Tag Archives: dc entertainment

Doom Patrol Episodes 1 & 2: To Doom Patrol or Not to Doom Patrol?

DC‘s new high concept streaming TV series is based on the cult classic comics. The show is exclusively available on DC’s streaming platform DC Universe. Is the show good? Is it worth subscribing to the platform? We discuss the service and the show’s first two episodes in depth (first part is spoiler-free). We also geek out on the brilliant comics that inspired it all and when or how to read them.

  • Mental illness and unrully bodies
  • Doom Patrol: X-Men or Fantastic Four?
  • Negative Man is Green Lantern as horror
  • Worthy usage of a David Bowie song
  • “Dad feels are the new romance”
  • Is Doom Patrol capable of handing it’s queer characters? 
  • Reading the comics while watching the show?

My guests are:

Comic’s retailer and pop culture critic John Arminio@QuasarSniffer on Twitter.

Mark Argent: Resident Doom Patrol-ologist. Who back in High School served as the Virgil to my Dante in the hell of comics fandom. Perhaps this show is their fault. But @mark_argent can’t take it back now. 

DC Sees Layoffs During Restructure

DC was hit with layoffs yesterday due to a restructuring that will have the comics publisher back to focusing on the “business of publishing.” Seven employees of the 240 person workforce were let go.

Three Senior VPs were let go. Senior VP Sales Trade Marketing John Cunningham, VP Consumer Marketing Eddie Scannell, and Senior VP Art Director Mark Chiarello were some that were fired. The industry reacted negatively to the news so much so that “Mark Chiarello” was trending on Twitter.

The company is now organized into three distinct areas:

  • Editorial – overseen by editor-in-chief Bob Harras
  • Production & Manufacturing – under Senior VP Manufacturing and Operations Alison Gill
  • Publishing Support Services (new) – this will handle sales, marketing, and promotion and handled by Senior VP Publishing Strategy & Support Services Hank Kanalz

DC Collectibles is being moved under Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ Toy team.

This change at DC comes as Warner Bros. Consumer Products will see 10 percent of the staff laid off.

This is the latest in a year of changes at DC including Diane Nelson stepping down as President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products in June and Geoff Johns exiting as DC President and Chief Creative Officer for a writing and producing deal. Changes in structure for the company have been expected since last year’s acquisition of Time Warner, DC’s parent company, by AT&T.

A memo for employees has made its way online which you can read below.

Today has been a challenging day. We have made organizational changes across DC that we believe will help to strengthen and evolve the division for future success. With these changes come difficult decisions which we take very seriously.

We recognize and appreciate that all of our employees have made considerable contributions to our business and that it is difficult to lose colleagues, many of whom have been here for a long time and have made an important impact on DC. We thank them for their hard work and dedication to DC. As always, we are committed to taking care of our employees and will be as thoughtful as possible with those who are impacted by these changes.

Together with Dan and Jim, and the executive team, we have spent time assessing DC’s business, as well as the comic book publishing landscape. DC is going back to its roots of delivering epic stories with our world-class characters, stories and brands. Being a premier house of storytelling will never go out of style and we intend to ultimately super-serve our existing fans, while providing new compelling content that engages and excites even more fans around the globe. Rest assured, the direct market will remain at the heart of our business – and will continue to be one of our greatest strengths.

The new streamlined structure is focused on creating, delivering and supporting a robust publishing operation that will allow DC to be nimble, navigate an industry in change, and thrive. As we communicated today, we are forming three distinct work streams – Editorial, Production & Manufacturing and Publishing Support Services.

•  Editorial will continue to be run by Bob Harras, SVP & Editor-In-Chief, who will now also be responsible for new initiatives and global publishing, editorial scheduling, and art direction

•  Production & Manufacturing will continue to be run by Alison Gill, SVP Manufacturing & Operations

•  Publishing Support Services is a new business unit consisting of all departments that support the sales, marketing and promotion of our books, and this will be run by Hank Kanalz who is taking on additional responsibilities as SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services As a result – DC Collectibles and its team will be part of the Consumer Products Toy team moving forward.

We recognize there are other groups across DC who are not fully dedicated to supporting the publishing business and, therefore, are not directly addressed in today’s news. As The Global Brands & Experiences structure continues to develop, I look forward to sharing more with you as that evolves.

Many of you will have questions and in the coming days you will receive more information from Bob, Alison and Hank about their teams. Together with Dan and Jim, I will be hosting Town Hall meetings Thursday on the individual floors to discuss these changes and provide more insight. 

