DVD Review: X-Men Evolution - The Complete Third Season
By Jeff Swindoll May 28, 2006, 21:30 GMT
Professor Charles Francis Xavier, who has the mutant ability to read minds, searches for new mutants to train them how to use their powers for good and to prevent the mutants from harming themselves and others at his School for Gifted Youngsters. His opposition, Magneto "Master of Magnetism", is doing the same thing, but for evil purposes. He has made Mystique who is a shape-shifter, a principle of his high ...more
Warner Brothers brings the third season of X-Men Evolution to DVD in a two disc set. This time they do it right and release the complete season, unlike the “themed” scheme of the previous seasons.
Episode 1: Day of Recovery: The cliffhanger of season two left Professor X missing and his school destroyed. The battle at the end of season two with Magneto also revealed the presence of mutants to the world and the world is reacting with fear and paranoia. The students are homeless and leaderless. Some students gather at a secret location, along with Mystique and her crew, and discover that they’ve been tracked by Nick Fury (Agent of SHEILD). He’s being very helpful and gives them maps and schematics of the base (Area 51) where some of the captured mutants are being held. The free mutants stage a rescue of their captured comrades.
Episode 2: The Stuff of Heroes: A group of mutants lead by Storm and Beast go before the government to stop the persecution of the newly revealed mutants. Cyclops and a group of mutants are in hiding in a cave and are concerned that they’ve not had mental contact with the missing Professor X. Cyclops and Wolverine have a conflict of ideals and Wolverine separates from the group. While some mutants are trying to avoid conflict, Juggernaut is weaving a path of destruction cumulating in his attempt to destroy a dam. The group led by Cyclops attempts to stop Juggernaut’s reign of terror. Professor X is found and the real forces behind the battle at the end of season two is revealed and put behind bars.
Episode 3: Mainstream: While Professor X’s school is being rebuilt, students are allowed to attend public school. The school board is considering an all out ban on mutants at the school if things do not go well. Tensions run high on both sides and the school’s principal has other plans and enlists the Brotherhood to attack Cyclops.
Episode 4: The Stuff of Villains: Scarlet Witch goes in search of Magneto and her brother. Meanwhile the X-men are using their powers to rebuild the institute. Scarlet Witch finds her brother Pietro at a diner and gets him arrested in hopes that their father Magneto will come and help him. The Brotherhood is expelled from high school and Gambit shows up and recruits them to bust Pietro out of custody.
Episode 5: Blind Alley: Mystique was captured during episode one thanks to Cyclops. She was being held at Area 51, but has now escaped and wants revenge. She lures him to Mexico City and takes away his protective eyeglasses, effectively blinding him. Cyclops finally reveals his feelings for Jean Grey in this episode.
Episode 6: X-Treme Measures: Spyke enters an extreme skating competition sponsored by a corporation introducing a new sports drink. However, the drink is toxic to mutants. Meanwhile the school is on edge because Shadowcat has got her driver’s permit and is pestering everyone over 18 to ride with her.
Episode 7: The Toad, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: Mastermind is a mutant who can literally change people’s minds. Magneto enlists him for his plans. Scarlet Witch is still on the hunt for her father Magneto and gets a clue from Pyro and heads to the local ski resort. Nightcrawler’s girlfriend wants him to meet her parents, but not in his human guise but as his mutant self. Magneto’s plan is to have Mastermind make Scarlet Witch forget her bad childhood and her hatred of him. Toad is in love with Scarlet Witch and enlists Nightcrawler to rescue her from Magneto.
Episode 8: Self Possessed: Rogue’s powers begin to malfunction and she is having mental flashbacks of everyone who she’s used them on. She mutates into Sabretooth at a concert and the X-Men attack thinking it’s really him, but she starts shifting into other people she’s used her powers on uncontrollably.
Episode 9: Under Lock and Key: Mesmero is stealing the two pieces of the spider stone relic to unleash the first and most powerful mutant, Apocalypse. Mesmero successfully steals one half but is captured by Magneto. The X-Men travel to London the protect the other half of the relic. There are three keys to unleash Apocalypse (the first in the episode Mindbender: Season 2) and this spider relic is the second, but the key is not what it appears to be.
Episode 10: Cruise Control: Some of the X-Men are on a cruise ship for a little rest and relaxation. They want to be seen as normal, but situations keep arising that they need to use their powers and soon they’re being looked upon with disdain. They sneak onto a Caribbean island when the ship docks but one mutant’s powers inadvertently causes the islands volcano to rumble. They save the day and the islanders treat them as heroes, unlike the people on the ship.
Episode 11: X23: Nick Fury brings Wolverine (aka Weapon X) into his case since an intruder at a government complex had his DNA and metal claws. The intruder was X23 and she’s a twelve year old girl. X23 is the 23rd attempt to clone Wolverine and the only successful one. She escapes and comes gunning for Wolverine who she blames for her problems. Note: Creator Craig Kyle is extremely proud of X23 since she’s his original creation and went from the TV show and into comics. Not vice versa like this animated TV series.
Episode 12-13: Dark Horizon, Part 1 & 2: Rogue is behaving strangely again and goes to all the mutant groups (X-Men, Acolytes, and the Brotherhood) and is stealing their powers. Meanwhile Jean Grey and Cyclops are graduating from high school only to have the ceremony interrupted by the Acolytes. However, Magneto only wants to reveal that Mesmero is using Rogue to collect the mutant’s powers to help release Apocalypse. The X-Men have to team up with the Acolytes to find the tomb of Apocalypse and stop Mesmero from releasing him.
This is the way that the series should’ve been released in the first place. Earlier releases were separate “themed” releases, such as the other title I reviewed (which was missing episodes). Warner Brothers has wisely decided to start releasing them in season sets. Although it is a little late and no indication is given that they’ll go back and redo season one and two, it is the proper way to release this series. I found the series enjoyable and especially liked the X23 episode.
X-Men Evolution is presented in fullscreen as it was shown on television. Special features are in short supply. Disc one has two 5 minute profiles of members of the X-Men and Acolyte teams. These seem like commercials that may have been shown sometime during the television run. Disc two has the better, though short at 6 minutes, featurette “X-Men Season 3 X-posed.”
It has interviews with head writer/executive story editor Greg Johnson, director of development television programming Craig Kyle, producer/director Boyd Kirkland, and director Frank Paur. There is another quiz, but this is just a 4 minute featurette that asks you the question and immediately gives you the answer. Finally there are trailers for the other DVDs in the X-Men Evolution series.
Although Warner Brothers is releasing the seasons properly I was a little disappointed that there were not commentaries. Fans of the show will want to pick this up to complete their collection and let’s hope that season one and two will be redone.