harley Quinn as one of the few characters to successfully transition from animation to paper, and to live action. 

With the character’s additional appearances in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Lady Gaga’s upcoming portrayal in Joker: Folie à Deux, Harley Quinn is solidifying her status as one of the most beloved figures in the DC universe, climbing the ranks alongside the legendary trio of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

If you’re looking to dive into Harley’s world, here are some of the best Harley Quinn comics to add to your reading list.

1) Batman: Harley and Ivy

In Batman: Harley and Ivy, readers are treated to a riotous escapade starring the zany yet devoted Harley Quinn, alongside her closest confidant, Poison Ivy. The whimsical narrative is spun by writer Paul Dini and artist Bruce Timm, the creators of Harley Quinn and the legendary duo behind Batman: The Animated Series.

The comic sees two of DC’s most iconic anti-heroines hatch a daring plan to outsmart the Caped Crusader once and for all. As Harley tries to rally Poison Ivy to their cause, she must prove her mettle as a formidable villainess, all while navigating a whirlwind of comedic antics and thrilling escapades.

2) Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories

Originally published as a one-shot comic, Mad Love explores Harley’s definitive origin story and her dalliance with the Joker. This classic, Eisner-winning comic takes a deep dive into Harley’s psyche, revealing the emotional and psychological toll of her tumultuous romance with the Clown Prince of Crime.

3) Harleen

Harleen offers a gritty and emotionally-charged retelling of Harley Quinn’s origin story, exploring her transformation from Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a promising psychiatrist, to the infamous Harley Quinn. Written and illustrated by Stjepan Šejić, this graphic novel delves deep into who Harley really is, offering a nuanced portrayal of her descent into madness and her complex relationship with the Joker.

4) Harley Loves Joker

With its richly detailed narrative and dynamic character development, Harley Loves Joker explores Harley’s complex past through a series of flashbacks and introspective moments, readers are invited to witness the events that shaped Harleen’s psyche, leading her down a path of obsession and madness. From her initial encounters with the Joker to the gradual erosion of her sanity, every aspect of Harley’s transformation is meticulously examined, offering new insights into her character’s evolution.

5) Harley Quinn & the Gotham City Sirens

Harley Quinn has hung around with a number of teams throughout her character’s history, and the Gotham City Sirens is one of them. While Gotham City Sirens is a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the dark underbelly of Gotham City, it also places a strong emphasis on the intricate relationships between its protagonists.

From the playful banter between Harley and Ivy to the simmering tension between Catwoman and Batman, every interaction is infused with depth and nuance, offering a rich variety of character dynamics to explore. As the trio navigates the complexities of their partnership, they are forced to confront their own desires and vulnerabilities, forging bonds that transcend the boundaries of friendship and loyalty.

6) Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass

Breaking Glass delivers a fresh take on Harley Quinn, reimagining her as a rebellious teenager who finds herself caught up in the struggles of Gotham’s disenfranchised youth. Written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Steve Pugh, this graphic novel explores themes of identity, friendship, and social justice, offering a modern twist on Harley’s iconic character.

7) Harley Quinn: Hot in the City

Hot in the City follows Harley Quinn as she sets out on her own to make a name for herself in Gotham City. Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, a couple of the best Harley Quinn storytellers around, this series is known for its humour, wit, and dynamic artwork. From run-ins with old foes to unexpected alliances, Harley’s adventures in Hot in the City, which span looking for a new job and joining a roller derby team, are filled with excitement and unpredictability.

8) Harley Quinn: Preludes & Knock-Knock Jokes

In Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes, Harley Quinn embarks on her own solo adventures, carving out her place in Gotham City as a formidable anti-hero. Written by Karl Kesel and featuring artwork by Terry Dodson, this series showcases Harley’s irreverent humour and penchant for chaos as she navigates the criminal underworld with her trademark style. Despite her loony antics, Harley demonstrates sharp wit in her nefarious plans that remind readers of her previous life as a psychiatrist.

9) Harley’s Little Black Book

In the rollicking pages of Harley’s Little Black Book, readers are whisked away on a series of uproarious escapades alongside everyone’s favourite mischief-maker, Harley Quinn. She teams up with an eclectic array of superheroes, from the illustrious Green Lantern to the enchanting Zatanna, in her quest to earn the coveted title of Wonder Woman’s trusty sidekick.

Along the way, Harley’s irrepressible antics and boundless enthusiasm often lead to hilariously absurd predicaments, much to the chagrin of her heroic companions. Bursting with humour and hijinks, Harley’s Little Black Book is a great read for fans who delight in the sillier side of the Maid of Mischief.

10) Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth

Kicked in the Teeth thrusts the Suicide Squad into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse as they navigate a treacherous web of interrogation and deceit. As part of DC’s New 52 reboot, this gripping narrative serves as the perfect entry point for newcomers to both Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad.

It not only introduces readers to the Squad’s clandestine operations but also offers tantalising insights into the complex dynamics and hidden agendas that drive its members. Most notably, it heralds the dawn of a new era for Harley Quinn, giving her a different personality, design, motivation, and backstory that would contribute to the essence of ‘modern Harley Quinn’.

Bonus — Batman: Harley Quinn

In Batman: Harley Quinn, fans are treated to more than just a stunning cover courtesy of the legendary Alex Ross, showcasing the iconic duo of Harley and Joker. This comic marks a pivotal moment as it unveils Harley Quinn’s origin story in the comic book realm for the very first time. As she recounts her tale to Poison Ivy, another cornerstone character in the Batman mythos, readers are offered a glimpse into Harley’s past, a narrative thread that resonates through subsequent comics and even extends its influence into the HBO Max animated series.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Harley Quinn or new to her chaotic world, these comics offer a glimpse into the life and adventures of one of DC Comics’ most beloved characters. From her origin story to her solo exploits, and even team-up adventures, Harley Quinn continues to captivate readers with her irreverent humour and unwavering determination.