A couple weeks ago DC Comics finally unveiled its new streaming service to the world. Entitled “DC Universe”, the service will aim to put all of DC’s films, television shows, animation, and comics in one place for your viewing pleasure. Well, almost all. None of the CW Arrowverse shows will be included along with FOX’s Gotham and AMC’s Preacher.
“DC Universe is a first-of-its-kind, immersive digital experience designed just for DC fans.” This quote comes from the service’s official site, and serves to get DC fans excited for this new all-in-one experience. I am one of those fans, but I don’t feel as pumped as I should be.
Before I get into what worries me about this service I’ll talk about what I do like: The classic collection of movies and television shows. Having Superman I-IV, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (The Dark Knight Rises is not included oddly enough) and the coveted Batman: The Animated Series, all in one place truly has me excited. I absolutely cannot wait to finally delve into Batman: The Animated Series in its entirety, but that can only hold me over for so long.
To its credit it seems DC is making an effort to make sure the service launches with enough original content. Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders (Young Justice: Season 3), Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, and Harley Quinn are what is being worked on for original programming but not all will be available at the service’s launch. This is disheartening and makes me hesitant to be a first-day subscriber to the service.
The service also includes DC’s entire collection of comics which is staggering to hear. Every comic that has ever been released, more or less, is a real feat but not what I’m initially subscribing to the service for.
DC has yet to release a statement on pricing and thus this is where my trepidation for DC Universe begins. With so many streaming services out right now and with a Disney service on the way next year (which let’s be honest will likely launch with a massive catalog), how can DC stand out and convince people to spend even, let’s say, $5 a month on their product? $5 may not seem like much, but when many people, myself included, pay for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO every month, it all tends to add up.
I would also like to point out the quality of DC Entertainment as a whole these days. As the years have gone on, DC has managed to lose much of my faith in the quality of their films and television shows, animated or not. To start, the DCEU is on some real ice after the dud that was Justice League, not to mention that Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad do not fare well in critic circles and some fan circles as well. Wonder Woman was a step in the right direction and I have some faith in December’s Aquaman because of director James Wan’s pedigree, but the DCEU lacks direction and is, quite frankly, embarrassing at this point.
DC’s television presence unfortunately does not fare much better. CW’s Arrowverse is hit or miss with their shows and has become a little bloated as of late. Gotham has a decent following, but was never something many fans latched onto. SyFy’s Krypton is the rare exception as it seems to be off to a solid start, but likely doesn’t have the amount of viewers DC is hoping for.
All of this makes the announcement of DC Universe’s live-action shows fall a little flat for me. With so little faith in DC’s quality output these days, I cannot even get remotely excited about a show like Titans. 6 years ago, I would have been ecstatic to hear of a show based on this group of superheroes, but as it stands DC is quite a different beast now than it was then.
I hope DC can handle DC Universe well upon launch as the idea of finally just having one place where I can watch all of their new and classic content is tantalizing, but right now I remain unconvinced. Lack of content and lack of quality content is their problem right now and I hope that their new live-action shows can one day rival those of Netflix and especially Netlfix/Marvel’s shows.