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Fans Want to #SaveSwampThing But is DC Universe Next?

News broke today that the new DC Universe show Swamp Thing has not been renewed for a second season. Basically, it's been canceled less than a week after airing. Does that mean DC Universe is shutting down too?

What is DC Universe?

DC Universe is a subscription-based streaming video service that includes original television shows, access to some of the animated series and films from DC's back catalog, a rotating selection of comics from DC Comics, forum discussion space, and a merchandise store. It formally launched in September of 2018. It has three original live-action series running including Titans and Doom Patrol. Stargirl and Metropolis are also in development.

What is Swamp Thing?

Swamp Thing is the latest show based on the long-running comic book character about a humanoid plant creature that moonlights as a superhero. The series is a one-hour drama series following CDC researcher Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), who "returns to her childhood home of Houma, Louisiana, in order to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus. She develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland, only to have him tragically taken from her. But as powerful forces descend on Houma, intent on exploiting the swamp’s mysterious properties for their own purposes, Abby discovers that the swamp holds mystical secrets, and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all."

The show also stars Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jeryl Prescott, and Will Patton.

Swamp Thing only aired one episode, but critics have lauded the show as "the first of DC Universe's streaming offerings to nail it right out of the gate".

But the worries about the show's future started after a local news outlet in Wilmington, North Carolina said the crew was told the series would be wrapping up filming early. Originally the show was supposed to have 13 episodes and it was abruptly cut down to 10 leaving the writers and production to wrap up the season early.

Geeks Worldwide were the first to report the show was being canceled. Madsen took to her personal Instagram account and seemingly confirmed the news saying "I’m beyond sad. What a terrible decision. We have been cut to the core by those who have never set foot into the Swamp."

The post was deleted minutes after it posted and the studio put out a vigorous defense of the show. Now Variety and other outlets have confirmed the show is now dead as one of Arcane's evil "Unmen".

Fans are heartbroken

The Future of Swamp Thing

The future of the series is up in the air. It could go to another network or streaming service like Netflix. But we won't know for a while. So Swamp Thing is gone, but what about the rest of the service? 

DC and Warner Bros insist the platform is strong but there have been warning signs. Star News Online said, "Sources said the reason given to crew for the abrupt end of filming was so Warner Bros. could evaluate the future of its DC Universe streaming platform."

Swamp Thing isn't the only show to get surprisingly shortened. Titans was originally supposed to have 12 episodes and suddenly the last episode was cut and the 11th episode was reworked into the season finale. The 12th episode was reworked into the season two premiere episode.

The DC Universe itself has gone through some changes to lure in new subscribers. People can always sign up for a one-week free trial. But the service also allows anyone to watch the first episodes of ‘Titans’, ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’, and ‘Doom Patrol’ for free without signing up. Recently they went so far as to offer the entire service for free for 24 hours.

Plus, the service is offering more and more extras for subscribers to entice them. That includes the entire DC digital comics library and original animated movies on the same day as they are released on DVD/Blu-Ray. The elephant in the room is Disney.

Is Disney+ Killing DC Universe?

Most of the changes happened after Disney announced their Disney+ subscription service and the price point of $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. DC Universe currently goes for $7.99 a month and $74.99 a year.

Disney+ already said their losing money on the deal but are setting its sights on Netflix. Netflix' back catalog is huge and already massive competition for DC Universe. But comparing the two Disney+ is a small fish in a big pond.

Ampere Analysis estimates Netflix’s U.S. catalog has 47,000 TV episodes and 4,000 movie titles. Disney+ will include 7,500 episodes of current and past TV shows and 500 movies. Disney has just a fraction of that content.

But the big deal is Disney has a huge share of the most popular franchises. Star Wars and Marvel alone are worth billions. Now add all Disney's popular back catalog and it's a huge deal to pay less than $10 a month for it.

DC Universe just can't compete with it much less against Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Prime Video, Starz Play, and HBO Go. Streaming is getting to be a crowded field and DC Universe may be feeling the pinch.

WarnerMedia Competition

Besides all this Warner just launched a new streaming service independent of DC Universe. According to Wall Street Journal "WarnerMedia has abandoned its plan for a three-tiered streaming service and instead will likely package HBO, sister channel Cinemax and the vast library of Warner Bros. TV shows and movies into one offering at a price of between $16 and $17 a month, according to people familiar with the matter". So it's possible that they could roll DC Universe into the service.

So Swamp Thing is gone but DC Universe could hang on for a while. How long remains to be seen.

What do you think about the end of Swamp Thing? Have you watched it or planning to watch it? Are you signing up for DC Universe? Let us know in the comments below!
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