Sunday, September 02, 2018

DC Universe Streaming

I've been debating whether or not to pull the trigger on pre-ordering the new DC Universe service that will start on September 15th. There are many pros and cons to pre-ordering and I can't seem to make up my mind. In case you are in a similar state, I thought I'd share what I've learned about this digital endeavor and maybe we can make up our minds together by the end of it.

It is no secret I love DC Comics if not the direction the company has taken in the Dan Didio era. I think Rebirth was a success while the Nu52 was a failure. (I don't care what the numbers might have said, at least, in the beginning.) The DC Universe digital service seems perfect for a fan like me. So why am I hesitant?

Let's get down to the logistics. The DC Universe streaming service will air films, TV, cartoons, and other DC related media and also include the ability to read many classic and modern DC Comics. There will be new content created just for the DC Universe service and I imagine if it is successful, we will see less new DC content on networks like the CW or even a cable service like HBO. On the whole, this is ambitious because in addition to the traditional streaming service (I do think there are starting to be too many of them), it offers a comic reader than can be viewed on a tablet or on your 60 inch TV. 

I have a friend who reads many of his Marvel comics through the Marvel Comic App, and he has lamented the fact that DC doesn't offer something similar. Making it part of their media/streaming service is both a bold move and a good one, in my opinion. The only problem I see is the list is a "curated list" which means it is not clear how many comics will be available or which ones. They claim some of the Rebirth titles will be on there, but the advertisement showed some classic and Nu52 books. I did see All-Star Superman, so they will at least be offering some of their great graphic novels as well. It is difficult to get too excited without seeing the list of titles yet, but even if they are mostly classic/older books, they would be fun to read. 

Probably the aspect of the service that will draw the most fans immediately is the original TV content. In October, Titans will be released, and in 2019, there will be original series for Swamp Thing, Young Justice: Outsiders, Doom Patrol, Stargirl, and Harley Quinn. I know Young Justice and Harley Quinn will be animated, but I am not sure about Stargirl. Of the titles listed, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Young Justice are the most exciting for me. It is no secret I think Young Justice is one of the best versions of the DCU, and I wish the Nu52 had been exactly like it. I'm not excited about Titans because, well, I watched the trailer. Judge for yourself, but immediately, I hate their take on dark, violent, and homicidal Dick Grayson.

Along with the original content will be films like the original Superman and Tim Burton Batman movies, Constantine, and the animated DC films. They claim there will be "many more" but I don't have a definitive list. I'm hoping everything from Watchmen to V for Vendetta to even misfires like Green Lantern will be added, but we'll have to wait and see.

They are also showing HD versions of Batman: The Animated Series and the old Wonder Woman TV show. Batman TAS will be released on Blu-Ray next month (and they've done a stellar job of cleaning it up for HD), but if you do the DC Universe service, you can just watch it at your leisure. I'd like to see the CW DC shows and shows like Smallville, Lois & Clark, and even the old Superman TV show get added, but like everything else, we'll have to wait. 

There are exclusive merchandise opportunities for DC Universe subscribers to take advantage of, but let's be real, I'm not going to get this service as an opportunity to spend more money. If it allows me to get something interesting, cool, but it's not a selling point.

This is where we get down to brass tax. If you pre-order the DC Universe, you get it all for less than $5 a month. They give you 12 months + 3 extra (15 total) for $74.99. There is no other option before the service begins. Who knows how much it will be thereafter? Probably between $7-10 a month. On the surface, I'm tempted. 15 months? But I don't like ponying up $75 before it is out and all programming/comics are clear. I like to pay my streaming services monthly. I like what DC has to offer here, but I'm not sure if I want to make that investment without being able to try it for a month first. I currently get Netflix, Youtube Premium (so I could watch Cobra Kai), and Amazon Prime. My wife has a Hulu account as well. Youtube will be ending soon and I won't be renewing it until there is more Cobra Kai. Disney is planning a streaming service. CBS keeps trying to get me to watch expensive Star Trek. DC really needs to make an impression to get me to pick them up.

Sigh. I'm not so sure I've made a decision yet. I guess I'll have to wait and risk spending more. If you can spend $75, I think it is a good deal. But I'm poor. The promise is there, but it's a big commitment. It would be easier to decide if we knew the cost post-launch. 

What do you all think?



  1. Great write up as I have not looked into this. I agree I don't know what to do. I currently have cable, netflix, hulu and Amazon Prime- while the price is cheap for 15 months not sure I have time for anymore stuff.

  2. It doesn't help that the stuff I'm most interested in is Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Young Justice. Titans looks terrible, though I could be surprised. I also don't really like reading comics on a tablet. :/

  3. The most appealing thing to me is the chance to read a comic on a 60 inch TV, but that's hardly worth the $75.