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DC’s new digital streaming service is opening its beta this August

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DC Universe will include TV shows, movies, and comics all in one place

We’ve known for some time that DC Comics has been preparing its own digital streaming service, but today, the company revealed that the platform will go far beyond just TV shows. DC Universe isn’t a streaming platform so much as a subscription service for all things DC, including comics, TV shows, and movies. A beta version will be going live this August.

The new original TV shows that will premiere on the service have already been announced: the live-action Titans is scheduled to debut later this year, with Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol scheduled for 2019. On the animated side, the third season of Young Justice: Outsiders and the new Harley Quinn series will debut in 2019, as well. But DC Universe will also feature other films and TV shows featuring DC Comics characters, including movies like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the four original Christopher Reeve Superman films, and TV shows like Lois and Clark and the Lynda Carter series Wonder Woman. Conspicuously missing are more recent DC film adaptations such as Man of Steel, Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. Given that several of those films underwhelmed fans, however, that could be considered a feature rather than a bug.

Photo: DC Universe

DC Universe will also be offering up many of the company’s animated films — Batman: Year One and Gotham by Gaslight are two of the titles mentioned — but what could make the service stand out is its selection of comics. At this point, the details are a little fuzzy as to which titles will be available. According to press materials, DC Universe will offer “a rotating, curated selection of digital comics” that will include various titles, stretching back to the introduction of Superman in the 1930s.

The service will be available on the web as well as on phones, tablets, and TV screens, with support planned for iOS and Android devices, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. The complete service will launch this fall, but those interested in getting a sneak peek can sign up to be part of the August beta release at the DC Universe website.

The idea of a subscription service dedicated to a specific brand or intellectual property isn’t new: MGM launched a Stargate service last year, and Disney is currently readying its own streaming service, which will be home to Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar shows and movies. But DC Universe’s ability to bring together so many different types of content, created across decades, does make it a unique proposition for hardcore fans of its characters. Whether the service will be successful, however, will no doubt come down to two things: pricing, which has yet to be announced, and whether the new original TV shows will be strong enough to draw those subscribers who want more than just legacy content.