Ready or not, we are now entering the post-Netflix age -- don’t worry, Netflix isn’t going away. However, we’re now entering into a period of time where every major company wants to try their hand at creating a streaming network for their many properties. We’ve already seen this with CBS Access, in which CBS hoped that fans’ desire to watch new Star Trek (or maybe just watch Big Bang Theory until their eyes bleed) would be enough for them to fork over a few bucks each month. Disney is also poised to offer their own service which will have a mixture of classic Disney, Marvel and Star Wars content alongside new stuff like a seventh season of Clone Wars.
So it’s not a huge surprise to see DC Comics cashing in on this movement. That’s why they’ve created DC Universe, a streaming service that is designed to be your one-stop shop for movies, TV shows, and comics featuring your favorite DC characters. When it launched, DC Universe only had classic shows and comics available, however, they have announced a wide array of original content that will come out in the first year. Just like other streaming services, they’ll be adding more classic content to their library from time to time but so far, fan reaction has been a little split. Some fans are overjoyed to have their favorite shows a click away, while others think the original content looks a bit... bad. Who is right and who is wrong? Don’t worry, we’ve broken it down. Just keep reading to discover 10 reasons to be hyped about DC Universe (and 10 reasons we’re not)!
20 EXCITED FOR: DOOM PATROL
Theoretically, the cornerstone of the DC Universe streaming service is its original content. Sure, it’s nice having things like the classic DC Animated shows, but fans hunger for something new, which is one of the reasons that we are hyped about the upcoming Doom Patrol show.
Fans of the Doom Patrol comic are some of the most passionate, and for good reason: this is one of the weirdest sets of characters in comics, and thanks to Grant Morrison, they’ve had some of the best written adventures in history. If this live-action adaptation can even begin to reach for that level of quality, then comics fans have every reason to be hyped.
19 NOT: TITANS
Ever get really hyped for a movie or TV show... right up until you see a heartbreakingly bad trailer? That’s what happened for many fans with the trailer for this live-action Titans show. The Titans have experienced a bit of a franchise revival in recent years with multiple cartoons, and fans were clamoring to see their fave characters in live-action.
However, the preview seems to have replaced these fun characters with gritty versions straight out of the DCEU. We get to see Robin gunning people down and saying derogatory things about Batman in-between some really bad special effects. Seems like the only reason we want to watch this show is to see how bad it can possibly get.
18 EXCITED FOR: SWAMP THING
In an age of endless Hollywood reboots and sequels, it’s difficult to get hyped when a studio returns to the well. There’s an exception to this, though and that’s when the character has never had a really good adaptation before, which is why we’re hyped for this live-action Swamp Thing.
The old Swamp Thing movies are not terrible, but they still don’t do justice to this complex character. We’re hoping that a live-action show can help capture the character's synergy of horror, mysticism, and environmentalism like lightning in a streaming bottle. Worst case? We’re pretty sure he won’t be cussing about Batman.
17 NOT: STARGIRL
We’ll be upfront here: we really wanted to get hyped about the Stargirl series. She’s a fun character, and Geoff Johns is personally getting extremely involved in adapting this character for the show. However, we feel the success of this show is a bit of a no-win scenario.
First, if we can be frank, Johns doesn’t have the magic touch for the screen that he does for the page. Remember when he helped make the DCEU better? Yeah, neither do we. Even if the show is a modest success, it seems there is little to set it apart from shows like Flash or Arrow, and we already have plenty of “DC hero fights villain of the week” type shows.
16 EXCITED FOR: YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
If there was going to be one show that sold you on the DC Universe service, it would probably be Young Justice: Outsiders. The first Young Justice was a major hit with fans, and it showed that it was possible to meet and even exceed the high quality benchmarks set by things like Batman: The Animated Series.
The show only lasted for two seasons, but rumors swirled for many years about a third season comeback, possibly on Netflix. Now, the sequel has become DC’s secret weapon to bring longtime fans to their streaming service, and it looks like it worked (on us, at least).
