Yesterday, news came out that there have been massive layoffs at WarnerMedia, affecting, among others, DC comics (and Warner Bros.), including one-third of the editorial ranks and a majority of the staff for streaming service DC Universe, according to sources at The Hollywood Reporter. What does this mean for DC Universe and its slate of shows?
“DC Universe was DOA as soon as the AT&T merger happened,” said one source. The creation of HBO Max was part of that merger, and that service already has a lot of the same content as DC Universe, with a few exceptions.
When I saw that on the new platform, I knew it didn’t bode well for DC Universe. Not only was HBO Max a better interface, but it would have the same crossover appeal as Disney+’s mix of Disney and Marvel content. Still, as someone who has been paying for DC Universe since the beginning (mostly for comics), I am a little saddened to see that it is pretty much hovering at death’s door.
Shows like Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn are all slated to come back for third seasons, but I am hoping that this will not lead to another Marvel Netflix situation, where all of the shows become the sacred deers of the merger.
In addition to DC Universe cuts, among those who are losing their positions are “editor-in-chief Bob Harris, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing and creative services Jonah Weiland, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and executive editor Mark Doyle, who oversaw the rollout of the Black Label graphic novels.” Jim Lee, however, will remain the CCO.
DC Direct, the company’s in-house merchandise and collectibles manufacturer, is also being shut down after over twenty years, probably so that Warner Bros. can take a more leading hand when it comes to merch.
There is no mention of what is going to happen to freelancers or people who were already working on comic series, but I hope that they are at least going to be paid for their work and allowed to finish whatever they were contracted to.
Streaming services are over-saturating us right now, no doubt about it, but overall, I found DC Universe was worth the money I spent on it. I enjoyed most of their shows, being able to access older material, and the comic selection that I was able to use. Despite being super niche, it managed to put together a slate of shows that led the conversation when it came to superhero shows. Just let them live, HBO Max. There is no reason to get rid of them, and just from Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn alone, there is plenty of good press.
Although, that didn’t save Daredevil …
I hope we can see some more Harley/Ivy, because Harley’s animated series ended up being the only place in DC where they remembered they were a couple that deserved to be the focus of the story. *Cough.* Just saying.
(via THR, image: DC Universe)
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