The DC Universe streaming service is almost ready to go live. Finally. After more than a year of planning and hype, DC Entertainment is announcing today that its new subscription-based digital channel will officially launch this fall (exact date still to be announced), following a beta test beginning in August. The comic book company — home of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, etc. — is hoping to take a bite out of the lucrative streaming market, offering fans original content along with a substantial catalog of older movies and TV series, plus digital comic books.
The service, which was first announced in April 2017, will be highlighted by several previously announced original series, including Titans, a live-action drama based on the popular Teen Titans super team featuring Robin (played by Brenton Thwaites, pictured above), Raven, Starfire, and Beast Boy. That show will launch this fall and will lead to a Doom Patrol spinoff coming in 2019, featuring the DC Comics team of outcast heroes. (Both shows are being executive-produced by Greg Berlanti, overlord of The CW's "Arrowverse" empire.)
Other original shows premiering on the service next year include Young Justice: Outsiders, a reboot of the popular 2010-2013 Cartoon Network series, which was known for a massive cast of DC Comics favorites in a densely plotted mystery; Harley Quinn, an animated comedy featuring the insanely popular (and just plain insane) villain; and Swamp Thing, a live-action horror drama featuring the human-plant hybrid.
The back catalog of DC-themed programming includes all four of Christopher Reeve's Superman movies, and several animated movies, including All-Star Superman, Batman: Year One, and Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The TV archives feature re-mastered HD versions of the 1970s Wonder Woman series starring Lynda Carter and the beloved 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. Other offerings include Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Constantine, Static Shock, and Super Friends, among others. (The CW's Arrowverse shows will not be available, as they are exclusive to Netflix.)
A unique feature to the service will be the availability of digital comic books, which can be displayed on any connected device, including large-screen televisions. (At an early media preview earlier this month, the image quality, navigation, and viewing options were all of impressively high quality.) The company promises "a curated selection of thousands of DC comics," both old and new, notably Action Comics No. 1 (the first appearance of Superman), Detective Comics No. 27 (Batman's debut), and several series from the "New 52" reboot, including Justice League, Supergirl, and Aquaman, plus classic titles like The Dark Knight Returns, The New Teen Titans, and DC: The New Frontier.
DC Universe will include a new community space, replacing the long-departed dccomics.com message boards. At the preview session, DC execs were eager to point out that the space will be moderated, an attractive feature in this age of toxic trolling.
The service will be available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV (plus via the web and mobile web). Fans can sign up now at dcuniverse.com to be part of the beta test. Pricing for the service was not announced. (It's a safe bet that more details will be announced at San Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks.)