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DC Comics unveils streaming service with a lot more than just shows

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TV, classic movies, and even — this may shock you — comics

Harley Quinn TV show - Harley in a bar with Poison Ivy, Clayface and more
From Harley Quinn, a new adult animated series from DC Entertainment.
DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment has revealed details on its upcoming subscription-based streaming service, DC Universe, showing off a platform that the company hopes will be much more than a Netflix alternative.

Previously announced original TV shows exclusive to the service are still here — including the live-action Titans and Doom Patrol, and the animated Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders. But DC Entertainment is also promising a well of classic DC Comics television and film adaptations, a curated selection of “thousands” of comics to read, fan forums, a canon encyclopedia, and exclusive access to DC merchandise and rewards.

Subscribers will gain access to movies like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Richard Donner’s Superman (as well as its three sequels) at launch — and to television series like Batman: The Animated Series, Static Shock, Young Justice, Teen Titans, Lois & Clark and Wonder Woman ’77, the latter of which will be remastered in HD for the first time.

Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson in Titans
Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson in Titans.
DC Entertainment

On the comics side, DC will offer a “rotating, curated selection” of “thousands of DC comics,” in what looks a lot like a very a long-awaited move for DC. The publisher has been a notable holdout on getting into the subscription-based comics game; Marvel Comics launched its own subscription-based digital back issue library in 2007, and many other American comics publishers offer a selection of their books on digital comics retailer Comixology’s subscription service, Comixology Unlimited.

DC Universe’s “rotating selections will cater to members new to comics and passionate fans looking for hard-to-find titles,” DC said in a news release. Users will also be able to download comics for offline reading. A list of sample titles available at launch includes original appearances dating back to 1938, alongside titles from DC’s 2011 New 52 reboot and even a few more recent series, like 2015’s Cyborg and 2014’s Deathstroke.

DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio said that part of the purpose of the selection was to allow users to “watch exclusive video content on a big screen followed by the comic that inspired it.”

DC Universe will launch on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and in web and mobile web versions this fall. Beta access to the service will open in August, and fans can sign up to potentially gain that early access. DC Entertainment has not announced pricing for the service.