After more than a year of reports about plans for a DC-focused streaming service, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. have announced plans to launch DC Universe, a subscription digital streaming service that will provide access to live action films, animation, comics, and online shopping, beginning in the fall.
DC Universe will be managed by Sam Ades, general manager and senior v-p, Warner Bros. Digital Networks. Although no pricing was announced the service will begin accepting beta testers in August. Fans can apply to be beta testers on the DC Universe website.
Jim Lee, DC chief creative officer and publisher (as well as one of DC’s most popular artists), said “DC Universe is so much more than a streaming service. We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows and curating the most beloved nostalgic content."
Plans to launch a streaming service featuring live-action DC superhero films were first reported in early 2017 but the newly announced DC Universe is designed to offer a wide variety of content—including a curated selection of digital comics—as well as a variety of online experiences. The platform will offer original live action films based on DC characters (among them Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol in 2019), and original animated TV series (a new show, Harley Quinn, and the third season of Young Justice: Outsiders, will debut in 2019).
DC Universe will also offer a curated selection of “thousands” of DC Comics selected from across decades of DC publishing. The service will offer access to classic such as Action Comics #1 from 1938, which featured the first appearance of Superman, as well as such pivotal superhero titles as Scott Snyders’s Swamp Thing (2011), and Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s Harley Quinn (2013).
The selection of comics available to members will be rotated and DC Universe comics can be downloaded to tablets and phones for offline reading.
The service will also offer news, interviews and previews of forthcoming content via a section called DC Encyclopedia; there will be an online community for fans to connect and respond to DC (and, of course, to complain about DC) and online shopping for merchandise, collectibles and special goods.
DC Entertainment publisher Dan DiDio said DC Universe is designed to bring its live action and animated series together with the comics they are based on. “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. The 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.”