Earlier this week, the comic book industry was rocked by widespread layoffs at DC Comics and its streaming service, DC Universe. While DC Publisher Jim Lee confirmed that he remains at the company, he also told The Hollywood Reporter that the DC Universe originals are migrating over to HBO Max.
“The original content that is on DCU is migrating to HBO Max,’ said Lee. “Truthfully, that’s the best platform for that content. The amount of content you get, not just DC , but generally from WarnerMedia, is huge and it’s the best value proposition, if I’m allowed to use that marketing term. We feel that is the place for that.”
However, Lee indicated that DC Universe will remain as an online resource for DC’s comic book library.
“In regards to the community and experience that DCU created, and all the backlist content, something like 20.000 to 25,000 different titles, and the way it connected with fans 24-7, there is always going to be a need for that,” added Lee. “So we’re excited to transform it and we’ll have more news on what that will look like. It’s definitely not going away.”
HBO Max has already picked up Doom Patrol and the Harley Quinn animated series from DC Universe. But both series are also without official renewals. Stargirl will be back for a second season on The CW. However, it will no longer stream on DC Universe after season 1.
That leaves Titans and Young Justice for HBO Max as well. Titans season 3 was slated to premiere on DC Universe later this year. Additionally, Young Justice was renewed for a fourth season. But it’s unclear if production on the fourth season has even started production.
Lee also touched upon plans for DC Comics, which include dropping “the bottom 20 percent, 25 percent of the [comics] line that wasn’t breaking even or was losing money.” He went on to characterize the cuts as “more punch for the pound, so to speak, and increasing the margins of the books that we are doing.”
Regardless, Lee insisted that DC is not abandoning print comics or transitioning to digital and trades only.