When the news first hit the internet that DC would be launching its own streaming service, I was mad.
Like many DC devotees, I had been eagerly following the news related to fan-favorite show, Young Justice (which was cancelled on Cartoon Network in 2013), in the hopes that DC would finally give it the third season that many fans had so ardently longed for.
I am sure that I was not alone in feeling disappointed when it was announced that instead of DC continuing the show on Netflix, it would be launching its own streaming service.
“Great,” I thought. “I don’t want to pay for that.”
Yet, as more details came out, I began to feel intrigued, since in addition to all the shows and movies that the service offered, it also included comics.
Like most comic nerds, I have spent a lot of money buying comics for my collection. And like any true fan, I will never stop buying comics; but, I will also never be able to buy as many comics as I’d like, which makes DC Universe very nice.
While it sounds great, the service costs about $7.99 a month, or if you’re willing to pay all in advance you can save 20 percent with the annual cost of $74.99.
Yet, the $8 that DC Universe costs you will reap a lot more than its monetary value in comics, not to mention all the shows that you can watch. On the other hand, though, that $8 a month does add up into a whole lot of unbought, physical comics – or possibly school supplies depending on your priorities.
So, let’s break it down, bit by bit, and see if it’s worth it.
On the streaming side of things, the show offers several animated classics such as “Teen Titans,” “Justice League,” “Justice League Unlimited,” “The Dark Knight Returns” (parts one and two) and “Batman: The Animated Series” – not to mention the long awaited third season of “Young Justice,” along with the previous two seasons.
It also offers some of DC’s less enlightened efforts like the “Batman and Robin” movie where George Clooney introduces us to the concept of the “Bat credit-card.”
More important than Batman and Robin cracking bad puns with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, though, are the obvious gaps in DC Universe’s digital library.
Perhaps because of licensing deals, it lacks any of the recent live action films, including “The Dark Knight Trilogy” and the DC shows from the CW.
Still, despite the missing material, the overall range of content is pretty good, and new content is being added regularly. Case in point, the new animated film “Reign of the Supermen” will come out on DC Universe at the same time as the Blu-ray release.
There is also the allure of the DC Universe original shows. Both “Titans” and “Young Justice Outsiders” were certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and shows for “Stargirl,” “Swamp Thing,” “Harley Quinn” and “Doom Patrol” are all scheduled to air in 2019.
On the comic side of things, DC Universe offers a relatively impressive library with a good selection of series from various eras of DC comics.
One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about the app has been the new comic arcs I’ve been able to read, like “Checkmate” and the pre-New 52 “Blue Beetle.”
The app itself is far from perfect, and many reviews complain of the app crashing on their phones. The problem primarily seems to focus on Androids, and it varies depending on the phone model. I have an LG G5 and can read comics on the app with my phone, but as soon as I try to watch anything, it crashes. My brother has a LG V30+ and has had no problems with the app crashing.
The app does not currently have a limit on how many devices can be streaming at a time, though, so you could save money on the subscription and split it with some friends.
Overall, the app has room for improvement, but it’s only been around for around six months. Given time, I expect to see many of the bugs ironed out. If you’re a DC fan and you can afford it, then I would definitely recommend getting DC Universe.
Harrison Neville is the editor in chief for The Alabamian. He is a fourth-year English major whose hobbies include reading, hiking, cooking and writing. He has previously worked for The Alabamian as a managing editor, distribution manager, copy editor and SGA columnist.