When Warner Bros. announced plans to launch a DC-centric streaming service featuring live-action series starring DC's superheroes, comparisons to the partnership between Marvel and Netflix were inevitable. Fans were hoping the platform, named DC Universe, would develop a library of programming the same way Marvel used Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist to build to the Defenders.
With the announcement of Doom Patrol as a spinoff of the live-action Titans, it seems the DC Universe service is doing just that. Titans will lay threads down for Doom Patrol to pick up on, allowing both to inform each other while creating room to expand the universe organically. Basically, Warner Bros. is following Marvel's existing Netflix model, which, minor slip-ups aside, has proven quite successful.
It's all about starting hot, and DC Universe aims to do just that with with Titans, a show based on one of DC's most popular and well-known teams. Marvel kicked off with Daredevil, a dark, gritty and mature story series which set the tone for Netflix's entire Defenders universe. From Daredevil we went to Jessica Jones, which co-starred Luke Cage, who would then headline his own series -- much like Titans will co-star the Doom Patrol before that show launches.
There are some other differences, of course. DC Universe's series don't appear to be connected to the DC Extended Universe movies, and instead of using individual heroes to assemble to a big team crossover like the Defenders (and similar to what we see on CW's Arrowverse), Titans and Doom Patrol are launching DC Universe with team-based projects. But the underlying formula is the same: launch with a popular brand to help build an audience for cult-favorites or "smaller" brands. As it stands, the Titans will be boasting Dick Grayson's Robin (Brendon Thwaites), Starfire (Anna Diop), Raven (Teagan Croft), Beast Boy (Ryan Potter), with lesser known heroes Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly) also appearing. But as writer Geoff Johns teased with the fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol," Titans is all about setting up big things for the future.
Now, we don't know how the Doom Patrol will figure into Titans because details have been scarce, but it feels similar to how Daredevil Season 2 introduced Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), which eventually led to The Punisher. What we do know is after the events of Titans Season 1, the Doom Patrol will regroup with Robotman (Jake Michaels), Negative Man (Dwain Murphy), Elasti-Girl (April Bowlby) and Dr. Niles Caulder (Bruno Bechir), along with a previously unmentioned character: Crazy Jane. The kicker is, they'll be tasked by Cyborg -- a longstanding member of the Titans in the comics -- to save the world.
It's highly likely Cyborg will figure into Titans in some capacity, given his history with the team. By using Vic Stone as an established superhero in both shows, we would have a common denominator organically connecting them, similar to Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple over in Marvel's Netflix-verse. In other words, DC Universe appears to be utilizing certain characters as the link between different series.
Thanks to Titans' potential roster, should the show be a hit there's a solid likelihood we'll see other spinoffs apart from Doom Patrol, just like Marvel's Netflix-verse did in the wake of Daredevil. Jason Todd and Donna Troy are rumored for Titans, characters whose stories can be fleshed out in solo series. This also allows Warner Bros. to return to the Titans for future seasons, either with the same lineup or a new/revolving one. In short, by repeating this process, the DC Universe shows can experience true growth -- just as long as it continues to follow in, and perhaps even improve upon the Marvel/Netflix model's footsteps.