Unlike other streaming services, DC Universe offers digital comics for its subscribers to peruse. Unfortunately, the catalog has been limited and issues rotate depending on what DC hopes to promote. For instance, when ‘Titans’ launched, subscribers could read issues of ‘The New Teen Titans’, written by Marv Wolfman with art by George Perez, the series that most heavily-influences the show. But DC Universe only offered the first 12 issues of their run, which lasted for many years and was one of the most influential comic series of the ’80s.
In an effort to remain competitive as more streaming services launch, DC Universe announced that it would expand its catalog of digital comics to include every issue of every digital comic it has ever produced. In doing so, 10,000 new individual issues have been added. But some fans may have noticed that these comics are strictly limited to mainstream DC Comics. Absent are any comics from imprints Vertigo, Milestone Media, and Black Label. In the case of Milestone, that may be explained by the fact that even though DC published these comics, the creators kept ownership of the comics and their characters. Black Label is a newer imprint and has included series such as ‘Batman: Damned’ and ‘Superman: Year One’. But it was stated at the time that newer comics wouldn’t be available on DC Universe until a year after they had been published, so those titles may surface later.
But Vertigo, DC’s mature readers’ line which launched in 1993, is a glaring omission. Two of the signature comics in this line include ‘The Saga of the Swamp Thing ‘, written by Alan Moore among others and ‘Doom Patrol’ , as penned by Grant Morrison. Both series serve as the basis for two of the four original live-action TV shows that DC Universe offers. So it would make sense to include them so that fans of the shows can read the comics that inspired them.
Both comics originated as mainstream DC books before switching to Vertigo. Since then, they have also been revived as regular DC books. While some of Moore’s ‘Swamp Thing’ comics are available, they are limited to those published when the book was still a regular DC book. Ditto Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol’. A representative for DC Universe stated: “While we are huge fans of the various imprints across DC, we are currently not going to be featuring Vertigo titles, and most other DC imprints. You may see some representation around the edges where exceptions are made, but these will be few and far between.” In addition, DC will make ‘Elseworlds’ titles available, as well as possibly inter-company crossovers, where rights allow. Only single issues are available– no trade paperbacks, Omnibi, etc.
DC Universe plans to continue releasing new digital comics on a weekly basis. Though they will no longer rotate titles, there is a chance that some comics will be removed in the future, but DC Universe plans to make announcements in advance.
Are you a subscriber to DC Universe? How do you feel about the digital comics selection? Jax Motes
Jax’s earliest memory is of watching ‘Batman,’ followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn’t run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes.
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