The DC Universe Streaming service has been hyped for months. Upon the first look at the service it does not feel like a full-fledged service. It feels like a section of content on a larger service. Not to say that DC has not pulled out all the stops it can.
There are some cool things included in the app that make it worth checking out. For instance the ability to read DC comics online. There are tons of titles from a number of DC properties. This is not dissimilar to Marvels Comic app for IOS. The collection goes from A-Z, but don’t count on being able to read every iteration of all of your favorite forgotten characters. It is a selection that may well change over time. If you want real back issues you will have to hit up the dusty comics shops. The comics were not pushed when the service was originally announced. What people expected was video content. Unfortunately this is where things are a bit scant.
On the Bright Side
First of all, the vast majority of its highly regarded animated movies is available. Overall there are 26 animated movies available. That’s a great collection to get started with. It features an especially intriguing stack of Batman selections including Gotham by Gaslight and The two Dark Knight Returns titles.
The service also pulls in 12 live action movies. This includes the Franchise of Batman movies that started with Michael Keaton’s Batman and ended with George “nipples” Clooney in Batman And Robin. Christopher Nolan’s first two Batman films are in on the action too. The four Christopher Reeves Superman movies are available giving viewers a look at why the last two movies in the franchise nearly killed comic book movies before Batman saved them. The Live action movies are rounded out with some forgotten film adaptations of Wonder Woman, not starring Linda Carter and The Spirit 1987 version, not to be confused with the more recent attempt starring Samuel L Jackson.
The movie and TV selections kind of give DC fans a look at what has plagued the company for years. Outside of Batman and Superman the company has not had a good past when it comes to other characters. There are DC based movies out there that are not yet available on the service such as the Dark Knight Rises, Swamp Thing, Super Girl as well as the new DC films that started with The Man Of Steele. But looking over the list tells you something. DC has never made a real investment in the rest of its character catalog until very recently. Even in the animated realm. Only 9 of the other titles available do not prominently feature either Batman or superman or in many cases both.
The home of The Super Friends
There was a generation of comic book fans shaped by the Super Friends. The DC Universe will give them a chance to relive their childhood. Up to this point I don’t think there was a place to watch the 1980s era show that featured the now mocked characters like The Wonder Twins, “form of nostalgia”. The cartoon also featured the stylings of Adam West as Batman where he reprised the character he brought to the screen in the 1960’s series.
The classic 1960s Batman TV series is nowhere to be found. There is no sign of the “beloved” live action version of the Green Lantern either. Older Batman serials are also absent from the time capsule like selection.
Lots of filler
Something of note. In order to fill up space on the screen DC had to break out a number of very limited titles such as the Cartoon Network shorts featuring off beat characters like Plastic Man, Animal Man, Dead Man and The Metal Men. Each of these titles are broken into short shows of a couple of minutes long and were almost shown as filler between other Cartoon Network content. But they are now thrown on next to full features like Mask of The Phantasm or Superman The Movie. The one season of Constantine and the 1990’s era Flash are also available. Previously the titles were available for free via the CW Seed app. In fact many of the animated films from the past decade were too until being pulled to fill the catalogue of the new service.
High Hopes For The Titans
The success of the service may depend heavily on how well the Titans TV series fares. The Titans and a new season of Young Justice are big highlights for the fledgling service in much the same way that Star Trek Discovery headlined CBS All Access. It is a lot to pin on a few shows that are not even ready to launch when the service did. There is a lot of buzz for both series, but just a little bit of bad chatter on forums and social media can kill the Titans before it even has a chance to take hold with what is likely to be a small but dedicated audience. Until then DC had better hope that Batman Animated fare is enough to coax fans into checking things out. Because the vast majority of its titles are Batman animated films and movies.