Movies & TV Shows

9 Best Harley Quinn Comic Book Artists

The HBOMax animated series Harley Quinn presents a fun, fascinating version of the iconic character derived from many different comics and media in the last thirty years. Her visual style also borrows from different sources, including the best comic book artists who contributed to making Harley an icon. Harley evolves constantly in the comics and she owes her dynamic presence to many outstanding artists.

Bruce Timm, who co-created along with Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series, first brought Harley into the comics not long after her debut in the TV show. Other amazing artists contributed to her evolution since her 1992 inception, including Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Adam Hughes, and many others.


9 Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn Cooke likely comes as no surprise as a great Harley Quinn artist given he emerged from animation. He worked as a storyboard artist for The New Batman Adventures in the 1990s, and he carried his strong animated sensibilities into comic books, where he eventually contributed to Harley Quinn: Holiday Special.

Cooke brought his own distinctive flair to Harley in this issue and others, creating a unique look for the character that fans likely recognize from his work in the best Catwoman comic books ever. Cooke’s simple but dynamic lines rendered her even more cartoony than the original animated series did.

8 Sam Kieth

Sam Kieth produces a wild but unique Harley Quinn for his brief contribution to 2014’s Harley Quinn #0. He brings his trademark exaggerated style to the character, but she’s streaked with a realism that most comic book renditions avoid. Kieth often creates women with realistic body types in his individual work, as fans may know from his legendary series The Maxx.

Kieth produced many iconic moments and covers in comic books going back to the late 1990s, including contributing to the wildest comic book crossovers ever between Batman and The Maxx.

7 Becky Cloonan

Harley Quinn #0 contains artist contributions from many great artists, including Becky Cloonan. Cloonan, the first woman to ever draw the Batman monthly title, brings her talent for creating expressions and body language to the always effusive Harley, making for a perfect marriage.

Cloonan also produces the ongoing Batgirls title from DC Comics, which features some of the best versions of Batgirl coming together to form a new team in Gotham. Harley crosses over with Batgirl routinely in virtually every medium, meaning Cloonan fans will get more Harley content from her.

6 Guillem March

Guillem March helped bring Harley Quinn formally into the ‘realism’ of the DC Comics universe. Her comic book appearances prior to this key team-up series from 2009, with some notable exceptions, leaned on her animated stylings. March’s thin lines and attention to detail helped make Harley somewhat more practical in the series.

Harley’s classic costume feels more dimensional in the series, and her cap and bells, in particular, feel as though they have actual weight, with realistic creases and folds. He also gives her a more lived-in quality outside of the costume, helping to define her alter-ego as much as the costumed persona.

5 Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy brings a rawness to his art, with a rough almost dashed feel to his pencils, creating something very distinctive from most traditional superhero comic books. At the same time, his art features a precision in costumes and practical elements that make his Harley Quinn from the White Knight mini-series among the best.

White Knight, among the best Batman comic book storylines, includes two Harley Quinns, the original and Marian Drews. Murphy renders the Drews Harley in perhaps the character’s most realistic costume yet in the comics, designed with both form and function in mind.

4 Jim Lee

Jim Lee numbers among the best X-Men comic book artists ever but he brought his dynamic realism to Harley in the classic Hush storyline. Lee takes the classic animated Harley and applies his signature fine lines and energetic panels to her, making for a vibrant, memorable take on the character.

Lee also excels in his use of detail, and the ostensibly simplistic harlequin costume Harley wears in her earliest appearances in media takes on a new dimension in this 2004 epic storyline.

3 Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes specializes in drawing and painting beautiful women, making a career almost entirely from memorable covers of several iconic female heroes and villains. Harley Quinn’s inherent beauty shines through all his many renditions, and so does her naturally vibrant spirit, and he captures her magnetic personality better than almost anybody.

Hughes’ connection to Harley goes back early in her comic book career and he continues to draw signature covers for her, including a variant for the upcoming Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary Special, which brings together her many different iterations in the comics.

2 Amanda Conner / Jimmy Palmiotti

Married comic book artists Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti teamed up to create perhaps the most visually dynamic Harley yet. Their unique combined style, somewhere between an animated look and a realistic one, completely reimagined Harley in the early 2010s. Though their interpretation differed dramatically from the original, it’s since become iconic itself, inspiring the HBOMax version.

Conner and Palmiotti transformed Harley into a roller derby skater and gave her different colored ponytails that have now become her signature in live-action as well as the new animated series.

1 Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm co-created Harley for Batman: The Animated Series along with writer Paul Dini and together they minted an instant classic character. Timm’s inspired costume for the character remains iconic and part of her visual lexicon, even as she evolves in different ways in different media. His classic animated style, rooted in classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons and Alex Toth comics, makes for a slightly exaggerated Harley that fits her personality perfectly.

That exaggeration persists in later versions as well, despite more life-like takes on her. Timm participated in her formal introduction into comic books, drawing the iconic Mad Love one-shot in the 1990s that defined her origin for the first time as well as contributing various covers and pages over the years.

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