Move Over Netflix, DC Has a New Comic Book-Crazed Streaming Service

Ethan Zack
The logo for DC Universe: DC Entertainment's new streaming service. (via facebook.com)

Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go — there are enough subscription services to supply endless Saturday nights, but none of them are quite Batman enough. That is aside from DC Universe’s new flagship streaming service, dedicated exclusively to DC content.

For $7.99 per month, the service aims to be the quintessential media hub for fans of DC Comics, bundling popular TV shows, movies, original programming and even digital comic books into one streamlined package. DC Universe includes a large amount of content to choose from, ranging from popular fan-favorites like the Cartoon Network series “Teen Titans” to lesser-known works like “Birds of Prey.”

However, there are some glaring omissions within DC Universe’s library. Popular superhero shows on The CW, such as “Arrow” and “The Flash,” are notably absent. What is even stranger is the exclusion of films from the DC Extended Universe like the blockbusters “Wonder Woman” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” For a service that prides itself on being the place to explore all of DC’s storied history, the library is fairly extensive, yet clearly incomplete.

The most notable draw to DC Universe is the presence of exclusive content and original limited series, an aspect exemplified by the live-action “Titans” series starring Brenton Thwaites that premiered in October. That said, the show has its flaws, including forced dialogue and awkward humor. Overall, “Titans” is worth the watch and serves as a legitimate reason to continue paying for DC Universe after the week-long free trial expires. It will leave fans optimistic for future exclusive content like the upcoming “Harley Quinn” animated series and the long-awaited revival of the critically acclaimed “Young Justice.”

DC Universe also comes with the rather unique function of providing access to a vast rotating library of digital comics. The extensively curated library makes it very accessible to newcomers looking to get into comics for the first time or fans who want to focus on a specific character or series. The largest drawback of the selection stems from its rotating content, which necessitates readers to follow along with certain series before older issues disappear. DC plans to allow subscribers to purchase the full digital DC Comics library later this month, though the necessity of having to pay for an added feature within a service you’re already paying for seems questionable.

To top off its selection of media, DC Universe also hosts a digital encyclopedia for subscribers to learn about the history of any given character. The encyclopedia represents another way that DC Universe reaches out to those who are less familiar with comics. The service also provides a public forums section where users can communicate with each other regarding just about anything related to DC. It works fine, though its presence seems rather superfluous considering pre-existing internet forums like Reddit.

DC Universe is worth checking out not only for hardcore DC fans but for anyone who is just starting to get into the world and wants an accessible way to engage with DC Comics’ wider canon. For the average consumer, however, it’s a very niche service. It has a much narrower range of content than something like Netflix or Hulu. For now, DC Universe presents an overall positive experience for fans of superhero content, but it isn’t worth the purchase for just about anyone else.

Email Ethan Zack at [email protected]

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