DC Comics is making Sept. 15 a Batman Day to remember. Batman Day, a promotional gimmick the publisher has offered since 2014, usually has freebies and specials at participating comic shops, bookstores and libraries, and this year will be no exception. But this year’s Batman Day will have a huge video component, as it will see the launch of DC’s new streaming service, DC Universe.
Here in the analog world, fans can nab a free copy of “Batman: The White Knight” No. 1 at participating shops. “White Knight” was an eight-issue miniseries featuring a Joker cured of madness, by writer/artist Sean Murphy. The freebie arrives a month before the collected edition does, and includes a preview of “Batman: Damned,” a new mature-readers series by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo. Some shops will have activity kits aimed at younger fans.
Digital retailers such as Amazon Kindle, comiXology and ReadDC.com will offer sales on Batman titles. DC has also partnered with DK, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Random House Children’s Books, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster, so Batman Day might pop up at any given bookstore or library.
Meanwhile, as they say in comics, Kevin Smith — movie director, actor and occasional comics writer — hosted a 150-minute livestream Aug. 29 touted as the first edition of “DC Daily,” a weekday program that will appear on the new streaming service with “breaking news, panels, special guests and exclusive giveaways.”
It looks like DC may have rushed the launch a bit. One of the attractions of the service is new programming based on DC properties. But the first — a live-action show called “Titans” — won’t begin until Oct. 12. Smith described a great amount of pre-existing material that will be available on the service. There’s a lot, so let me sum it up for you.
Live action: Lots of Bat-movies including “Batman” (1989), “Batman Begins,” “Batman Forever,” “Batman Returns” and “The Dark Knight.” Other movies include “Superman: The Movie,” “Superman II” and “Superman III.”
Animated: In addition to all the animated shows DC has produced over the years, Warner Home Video has released dozens of made-for-video movies featuring DC characters. That’s all available for the service. Like the live-action material, the animated content will be rotated every month or so.
Comic books: Yep, you can read comics on this service, too — thousands of them to start, Smith said. And you can read them, he said, on “the best online comic reader in the game.” Smith said the issues available will be refreshed every few months, and even new comics will be available (although he wasn’t specific).
To sign up for DC Universe, go to dcuniverse.com. It costs $7.99 per month, or $74.99 a year. Pre-subscribers (before Sept. 15) who buy the annual option will get three additional months and be entered in a sweepstakes, the winner of which gets a tour of the “Batman” studio, a tour of the DC Comics headquarters and a ride in the Batmobile.