San Diego Comic-Con is officially underway, and our Editor-in-Chief Sean Aune is running his butt off going back and forth to meetings at the show. As part of Comic-Con, DC Comics announced a bunch of details for its upcoming streaming service, which will include a bunch of pictures from its back catalog as well as original content like the super-questionable Titans show (seriously, what’s up with that trailer?) and a whole stack of comics.
DC wants the DC Universe service to be a one-stop shop for all-things Detective Comics. To get in, you’ll have to cough up $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year.
There will, of course, be a ton of video content. Those live-action shows are going to be there for free, while some of the recent DC films and Arrowverse shows from the CW will be available for rent or purchase. It sounds like DC Universe is going to go for more of a Hulu model than a Netflix model, though as they’re promising that the service will have enough new content across its five planned shows to release a new episode each week. If you’re a binger, you may have to wait for your shows to finish before you can dive in. The live-action shows currently on the docket are Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing, while the animated shows are Young Justice: Outsiders and Harley Quinn. As you may have surmised, though, live-action content isn’t going to be enough on its own to draw users in for a subscription.
While the service won’t have every DC book ever, it’ll have around 2000 to 3000 titles available, with comics being available to read on phones, tablets or even televisions. DC notes that this could be used make comic-book reading a group event. I can imagine sharing my favorite comic-book stories with a significant other who hasn’t read them but wants to get into the books I like, but I’m still unconvinced that this is something people will actually do. On the other hand, a book with particularly memorable art might look good if DC has these books scanned in at high-enough resolution to fill up a 4K display. One can hope, right?
The third pillar of the service is community. DC wants to foster a sense of connection through its DC Universe service. The exact details of the community aspect of the service are still up in the air, but DC wants to keep fan discussions going, offer up a DC encyclopedia, and more. DC has promised that it plans to “aggressively patrol” forums to keep discussions civil.
That $7.99/$74.99 pricetag might seem a bit steep, but it’s actually fairly competitive. While DC Universe definitely can’t compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon when it comes to content creation, it has nearly a century worth of comics to pull from. Right now, Marvel’s Unlimited service provides just comic book access and is asking for $9.99/$69.99. DC is looking to offer a good bit more at a very competitive price. I’m getting my money’s worth from Marvel Unlimited as I plow through one Spider-Man book after another, and I have years of Superman and Wonder Woman to catch up on. For me, as an active reader of comic books, DC Universe is already looking like a stellar deal. If you’re looking at it like the next Netflix, maybe less so.
DC hasn’t set an exact launch date, but the DC Universe service and its exclusive Titans show are launching this fall.