DC Universe Price Confirmed, 'Almost Better Than Print' Says Jim Lee

DC Universe, the upcoming DC Entertainment streaming service, will cost $7.99 monthly or an annual membership of $74.99 per year. Warner Bros Digital Networks announced the pricing Thursday at San Diego Comic Con 2018. The platform offers original animated and live-action shows in addition to thousands of (anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 at once) digital comic books, an encyclopedia, fan forums, news and, of course, loads of old shows and movies.

New episodes of original series will arrive weekly, starting with Titans and followed by Young Justice. A specific release window for both shows has yet to be revealed. “We want something new every week of the year,” Jim Lee, co-publisher and chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, told Newsweek.

Titans will be followed by Young Justice:Outsiders. Then Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, and the remaining half of Young Justice. Harley Quinn will follow sometime later, with a total of 26 episodes split into halves. DC-affiliated shows licensed elsewhere, such as The CW, will not be on the service (as of right now).

Due to the focus on comic books and digital media, Lee believes “fans have ability to contextualize the material and its evolution from print to media.” The DC Universe team will tailor collections to relevant and trending comic book TV shows and movies, original or archived. Fans will have the opportunity to create playlists and share them with each other. The platform is engagement focused, and has an old-school style forum that give fans the opportunity to debate storylines or origins. These will be moderated, and an editorial staff will curate the news section.

“It blows my mind that all the stuff you want to see is available on one app, anytime you want to watch it, on one device,” says Lee. “When I was a kid, every time we visited a new city I would go through the TV guide and see what shows were there, because every station would have different shows. That’s how I compiled my knowledge of DC, Batman ‘66 and all the other shows. You had to dig, it was like a treasure hunt.”

Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros. Television Group, told Newsweek he’s most excited about the social aspect of DC Universe, and how it could change the way people think about comic books.

“I'm reading with my kids and my girlfriend on a big screen. It’s fun to discover comic books in a new way and watch them get pulled into new characters, because they only know ones from the movies and TV shows,” he said. “I’m hoping people who come for the comics get turned on to the TV shows, and people who come for the TV shows get turned on to the comics.”

Lee said he believes this is the next great technological evolution for the digital comics reader. “We remastered our library so it will show 4K resolution, which allows you to sit on your couch and watch it super vibrant, super crisp, from ten feet away,” he said. “I traditionally have resisted reading comics on my phone, but if you put it into panel by panel mode, the resolution is very crisp, almost better than print in terms of actual resolution.”

While new and ongoing comic series will not be included with the subscription fee, readers will have the opportunity to purchase them within the app. Sign up for the beta version for a chance to access DC Universe in August.