Change: It’s not often pretty and can lead to a rousing chorus of grumblings and laments as the very terra firma beneath our Chuck Taylor’s shifts and alters our respective landscapes dramatically. But change can also be an agent of good, providing us with an endgame that ultimately fits us better than our earlier too-nostalgia laden memories. Such may indeed be the case with the forthcoming changes announced today for the DC Universe streaming platform which, even pre-pandemic, was experiencing some serious growing pains. Advices from our scooper-ific brethren over at the esteemed Hollywood Reporter have revealed some of the Crisis on Infinite Earths sized shakeups now occurring with DC Universe.
The streaming platform will, as of January, undergo a title change. Gone are the halcyon days of the simple and clear-cut DC Universe. It will be renamed as DC Universe Infinite and, while the moniker might be a little bit wordier, its so-called mission statement is now more concise and easier to follow. Instead of featuring television and film which showcases their beloved properties (or “characters” as us non-corporate types like to call ‘em), the service will refocus itself into a strictly comic book only platform, allowing the likes of Christopher Reeve, Lewis Wilson and Michael Gray to migrate over to HBO Max where such shows as Harley Quinn (announced today as being renewed for a third season) and the critically beloved – deservedly so – Stargirl will now hang their respective hats, cosmic staffs and assorted baddies.
It will then fall to the newly rechristened DC Universe Infinite to shine a loving spotlight on the very source material that allows box office behemoths like Shazam and Wonder Woman to rule Hollywood unchecked – the comic books. It’s up, up and away this coming January for DC Universe Infinite where the savvy bean counters will now be allowing DC titles such as Legion of Super Heroes, Justice League of America and Detective Comics to make their digital debut a mere six months after they hit the spinner rack at your local candy store or Five and Dime (can’t find ‘em there? Then get ye to an honest-to-Pete comic book shop ASAP!), besting the current wait time at DC Universe by a staggering half a year. Another perk is even earlier access to DC’s so-called digital-first titles which include the likes of Tom Taylor’s recent JSA-centric Injustice: Year Zero. Not enough union suits and mystery-men and women for you, Dear Reader? Then saddle up on Johnny Thunder’s trusty Thunderbolt and dig this bit of news: The revised service will also be offering up a little something they refer to as DC Universe Infinite Originals, a brand spanking new line of uber-exclusive comic books which will deal with some of our favorite masked men. The DC crew will be taking this particular show global, too, as of next summer, allowing everyone into the party.
DC Universe Infinite has an eighty plus year back catalog of funny books that can be accessed by fans, encompassing over 24,000 comics. Sans the whole digital thing (a fad, I’m sure…), this is the sort of service I used to dream about as a young lad reading my latest copy of All-Star Squadron to tatters as I sipped on a grape Ne-Hi pop and dreamed of hobnobbing with the likes of Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Gardner Fox and Gil Kane.
In a statement about the new changes, DC head honcho – and all-around good mensch – Jim Lee said, “Our fans love the platform’s robust library of comic books and, with the transformation, we will not disappoint. 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.”
The official launch date for this four colored nirvana will be January 21, 2021 in the United States; to quote my brother from another mother Jim Neighbors – “Shazam!”