A compilation of the animated television show X-Men Evolution from Season 2 (billed as Season 2, Volume 4), Warner Brothers has made the unwise decision to release them in “themed” releases instead of season sets. Hopefully they can go back and redo them one day.
X-Men Evolution is all about the mutants that attend the school of telepath Professor X. I’ll have to admit that I’m not too familiar with the comics and all my knowledge of the X-Men come from the two movies. This set is entitled Mystique’s Revenge and collects the final five 22 minute episodes on this disc from Season 2 (well not really, but more on that later).
Episode 24: Shadow Dance: Forge invents a device that allows Kurt (aka Nightcrawler) to “slow” him down when he teleports. He discovers that he passes through another dimension. However, he also discovers that he’s not alone in that other dimension. Kurt and Wolverine teleport for further study and are attacked by the dimension beasts. Kurt decides not to carry on with the project, however, his teleportation exits are not closed all the way thanks to the device. Some of the beasts get loose and threaten to ruin the school’s dance.
Episode 25: Retreat: Beast is feeling out of place in the city and Professor X decides that he should lead some of the school’s recruits on a field trip to the woods. Beast starts to feel better in the natural surroundings but some hunters see him. They mistake him for Bigfoot and capture him and it’s up to the recruits to help him escape.
Episode 28: The HeX Factor: A girl with supernatural powers escapes from an asylum with help from Mystique. Mystique returns to the frat house occupied by some of the teenage outcast (read villains) mutants, called the Brotherhood, and sets herself up as their leader. The girls’ powers were out of control and she was abandoned at the asylum by her father, Magneto. Her greatest wish is to revenge herself on her father. The girl is trained by witch Agatha Harkness on how to control her powers. Professor X feels that the Brotherhood is up to no good at the mall and sends in the X-Men to stop them. The X-Men think they’re winning until the girl, now dubbed the Scarlet Witch, shows up and defeats them.
Episode 29-30: Day of Reckoning, Parts 1 and 2: The season 2 cliffhanger ending double episode. Wolverine is kidnapped by Dr. Trask while chasing after Sabretooth. Some strangely bent metal lead the X-Men to believe that Magneto is involved. Mystique sees that Magneto is involved and wonders what he is up to and has to push forward her plan. After a poor performance in the simulation room, Professor X has the X-Men team up with the Brotherhood in an effort to defeat Magneto. Meanwhile Wolverine is taken back to Dr. Trask’s headquarters only do discover that he’s an anti-mutant fanatic and former member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jean Grey using Cerebro, Professor X’s supercomputer, gets a lock on Wolverine and the new X-Men/Brotherhood team goes to rescue him. However, as soon as they leave the main computer unexpectedly goes into Defcon-4 defense mode and seals the mansion trapping some mutants inside. Wolverine finds himself in hot water since Dr. Trask is using him to test out his new mutant killing machine, the Sentinnel. Part 1 ends with Dr. X’s mansion setting itself to destruct mode, Wolverine seemingly defeated, and Magneto and his team arriving. Part 2 continues the storyline but ends with you wanting to discover the various cliffhangers set up for Season 3 since Season 2 ends on a “shocking” note.
The episodes are presented in fullscreen as they were originally aired on television. The promise of the final five episodes of season two misses by two. Episodes 26: Walk on the Wild Side and 27: Operation Rebirth are not on this disc. This will leave season completeists a little miffed. Even the title Mystique’s Revenge is somewhat misleading since she only appears in three of the episodes (well I guess so since she’s a shape shifter and could be anyone in the other two episodes).
Special features include something called Toad’s Test. It’s set up as a question and answer feature but really plays 5 minutes of a narrator telling you the questions and answers and is not much of a test at all. The other is a 8 minute featurette called “X-Men Evolution: Turning Point.” It has interviews with creative executive Craig Kyle, character designer Steve Gordon, head writer Greg Johnson, and producer Boyd Kirkland. Finally there’s a sneak peak section with trailers for this disc and X-Men Evolution: Beginnings.
Warner Brothers has wised up with Season 3 of X-Men Evolution and released it in a season set. This set only shows you the errors of their ways (and they’re not the only guilty parties in chopping up seasons into bits) and the missing episodes keep this from completing your collection. I’m unsure if episode 26 and 27 turn up elsewhere on another disc. Fans of the show may find themselves lost starting with a rental of this disc instead of season 1, volume 1. I’d give it a rental until complete season sets of season 1 and 2 are available.