Thank you again for your support, hard work and loyalty to DC. Each of you are incredibly valued and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon where I will do my best to answer any questions.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Cress Williams headline the 1/28 NYC Premiere of “Reign of the Supermen”

Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, the voices of Superman and Lois Lane, lead a heroic list of cast and filmmakers slated to attend the East Coast Premiere of Reign of the Supermen, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Movies, at Directors Guild of America in New York City on Monday, January 28, 2019.  Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend the event for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel discussion.

O’Connell (Stand By Me, Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play) and Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians)  will be joined by Cress Williams (Black Lightning, Hart of Dixie) , the voice of Steel/John Henry Irons; Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), voice of Cyborg Superman and Hank Henshaw; Tony Todd (Candyman), voice of Darkseid; Charles Halford (Constantine), voice of Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator; and Nyambi Nymabi (Mike & Molly, The Good Fight), voice of Martian Manhunter.

Reign of the Supermen filmmakers in attendance will be Producer/Director Sam Liu (Gotham by Gaslight, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract), screenwriters Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Tim Sheridan (Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost), executive producer James Tucker (Justice League Dark) and character designer Phil Bourassa (Young Justice/Young Justice Outsiders).

Additional talent will be announced as confirmed.

The event is completely sold out – all free fan tickets have been distributed. Fans who have applied for tickets, but have yet to be notified, are currently on a wait list for cancellations.

The Directors Guild of America is located at 110 West 57th Street in New York City.

Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated Reign of the Supermen arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.

Reign of the Supermen Gets a new Clip featuring Eradicator

This is an all-new Reign of the Supermen clip featuring the first appearance of the Eradicator, who is voiced by Charles Halford (Constantine).

The world must cope with the loss of Superman – and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title – in the all-new, action-packed Reign of the Supermen, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.

Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.

Cast, Filmmakers announced for World Premiere of Reign of the Supermen

Jerry O’Connell, the voice of Superman, heads an impressive lineup of cast and filmmakers set to attend the World Premiere of Reign of the Supermen, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Movies, at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills this Thursday, January 10, 2019.  Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend the event for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel discussion.

O’Connell, known for his lengthy, illustrious career ranging from Stand By Me to his recent starring role in Carter and host duties on Bravo’s Play by Play, will be joined by Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Terra Nova) , the voice of Batman; Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), voice of Cyborg Superman and Hank Henshaw; Tony Todd (Candyman), voice of Darkseid; Charles Halford (Constantine), voice of both Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator; and Toks Olagundoye (Castle), voice of Cat Grant.

Also in attendance will be Producer/Director Sam Liu (Gotham by Gaslight, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract), screenwriters Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Tim Sheridan (Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost), executive producer James Tucker (Justice League Dark) and character designer Phil Bourassa (Young Justice/Young Justice Outsiders).

Additional talent participating at the premieres will be announced as confirmed.

All free fan tickets have been distributed.

Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated Reign of the Supermen arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.

In addition, fans wishing to get an advance look at Superman’s greatest adventure – his death and rebirth – can take advantage of a special two-day exclusive theatrical event as Warner Bros. and DC join forces with Fathom Events for a double feature presentation of the previously released The Death of Superman and the first in-theater screening of the all-new Reign of the Supermen nationwide on January 13 and 14, 2019 in more than 500 select movie theaters. Tickets for The Death of Superman / Reign of the Supermen Double Feature can be purchased at www.FathomEvents.com and participating theater box offices.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and we’ve got lots of geeky things we’ve got planned. What are you all doing? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the week day to end and weekend to begin, here’s some news from around the web.

The Wrap – Jaime Reyes ‘Blue Beetle’ Latino Superhero Movie in Development at DC and Warner Bros – Good. This is a smart move.

ICv2 – Lion Forge Restructuring – We’ve been hearing rumors.

CBR – Black Lightning Showrunner Faces Domestic Violence, Copyright Lawsuit – …

iO9 – Adorable Into the Spider-Verse Heroes From Build-a-Bear Workshop Have Arrived – Hell yes!!!

Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray/Digital Now Available

With copies of the popular Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition nearly sold out, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC Entertainment have made available – effective today – the streamlined, content-only Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray/Digital box set ($89.99 SRP). The 12-disc set (plus a digital copy) features all 109 remastered episodes of the landmark television series along with hours of bonus features, the heralded 90-minute “The Heart of Batman” documentary, and the recently- remastered, fan favorite animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.

Amazon will continue to offer Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray box sets while supplies last.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series captured the imaginations of generations during its initial broadcast airing from 1992-1995, setting the standard for super hero storytelling for the past quarter-century with its innovative designs, near-perfect voice cast and landmark approach to DC’s iconic characters and stories. The series garnered a Primetime Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Animated Program, along with three additional Emmy wins and 13 total Emmy nominations.

Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray/Digital box set’s enhanced content includes 25 featurettes, two popular animated films; introductions to five episodes by producer Bruce Timm; and commentary on 12 episodes by various combinations of the production team: Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Paul Dini, Kevin Altieri, Michael Reaves, Boyd Kirkland, Shirley Walker, Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, and James Tucker.

Constantine: City of Demons is Out Today and We’ve Got a New Clip

From executive producers David S. Gover and Greg Berlanti, The Hellblazer is back in an all-new twisted tale of mystery, intrigue and the occult with Constantine: City of Demons, a full-length, R-rated feature film based on the acclaimed DC animated series from CW Seed. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Blue Ribbon Content, and DC Entertainment, the action-packed movie will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment starting October 9, 2018 on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and Digital.

Constantine: City of Demons is available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack ($39.99 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) as well as on Digital ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD). The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc featuring the film; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the Blu-ray and DVD. The Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack include a digital version of the film.

Constantine: City of Demons is rated R for bloody violence/gore, disturbing images, and some sexual content.

A decade after a tragic mistake, family man Chas and occult detective John Constantine set out to cure Chas’s daughter Trish from a mysterious supernatural coma. With the help of the mysterious Nightmare Nurse, the influential Queen of Angels, and brutal Aztec God Mictlantecuhtli, the pair just might have a chance at outsmarting the demon Beroul to save Trish’s soul. In a world of shadows and dark magic, not everything is what it seems, and there’s always a price to pay. The path to redemption is never easy, and if Constantine is to succeed, he must navigate through the dark urban underbelly of Los Angeles, outwit the most cunning spawns of hell, and come face to face with arch-nemesis Nergal – all while battling his own inner demons!

Constantine: City of Demons has been produced in a dual format – initially as animated shorts, the first five of which appeared on CW Seed. With a runtime of 90 minutes, the feature-length Constantine: City of Demons film has over an hour of never-before-seen content including the film’s thrilling climax.  

Doug Murphy (Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost) directs the film from a script by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood). Art Direction is courtesy of Phil Bourassa (Young Justice). Butch Lukic (Justice League Action, Batman Unlimited) is the film’s producer. Sam Register and Sarah Schechter also serve as executive producers.

Matt Ryan, who set the standard for the role of Constantine on the NBC live-action television series, returns to the famed trenchcoat in animated form – after reprising the role in both live-action (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) series and an animated film (Justice League Dark).

The cast surrounding Ryan includes Damian O’Hare (Hell on Wheels) as Chas Chandler, Laura Bailey (Critical Role) as Trish & Asa The Healer, Emily O’Brien (The Young and the Restless) as Rene Chandler, Kevin Michael Richardson (Family Guy) as Mahonin, Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation) as Beroul, Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain) as Nergal, Rachel Kimsey (Justice League Action) as Angela, and Rick Wasserman (Batman: The Killing Joke) as Mictlantecuhtli.

Enhanced Content

The Sorcerer’s Occultist – Understanding John Constantine – An exciting examination of the powers and abilities used by DC’s working-class occult detective, John Constantine.

Constantine: City of Demons WonderCon Panel – 2018 – Storytellers join City of Demons’ star Matt Ryan at this year’s WonderCon for an inside look at Constantine’s latest adventure.

 

DIGITAL

Constantine: City of Demons will be available to own on Digital October 9, 2018. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices.  Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD discs for redemption and cloud storage.

TV Review: Titans S1E1 Titans

DC Universe, DC Entertainment‘s new digital service, is here and with it the promise of original programming, the first of which is Titans. Titans is a live action adaptation of the classic characters and team that debuts October 12. The first season consists of 12 episodes with new ones debuting weekly.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.

We’ve got an early look and is the wait worth it? Find out!

