Because DC loves the number 52, and because at this rate, DC Unlimited will be ready in time for the Legion of Superheroes:
1) DC has more history than any comic book publisher on the planet, and DC Unlimited would surface that enormous library digitally to legions of new readers.
2) Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are currently more limited than the Great Lakes Avengers. That’s just wrong.
3) With some reasonable innovations, a DC Unlimited could quickly beat Marvel at their own game. I’m thinking customizable comics “playlists,” in-app continuity (cycle through reading orders directly rather than clicking around series by series), and member stats and memory so you know how many comics you’ve read!
4) The hype around DC Rebirth will eventually die down, and if the New 52 is any indication, DC is not particularly big on long-term planning following a relaunch. Solution: Launch DC Unlimited and flood the market with so many greatest hits the inevitable dropoff backlash is entirely mitigated.
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5) The DC Unlimited brand already exists without, you know, actually existing. Searchers have been seeking a ‘DC Unlimited’ with consistent frequency since 2010, and the poor interested readers only get the likes of my Scribd Unlimited review where I lament the lack of a DC Unlimited.
6) Marvel’s trade sales have actually increased as Marvel Unlimited adoption has increased. Just sayin’.
7) There are probably people in the world who have never read James Robinson and Tony Harris’ Starman. We’ll call this Travesty Number One.
8) In the absence of a reasonably priced monthly subscription, new DC Fans will simply turn to the likes of Hoopla Digital or a local library (at best), or you know, just pirate the things (at worst).
9) Speaking of gosh darn pirates, the prevalence of free digital scans is constantly increasing. You don’t even need to download the things through some shady torrent these days, as I learned recently through a simple search for “DC Rebirth #1 Comic.” DC can call up Metallica and try to litigate all these limbs of Hydra, or simply own the content for those willing to pay.
10) What was once a luxury has now become the norm. Comics fans have Marvel Unlimited, Comixology Unlimited, Hoopla Digital, and Scribd Unlimited all competing in the “all you can eat” comics space, not to mention several excellent, popular options for Manga. DC’s absence sticks out like a sore thumb.
11) Readers looking for DC Comics will either feel disappointment, resentment, or worst of all, a compulsion to simply read through Marvel Unlimited instead!
12) Comics publishers are always spending an inordinate amount of time finding ways to lure in new readers. DC Unlimited reels them in then offers the whole menu.
13) New Readers want to catch up before they dive headfirst in to an issue where, say, Jim Gordon is Batman. It is the best new reader acquisition strategy imaginable.
14) There are probably people in the world who have never read Grant Morrison’s entire run on Doom Patrol. Travesty Number Two.
15) “All You Can Eat” platforms like Spotify and Neftlix are an entitled luxury, but nonetheless, they are the norm. Without a competitive option, the perception of DC remains old, stodgy, and slow to adjust.
16) Lack of competition from DC allows Marvel to coast as the only game in town.
17) You guys hear the one about over 75 years of history?
18) Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and the absurd collection of Legends of Tomorrow dominate the TV airwaves, so naturally fans can quickly turn to… nothing easily to read more.
19) Flash Facts might be the most unsatisfying Google search in all of the internet, and yet no one can actually turn to old Flash Comics digitally for some dubious science thrills.
20) Comics Websites and Podcasters would instantly beging talking wayyyyy more about DC Comics. Free press, y’all.
21) There are probably people in the world who have never read Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ Green Lantern/Green Arrow. Travesty Number Three.
22) This would build Goodwill like Hunting from readers everywhere.
23) Community discussion around DC Comics from all eras would explode!
24) Older DC Fans could easily reminisce about their old favorites, while sharing them with a new generation of comics fans! Think of the kids!
25) There’s a 70% chance literally no one has ever read an Aquaman comic. We just can’t be sure. Someone might with DC Unlimited.
26) Does DC really think the revenue from, say, Golden Age Superman collections is going to trump an annual, recurring subscription base of thousands upon thousands of comic book fans?
27) It would be a lot easier to explain to people that Batman v Superman totally missed Frank Miller’s sense of humor in The Dark Knight Returns if that was available.
28) The internet fell all over themselves to celebrate Comixology Unlimited as ‘The Netflix of Comics’ in May 2016, and Comixology Unlimited is basically defined by limitations. Irresponsible news outlets everywhere would LOVE to hype up DC Unlimited.
