I wasn’t planning on subscribing to what I expected to be an extremely limited streaming service even if it was a couple dollars below the typical $9.99 price point set my Netflix even though they recently raised their prices. But they had an introductory offer with the first week free and the first month at just $0.80 so I went ahead and jumped on it with the expectation of exploring it as much as I could in that month and then cancelling it. I’ve actually continued my subscription a few months past what I expected to, though I’m not entirely sure that I’m getting my money’s worth. Also, this article is part of my Patreon, where you could have gotten early access at just the initial tier and you would help me continue to create new content for this site.
First off, I’ll start with the positives. There are plenty of great series and movies available to stream off the bat on the service. There’s about a dozen various DC animated movies ranging from the early days like Mask of the Phantasm, to some of the more recent ones like Reign of the Supermen and I believe Batman: Hush is supposed to release the same day as its blu-ray release. They also have some great animated series from the classic Superfriends to Batman: The Animated series and plenty of their animated DC Nation shorts. On the downside, they seem to randomly rotate some of the titles with no notice. One month, all of the live action Batman movies are available, but none of the live action Superman movies, and the overall selection feels smaller than it should be compared to how many movies and series they have at their fingertips.
The real call to fame for this service is their original series, despite already having a setback with their early cancellation of the live action Swamp Thing series, cut short by about 3 episodes. As far as their other series, I haven’t been able to give enough time to enjoy the series as much as I’d like to, but I have watched a few episodes of both Titans and Doom Patrol and I have greatly enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. I do think Titans was a little overly serious, but Doom Patrol was the right combination of funny, serious, and just plain weird that was right up my alley. The main reason why I haven’t made time for it, is actually because it’s so good that I need to give it my full, undivided attention which I haven’t been able to make time to do. I also actually think that their release strategy is a good thing for a service like this. There is consistent new content even if it’s only one, maybe two episodes per week alongside all of the old content including several oddities like the TV Special Legend of the Superheroes and a couple History Channel TV specials tied to the Dark Knight.
Another element unique to DC Universe is their DC Daily pseudo mini talk show. I only actually watched a single episode of the show and it really feels like something that you would see on YouTube. It has a relatively simple but polished production quality to it and some fun segments. The episode that I watched had several comics personalities basically walk through the plot of a Swamp Thing comic book with some simple motion comic style animation. It was a little weird, it wasn’t quite a motion comic style recreation of the story where they recite dialogue, instead they broadly describe the plot of the comic and add some comedic commentary to go with it. They also had one of the hosts draw Batman alongside a comic book artist. There were also some static commercials advertising comic book issues that were coming out and they seem to have some news tidbits here and there, but it wasn’t anything that caught me enough to want to watch every day, or even really every now and then.
There’s also the option to read comics through the DC Universe app. I have the app available on my Roku through my TV, on my phone, and on my computer. I tried reading a handful of comics on my phone and on my computer. The interface was ok, but on my phone I kept having to rotate my phone to get the most out of the panel depending on whether it was verticle or horizontal. Not that I think that’s an issue with the streaming service in particular, but just reading comics on my phone in general. Reading on the computer worked a bit better since I had the bigger screen and better control with the mouse. I didn’t try reading comics on my TV at all. Another issue was that it didn’t always save my progress in the correct spot. It would start me at the beginning of the issue that I had just finished, and occasionally I would get to a page that was just an error and it kind of got me stuck. I ran into the same issue while watching TV series on the app where I would finish an episode, and then when I would go to continue the series later on, it would start me back at the beginning of the episode that I had just finished with no simple way to skip to the next episode except to fast forward through the whole ep.
All in all, I think it’s a decent service. I think it’s worth the money if you enjoy reading comics on your phone or computer and/or if you want to catch up on the various DC series minus any of the CW Arrowverse series. I’ve been enjoying rewatching Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman despite owning the entire series on DVD. The original series are also quite fun, and there’s plenty of animation to catch up on. If you’re subscribing just for the original series or even just for streaming the TV series and movies, they could use a larger library of content or lower the price point a dollar or two to make it worth what you’re paying. I’m enjoying it, but I’d really like to make the time to watch what I want to watch and unsubscribe until they build up some more content. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on July 12, 2019, in Blogs. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Very thorough breakdown of your experience. I’ve been thinking about subscribing, but haven’t pulled the trigger. Don’t think I will. I’m sure there are some logistical reasons but it doesn’t seem m to make a ton of sense that they’re entire library of movies and shows isn’t always available. That’s a major drawback for me.
Yeah, that’s a big reason why I wouldn’t continue the subscription once I finish with it: the lack of a full library. Though I’ve heard their plan is to include the full library of DC comics in the near future. It’s nice for releases like Batman: Hush, but it’d be cheaper for me to just digital rent it.
A very interesting overview, unfortunately DC Universe is not available in the U.K. although Titans season 1 (and hopefully season 2) is streaming on Netflix. I’d really like to see Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol as well as Young Justice S3 but for better or worse I’ll have to see if Netflix or another service over here picks those up.
Doom Patrol is a lot of fun and I’ve heard good things about Young Justice. Hopefully they’ll figure out some way to make them available in your neck of the woods.
Yeah, I really enjoyed the Titans Doom Patrol episode and that has me engaged for the series should it get picked up over here.