May 1 was a big day for DC Comics fans. It was Wednesday, which meant new comics (like “DC Nation #0“), which is always great. But the bigger news was the official announcement of the DC Universe streaming service.
We’ve known about the platform for a while, a way for the increasingly media savvy DC Comics to have its own outlet for original shows (and some legacy content) without having to worry about Netflix or Hulu streaming rights. It’s also a way to launch shows that might not otherwise see the light of day. Two of the shows — Titans and Young Justice – weren’t picked up, or were outright canceled by broadcast networks.
(And as a note, this is an entirely different service from DC Universe Online, the popular game that’s been running since 2011. DC is nothing if not consistent with their naming structures.)
Now, the slate is shaping up, meaning you’ll soon have to decide whether these shows are worth moving money over from your other accounts. Right now, you can only plug in your e-mail for updates; but chances are it’s finally launching, and soon. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of what’s coming — and some ideas about what they should announce next.
DC Universe Streaming Service: Titans
When’s it coming? 2018
What’s it about? A group of former teen heroes and sidekicks led by ex-Robin Dick Grayson fight evil. Presumably they also battle their inner demons or whatever.
Who’s involved? Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven and Ryan Potter as Beast Boy are the main players. The show was developed by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti for TNT, before it moved to DC Universe.
Anything else I need to know? Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights plays the Dove half of Hawk & Dove! The Doom Patrol will show up in the fifth episode (see more below). And the first trailer dropped during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. It was… Controversial (you can watch it above).
DC Universe Streaming Service: Doom Patrol
What’s it about? A group of weird heroes do weird things that are often not very heroic, but in fact very weird.
Who’s involved? Jeremy Carver, best known for his work on Supernatural and Frequency is writing/showrunning the series. We’ll see the cast that’s being introduced in Titans. So that would be: Niles Caulder (Bruno Bichir), Rita Farr/Elastigirl (April Bowlby), Clifford Steele/Robotman (Jake Michaels), and Larry Trainor/Negative Man (Dwain Murphy). Plus, in a non-comics canonical twist, they’ll be brought together by Cyborg, who will be played by Joivan Wade.
Anything else I need to know? The show has been picked up for 13 episodes, so barring any disasters it’s almost definitely happening. And I cannot continue to emphasize enough that this isn’t an X-Men riff with heroes protecting a world that hates them. It’s legitimately strange, if done correctly.
DC Universe Streaming Service: Swamp Thing
What’s it about? An avatar of “The Green,” the mystical force that connects all life on Earth, must battle back the forces of darkness.
Who’s involved? The series is being written by Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman, with Aquaman director James Wan producing.
Anything else I need to know? Swamp Thing has a script-to-series order, so DC’s green mean fighting machine will skip the pilot phase and go right to filming episodes. However, it’s not officially picked up — meaning they could film a few, find out it’s not working, and go back to the drawing board.
DC Universe Streaming Service: Young Justice: Outsiders
When’s it coming? 2018
What’s it about? The third season of Young Justice, baby! After the show was canceled by Cartoon Network, the story — which is an alternate universe take on the DC teen (and often adult) heroes will finally continue.
Who’s involved? Khary Payton is Aqualad, Danica McKellar is Miss Martian, Nolan North is Conner Kent, Alyson Stoner is Batgirl, and Marina Sirtis is Queen Bee. Britt Baron will also join the voice cast. The show is once again written by Greg Weisman.
Anything else I need to know? Probably a lot, but even if you know the comics well I’d highly recommend going back and watching Seasons 1 and 2. The show is excellent, and incredibly dense in continuity. So whatever happens in Season 3, chances are it’ll build on the first two. The first trailer dropped at Comic-Con, and now it’s up above this text!
DC Universe Streaming Service: Harley Quinn
What’s it about? Harley Quinn aims to become Gotham’s queen of crime, ditching The Joker and teaming up with Poison Ivy in the process.
Who’s involved? The team behind Powerless, so YMMV
Anything else I need to know? The animated series has been ordered for 26 episodes, and is hoping to get Margot Robbie to do the voice.
Also, writer Jimmy Palmiotti shared this promo piece from artist Amanda Conner. The duo are probably best known for bringing Harley into the modern age of comics:
Amanda’s promo piece already shown from the new DC Streaming service show. pic.twitter.com/2k9ZroRZFd
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) May 4, 2018
DC Universe Streaming Service: Stargirl
When’s it coming? 2019
What’s it about? High school student Courtney Whitmore teams up with legacy characters the Justice Society of America to battle evil.
Who’s involved? Geoff Johns is writing and executive producing. Greg Berlanti and Sarach Schechter will also produce
Anything else I need to know? It’s got a 13 episode order, and is based on the first character Johns ever created for DC Comics. Stargirl previously appeared on Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow, so this will actually be the third live action incarnation of the character.
DC Universe Streaming Service: Metropolis
When’s it coming? Possibly never
What’s it about? Lex Luthor and Lois Lane team up to solve weird science mysteries before Superman ever lands in Metropolis.
Who’s involved? John Stephens and Danny Cannon, the guys behind Gotham
Anything else I need to know? Well, remember how we mentioned Swamp Thing has a script-to-series order? So did Metropolis, which is now being redeveloped and is off the schedule. So that wait for Superman just got a little bit longer.
DC Universe Streaming Service: What’s Next?
The service has an extensive back catalog, which is amazing. And comics capability, which is also amazing. But the CW/current DC shows are noticeably absent, as are many of the recent movies.
It also needs more kids content, to be frank. The first look at Titans was adult heavy, and that seems to be how the app is skewing. But adding a parental lock and some DC Superhero Girls, which is an enormous, would be huge. Don’t make this an adults only platform, because that’s a path to the opposite of success.
Also we need to have a Detective Chimp series, a Metal Men series, and a Blue Beetle series. Thanks.
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