TV News

Will You Subscribe to DC Universe?

Every nerd reaches that point where they’re told they need to sell their comic book collection, grow up, be an adult – all of that stuff Shannen Doherty was yelling at Jason Lee about at the start of Mallrats. I don’t completely fall into that category, largely because I don’t actually have a true comic book collection to speak of, apart from a handful of Harley Quinn titles from Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and just about every issue of Ant-Man and The Astonishing Ant-Man written by Nick Spencer. I came to my comic book fandom through film and TV, and that’s where it has mostly stayed. However, it’s 2018 and probably in the time since I’ve written this Netflix added like 70 more shows, and I only just started The Innocents. Survival as a pop culture fans means knowing when to say enough’s enough.

We are all Jean-Luc Picard yelling:

Now, here comes DC saying, “What line? What are you talking about lines for? And why ever ‘sell your collection’? Stay a fan forever. We have just the streaming service to help with that.”

Presenting: DC Universe!

  • Officially launches September 15h, coinciding with DC’s annual “Batman Day.”
  • The first original show, Titans, will premiere on the service on October 12th, 9 days after debuting at New York Comic Con. It will air in weekly installments.
  • Further original shows, like Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Young Justice and Harley Quinn, will debut sometime in 2019.
  • ”The streaming service is designed as a one-stop-shop for all things DC, and it’ll allow members to draw from a huge library of TV, film, and comics” – via The Verge
  • In addition to original live-action and animated programs as well as a daily news show featuring John Barrowman among a wide variety of other hosts, DC Universe will also “have a wide range of classic TV shows, including Lois and Clark, as well as an HD remastered version of Batman: The Animated Series” – via The Verge
  • Unlike other streaming services, DC Universe will also have digital comics available to read and the selection will update every month.
  • It will cost $7.99 a month or $74.99 for 15 months, with the first 3 of those 15 months being free
  • Early subscribers get a physical omnibus copy of The New Teen Titans mailed to them.

To be fair, that sounds like a great deal, but I’m not going to pay for the privilege of seeing Kevin Smith and/or his daughter chatting on a daily news show about the latest hot DC comic book or movie trailer. I already own most of the DC-related movies and TV shows I’d want to watch. Having all of that in a single streaming service would certainly be nice, but as a bonus, not the primary selling point.

Backfilling a service with catalog titles is fine, but in order to stand out you need original content and man, oh man does their first new original look terrible:


Yeaaaaaahhhhhh….I’m not watching that. I will, however, watch the inevitable Teen Titans Go! episode making fun of it, and when that happens it’ll be on Cartoon Network, not DC Universe.

Call me again when Young Justice or Harley Quinn arrives.

I applaud DC’s effort to create something so tailored to its fans, and from a Hollywood business standpoint this certainly marks an interesting new entry into the streaming service sweepstakes. However, content is king and with the CW voluntarily morphing into the DC Channel over the past half decade and placing all of those Arrowverse shows on Netflix we’re not exactly lacking for programming on the already-existing streaming services. I’m going to need a lot more than “Here’s a bunch of old stuff!” AND Robin saying “Fuck Batman” to pull me in to DC’s new online universe.

What about you?


    1. I at least appreciate their effort to integrate digital comics into things as a way to stand out from other streaming services, but as you point out not everyone actually wants digital comics, not even those people who love comic books. So, I wonder what the percentages will end up for how many of their users actually take advantage of the available digital comics and how many ignore that part of the service. They’ll probably never say unless the numbers make them look good (or can be massaged to appear to say that).

  1. Yeah, it’s not for me. First, I agree with you about the value of the content. Second, I really, really dislike the trend of each studio having their own closed streaming service. I don’t want to support or encourage that at all.

    1. “Second, I really, really dislike the trend of each studio having their own closed streaming service. I don’t want to support or encourage that at all.”

      The streaming services are definitely starting to pile up here. It seems like eventually, we’ll simply end up with the cable TV bundling model. For example, if you subscribe to AT&T’s DirectTV streaming service you’ll also get DC Universe, whether you want it or not, and if you subscribe to Hulu you’ll have the option to add-on Disney Play or ESPN+. Heck, Amazon and Hulu already do that kind of thing with their pay channel add-on options.

      At a certain point, it’ll just be same familiar cable TV recreated online.

  2. Sadly no…as much as I love the DC universe in Comics and Games such as Injustice I see no need to pay for sub par programming.

    Sad too, cause it would be fun to see those titles on a streaming service that was actually worth the 8 bucks to own…

    1. The real test here will come once the more promising shows arrive next year. Young Justice has a big enough cult following to draw people in. Harley Quinn is popular enough to at least get people to consider watching her in an animated series.

      But if Titans ends up being as truly terrible as it looks DC will be stuck in a sadly familiar position: trying to win back those fans stung by an inferior product.

  3. Not parting with $75 unless I get some real hard sell or convincing. DC has great stories but TV and Movies haven’t done enough to sell them well. I mean, green lantern movie anyone?

    1. This sort of reminds of when a video game console launches without any good games and any early adopters end up waiting months before they get something truly worth playing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: