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DC Universe is Now DC Universe Infinite Focused on Comics Including Originals. Harley Quinn Gets a Third Season as Shows Move to HBO Max

DC Universe Infinite

The rumors of the fate of DC Universe have been swirling with a clear message that something different was coming. What? The answer is here with DC Universe Infinite, a “premium digital comic book service.” It’s set to launch on January 21, 2021.

DC Universe Infinite will be available online at DCUniverseInfinite.com, iOS and Android devices for $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year ($6.25 a month). On February 1, 2021, every DC Universe Infinite subscriber, existing members, or those joining during the pre-order offer window will receive a special thank you voucher redeemable at the DC Shop subject to terms and conditions. Annual subscribers will receive a $25 voucher while monthly subscribers will receive a $10 voucher.

DC Universe Infinite will provide access to more than 24,000 comic books at launch, DC Universe Infinite subscribers will also encounter digital-first comics, member access to DC fan events, as well as a steady stream of recently released comics six months after their physical versions, hit store shelves. Following its initial launch, DC Universe Infinite will begin expanding globally in SUMMER 2021.

The “new” platform is comic focused with new issues debuting quicker than before and new digital first exclusives being created for the digital comic service. It will continue to have members-only events.

DC’s premium digital comic book platform will provide members with an expanded collection of comics and Original Graphic Novels, spanning over 80 years of the DC Multiverse. Fans can also download comics, graphic novels and originals for unlimited offline reading on their favorite smartphone or tablet.

Subscribers will also have earlier access to new Digital First comics that include titles such as Aquaman: Deep Dives, Batman: Gotham Nights, DCeased: Hope at World’s End, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red, Injustice: Year Zero, Shazam!: Lightning Strikes, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Swamp Thing: New Roots and Wonder Woman 84, and
many more. Also debuting on DC Universe Infinite will be DC Universe Infinite Originals, including new comic content centered around beloved characters…stay tuned for updates!

The fan-favorite community area will be free to all registered and premium DC subscribers with a full calendar of events planned for 2021. Subscribers will not need to create a new account as their DC Universe login will transfer to DC Universe Infinite.

For those who subscribed to DC Universe for the DC original shows, those will move elsewhere like HBO Max. During today’s announcement, a special offer was announced that allows subscribers to upgrade their service to include HBO Max for an additional $4.99 per month. The offer is available for a limited time and runs now through October 30, 2020.

HBO Max will be the home for premium video content that will include new DC series, key DC classics, and DC Universe originals like Young Justice Seasons 1-4, Titans Seasons 1-3, Doom Patrol Seasons 1-3, and DC’s Stargirl Season 1. Additionally, HBO Max has ordered a third season of Warner Bros. Animation’s critically acclaimed DC Universe adult animated comedy series Harley Quinn, starring Kaley Cuoco, who also served as executive producer during the first two seasons along with Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, Dean Lorey, and Sam Register. Harley Quinn will be a Max Original going forward, and all three seasons of the show will be available.

Young Justice Season 4 Gets a New Title

Young Justice: Phantoms

Young Justice fans who couldn’t wait for season four were more than just “whelmed” at DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse on Saturday, September 12, by not only the show’s panel with the cast and producers, but also a special table read of a brand-new Young Justice episode performed by the series voice cast — and the reveal of the title to the new season.

During the Young Justice panel, executive producers Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti exclusively confirmed the official title for the highly anticipated fourth season as Young Justice: Phantoms. Prior to this announcement, select members of the voice cast — including Jason Spisak, Khary Payton, Stephanie Lemelin, Nolan North, Denise Boutte, Danica McKellar and Crispin Freeman — teamed up for a virtual table read of a special original episode titled Young Justice: FanDome. Season 3.9. Episode 1. “The Prize.” Written by Weisman, the script provided an early glimpse into the new season by setting up events that eventually play out further in Young Justice: Phantoms.

Based on characters from DC, Young Justice: Phantoms is executive produced by Weisman and Vietti along with Sam Register (Teen Titans GO!). Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the first three seasons of Young Justice are available on DC UNIVERSE.

Doom Patrol Season 2. Graphic Policy Radio Dives Into the Second Season

Our critically acclaimed coverage of Doom Patrol-DC Universe‘s critically acclaimed show–continues with this episode on Season 2.

