DC Universe subscription service will include original shows, digital comics reader and more
DC Entertainment has finally unveiled extensive information about their upcoming subscription service, DC Universe.
The service was first announced last year as the platform that will host new DC TV shows like a live-action Titans series, the third season of animated series Young Justice, plus a new animated Harley Quinn series and live-action shows based on Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing. DC Universe will be much more than just an original content streaming service, however. It will also host classic DC movies and TV, as well as an extensive collection of DC's comic library, a fan community forum, an informative DC encyclopedia, and a merchandise store. The service is set to go live this fall, but beta access will open up in August; fans can sign up for that here.
Set to debut on the platform later this year, Titans will follow young heroes like Robin (Brenton Thwaites) and Rachel Roth (a.k.a. Raven, a young girl possessed by a strange darkness) as they take on a conspiracy to bring Hell on Earth (which sounds like it might involve Raven's demonic father Trigon). The team will also include hot-headed alien Starfire and the lovable shapeshifter Beast Boy. Young Justice: Outsiders, the third season to the once-canceled animated series, will debut on the service next year and will follow even more young DC heroes (including some new characters) as they and their friends are targeted by meta-human trafficking and an intergalactic arms race to gain control of these superpowered youths. The adult animated series Harley Quinn will also debut next year, and follow Harley's adventures after breaking up with the Joker. With the help of long-time friend Poison Ivy and other DC castoffs, Harley will try to earn a seat for herself at the Legion of Doom.
The live-action Doom Patrol series, set to debut in 2019, features some of the strangest superheroes ever created by DC: Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman, and Crazy Jane, summoned by the enigmatic Dr. Niles Caulder and called into action by Cyborg (which may explain why he's not involved in the Titans series) to explore the weirdest corners of the DC world. The inclusion of Crazy Jane (a woman with many multiple personalities, each of which has different powers) suggests that the series could take some inspiration from writer Grant Morrison's fascinating and influential Doom Patrol run in the '80s, in addition to the characters' long history. Swamp Thing, also scheduled to debut in 2019, follows Abby Arcane as she investigates a strange swamp in Louisiana with mystical and terrifying secrets.
In addition to the original shows, DC Universe will also host a bevy of classic DC shows and movies, from Batman: The Animated Series to Lynda Carter's classic Wonder Woman series (which will be available in HD for the first time). Animated movies like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Green Lantern: First Flight will be included as well.
DC Universe also comes with a comics reader. This tool differs from existing comic readers like Marvel Unlimited and Comixology because, in addition to being accessible on a smartphone or tablet, it will also allow readers to scroll through the comics on their TV screen. The library will not include every comic published by DC in its 80-year history, but the curated selection of thousands of comics will include classics like Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 (the original appearances of Superman and Batman, respectively) as well as Geoff Johns' and Jim Lee's Justice League run, and Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner's 2013 Harley Quinn series.
"We wanted the DC Universe comic reader to be a blend of art and technology that would further enhance fan's experiences of the live-action and animated programming," DC publisher Dan DiDio said in a statement. "This hand-curated selection from our decades of comic creations gives fans a thematic digital longbox to carry with them on the device of their choosing or lets them watch exclusive video content on a big screen followed by the comic that inspired it."
DC Universe members will also have exclusive access to a range of new action figures and collector's items from DC Collectibles, including six-inch action figures based on Justice League: The Animated Series. Users who grow tired of Twitter bickering can also check out the service's new fan forum, deisgned to be a venue for posting information, finding friends, and sharing DC passions. There will also be an extensive DC encyclopedia, both for fans still learning about the company's wide fictional world and for experienced readers needing to double-check something.
Check out some screenshots of the service below, along with a new image of Thwaites' Robin from Titans.