We would be lying if we told you we haven’t thought about a Marvel/DC crossover streaming service recently: The two universes finally putting their differences aside to provide entertainment for the good of man-(and streaming-)kind — not probable, though not completely outside of the realm of possibility either. And we’re already part of the way there.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2018 DC Comics announced that it will be launching a self-contained media streaming service called DC Universe. We’ve already got our wallets out.
In the same breath the comic titan announced six new series that will launch with the service, that have got our Bat-senses tingling. Or something. Firstly, the gritty new Titans series, the Swamp Thing and the recently announced Stargirl series, but you’ll need a DC Universe subscription to access all of these. At least it’s set to be quite affordable, given that we’re looking at DC-only content.
DC Universe will cost about $8 (R108) a month, though annual memberships are currently available for $75 (R1011) and come with an additional three free months of service. They’re clearly going after other streaming services — three months free is an attractive offer.
First batch of original shows
The original offerings will roll out over the course of a year. Three of the shows will be live-action (Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing) and two of them will be signature DC animated series (Young Justice: Outsiders, and Harley Quinn) — and will collectively bring enough new material to the platform to release a new episode each week.
But we’ll see Titans first with the launch of the service, which we’re fine with. The trailer looks intriguing.
With the announcement of Stargirl during a panel, DC’s original lineup expands to six shows: Titans, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Stargirl, Harley Quinn, and Young Justice: Outsiders. Ready?
A number of older shows and movies were included in an early demo of DC Unlimited, from Batman Beyond to the first two seasons of Batman: The Animated series and The Adventures of Lois and Clark, the 1970s Wonder Woman show and yes, the Christopher Nolan Batman films.
The whole list isn’t available yet, but expect a number of fan favorites, from animated series to live-action films, to be included with the service.
Fancy some light reading?
Along with old DC favourites and new original shows, you’ll gain access to a number of DC comic books via DC Universe, which adds a lot of value to the service. Physical comic books aren’t cheap, yo.
There’s uncertainty about the number of comics that will be available, but we can expect some fan-faves and new series. DC says that ‘thousands” of books will be available at any given time, and that books would rotate depending on which DC wants to push.
All comics will be available both while online and offline, with a capacity for TV-based viewing that brings pages to up to 4K resolution. Superman has never looked that detailed.
The comic book archive puts that price point in a new perspective, given that Marvel’s digital comics service, Marvel Unlimited, costs $9.99 a month. That service does have a bigger library, with more than 20,000 books currently available, but it doesn’t go beyond the world of pages and panels.
Not quite yet
The service will officially launch ‘late in 2018’ according to reports, but apparently a beta version will be available to ‘select users’ in August. So we’re guessing if you’re not friends with Christopher Nolan, or own a real Batmobile, you’re not getting access until the service launches for reals.
But you know what this means? We’re going to wind up paying for two streaming services in order to get access to the whole host of superheroes, because Marvel is definitely working on their own version of DC Universe. If they weren’t before, they are now.
At least South Africa is already on track, with the first Comic Con in Africa being held in September. Perhaps we’ll see Marvel announce something similar there?