Joining me are guests:

Sarah Daniel Rasher is an erstwhile professor of Shakespeareology who now tries to save the world through educational data. They also occasionally write about figure skating and Star Trek on the internet. 

Winn Periyasamy is a Fordham law student and advocate working and organizing in New York City. She has her master’s in public health and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Nation, and more. You can follow Winn at @wperiyasamy

Here’s the essay on Cyborg I recommended https://themiddlespaces.com/2015/03/31/humanity-not-included/ 

DC Comics Hit with Layoffs Amid WarnerMedia Reshuffle. Future of DC Universe is Unknown

DC Comics logo

Layoffs have been expected all day today as news trickled out from AT&T of layoffs from the company’s WarnerMedia division. Around 600 staffers were expected to be let fo from the company including numerous high-ranking staffers. WarnerMedia became part of AT&T in 2018 and the changes are part of the company’s long-term plan to be more direct to consumers. Reducing costs, including staff, has been a part of AT&T’s strategy since they bought Time Warner.

DC Comics and DC Universe have been impacted by the layoffs. The majority of the staff of DC Universe has been laid off as the entire service’s future has been in doubt since the launch of HBO Max and many of the service’s original programming has moved over to that digital service. DC Universe has recently stopped offering yearly subscriptions switching to only monthly a sign the service may be winding down.

At DC, editor-in-chief Bob Harris, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing and creative services Jonah Weiland, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and executive editor Mark Doyle, who oversaw the rollout of the Black Label graphic novels have all lost their positions. Editor Andy Khouri has also been mentioned by some as having also been let go. Jim Lee will remain as CCO but also be more focused as a liason between the comic publisher and other divisions.

Around one third of DC’s editorial staff have been laid off according to reports.

DC Direct, the company’s in-house collectibles division, has been shut down after 22 years. Its existence was in question with recent deals with McFarlane Toys and other collectible manufacturers who have a greater footprint in markets like big-box retailers.

AT&T, and WarnerMedia’s, focus has been going more direct to consumers in recent years either through AT&T’s services or through new ventures like HBO Max. It’s clear DC is taking that focus as well with its expansion of its original digital comics in the DC Digital First initiative. By building up its digital offerings the publisher will become less reliant on the comic direct market and allow the publisher to build its own community to directly engage.

DC press has not released an official comment as to the changes. We’ll have more updates as more news is released.

TV Review: Stargirl E113 Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two

Stargirl

The first season of Stargirl wraps up in “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.” part two that has the Justice Society taking on the Injustice Society in hopes of thwarting their plan. The opening of the episode is pretty solid with some nice sci-fi aspects as the plan is put into motion and we see its impact on the people around town. We also get some fun teasers for comic fans in the form of movie posters around the theater.

From there, the episode shifts into battle mode. It’s a knock out drag out fight that has the two teams battle. And it’s a hell of a battle with some solid action and the reveal of Solomon Grundy. There’s also some shocking twists that keeps viewers on their toes. There’s some truly unexpected moments which is impressive for a show like this.

And surprises, there’s a lot of them. There’s surprises including who lives and who dies and who does the killing. There’s some moral debate in the episode which makes certain moments quite shocking.

But the episode’s most interesting aspect is how it makes the villains somewhat sympathetic. Grundy is treated more like an animal unleashed. Icicle’s motives make sense and he there’s a case to be made about his actions and reasoning.

But what’s fascinating about the episode is… the body count of the series. Bad guys. Students. The series has quite a number of dead. But there’s always an explanation. And the finale kind of winks and nods at the silliness of such a major event just being explained away by the rest of the country.

It’s a cute finale with a final five minutes that’ll put a smile on your face in a Disney-ish sort of way. The finale also sets up a very intriguing second season.

And that kicker!

Stargirl’s first season finale is exactly what one would expect. It’s full of sacharine moments and a sweet innocence that has filled up and been a hallmark of the series. It’s one that, despite the body count, is full of positive energy and a demeanor that makes it a live action superhero series that can be enjoy by the whole family.

We’re already counting down for the second season of Stargirl and hopefully, it delivers the positive entertaining hour the first season pumped out with every episode. A fantastic finale for a hell of a debut season. A crown jewel in DC’s live-action offerings.

