On Tuesday, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment announced that two highly-anticipated projects wouldn’t be debuting on a television channel – instead, they would lead off a new streaming service. But what else should we expect from this new deal?
Sometime in 2018, Warner Bros. and DC will debut a new live action drama, TITANS, and the third season of the popular YOUNG JUSTICE cartoon, subtitled “Outsiders.” Titans, which was originally scheduled to air on TNT, will have the same production team behind it as the CW DC TV shows, so we can only assume that there will be some multiversal crossovers eventually.
According to the press release, “the new digital service will deliver an immersive experience designed just for DC fans,” but outside of Titans and Young Justice, there wasn’t a whole lot announced for the service. There’s a lot of potential for what “an immersive experience” for fans could possibly mean. Here’s some things we’d like to see when the service kicks off next year:
EVERY MOVIE & TV SHOW EVER
When World Wrestling Entertainment debuted its WWE Network in February 2014, it uploaded every pay-per-view it had promoted or purchased since 1985, giving fans a lot of content right off the bat. A streaming service from DC Comics and Warners should give fans as much content as possible. From the early serials featuring Superman and Batman to the latest movies in the DC Expanded Universe, it would be great to open up the app and choose a movie to watch. Throw in decades worth of classic TV shows – The Adventures of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman ’66 – and cartoons – Superfriends, the Dini/Timm-verse – and you would certainly get a bang for your buck.
With the rights to some movies and TV shows owned by other over-the-top services – the CW shows have a deal with Netflix, for instance – maybe everything won’t be possible. But give us some obscure stuff that hasn’t been seen for a while. The Superboy TV show, the 1988 Superman cartoon, Beware the Batman and the Green Lantern Animated series would be great additions.
Something we should certainly see on this streaming service are all the DC Animated direct-to-DVD/Blu-Ray movies, many of which aren’t available on streaming systems. While I’ve bought many of these already, I almost never watch DVDs anymore and the digital download codes have already expired. Having them on demand would be a great bonus.
ORIGINAL CONTENT AND CON-TENT
DC Comics should use this service as an opportunity to launch new series that maybe wouldn’t have an audience on network TV, in the same vein as Marvel’s deal with Netflix. Who would have thought we’d ever see a Jessica Jones or Iron Fist series? They never would have happened without an over-the-top streaming service. What could we get from a similar deal from DC Comics?
The DC TV shows are doing pretty well on the CW and on Fox, but for the most part they have some serious name recognition. With such a wide-reaching catalog of characters, the streaming service could eventually shine a spotlight on more of them. Starting off with TITANS is a good call, as it gives a jumping off point with some familiarity. But I would love to see new shows based on characters like Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, Amethyst, The New Gods or The Question.
If live-action TV is too much for some of these characters – I could see the New Gods or Amethyst being a budgetary challenge – new animated series would also work.
But original content shouldn’t be limited to live action or animated series. During convention season, DC Comics holds any number of panels during each show. Filming them and making them available for anyone who wants to watch would be a great service to fans who maybe can’t make it out to the big shows in San Diego, Chicago or New York.
For the new service to truly be a “fully immersive experience” for fans, DC Comics needs to include a way to read comic books, much like Marvel or Comixology’s unlimited options. Much like the other comic book services, I doubt the new DC Comics app would include new comics on release day, but a good selection of graphic novels from the publisher’s 80-year history.
Watching a digital version of Dark Knight Returns while reading the comic within the app – all on the same device – would be a revolutionary step for comic book fans and for a new kind of digital subscription service.
It’s surprising that DC Comics hasn’t jumped on the monthly comic book subscription bandwagon, but if they were ever going to make the leap, this new service would be a great place to kick it off.