Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) announced the availability of online action game DC Universe Online (DCUO) that allows players to create their own superhero or villain while joining forces with their favorite DC Comics characters such as Superman, Batman and The Joker to aid in saving - or destroying - the planet.

Licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on behalf of DC Entertainment, DCUO is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on the internationally famous characters of DC Comics. Currently there are 30 levels in the game.

DCUO is available for PC and PlayStation 3 for the suggested retail prices of $49.99 and $59.99, respectively. The game includes one 30-day game membership, with monthly subscriptions available thereafter for $14.99.

The game is available in North America at Best Buy, Gamestop, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and at other participating video game retailers.

DC Universe Online will also be available throughout Europe and other international territories the same week with the official launch in the UK and Ireland on January 14, 2011, and across Europe, Asia and Africa on January 12, 2011 with Italy launching on January 19, 2011. DC Universe Online will ship in Australia on January 20, 2011.

About DC Universe Online

Lex Luthor has traveled back through time with news of a dire future: While the heroes and villains spent years battling amongst themselves, Brainiac has been feeding on their powers, building strength to return to Earth and destroy humanity. To change the future, Lex has come back to set off a device that bestows super powers to thousands of every-day citizens and give humanity a fighting chance. Can Brainiac be stopped, or is this another nefarious Lex Luthor plot?

For the first time, players and fans will be able to enter the DC Universe as an active force for good or evil. DCUO was created in the artistic vision of legendary comic book artist Jim Lee, and set within a world created by famous DC writers including Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman.

In the game, players can pick up buses, fly into the air and throw them at enemies, run up the sides of buildings to engage in melee brawls while shooting flames of fire from their hands, or cling to the side of buildings while using a grappling hook to pull flying opponents out of the sky - all while interacting with the iconic characters of DC Comics.

For example, players might be tasked with rescuing Batwoman from the fear gas that Scarecrow has unleashed in Gotham City's sewers, or battle Power Girl as they work with Lex Luthor to create an army of mutants out of Metropolis citizens.