Positives

One of the first things that you get about Titans is how dark it is, the mood that is set somewhere between the tones of the DCEU movies and Netflix’s Marvel shows, something that pulls you in right away and is quite a pleasant surprise. As even the Netflix Marvel shows restraint in certain aspects, this  show doesn’t as was seen and heard in the show’s first trailer, from a scene in Episode 1 X 01, where Robin/Nightwing verbally disavows Batman in the most straightforward way, something fans thought they would never hear from the character, and as can be seen throughout the first episode he explains the fallout to his partner and how it ha temporarily swore off having a partner because of what happened between Bruce and Dick. The majority of the show focuses on Raven, as we get a good backstory about her , as we see her relationship with her mother, played by the prolific Sherilyn Fenn,  and how she ends up meeting Dick, through an iconic comic book scene .  As in this version, which is much more faithful to the origin story in the comic book, is also being hunted, which at first looks like a child sex trafficking ring but eventually is seen to be a group of zealots who sees her only as the daughter of Trigon.  We also get to meet Starfire, where she wakes up with no memory of how she got there and who she is , as well as why she is dressed the way she is. This part makes sense once you find out what capacity Cory Anders is before she used her powers in this version.  As was seen online in social media, the instances of backlash, regarding Diop’s race and later her look, which as I have seen in this pilot episode, was gravely premature and downright abhorrent. In what is the last ten minutes of the episode, we see out first glimpse of Beast Boy, , which I feel will pay off in the second episode. As far as the special effects, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy uses their powers to what fans can rejoice, as all three characters in this episode, are quite formidable and the CGI used showcases it perfectly.

Negatives

None as the truth is the DCEU movies can take some notes from DC’s first unfiltered not family friendly show, as I feel this show captures the grit is sought to add to these characters onscreen canon.

Verdict

Watch as this first episode pulls no punches.


Director: Brad Anderson
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Brendon Thwaites,  Liza Colon-Zayas, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Mina Kelly, Jarreth J. Merz, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson,

Around the DC Universe: So How is It?

It’s an understatement to say that I was excited for the release of DC Universe. Since the service was first announced over a year ago I’ve been regularly scouring the internet for news, checking my email for updates and pestering the company’s customer service department for information through a variety of social media outlets. After a short beta test DC Universe finally launched and I’ve spent almost every single free minute since trying to experience everything it has to offer. 

I’ve gotten more into the specifics of what I’ve been reading and watching but I want to focus on the nuts and bolts of the service itself and discuss who I think will get the most out of it.

A quick note on devices before we begin: I have been accessing DC Universe using the app on my Android phone, streaming to my TV via Chromecast. I’ve tried several time to use the browser on my Chromebook but I’ve had little success.  

Movies and TV

For a lot of fans the movie and TV portion of DC Universe is what will make or break it. Fortunately I think it’s also the strongest category at the moment. I watched a variety of programming this weekend and found that the interface worked well and was user friendly. There were quite a few problems with videos pausing in the middle of the day Saturday but less than I expected given the heavy volume that they were almost certainly experiencing.  There is a good selection of movies and shows for fans of all ages. Choices tend to skew towards older material though so you won’t find any of the current CW shows, Gotham or the DC Extended Universe films.  You can watch the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, the 90s Flash show and most of the DC Animated Universe (with the exception of The New Batman Adventures and The Zeta Project). DC’s original animated features are also very well represented including some of the most recent (Gotham by Gaslight, Death of Superman and Ninja Batman). It’s nice that most of the shows are presented with all of their seasons intact for convenient binging but there are some odd omissions (notably The Dark Knight Rises, the only Nolan Batfilm that wasn’t added for Batman Day). There are also some surprising choices like The Spirit TV pilot and The Human Target series both of which I had forgot even existed until I opened up the app.

Comics

While Marvel has had their Unlimited service available for over a decade, DC has been conspicuously absent from the field of comics streaming, the only major hold out. What most excited me about DC Universe was the ability to read their titles electronically without having to pay a la carte through ComiXology or another eStore. Early on it was announced that the selection available would be curated. What this meant was left vague causing concern for many and prompting some not to pre-order.

Now that the service is available I can honestly say it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The selection of comics is extensive but it doesn’t seem anywhere close to the thousands of titles that were mentioned in early promotional materials. Many series (including stand alone mini series like New Frontier and All Star Superman as well as the recent Rebirth series) have only have a single issue available. Others (like many from the New 52 launch) present incomplete story arcs but a few of the less successful books are available in their entirety. Older titles have more representation but there are few if any complete creative runs (though there are plenty of story arcs including Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Braniac and Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s Batman Year One) which work well outside of the larger continuity. All in all it feels a bit like walking into a public library and browsing their selection of trades but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for more casual readers who may not have much experience with the characters in their native medium.

The biggest issue with the comics part of DC Universe is that its very hard to keep track of what’s available at any given moment. Unlike Marvel Unlimited you can expect comics to come and go (in the four days since launch I’ve seen several issues and even an entire series vanish) but there is no schedule to it or to the addition of new issues/series (again unlike Marvel Unlimited which has had a regular new release schedule since its inception). There is no indication of what you have or haven’t read unless you create your own list of read titles. The app notes that the entire DC Digital Collection will be available to purchase beginning in October. This makes it seem like DC Universe is following the path of ComiXology Unlimited by offering a few teaser issues to subscribers to entice them into buying more. If that is the case I hope that the app makes it clear what books are available for an additional fee and which are included as part of the subscription. I also hope that they will also do us the favor of offering at least one complete trade worth of material on which to base our choices, at least in the case of ongoing series.

