X-Men Vol. 1 & 2 – DVD Review
By Patrick Luce May 7, 2009, 12:37 GMT
In a world that hates and fears them, several mutants (humans who are born with unique powers and abilities) have banded together to fight the hatred, and eventually fight for their very lives. Under the tutelage of Professor Xavier, the most powerful telepath on the planet, they learn to master their powers. Cyclops, the team leader, can shoot laser beams from his eyes. The rebellious and feral Wolverine can heal ...more
One of the greatest superhero cartoons arrives on DVD with the release of the Marvel Comics animated series X-Men Volume 1 and Volume 2. The two-disc sets collect episodes from the classic 1990s “X-Men” animated series that ran on Fox.
The two volumes collect the first 33 episodes (taken from Seasons One and Two) of the long running series – which was probably one of the best animated shows of its time (next to “Batman: The Animated Series”).
Any fan of Marvel Comics and its merry group of mutants should love these collections. The series did an excellent job of filling the episodes with a variety of mutants, and picking storylines straight from the comics (such as the incredible adaptation of The Phoenix Saga).
The series also made sure that it could entertain adults as well as children thanks to plots that featured some pretty heavy dramatic elements (such as human rights), continuing complex storylines (several episodes feature multiple parts to one large story), and plenty of action. Wolverine, the most popular mutant of all, also gets plenty of screen time to snarl, pop his claws and drop “bub” at all the right moments.
Volume 1 kicks off with the two-part “Night of the Sentinels” story that quickly introduces us to the X-Men, waste no time getting to the action, and demonstrates this series is going feature some deep dramatic tension. We also see that all the mutants don’t play nice together and sometimes it is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
Volume 1 episodes include:
Night of the Sentinels (Part 1)
Night of the Sentinels (Part 2)
The Unstoppable Juggernaut
Come The Apocalypse
Days Of Future Past (Part 1)
Days Of Future Past (Part 2)
The Final Decision
Till Death Do Us Part (Part 1)
Till Death Do Us Part (Part 2)
Whatever It Takes
Volume 2 sees the X-Men series take a bit of a darker tone with the heavy “Phoenix Saga.” While the animated version of the story doesn’t seem to have the emotional impact of the comic story, the creators do a good job of bringing the major storyline to the show.
The five-part storyline is probably the best episodes the series ever aired, and showed it wasn’t just for kids. The series featured lots of explosions and mutants in brightly colored costumes, but the “Phoenix Saga” showed the characters could also demonstrate some emotional damage.
Volume 2 episodes include:
Time Fugitives (Part 1)
Time Fugitives (Part 2)
A Rogue's Tale
Beauty & The Beast
Reunion (Part 1)
Reunion (Part 2)
Out of the Past (Part 1)
Out of the Past (Part 2)
The Phoenix Saga (Part 1): Sacrifice
The Phoenix Saga (Part 2): The Dark Shroud
The Phoenix Saga (Part 3): Cry of the Banshee
The Phoenix Saga (Part 4): The Starjammers
The Phoenix Saga (Part 5): Child of Light
Although I really loved this series, it does have some faults (Jubilee is just annoying and Rogue's Southern accent can get a bit grating), and the animation feels a bit clunky from time to time. The complex storylines can also get a bit too complex, and at times there seems to be too many mutants to keep up with or care about.
I was also disappointed the DVDs came with zero special features. There is a “Sneak Peek” function that gives you some trailers for upcoming releases, but that’s it. With a show as big as X-Men, there should have been some decent features that took a look at the series, its impact, and its history.
Even with some faults, X-Men was one of the best animated series to ever hit the television, and this collection will remind you what made it so great. If you are a comic fan, this is a must own release. Each episode features a great story, plenty of action, and lots of mutant fun.