When DC Universe launched, Warner Bros. made sure it was going to feature the original Superman and Batman movies -- films that have a rotating, short-term license for streaming and are always on the move between Vudu, Netflix, and other platforms. And while the release of the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League is arguably the biggest announcement so far for HBO Max, WarnerMedia's new streaming service, the platform itself is pretty anemic in terms of its DC content.
HBO Max includes Aquaman, the pre-Nolan Batman movies, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (but not the Ultimate Cut!),Catwoman, Green Lantern, Joker, Jonah Hex, Justice League, The Losers, Shazam!, Steel, Supergirl, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman in terms of feature films. That leaves out every Superman film ever made, as well as Watchmen, just to start. In terms of live-action TV, they have only Doom Patrol, Batwoman and Watchmen, with a number of animated movies and shows.
That would not be a bad offering, if DC wasn't one of the biggest brands at Warner Bros. and, indeed, one of the channels on the HBO Max app. Over on the DC Universe app, fans can get a great deal more animation, as well as a lot of live-action TV, including Birds of Prey, Constantine, Swamp Thing, Stargirl, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and more. Series like Shazam!, Wonder Woman, and The Flash all bring your childhood from decades past.
Far be it from us to suggest DC Universe should yield any of its content to HBO Max. We love DC Universe and so far, it seems there are things that DC can do with their own shows that nobody else can. Still, with no original content to offer at launch (although a second season of Doom Patrol is coming in a few weeks), and no Superman anywhere to be seen, it's hard to argue that WarnerMedia's biggest-yet digital initiative feels a little bit like it doesn't understand what makes DC special to begin with.
That Warner rolled out two different major digital initiatives in the space of a year and never managed to secure the rights to Man of Steel (which had a watch party to celebrate the announcement of the Snyder Cut) or the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy feels like a big missed opportunity. The lack of anything exclusive -- even, say, the CW Seed animated shows set in the Arrowverse or something like that -- at launch also feels like it's lacking somewhat.
And, yeah, for a service that's hanging so much on the Snyder Cut, it's a little odd that they only have the theatrical version of Batman v Superman which, ask any Snyder Stan, is a wildly inferior cut.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.