29) There are probably people in the world who have never read Legion of Superheroes: The Great Darkness Saga. Travesty Number Four.
30) My Grandma couldn’t find an Amazing Spider-Man in a crowd of Bat-Family members (#sickburn), but she could gift her favorite grandson a $10 monthly trial (assuming her computer’s plugged in…).
31) Did you know if you read every Batman comic and Bat-Family tie-in, you’d never leave your home again and live to 100? #FlashFact
32) Seriously, I’d really like to never have to leave home again.
33) DC has a perpetual trump card over Marvel Unlimited: Vertigo Comics!
34) If a DC Unlimited added the likes of Sandman, Lucifer, and The Invisibles to their offering, they would unquestionably offer the most desirable digital comics platform on the market.
35) When the DCEU takes off following Suicide Squad this August, there’s going to be an insatiable appetite for more accessible DC Comics.
36) There are probably people in the world who have never read JLA: A League Of One (Or as I like to call it “Wonder Woman Is Awesome: For Hera’s Sake, DC, Just Put Her Name In The Title”). Travesty Number Five.
37) I might have to quit my job in order to compile new DC reading order for hungry fans, and that actually sounds like a pretty great time.
38) Building a brand is the hardest challenge for any digital startup in a crowded 2016 marketplace. DC Unlimited is already a topic of much discussion without even existing.
39) Digital Unlimited readers don’t just kinda dive into the Marvel Universe through Marvel Unlimited. No, they try to read freakin’ everything. It’s like mainlining your creative property straight into the heads of unblinking comic fans everywhere.
40) If DC doesn’t own this now, they run the risk of Comixology perfecting the distribution, and needing to work through a third-party whenever they finally get with the times.
41) You know what would be a good way to get people excited for the “grand tradition of DC Rebirths?” Quick subscription access to books like Green Lantern: Rebirth or Flash: Rebirth. Or simply the entire DC New 52 lineup.
42) There are probably people in the world who have never read Gotham Central. Travesty Number 6.
43) The comics industry is completely missing the boat on channeling Unlimited readers into new comics sales. Marvel tries to get you to buy a digital copy of the issue you’re already reading in Unlimited (Wha?… Huh?!), and Comixology Unlimited is a bit more strategic, but comes off too much like a drug dealer (I’ll give you a taste on the house, and then wait for your addiction to make you buy for life!). DC could enter the fray as the first with a coherent strategy.
44) Big Barda, just in general.
45) There’s a certain old-timey charm to keeping your comics hidden within dusty backrooms of comic book shops across the globe. It’s also a deliberate obfuscation of your media, and completely counter-intuitive in 2016.
46) Nobody has cultivated an in-app community through their comics app yet. Marvel Unlimited has comments on issues, but they’re often a blend between ghost town and complaints over inaccurate publication dates in the comic info (#mubug). The field is wide open.
47) Bouncing Boy, again, just broadly speaking.
48) DC Comics are amazing, and not enough people know why.
49) Without question, Marvel Unlimited is the only reason I’ve read approximately 39,000 more Marvel Comics than DC Comics. Right the scales, DC!
50) There are probably people in the world who have never read Hitman. Travesty Number 7.
51) If your sole exposure to Green Lantern is that movie starring Deadpool, you are practically OWED a subscription that includes the storied history of Green Lantern in DC Comics.
52) … Pretty please?
Nick Girdwood says
Did you already have 52 reasons in mind or did you force yourself to write that many for teh lolz?
Has anyone heard of an official comment from DC about this?
Made some great points. Thank you for this. Hopefully this will get DC to get their act together
There is plenty to love about the DC Universe (Batman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter), but I would give my fifth-born child to read every comic about the Lantern Corps. So much I don’t know; so much I want to read.
The Alex says
Hi, everyone !
Wouldn’t it be clever, if DC tries an DC Unlimited on Kickstarter ?
They would see an positive respond, in a few hours. 😉
Thank you, very much for your awesome site and your hard work, Dave !
PS : You missed in your list, the fantastic “Preacher” TV show and the “still-great-to-watch” Constantine movie. My favorite “incarnation” of the Devil. (Great job, Mr. Stormare !)
Once again Dave it’s like my thoughts are in your head.
I’ve always loved super heroes but really dove into the comics about 2 years ago buying them issue by issue on digital. I started with mostly DC comics too, batman, justice league, etc, then I started with marvel a bit more too. Then some combined 300 comics later between the 2 publishers and a very bruised bank account I saw Marvel unlimited and immediately threw my money at it.
