Continuing the adventures of Wolverine and the X-Men from the new animated series, the appropriately-titled Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two naturally expands on the set-up from the previous DVD release. We get to look at the larger world outside of the X-Mansion, including the first appearance of both the Hulk and Mojo. For those who enjoyed the first four episodes from the previous Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume One DVD release, I have no doubt that the four episodes found in here will keep you just as hooked as those.
Wolverine and the X-Men continue their fight to prevent an unspeakable future as menacing opponents await in Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two. Wolverine teams up with Gambit to ‘steal back’ a technological collar that inhibits mutant powers, before Senator Kelly can use it against them. On the high seas, Nightcrawler battles devious pirates, in the business of kidnapping mutant refugees for their mysterious master, Mojo. In order to protect his friends, Wolverine must face-off against the Incredible Hulk, but he soon discovers there is a new enemy lurking in the darkness. And in a shocking request from Professor Xavier in the future, Wolverine and the X-Men must return a young mutant to the custody of their most relentless adversary, the MRD.
Showcasing the next four episodes in proper order, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two slowly moves the overall storyline along, leaving enough interest to ensure fans will be coming back for a third volume release (and so on), but also providing some pretty satisfying episodes to avoid anyone from feeling cheated by any lack of resolution. Now, every episode includes here doesn’t move the story ahead, but each do help establish the overall mood and tone of the series.
The episodes featured in this collection include “X-Calibre,” “Theives’ Gambit,” “Wolverine Versus The Hulk,” and “Time Bomb.”
The episodes includes here are all good in their own rights, but some are more enjoyable then others. If I had to pick my least favorite in this release, that would go to “X-Calibre.” As much as I enjoy the character of Nightcrawler, I just didn’t find this to be a real intriguing episode. And sadly, what could have been a fairly enjoyable episode is brought down by the inclusion of Spiral, Mojo and all those off-world characters who I never enjoyed seeing in an X-Men show. If you’re a Nightcrawler fan then you’ll get some choice moments, but I found those hindered by the forces he had to battle with. Even though aliens are a big part of the X-Men mythos, I never really enjoyed seeing the X-Men do battle with them.
The remaining episodes are all enjoyable and, for the most part, solid episodes. “Wolverine Versus Hulk” is a fun episode bringing the rivalry between two of Marvel’s greatest heroes to the forefront. While this episode is obviously not as violent as the recent manic Hulk Versus Wolverine short film released earlier this year, it’s still a fun episode that definitely opens up the Wolverine and The X-Men universe a little bit. “Time Bomb” is a great episode, showcasing both the Brotherhood and the X-Men in a desperate race to stop a mutant from causing a cataclysmic event. “Theives’ Gambit” introduces the popular character Gambit into the mix, clashing against the X-Men instead of joining their cause. A smart move for a character, one who can get tiring if overexposed. It’s just a fun series that both the die-hard X-Men fan and casual fan can really get into.
Expanding upon the previous DVD release, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two brings us more of what we want in an X-Men series. We have compelling heroes, great villains, good stories, and tone and feeling that stays true to the core of the X-Men storyline. Backed with solid animation and an impressive voice cast, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two really is something worth picking up. I can’t see how X-Men fans would be disappointed in any way with this series. Sure, putting Wolverine in the forefront may upset more than a few X-Men purists, but it’s handled in a way that doesn’t seem like a blatant cashgrab but an actual extension of the story. The creators on this series have really put together something great here, and the five episodes in this collection are just the tip of the iceberg for bigger things still to come. If you want to hop on the animated X-Men bandwagon, then Wolverine and The X-Men is a good place to start. The episodes featured on Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two definitely comes Recommened for viewing.
Much like the previous Liberation Entertainment’s previous DVD release for this series, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two is a solid series housed in very attractive packaging. The disc is housed in a standard Amaray case which itself is inside a very stylish foil-enhanced cardboard sleeve. The reflective foil cover really makes the art pop, especially if you get it in just the right light, making for an attractive addition to one’s shelf.
Digging into the audio and video transfer quality for this release, it should come as no surprise that this series looks absolutely great, and feature only minor hints of any compression issues. The colors are deep and full in all respects, whether it’s a bright explosion or a peak into a dark future, everything looks beautiful. To compliment, the 5.1 audio transfer makes every little moment sound crystal clear. I’m sure viewers will be very pleased with how all four episodes included on this releases looks.
Sadly, save for the very cool cardboard sleeve, this release contains no bonus content.
It is also worth noting that while the packaging for Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two DVD release says it contains five episodes, only four episodes seem to be included.
While the lack of bonus features will definitely be a mark of disappointment for many, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two does get buy on the strength of the four included episodes. I’d still rate this release as Recommended, especially for collectors and as an impulse buy. With the title priced to move, around $9 – 12 dollars at most outlets, Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two still looks to be a good deal. However, with a confirmed Wolverine and The X-Men: The Complete First Season collection coming from Liberation Entertainment later this year, that may result in more than a few fans skipping this release. The main feature, the series, is a solid interpretation of Marvel’s Merry Mutants, with plenty of action, great characters, and a solid story that should keep fans engaged. Liberation Entertainment has done a great job on Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two, giving the title an excellent audio and video transfer, and creating a really great-looking packaging.
Wolverine and The X-Men: Season One, Volume Two is now available to own in Canada on DVD.
Please note this is a Canada-only release, but Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be releasing the Wolverine and The X-Men: Deadly Enemies DVD, containing four episodes of the series, in the US on July 21st, 2009. More details are available here.