As we get ever closer to the launch of HBO Max, the limbo DC Universe finds itself in feels like it’s just getting weirder and weirder.
We’ve already learned Doom Patrol will air on both Max and Universe. Harley Quinn is currently broadcasting on Syfy after launching on the streamer. Stargirl is pulling double duty between Universe and the CW. And now...Swamp Thing is too? Deadline reports that as part of a recent series of show acquisitions, the CW has picked up the single season of DC Universe’s horror-tinged adaptation of Swamp Thing for its non-streaming debut.
It’s a weird choice, considering Swamp Thing got canceled after said single season, so it’s not like there’s prospects for the network to be able to air more beyond what currently exists. But also because it’s the CW just...buying a show essentially from itself, or rather its parent company, entirely unrelated to all the DC Comics content it makes itself, for reasons? Ah, megacorporation hierarchy structures, they’re never not weird.
The acquisition process itself isn’t weird—the CW does this usually for its summer programming anyway. And in the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic, delays to production on its original content set to drop this summer or even into fall (like its many returning CW-DC universe shows!) means that acquisitions like this are more important than ever. But it continues to speak to the very weird limbo DC Universe is in with the impending arrival of a much larger Warner streaming service in HBO Max that, soon enough, you will basically be able to watch anything that’s on DC Universe anywhere that isn’t actually DC Universe.
Getting these shows out to people who don’t have DC Universe for one reason or another—like, say, the fact that it’s yet another streaming subscription in now what feels like an endless sea of studio walled gardens—is a good thing. But it makes DC Universe’s existence feel entirely ancillary, which, despite what Warner Bros. have tried to say as it gathers up shows and movies for HBO Max, it might be soon enough.
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