15 NOT: HARLEY QUINN
Aside from Young Justice: Outsiders, Harley Quinn is going to be the next big cartoon for DC Universe. It follows the madcap (and allegedly more adult) adventures of Joker’s favorite sidekick once she sets off on her own. It may sound like a recipe for success but... well... we’re a little worried.
First, there’s the threat of oversaturation. Harley Quinn is basically everywhere now, and even if the fans don’t themselves burn out of the character, creators are burning out on creating good stories about her and if the show is anything like her appearance in Batman and Harley Quinn, which featured things like extended fart gags, then we’re ready to skip this altogether.
14 EXCITED FOR: METROPOLIS
So far, we don’t know a lot about the show Metropolis. It’s supposed to be a kind of Superman prequel show, and the focus will be on both Lois Lane and Lex Luthor -- call us crazy, but the possibilities for this show have us pretty damn hyped.
First, Lex Luthor has a lot of TV show potential -- Smallville showed how good a small screen Lex could be, and comic writers like Brian Azarello showed he could be a great, complex character even when Superman’s not around. Even without Superman, we can finally see Lois Lane as a heroic ace reporter instead of a perpetual damsel in distress for The Man of Steel.
13 NOT: DC DAILY
DC Daily is something that seems like a good idea. The only problem? Well, it’s about five years too late. The conceit of this is that it’s a DC New video show that has a new episode (you guessed it) daily. However, even that doesn’t move at the speed of internet that fans demand.
Tune in to any given episode and you’ll find updates about things like the upcoming Joker or Aquaman movies. However, this daily news is always a day or two behind, and chances are that you’ve learned all about this already through social media. So, the show is a video version of someone bringing you yesterday’s news... kind of hard to get excited about that.
12 EXCITED FOR: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
The future of DC Universe will be its original content. Right now, though, the backbone of the service is the long library of previous DC hit shows and movies. When it comes to getting fans hyped, one show rises above them all like a signal in the sky -- Batman: The Animated Series.
This show completely transformed the world of animation. It also transformed the world of Batman, bringing characters to life through iconic voice acting from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and many more. To many, this is the definitive version of Batman, and it’s exciting to have the series available at the push of a button.
11 NOT: LOIS AND CLARK
You’ve heard of shows being a victim of their own success, but what about shows that are a victim of other shows’ success? This is exactly what happened with Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman -- at launch, this was the main live-action show for DC Universe, and it’s... well ... not very exciting.
Once upon a time, this was the only Superman on TV, and fans loved it for that reason. However, we’d go on to get better Superman appearances in everything from Smallville to Supergirl (neither of which were on DC Universe at launch). Thus, this one-time hit show feels a lot like we’re just getting “super” leftovers.
10 EXCITED FOR: YOUNG JUSTICE
Obviously, fans are excited to see the newer Young Justice show on DC Universe, however, it’s notable that this streaming service also has the original show. Whether you’re a returning fan or someone who has never started this great show, now’s the time to watch.
Having it on streaming is a particularly good option for Young Justice. This show had a pretty intricate and connected storyline along with a fairly major time jump of several years. Now, if you lose track of anything, you can go back and review the story at any time. We guarantee this will help you appreciate these complex narratives even more!
9 NOT: THE FLASH
You might have gotten hyped up when you heard DC Universe had the Flash TV show. Are we talking about the hit CW series starring Grant Gustin? Nope, it’s the 1990 TV show starring John Wesley Shipp as the Scarlet Speedster.
There are some bright spots in this show, including Shipp’s performance and cameos by Mark Hamill as The Trickster, but this show’s stories, special effects, and costuming all seem woefully out of date. Tough to get hyped up about a show that will simply make you want to watch its better successor series. Too bad you’ll need a Netflix subscription instead of DC Universe for that.
8 EXCITED FOR: BATMAN BEYOND
Even back when Batman Beyond came out, it seemed like a risky proposition. Not only was Bruce Timm and crew returning to the animated Batman universe that put them on the map, but they were making Bruce Wayne take a back seat and hoping fans would flock to a new hero.
