DC Universe Announces Major Changes to Comic Book Subscription Service

Starting in January, DC Universe will have a new name and its streaming content will move to HBO Max.

DC Universe announced some major changes to its premium comic book subscription service last week. Effective January 21, 2021, in the United States, DC Universe will be known as DC Universe Ultimate, a comic book subscription service that offers more than 24,000 comics and original graphic novels to subscribers. The subscription also includes digital-first comics, recently released comics six months after their release in stores, unlimited offline reading and exclusive fan events for subscribers, among other perks. Fans outside the U.S. will get access to the new comic book subscription service by next summer.

Same price, extra perks

Subscriptions will be available for $74.99 per year or $7.99 a month. In February 2021, eligible subscribers will receive “thank you” vouchers to be used in the DC Shop. Annual subscribers will receive $25 vouchers, while monthly subscribers will get $10 vouchers. Current DC Universe subscribers will be contacted in October to confirm they want to continue their accounts when DC Universe Ultimate launches. Non-subscribers can register for DC Universe Ultimate at that time.

Content for the comic book subscription service will be available for iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, the web and mobile at DCUniverseInfinite.com. Right now, fans will only see FAQs at that website, but it will eventually be replaced with content. Also, in December 2020, DC Universe will no longer be available on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon TV and tablets, and Xbox apps.

“Our fans love the platform’s robust library of comic books and, with the transformation, we will not disappoint,” said DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee in the September 18 announcement. “I’m excited to share that not only will DC UNIVERSE INFINITE members still be able to read all of the great comics that they’ve enjoyed but new issues are debuting on the platform quicker than before, digital first exclusives are being created, and the members-only events will begin as soon as possible. There has never been a better time to be a DC fan!”

The DC Universe comic book subscription service will become DC Universe Ultimate in January 2021.
The DC Universe comic book subscription service will become DC Universe Ultimate in January 2021. Image: DC Universe

Among the benefits of the DC Universe Ultimate comic book subscription service is earlier access to new digital-first comics which include:

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In addition, the comic book subscription service will feature related news, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and full access to the DC character encyclopedia.

Streaming service to move to HBO Max

Perhaps more notably, DC Universe Ultimate will be moving its premium streaming content to HBO Max. The content will include new series, DC Universe Originals, including new series, and the third season of Harley Quinn which stars Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory. Other streaming content includes Young Justice (seasons 1-4), Titans (seasons 1-3), Doom Patrol (seasons 1-3), and Stargirl (season 1).

According to the announcement, DC Universe subscribers can take advantage of a special member offer to join HBO Max. Subscribers can upgrade their service to include HBO Max for an extra $4.99 a month through October 30.

In July, ComicBook.com speculated that the DC Universe streaming service might be on its “last legs,” because some of its content has aired on other platforms, including renewals of popular series like Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn. DC Universe’s streaming service first launched in the fall of 2018.

Insider Take

If DC Universe was not finding its streaming service viable, this sounds like a good compromise. Subscribers to the comic book subscription service get to retain access to their favorite comics and graphic novels for the same price, and they get additional content and perks. In addition, they get a great deal on HBO Max for just $4.99 a month. DC Universe and HBO Max also benefit because HBO Max will be introduced to new audiences while doing the heavy lifting on the platform side for DC Universe. The early announcement also helps allay fans’ fears that the DC Universe streaming platform might not continue. Problem solved.