DC finally announced the name of its pending digital streaming service — it will simply be known as DC Universe, which may seem pedestrian, but let’s recall that the DCU literally (well, fictionally) holds “infinite earths.” Announced projects include Titans, of course, the live-action series starring Teen Titans stalwarts, as well as the third season of Young Justice. In addition, the service will host a Harley Quinn series and a horror-heavy Swamp Thing show. But what else can we hope for from a subscription product that DC describes as “a first-of-its-kind, immersive digital experience designed just for DC fans”? A GEEK’s wish-list follows.
Of all the archival animation possibilities we imagine this service might hold, there is just something nicely nostalgic about the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons that catalyzed the love for the superhero genre for many Gen X-ers. From the Wendy and Marvin era to the Challenge of the Superfriends glory seasons (where, admittedly, the theme song and intro were the best part), the ‘toons are surely enjoyable on some level on their own, and an interesting study in how far we’ve come. Speaking of which . . .
The good TV, The best TV.
C’mon, we need some access to the stalwarts. Adam West’s Batman? Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman? Access to Batman: TAS? Justice League? Justice League Unlimited? Teen Titans? We understand there may be rights issues and such, but surely some, if not most of these quality action series could and should be made available for the fan who’s going to pony up a monthly fee to immerse themselves in the DCU. Plus we’d expect all the current CW ArrowVerse stuff, and Fox’s Gotham to show up there eventually too.
The Weird Stuff
We’ve mentioned before the unaired, live-action Justice League pilot. This and other miscellanies, such as our beloved and cancelled Powerless, along with the likes of the underappreciated Green Lantern CGI animated series, and even fun one-offs like the Scooby-Doo/Batman and Robin team-ups, and that I Love Lucy where Superman shows up, would perfectly scratch the same kind of itch that comic aficionados experience when uncovering a rare crossover appearance.
The Live-Action Movies
Duh. We understand if the current wave (Justice League, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman) might be better monetized elsewhere, but there’s quite an archive of movies from before the latest initiatives began that could enrich a DC fan’s enjoyment of the service, or sell the casual fan on subscribing. The first Superman movie and its sequel, for instance.
The Animated Movies
While the current DCEU doesn’t really compete with Marvel Studio’s MCU on any tangible level, DC has been crushing the competition in the animation realm for decades. Dating all the way back the short Superman films by Max Fleischer during WWII, all the way to the feature-length stuff like Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and the most recent Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.
Comics and Audio Dramas
Elephant in the room: Marvel has a digital comics streaming service, DC does not. The inclusion of a large digital archive could help make paying for the service a slam dunk. Marvel’s also got a Wolverine podcast going on — what’s to stop DC from including some cool audio dramas as part of this “immersive” network? It’s an opportunity to explore lesser-known characters for less than the price of episodic television. Not to mention there are a bazillion years of Superman radio archives that could hold some interest.
Link ’em up
You want immersion? Make it so we can slip seamlessly from watching Adam West’s Batman flirt with Julie Newmar’s Catwoman to a list of their most classic comics confrontations to listening to an audio clip/podcast of Catwoman’s diary regarding pre-wedding jitters. Like the sacred and all-too-rare editor’s note in comic books, every single digital comic or show could and should reference where to find more on any character or concept (what the hell is Nth metal again?) and provide a link to the available archives for related properties. That is where the immersion can come in, and make us think of DC as a related universe, regardless of comics, movies, or television.
While a launch date for the service has yet to be announced, the Titans premiere is expected this year, and so it would figure so is the streaming service, and that’s when we’ll get our questions answered (price? content? etc.). What other pie-in-the-sky ideas do you have that DC might accomplish with this?
Even if it ends up being merely the announced programming, with more to come, it seems pretty cool, but if DC wants to wow its most fervent fan-base and garner more via its large kitchen sink, well . . . we’ve given them a good start.
Images: DC Comics, Warner Bros.