Risky? Sure, but it paid off, as the younger, newer Batman -- Terry McGinnis -- became a popular hero in his own right. Nowadays, people are praying that Warner Bros. makes a live-action Batman Beyond movie because the original show was just that good. Now, with DC Universe, you have a great chance to onboard the hype train.
7 NOT: BIRDS OF PREY
Fans understandably have warm memories of Smallville, the WB show that first perfected the art of blending supeheroes and soapy drama. Sadly, you can’t watch Smallville on DC Universe, but they did end up bringing you the worst possible consolation prize in Birds of Prey.
Many fans aren’t aware of this attempt to create a live-action Birds of Prey TV show. It only lasted one season, and it followed a main character who was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman and inexplicably had superpowers. While we love the Bird of Prey comic, this adaptation was a show with bad effects and bad acting... hardly a reason to get hyped for DC Universe.
6 EXCITED FOR: MAX FLEISCHER SUPERMAN
If you ask fans about what kicked off the DC Animated Universe, they’re likely to say Batman: The Animated Series and while that was the flagship show, it was highly inspired by a very different source: the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, which DC Universe now lets you watch.
These cartoons inspired the classic look of DCAU superheroes like Batman and Superman, from the broad chest to the simple and clean design lines. Look closely, and even things like vehicles in Batman: The Animated Series look like they drove right off these '40s cartoons. The chance to watch DC history like this is worth getting hyped over!
5 NOT: SUPERMAN SERIALS
Not all vintage Superman series are created equally -- that’s a big lesson that DC Universe offers us. Thus, for every cool and inspirational show like the Max Fleischer cartoons, there is something like the 1948 Superman serial films. These technically represent the very first DC live-action movies... unfortunately.
It’s black and white, with a whole bunch of re-used footage (hope you enjoy seeing the same flying scenes over and over). Also, the “special effects” are a hybrid of live-action and animation that doesn’t hold up very well. Call us shallow, but we like Superman for spectacle, and these serial films can no longer deliver.
4 EXCITED FOR: SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
In many ways, creating the Superman animated series was more difficult than creating the Batman one. Sure, the Batman animated series had laid the essential foundation, but now there were some big questions such as if it audiences flock to a character as bright and cheerful as Superman, and if it would be easy to write animated adventures for someone who is basically invincible.
The answer to both of those is "yes". Animators brought Metropolis to life in some bright and vivid ways, and the show managed to hold its own against the murky world of Batman. Furthermore, animation is not constrained by a movie budget, so the show had Superman fighting off worthy foes, including Lobo and Darkseid. DC Universe may be worth it for this show alone.
3 NOT: THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY
You might be forgiven for asking yourself: just how many Superman shows have been made? The answer is “too many,” and this old Superboy show is evidence of that. If it had been one of the only live-action Superman appearances we got, the show might be remembered a bit better.
However, it was sandwiched between the Christopher Reeves Superman movies and the Lois and Clark TV show (which would later be bested by Smallville). Without the scale of Reeves or the sizzle of Lois and Clark, this “boy” of a TV show ends up looking like something that needed to mature a bit more before being released.
2 EXCITED FOR: JUSTICE LEAGUE AND JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED
Many fans have tried to conduct a postmortem for the Justice League movie. Where did the film go wrong? According to some fans, the answer is as simple as it is bittersweet -- the movie may have failed because fan expectations were set so high by the Justice League cartoons.
These cartoons were absolutely amazing, as we got to see ongoing team-ups of familiar faces like Batman and Superman alongside characters like Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. These cartoons remain the benchmark for doing an animated ensemble correctly, and we’re hyped to have it all on DC Universe to binge at a moment’s notice.
1 NOT: HUMAN TARGET
Alongside all of the Batman shows and movies (it's a lot of Batman), DC Universe also offers the Human Target TV show. If you just found yourself asking, “what’s that?", then you can see the problem. While not terrible, the show is not worth the trouble of getting hyped up.
The premise is okay, as it revolves around a character who protects clients by making himself a prominent target instead. This mostly translates into an excuse to have a lot of explosions, and while that can be fun, it’s not exactly engaging. Maybe the protagonist could work his magic and have this show “accidentally” bumped off the streaming service?