Harley Quinn‘s adult-oriented animated antics are a delight, Titans was a surprising success and Doom Patrol‘s wackiness stood out in a crowded market. Despite these seemingly big wins and smaller projects on the horizon though, DC Universe‘s continued existence looks like an unsure thing at this moment in time.
The streaming service, started by the comic brand to strengthen their television work outside of The CW’s offerings, aimed to offer more grown-up takes on their superheroes. Outside of the four shows already mentioned though, the remaining one, Young Justice: Outsiders, doesn’t seem to have made much of a splash. Upcoming series now seem to have lost exclusivity to the service, too, with Stargirl debuting on both DCU and The CW. The future Green Lantern show, meanwhile, will debut on DCU and HBO Max and Doom Patrol‘s second season will be on both services, as well. This certainly doesn’t bode well for DC’s streaming outlet.
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Business-wise, this kind of makes sense, though. Personally, I don’t know many folks who use the service. While critics seemed excited at a more horror-focused Swamp Thing show, its quick demise put a black mark on the platform before it really had a chance to take off. Now, Warner Brothers has said that the launch of HBO Max isn’t supposed to hurt DCU at all, but it certainly appears to already be eating into what limited original content it has to offer. Why not just combine the services, kind of like what Disney Plus did with ESPN, ya know? Hire me, Hollyweird!
I feel bad for DC, but I’m also hopeful for their future. I thought Harley Quinn & Those Gosh-Dang Birds of Prey was a pretty fun time, and it looked gorgeous. I like that WB is focusing more on individually-driven character stories, too. The Batman is sounding like an interesting, different take on the Dark Knight than what we’ve seen before and I also do actually want to watch Doom Patrol to support my boy Brendan Fraser. So, while DC Universe may be ending, the DC brand is far from toast.