Now here I am for one flat fee reading anything and everything marvel because there was nothing to lose if I didn’t like the title/character/arc. Plus I had all your reading orders which made life in the marvel universe a breeze.
So here I am still with marvel, and subscribing to DC series individually paying for issue by issue, and getting more and more bitter each time my account gets a $4 hit. Why am I paying between $25-$50 PER MONTH what I’m paying per year. So I stopped all my DC subscriptions and I literally Google DC unlimited at least twice a month hoping they wise up.
DC needs to take advantage of the platform. The money the readers save on comics will get thrown into other merchandise. I buy tons of marvel related merchandise now because I have the extra money Saved from a flat subscription rate.
Rebirth was the perfect opportunity. DC is so frustrating! Ok im done ranting.
Thanks again for your great site for all the reading orders to sharing our frustrations on not being able to just read every comic ever lol
The Claw says
When I was a regular comic buyer in the 90’s, I was all about Marvel and read very little DC. Indeed, I daresay you could call me a Marvel fanboy.
But I gotta tell you.. if DC launched a DC Unlimited, I would hit that so hard it would see stars. It would be a truly colossal “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” occasion.
You, sir, are my favorite. Hahaha really enjoyed each time a new travesty popped up in your list XD
I came to your website by searching a good review about the Scribd service and suddenly my love for comics was resurrected. Initially by reading some stuff from your Scribd guide (Locke and Key was really amazing) and later by reading some articles for Marvel and DC. I was caught by the Marvel Unlimited service and my first thought was if DC had something equivalent. Unfortunately there was nothing and after a year there is nothing in the horizon. I have done some Web readersh and the question is the same by a lot of readers. Why DC is not creating a digital service like Marvel? As a Batman fan I am really disappointed.
I suppose DC knows better in terms of cost and profit but I totally agree with your 52 reasons. Surrounded by the digital era, it’s a pity DC is not moving ahead. By reading your guides I can say that I would buy the most important collections after reading them digitally, which sounds like a good profit for me and DC.But maybe they think their fan base is strong enough as not to take a risk with an Unlimited service.
Personally I am considering of moving to Marvel Unlimited and keep waiting (?)for DC.
Dave, keep up the good work which is really appreciated (especially by me, I am not sure my wife feels the same).
Haha thanks, I’m glad you enjoy the site!
I’m enourmously curious about all DC has to offer, but it’s quite costly to just start buying stuff and see if I like it. Marvel, on the other hand, lets me read their old stuff and that makes me a loyal reader that knows what she likes and understands a lot about the universe and connections between diffrent series. That, in turn, makes me buy more comics digitally or on paper. Partly to read them as soon as they come out/because the collected editions are awesome to have, partly because I enjoy them enough to spend some extra money on them. If it hadn’t been for MU I wouldn’t be buying those, since my newly found hobby would’ve died off on cost and mere ‘where the f**k do I start??’ alone.
So yes, I think the Unlimited concept boosts sales, it’s much easier to get the new readers to read your stuff and lots of them will probably end up buying more stuff 🙂 I truly believe that instead of keeping themselves exclusive or whatever, DC is really just turning new potential customers away by being stubborn..
Rosandra Cuello says
These are my thoughts in a nutshell.
Wait, did I write this?
I have got to stop falling asleep with my computer open on the train 😉
I don’t see myself buying a DC unlimited service. Mostly because of time. Reading Marvel Unlimited, stuff on Hoopla, and the physical books i’m buying, keeps me busy enough. That and i’m relatively new to the comic book scene and i’ve only read a handful of DC comics. I read the first 4 issues of New 52 aquaman and the flash. They were both enjoyable enough, but nothing to make me hunt down the rest of the series.
I’ll probably go back and read New 52 aquaman on hoopla eventually.
Time commitment is a really good point. I can see the argument working both ways. On one hand, if I’m spending loads of time in MU and Hoopla, I may not have time to commit to a DC unlimited. On the other hand, the longer DC waits, the more people already investing their time in other services!
I can agree with all of it, the only reason i’m not reading DC comics is because DC unlimited doesn’t exist. It’d also help if they digitalized they’re comics like marvel have done, i really hate it when i read a marvel comic and it was just scanned in.