Content aside I think that they have done a very good job with its presentation. The reader works smoothly especially in the panel by panel mode. Guided view has always been Marvel Unlimited’s Achilles heel but DC Universe’s panel by panel mode works very well on my phone. I only had a few problems with some panels displaying out of order on a couple of modern comics. There is an option to set up automatic panel transitions but I abandoned it pretty quickly as it really doesn’t account well for the fact that not every panel will take you the same amount of time to read. The biggest problem with the interface is that it requires you to download comics to read them on the mobile app. This isn’t a huge inconvenience if you’re reading a limited series or a short story arc but it can be aggravating if you’re trying to binge a longer series. It also takes way more effort than it should to get from a finished comic to the list of available series or to the home screen. You also have to go out of your way to read a story that occurs in more than one title, switching back and forth between the books in question. This would be a huge hassle for family wide epics like The Death and Return of Superman or No Man’s Land should such be made available in their entirety. 

The Community

One of the things that DC promoted most vigorously about DC Universe was the way in which it would allow users to communicate with one another, selling the DC Universe Community as a cross between Facebook and a Message Board. While this is an admirable goal it falls short in several respects.

The nice thing about the DC Universe Community is that it seems to be very well moderated especially given the fact that DC fans have developed something of a reputation for toxicity. I’ve seen none of that in the Community posts and that is all to the good because the last thing DC fandom and the world in general needs right now is another outlet for hatred, ignorance and bile. It’s also easy to mark threads as spoilers for those who care about such things. What’s unfortunate is that a lot of features that made social media platforms like Facebook so successful are missing here. There is no way, as far as I can tell, to reply to a specific user and no means of being notified when someone responds to your posts. This ultimately leads to a bunch of detached comments loosely related by a broader topic floating around  next to each other rather than being a real discussion. It also makes it very easy to ignore as you have to spend time trying to find your old posts to see if anyone has commented on them. It’s a nice idea but not particularly engaging as currently configured.

The Encyclopedia

Pitched by DC as a more reliable version of a wiki, this is probably the biggest disappointment of the service.  Part of the problem is that it is woefully incomplete. This wouldn’t be so bad if the choices they made seemed to have a reason behind them but as of Sunday morning major names like Braniac, the Justice League and Lex Luthor are nowhere to be found. Instead there are articles for Sam Lane and “The Watchmen” (a name that is never once used in the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons comic to refer to any group of characters).  If that weren’t bad enough there are only a few links between the entries that do exist and the content on the service. It would be great if you could use the encyclopedia to catch up on a character’s backstory, diving directly into comics, movies or TV shows as they become available but that’s not an option at the moment. It’s clear that this is a work in progress but it’s also obvious that not enough work or thought was done on this part of the experience prior to launch.

The Shop

Last but not least comes The Shop, which offers a variety of member exclusive products. I wanted to buy something before writing this review but I couldn’t find anything I wanted badly enough to pay the price that DC is asking. The stuff is nicely designed but I don’t really feel like paying twenty five dollars for a t-shirt and I have more than enough mugs. It would be nice to see DC expand this section a bit with more stuff and a wider variety of price points. It’s particularly telling that after writing the first draft of this review I went to a convention and spent almost eighty dollars on DC trades and single issues. 

Overall

I like DC Universe a lot warts and all. There are plenty of problems but I think that between the comics, the movies and the shows I will still get my money’s worth over the next fifteen months of my subscription. That said I’m still up in the air about whether or not I’ll renew. I’m hooked for now but I need to see significant improvement as well as additional content to keep me where I am.  

Recommending the service to someone else is a thorny prospect at present.  For people who are new to DC, TV or movie fans who want to give the comics a try or Marvel fans who might be DC curious, it’s a decent way to sample what they have to offer without breaking the bank especially if you are living in an area without a newbie friendly comic shop.   If you are one of the DC faithful your response to DC Universe will likely depend on what you already own and what you want to read. If you happen to harbor the impossible dream of reading every DC book ever published from the first issue of New Fun Comics to the latest issue of Aquaman  than DC Universe is probably a good match for you but if you are drawn to a particular period of DC history or to a character other than Batman its likely a hard pass. In all cases I would only recommend subscribing on a month by month basis at this point as much of the long term value of DC Universe will only become apparent as it grows and changes. 

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