In fact, not only is the throwback science fiction Netflix series every bit as popular among DC's heroes as those in our world, but the cast goes on to do even more incredible things. Well, at least one of them does. Dustin may be a fan-favorite now, but will he be as beloved when he grows into a full blown DC supervillain?
The bombshell crossing of franchises arrives in the latest Old Lady Harley #3, a comic set decades into the future of the DC Universe. Long after Harley and Joker broke up, long after Harley and Nightwing were married, and long after America collapsed into a wasteland. In true Escape from New York fashion, the government saw fit to build a wall around the city of Blüdhaven, notoriously one of America's most crime-ridden hotspots. And when Harley and her friends are dropped into the middle of it, the villains come out to play.
Captain Cold-- sorry, make that General Cold, Queen Snake... and everybody's favorite Stranger Things youth, Dustin Henderson.
We should point out that it's a little unclear if using the term "that kid from that one show" implies that Harley is referring to the adult villain as Dustin, or actor Gaten Matarazzo. Considering how easily Harley slides between fiction and reality, both seem equally possible. So fans are free to decide if the story of Stranger Things and its cast is what's being folded into the DC reality here, or the actual Netflix show being streamed to the televisions of DC's heroes and villains.
No matter how each reader decides to interpret the namedrop (facedrop?... hatdrop?) it's a compliment being paid, since the all-growed-up Dustin isn't just some two-bit criminal - he's one of "the greatest villains in the world." We can only hope that the makers of Stranger Things will appreciate the oh-so-thinly veiled reference, given their own adoration of genre films of the 1970s and 1980s (which writer Frank Tieri and artist Inaki Miranda are drawing from so heavily). If they don't, DC may have to worry about the legality of combining these fictional properties together, like when Marvel decided to backpedal on cheekily folding Star Trek aliens into the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Interested fans of either Harley Quinn or Stranger Things can pick up their own copy of Old Lady Harley #3 and see the cameo (and how brutally Harley drops the fan-favorite youth) now. And read through the issue's synopsis below, to get a taste of the other oddball cast members of DC's wasteland future:
Harley’s barely managed to escape from Gotham City—but going down the river to Blüdhaven might have been an even bigger mistake! The whole city is a prison, held in the grip of the bloodthirsty Bane Twins...and we’re sad to say, they definitely take after their father! And where there are criminals, you know there are Laughing Boys...and where there are Laughing Boys, can The Joker be far away?
Old Lady Harley #3 is available now from DC Comics.