12 DC Comics Adaptations to Watch on HBO Max

Key art for 'The Batman' on the DC hub on HBO Max

HBO Max is the streaming home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and countless other characters from DC Comics. With the DC Hub on HBO Max, you can watch thousands of hours of content from the DC Universe, from classic movies like Richard Donner’s groundbreaking Superman, to the animated series you grew up on, to brand new original shows. 

For a limited time, DISH subscribers can add HBO Max to their package for just $12 per month for one year. As part of our series on the best content on HBO Max, here’s a brief rundown of 12 DC movies and shows you can watch on the service. Make like The Flash and act fast; this offer won’t be available for long, so click here to add HBO Max (which also includes HBO’s live channels and On Demand content) to your DISH package now!


Not Just For Kids

Lest you have any lingering preconceptions, comic books and their adaptations aren’t just for teenagers and kids. Exhibit A: Joker, a dark reimagining of the origin of the clown prince of crime, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in an Oscar-winning performance. 

HBO Max’s newest DC addition is The Batman. Matt Reeves’ take on the iconic character was a box office smash that emphasized the caped crusader’s rep as the “World’s Greatest Detective.” Robert Pattinson gives the title character a tortured edge, but it’s Paul Dano’s self-righteous take on The Riddler that steals the show. His performance washes away any lingering memories of Jim Carrey’s more cartoonish take on the villain (no judgments if that’s your thing, Batman Forever is also available on the service).

We also have to shout out Peacemaker, James Gunn’s follow-up to 2019’s fun and subversive The Suicide Squad. If you were a fan of Gunn’s 2021 film, you’ll find lots to love in Peacemaker. John Cena is perfectly cast as a self-deluded “hero” who is so committed to peace, he doesn’t care how many men, women, and children he must kill to achieve it. The complete first season is now available, and a second season has already been ordered. 


The Snyderverse

Starting with 2013’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, director Zach Snyder started crafting what was known colloquially as the DCEU, an integrated cinematic universe featuring DC’s best-known superheroes. To describe the reception to his films as “mixed” is like describing the Joker as a clown: Factually accurate yet missing important details. We won’t rehash the drama here, but following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (the R-rated “Ultimate Edition” is available on HBO Max), the tepid reception to Justice League seemed to pull the plug on his version of a DCEU. 

Then a funny thing happened: Snyder’s supporters were able to successfully lobby for the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, which would honor his original vision after he stepped down due to personal tragedy. Even crazier? Zach Snyder’s Justice League—a six-part, four hour comic book movie— is absolutely phenomenal. It’s a creative vindication for Snyder and a personal one for his fans.


DC Deep Cuts

Whether or not you’ve read a single comic book in your life, you’re most likely familiar with all the aforementioned characters. But for DC diehards who are looking to dive a little deeper into the catalog, Doom Patrol has the roster of deep-cut characters you’ve been waiting for. Crazy Jane, Elasti-Girl, and Negative Man are all there, along with countless cameos from the far corners of DC’s rogue’s gallery. 

We wouldn’t blame you for rolling your eyes at the premise of Pennyworth, an action-heavy origin story about Batman’s butler. But the show is surprisingly fun, incredibly stylish, and unpredictable in all the best ways. And for fans of the more adult-oriented DC imprint Vertigo Comics, the new miniseries DMZ is an adaptation of one of its most popular titles. Ava DuVernay directs the pilot episode, which centers on a Manhattan medic (Rosario Dawson) who is attempting to find her missing son amidst the second Civil War.


Family-Friendly Fun

Finally, we have to shout out the myriad family-friendly titles targeted toward younger audiences. Following Zach Snyder’s grittier take on the superhero genre, 2019’s Shazam! was a welcome change of pace that felt more inspired by the Tom Hanks classic Big than conventional superhero stories. The long-running Cartoon Network series Teen Titans Go! has a fun animation style and clever, deconstructionist writing; the film adaptation Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is also on the DC Hub on HBO Max.

And finally, many of us were first exposed to the Batman mythology via the ‘90s series Batman: The Animated Series, which borrowed the gothic design flourishes of the Tim Burton films to create one of the most stylish shows of its era, animated or otherwise. In addition to the original series, spin-offs like Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League are also available, and a new series from the show’s co-creator Bruce Timm has been ordered.


To watch all these titles and dozens more, add HBO Max to your DISH subscription for just $12! Act now, this offer* ends on May 26, 2022.