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DC Comics is an American comic book company, being owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment since 1967. But what if Paramount Pictures, which distributed the animated Superman shorts in the 1940s, acquired it instead?

Here's what might have happened.

Changes

  • After its acquisition by Paramount, DC Comics would be a direct subsidiary of Gulf+Western, being later transferred to Simon & Schuster after its acquisition by the company in 1975.
  • Post-acquisition, DC would have five different owners throughout the years: Gulf+Western (1967-1989), Paramount Communications (1989-1994), the original Viacom (1994-2006), CBS Corporation (2006-2019) and ViacomCBS (since 2019).
  • Since 2019, DC Comics is owned by ViacomCBS through Simon & Schuster, with its film and animated rights being sublicensed to sister companies Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, respectively.
  • Comic book titles based on Nickelodeon properties would be published by DC Comics.
    • As a direct result, titles based on Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network properties would be published by Archie Comics instead.
  • Some rather controversial content like Superman IV: Quest for Peace, Batman and Robin and Teen Titans Go! wouldn't exist at all and would be replaced.
  • The DC Extended Universe would instead start in 2005 with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, with Bryan Singer's Superman Returns being incorporated into its continuity.
    • In respect for Heath Ledger's passing, Paramount opted to not include anything connected to the Joker after The Dark Knight, exiling Harley Quinn from its continuity.
      • The only exception would be 2019's Joker since it isn't set in the DCEU.
  • The Lego Batman Movie wouldn't exist.
  • Beware the Batman and Green Lantern: The Animated Series would get additional seasons.
  • DC Universe wouldn't exist at all as its original content would be split between CBS All Access and ViacomCBS' cable channels such as Showtime and MTV.
  • Since ViacomCBS doesn't have a video game division, video games based on its properties would be sublicensed to Square Enix.

Media

Films

Live-action

Animated

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
  • The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)
  • Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
  • Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo (2006)
  • Superman: Doomsday (2007)
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
  • Wonder Woman (2009)
  • Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
  • Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
  • [just a random hero] (2018)

Television

Live-action

  • Superboy (syndication, 1988-1992)
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (CBS, 1993-1997)
  • Smallville (UPN/The CW, 2001-2011)
  • Birds of Prey (UPN, 2002-2003)
  • Arrow (The CW, 2012-present)
  • The Flash (The CW, 2014-present)
  • Gotham (CBS, 2014-2019)
  • Constantine (CBS, 2014-2015)
  • Supergirl (CBS/The CW, 2015-present)
  • iZombie (The CW, 2015-2019)
  • Legends of Tomorrow (The CW, 2016-present)
  • Lucifer (CBS/Netflix, 2016-present)
  • Powerless (CBS, 2017)
  • Black Lightning (The CW, 2018-present)
  • Krypton (Spike, 2018-2019)
  • Titans (CBS All Access, 2018-present)
  • Doom Patrol (CBS All Access, 2019-present)
  • Swamp Thing (CBS All Access, 2019)
  • Batwoman (The CW, 2019-present)
  • Watchmen (Showtime, 2019-present)

Animated

  • Super Friends (ABC, 1973)
  • The New Adventures of Batman (CBS, 1977)
  • The All-New Super Friends Hour (ABC, 1977)
  • The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour (CBS, 1977-1978)
  • Challenge of the Super Friends (ABC, 1978)
  • The World's Greatest Super Friends (ABC, 1979)
  • The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show (ABC, 1979-1981)
  • Super Friends (ABC, 1980-1982)
  • The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! (NBC, 1981-1982)
  • Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (ABC, 1984-1985)
  • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (ABC, 1985-1986)
  • Superman (CBS, 1988)
  • Batman: The Animated Series (CBS, 1992-1995)
  • Superman: The Animated Series (Nickelodeon, 1996-2000)
  • The New Batman Adventures (Nickelodeon, 1997-1999)
  • Batman Beyond (Nickelodeon, 1999-2002)
  • Static Shock (Nickelodeon, 2000-2004)
  • The Zeta Project (Nickelodeon, 2001-2002)
  • Justice League (Nickelodeon, 2001-2004)
  • Justice League Unlimited (Nickelodeon, 2004-2006)
  • Teen Titans (Nickelodeon, 2003-2006)
  • Krypto the Superdog (Nick Jr., 2005-2006)
  • Legion of Superheroes (Nickelodeon, 2006-2008)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Nickelodeon, 2008-2011)
  • Mad (Comedy Central, 2010-present)
  • Young Justice (Nickelodeon/MTV, 2010-2013/2019-present)
  • Wonder Woman: The Animated Series (Nickelodeon, 2013-2019)
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series (Nickelodeon, 2011-2016)
  • Beware the Batman (Nickelodeon/MTV, 2013-2018)
  • Justice League Action (Nickelodeon, 2016-2018)
  • DC Super Hero Girls (Nickelodeon, 2019-present)
  • Harley Quinn (Comedy Central, 2019-present)

Trivia

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