Overall Rating: 8.5

TV Review: Stargirl E112 Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One

Stargirl

Stargirl‘s first season begins to wrap up in the first of a two-part season finale. The Injustice Society is on the trail of Courtney, Pat and the team regroup to figure out their next steps. Meanwhile, Rick makes a breakthrough, and the team prepares for a showdown with the ISA.

The episode opens up with a bit more as to the plan of the ISA. It not only involves taking over the mind of a large chunk of the country but also build a country of their own. The picture is much clearer as the plan had been mentioned a lot but never what the real goal was. We knew the ISA wanted to make these folks see their views but for what purpose? It makes much more sense now until later in the episode.

The episode has the family scrambling as to what to do about the ISA hunting them and sort of addresses the fact that Pat’s son Mike doesn’t know what’s going on.

But, the action picks up quickly as Sportsmaster and Tigress are on the hunt to take out Pat, Courtney, and the family. It’s interesting and a bit mixed as far as a story goes. There’s some solid humor between Pat and Sportsmaster but why send only one villain to take them on? There’s a whole ISA to choose from and they don’t commit the resources they have. It’s a little frustrating but we get to see when the backup ISA is called in to help Tigress and Sportsmaster. Maybe that’s why they seem to go solo so often?

But, what the sequence really does is give a chance for Barbara to see Courtney in action and Mike to find out the truth about his father. It’s a nice natural way for both things to happen and gives that “wow” discovery aspect to both. It reminds us the viewer as to how special and awesome they are.

But all of that really is to get to that predictable moment of the story when both sides rally their sides and prepare for a final battle.

But, what’s really interesting is the last 5 or so minutes when exactly what the ISA wants to do with their nation is revealed. And… it might be good? Renewable energy. Universal healthcare. Eliminating racism and discrimination. But, there’s a catch, of course, there’s going to be a lot of dead bodies lying in the wake of the plan. It’s an interesting twist as to what the evil folks want and makes them not totally bad? The ISA wants to create paradise it sounds like but doing so in a beyond evil way.

Will they succeed? We’ll have to find out as Stargirl has just one more episode to go before the first season wraps up!

Overall Rating: 8.15

TV Review: Stargirl E111 Shining Knight

Stargirl

Who is Justin, the mysterious janitor? Stargirl dives into that with an opening dedicated to the character. For fans of the comic series, you know where things are going but the television show has done a solid job of keeping things up in the air.

That’s not the only mystery of the episode as Courtney’s real father arrives. It’s all a little dramatic and feels a little out of nowhere but it flows nicely and leads to some solid family dynamics.

The segment is good as it finally answers the question as to who Courtney’s real father is. It closes that plot point but it also puts the family back in the center of the episode. The moments involving Courtney, Pat, Barbara, and Mike are really important and is a reminder that at the center of the show is this family. It focuses on their relationships and ties nicely into recent issues with all of them. It also throws into question Courtney’s role as Stargirl, shifting from legacy to something better.

The episode really gets interesting when Brainwave and Icicle discuss what to do about Stargirl. Icicle actually shows some hesitation in just killing Courtney, and keep in mind this is a series that has been at ease killing kids. It adds a bit to Icicle beyond the cold killer and makes Brainwave a bit colder as well (though, he did kill his own kid).

There is a little silliness in the episode. How Henry’s death is handled by the school feels… off. Then again, this is the third kid who’s died in the school and no one seems to be questioning that at all.

As Stargirl heads to the end of the first season, the episode is solid as it refocuses the series a bit. Each episode up to this point has felt like it revolved around some action sequence or fight. This episode instead gets it back to basics of the family at the heart of the show. It also makes Courtney an even better character by making it really about her as Stargirl not her legacy as Starman’s daughter. Just like she realizes, she’s was chosen for more reasons than who she thought her father was. She has qualities to be a hero, more than her enthusiasm. This is the episode that puts that front and center.

Overall Rating: 8.15

TV Review: Stargirl E110 Brainwave Jr.

Stargirl

The opening of Stargirl might as well be called “How Pat met Barbara.” We get to see how the two met, a mystery of the show so far. It’s a cute story playing off of the saccharine nature of the show so far. It’s also somewhat important with Pat’s history with Courtney’s possible father, the previous Starman. There have been some things hovering that are a little creepy when you think about it.

