The DC Universe panel kicked off with Geoff Johns and DC Universe’s upcoming live-action show, Titans. Johns was asked what’s special about Titans — his response? “There’s swearing now.” Once laughter subsided, Johns informed the crowd that as a kid he would have sold his brother for a DC Universe channel and then sold his sister for a Titans show. He went on to say how nice it’s been having so much creative freedom with the DC Universe.
Following Johns’ comments on the show, a brand new, never before seen Titans trailer was played for the room. The trailer gave us a more focused look at Raven and her role in this series’ story. She’s captured by some sort of religious cult and informed that she needs to help her father arrive, so he can “scrub the flesh of this world clean.” The trailer has a very demonic feel to it. Raven is shown with her eyes fully blacked out, vomiting some sort of black substance onto her foes. Beastboy is discovered in a cage with his mouth covered in blood, while Robin and Starfire witness an apocalypse-heralding flight of thousands of birds.
Johns shared that Raven has a horror-slant, which given the trailer is really no surprise. He revealed the first season of the series was heavily influenced by the 70s horror film The Changeling and the modern-day horror film The Conjuring. The Titans are essentially an R-rated version of an Addams Family, except they’re super-heroes.
Legendary DC writer Grant Morrison’s Titans run also heavily influenced Johns. “His run is one of the best runs ever in comics, I still re-read it and enjoy it,” Morrison said. Johns is particularly proud of the costumes in Titans and how true to the characters the production team managed to get them.
Jim Lee is excited for Doom Patrol. Really, really excited. So much so that he couldn’t help but tell the room how much he enjoyed watching Elasti-Woman’s face melting off in the new Titans trailer. Mr. Lee has a crush on Matt Bomer, the actor playing Negative Man, calling him “possibly the most handsome man ever.” Lee was also thrilled to see Brendan Fraiser join the cast in the role of Robotman and Timothy Dolton as The Chief.
Lee advised fans to keep an eye out for Cyborg, as his role in the show will prove to be very interesting. This raises the question of what Cyborg we’ll see. Will it be the fully CGI’d out Ray Fisher, or a new actor in a physical-CGI blended costume? We’ll have to wait to find out. But not too long…
During the panel Jim Lee revealed the above image, which maps the release of all the upcoming DC Universe original programming for Oct 2018 – Oct 2019. Assuming this image doesn’t change, we should expect to see the Doom Patrol premiere some time in February 2019, Swamp Thing in May 2019, Stargirl in August 2019 and Harley Quinn in October 2019.
DC really spoiled us during this panel. Not only did they share a never before seen Titans trailer, but we also got a look at the upcoming animated Harley Quinn series. Harley is all attitude, dropping curses left and right (bleeped out), and she even took a shot at Deadpool. “Don’t worry folks, unlike that Deadpool cartoon, this one is actually coming out.” DC even poked fun at themselves, with Harley asking why all their films need to be so dark and depressing.
Also seen in the image, Jim Lee shared was the live-action show Stargirl. Geoff Johns created Stargirl and revealed that she was born out of a tribute for his sister who passed away when she was very young. Johns has a very personal connection to the character and will be executive producing the show. When he pitched the show to Warner Brothers, his passion for the character was strong and the studio “was super excited about it.” The premise of the show will be a young girl who discovers her stepfather used to be a sidekick to a superhero. After her discovery, the girl steals her stepfather’s equipment, goes for a joy ride and discovers there’s more to the Justice Society than anyone ever knew.
“What I love about DC Universe is the creative freedom.” Johns continued, “Doom Patrol can be weird. Swamp Thing can be scary. Stargirl can be a lot of fun. That’s what makes DC Universe so much fun to work in.”
The DC Universe will bring two concepts that are designed to differentiate it from other streaming platforms: favoriting and panel-by-panel viewing. Favoriting will allow you to create collections in your comic library of your favorite authors, artists, Batman stories, Justice League appearances, etc — it’s whatever you want it to be. Panel-by-panel view will display each panel across your entire screen, creating a unique experience where instead of just reading the comic, you’re watching it.
In addition to the live-action series shown above, 2019 will bring the animated films Reign of the Superman, Justice League vs Fatal 5 and Batman Hush to DC Universe.