I had the chance to check out an early preview of the DC universe streaming service as SDCC 2018 and if what I saw is just the beginning, I’m already sold. Before getting into the service itself, let’s talk about price, an annual subscription will run you just under $75 and if you sign-up now, you’ll get an extra 3 months for free, when the service launches later this fall, you’ll be able to sign up on a month-month basis for about $8. So, the question is, is it worth it? My answer is absolutely, keep reading to find out why.
TV and Movies:
Want to watch Batman the Animated Series in HD? The Donner Era Superman movies? Maybe even the hokey 70’s precursor to Justice League, Superfriends? It’s all there. Additionally, you’ll have new shows like Titans, Swamp Thing, Young Justice: Outsiders, Harley Quinn, and any new series developed for the platform in the future. Not only do you get all of these shows, but you’ll also get curated lists of content. Is The Joker one of your favorite villains? DC Universe will show you every episode of every show on the service where The Joker has a significant role, if there’s not a pre-made list for you, you’ll be able to search for characters and find all the content they’re in. However, at first, not EVERY character appearance will be searchable, over time as the service is updated, even random one-off cameos will show up. Also, just like every other streaming service out there, the service will track what you watch and search for and make suggestions that it thinks you would like.
There’s not a complete list of all the comics that will be available, but I was told the number would be in the thousands. The only downside is that from what I understand, it won’t be a constantly growing list of back-issues, but a rotating collection based off what DC is looking to promote during that time frame, so with the upcoming releases of Aquaman and Shazam, expect to see books featuring those characters at the forefront of the initial collection. What’s cool about this though is that the comic reader takes some cues from the animatic comixology format. Every book on the service will be able to be read as full-page spreads that you can zoom in or out on or you’ll be able to enter a “panel mode” that will walk you through the comic panel by panel, it’s an interesting experience that looked amazing on the 65″ 4k screen they showed it to us on.
Most of this information can already be found on Wikipedia, Fandom, or any number of other fan sites, but through the service, you’ll have an official repository of information on every DC character. I asked whether or not this would tie into the comics or shows, almost like Amazon’s X-Ray feature and was told that it wouldn’t be available at first, but in a future update you’ll be able to pause the show you’re watching or click on a character to be taken to a bio page and/or a list of other content that the character is available in.
Other Notable Features and Final Thoughts
In addition to everything listed above, DC Universe will also be cultivating its own mini-social network. You’ll be able to talk with other fans about everything DC, share lists of your favorite comics, shows, episodes, characters, etc . . . When first launched, the service will only be available on select Smart TV services, Apple TV, Roku, iOS, Android, and the Web. In 2019 they are expected to expand the service to game consoles like the Xbox One and PS4.
Personally, I’m excited for it. While I’m not looking forward to paying for another service since between Hulu (with live TV), Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Xbox Live, HBO Go, CBS All Access, and probably the Disney streaming service when that comes out I’ll be back to paying what I was paying for cable, I guess the difference now is that I’m actually using all the services I pay for instead of having hundreds of channels I wasn’t watching