We saw the end of the previous episode where Barbara came upon Pat and Courtney and the staff, stumbling upon the truth. The beginning of the episode focuses on that and does so in a solid way. The unexpected story twist allows Amy Smart to be in the spotlight. She’s been one of the actors who’s been in the background a bit and now we get to see her do a bit more in the series with this direction and reveal.

And the show from there shifts things with Brainwave and Brainwave Jr. picking up on the previous episode’s other surprise twist. The series does a solid job of highlighting similar trauma and experiences in characters and how impacts them. In this case, even though they’re evil, the moment with the Brainwave’s is touching. We learn why they moved to this town. It’s actually an interesting moment and with what’s revealed there, a fascinating direction for the series, sadly it doesn’t go too far but it plays very nicely into the episode’s final moments.

The episode really focuses on family in different ways and part of that is Courtney and the new JSA. Courtney embraces Henry’s new found goodness and you can imagine how well that goes over with the rest of the team. It creates some nice friction as well that really comes together at the end like much of the episode’s moments. Courtney is focused on what she needs to do and that means getting her staff back and freeing Brainwave from the Injustice Society. All of that leads to a showdown and battle that’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Generally, the series has had some decent battles and action but there’s something a bit “Disney” about this particular sequence. The fighting feels a bit held back and there are some moments that feel like they’d fit perfectly in a Disney family-horror film mixed with a bit of The Goonies. It’s not bad and the tone is consistent and works for the intended audience of tweens.

And that interesting tone and direction really comes together in the episode’s final moments. While it’s predictable, with a bit too much Star Wars thrown in, it’s a solid and fascinating episode.

Stargirl is a series that does some predictable things but also just does things really well. It hits the schmaltz when it needs to. It delivers the moments we expect but it still resonates. “Brainwave Jr.” continues a series that knows what it is and what it wants to be. This is an episode whose various moments come together in the end really well. While much of it is predictable it’s a nice example of seeding things along for an emotional finale that really creates an impact.

Overall Rating: 8.0

TV Review: Stargirl E109 Brainwave

Stargirl

Stargirl has been doing a solid job of balancing the backstory of the villains while also keeping things in the present as the new JSA forms. “Brainwave” opens up, not surprisingly, with Brainwave and his origin. But more importantly, his son Henry discovering the truth of it all.

What’s really interesting is where the episode immediately pivots and that’s Courtney not just feeling sorry for Henry but wanting to recruit him to help with the JSA. But, we also get some awesome history about Pat and the Seven Soldiers of Victory, a team before the JSA. And we also find out they’re still alive, maybe, Pat lost touch with them.

The series really does a fantastic job fleshing out the various characters giving us a lot of insight into both the good and the bad. Cindy is “off studying” but really locked up in a dungeon. The situation is beyond messed up and we’re reminded how evil Cindy really is. Time’s also spent watching Henry training and learning how to use his power. But what’s nice is we see Henry’s growth and why he goes in the direction he does.

Stargirl “Brainwave” is full of really good moments like Yolanda confronting Henry, a dinner at Courtney’s, and what’s discovered through it. But it’s the last few minutes of the series that makes the episode and really shakes things up.

“Brainwave” is an interesting episode in that it features some really solid moments but nothing standing out. It’s still a really entertaining episode and comes together nicely at the end of the hour with some twists and turns. It plays with expectations, as the series has, and is able to deliver things that are unexpected. It’s not an “oh my god episode,” it’s just a very good episode of a very good series.

Overall Rating: 8.0

Stargirl Gets a Second Season Moving from DC Universe to The CW

Stargirl

Stargirl is being renewed for a second season, with a twist! The series will be showing exclusively “in-season” at The CW and on The CW’s digital platforms. The series had been debuting on DC Universe then airing the next day on The CW.

While DC Universe doesn’t release viewership numbers, the show has done well on The CW for a summer series. It has averaged a 0.2 rating in adults 18-49 and a little over 1 million viewers per episode. That’s about what other DC shows on The CW does. With Live+3, the show goes to 0.4 and 1.5 million viewers.

The move again raises questions as to the future of the DC Universe app. Doom Patrol has moved from DC Universe to also be available on HBO Max. Swamp Thing which aired on DC Universe will eventually come to The CW. The Harley Quinn animated series also will be available on HBO Max soon as well. HBO Max has its own slate of DC-based shows coming to its platform passing the DC Universe platform entirely.

(via Variety)

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