Marvel X-Men Volume 4
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The action reaches all-new heights in VOLUME 4 of the landmark X-MEN animated series. With adventures adapted directly from the original Marvel(R) comic books, this collection is a rich piece of the X-MEN legacy and a must-have for every X-MEN fan. The X-Men must join forces with the heroes of the future when Apocalypse, a mighty mutant, is driven completely mad by his powers! Discover the stunning conclusion to the 4-part epic "Beyond Good And Evil" in this sensational 14-episode set. MARVEL, X-MEN and all related characters and the likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters and are used with permission. (C) 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. (C) Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
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49 Proteus (1)
50 Proteus (2)
51 Sanctuary (1)
52 Sanctuary (2)
53 Beyond Good and Evil (1)
54 Beyond Good and Evil (2)
55 Beyond Good and Evil (3)
56 Beyond Good and Evil (4)
57 Have Yourself A Morlock Little Christmas
58 The Lotus and the Steel
59 Love in Vain
60 Secrets, Not Long Buried
61 Xavier Remembers
62 Family Ties
Really every episode from this series can be considered a fan favorite but more noticable in this collection is the four part Beyond Good and Evil saga as well as The Phalanx Covenant, Sanctuary and Family Ties.
The audio & video quality we can expect will be the same as that of the first two volumes. Episodes tended to be in the same quality they aired with minor compression issues that go unnoticed by most and didn't impede on my personal viewing enjoyment. Also the further we go into the series we should notice a slow steady improvement on the actual animation quality of the show.
There are no special features on these volumes but given the fact we're dealing with Disney that's to be expected. Television was better in the nineties. Thanks for your time.
* Rather than clutter up the review page I have included a list of episode summaries in my comments section for those interested.
We can now witness more adventure as episodes from season 3 and 4 are now being released. X-Men closely followed some storylines from the comics. In this one, we witness Magneto building Asteroid M, a sanctuary for mutants, Wolverine battle Silver Samurai and the X-Men even clash in an epic battle with the immortal god-like mutant Apocalypse as he plans to reshape the universe in his own evil ways. We'll even encounter Mr.Sinister as he teams with Apocalypse and Magneto who reluctantly battle along side the X-Men to battle Apocalypse.
X-Men is something for all ages. Kid and teens will love the action and adventure, while adults will appreciate the well written episodes and how some of them follow the comics. And of course, everybody will appreciate the top-quality animation created by some of the greatest animation studios of the day and everyone will love the nicely drawn awesome looking characters who bear great resemblance to the X-Men of comic book artist Jim Lee and writer Chris Claremont.
In case you're a fan of X-Men, Marvel, good action, emotional scenes or epic battles of good vs evil or if you even watched this on Fox Kids during the fantastic era of the 90s, don't miss X-Men! If you got the first volume and volume 2, then I,m sure you'll adore volume 3 and volume 4 and if you haven't experienced X-Men, it might just be a good time to grab both new volumes and prepare for epic adventures featuring Marvel's mutant team.
Here are the episodes in this volume.
Proteus Part 1: A deadly mutant foe named Proteus who can warp anything it touches has been unleashed at Muir Island. The X-Men head to Muir Island to battle him.
Proteus Part 2: Proteus searches for his the Father who abandoned him as a child whilst Moira and the X-Men continue to try and him.
Sanctuary Part 1: Magneto establishes a sanctuary in space known as Asteroid M. But when the mutant Fabian Cortez overthrows him and takes over, the X-Men are called for assistance.
Sanctuary Part 2: As the X-Men battle Cortez who temps to take over Asteroid M, Magneto returns to reclaim his place on the throne.
Beyond Good and Evil Part 1: As Cyclops and Jean prepare to wed, Mr.Sinister drops by and kidnaps Jean and takes her to an unknown world and learns that Apocalypse has plans for her.
Beyond Good and Evil Part 2: The X-Men figure out that Apocalypse is after Psylocke and other mutants who posses telepathic abilities. They even have a run in with Angel. The X-Men must figure out why Apocalypse is after psychics.
Beyond Good and Evil Part 3: Professor Xavier and the X-Men are taken to a place known as the Axis of Time and realizes that Apocalypse plans to use the psychics to recreate the universe in his own will. Cable heads to the Axis of Time to stop Apocalypse once and for all.
Beyond Good and Evil Part 4: In the final part of this episode, an epic battle between the X-Men, the psychics, Cable and Apocalypse will decide the fate of the immortal mutant once and for all.
Have Yourself a Morlock Little Christmas: It's Christmas time at the X-Men's mansion and Wolverine, Storm and Jubilee have a run in with The Morlocks who have an ill member of the family. Will everyone have a happy Christmas? Will Jean survive the wrath of Gambit's competitive cooking?
The Lotus and the Steel: Finding himself continually losing control, Wolverine takes a sabbatical to Japan, in an effort to find inner peace in temple-building. Instead, he faces a village under siege by a group of bandits and Silver Samurai, and struggles to help them without compromising his search for his true nature.
Love in Vain: Rogue's childhood sweetheart, the boy whom she put into a coma when her powers first manifested, returns to her life unexpectedly. But what strange connection does he have with the bug-like aliens Wolverine encounters in the desert?
Secrets Not Long Buried: Cyclops visits an old teacher only to discover strange things about the town he lives in.
Xavier Remembers: Xavier's concussion leads to more problems than a simple headache.
Family Ties: Magneto is summoned by his dead wife to a reunion, but all is not as it seems.
The already mentioned "Beyond Good and Evil" is an engaging set of episodes centered around Apocalypse. As I mentioned in the review of Volume 3, it is a pseudo-Age of Apocalypse but differs greatly. We get a lot of cameos from villains and hero's past and Psylocke even gets some dialogue. Overall it's a fun time travel story and one I enjoy more than the other two long arcs for the series. "Sanctuary" is another excellent two-parter that sees the creation of Magneto's Avalon and the introduction of his Acolytes. It captures the story from the comics of the betrayal of Magento's right-hand man Cortez, as he attempts to assassinate Magneto (in a Saturday morning kid's show kind of way). And for good measure, an old flame of Xavier's is thrown in to spice things up. The other two-part arc "Proteus" takes the popular classic X-Men story and adopts it for television in an appropriate way
As you can see, I think highly of disc one, so why the passable three star rating? Well, there is a disc two to this set and unfortunately it is not the equal of disc one. "Have Yourself a Morlock Little Christmas" is the series lone holiday themed episode. I suppose it's surprising it took this long for the series to have one but perhaps it is another example of the team running out of ideas. It is a typical Christmas special and Jubilee gets some screen time. One thing that does bug me about the episode is that we are to believe it is Jubilee's first Christmas with the X-Men, nevermind that the show has been on for years at this point. I guess the X-Men really pack a lot of excitement into one year! I'll admit this one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, I'm a sucker for these kind of episodes, but it is typical holiday fare. The episode "The Lotus and the Steel" is another Wolverine centered episode that sees him make a journey to Japan and introduces the television audience to the Silver Samurai. It's not a bad episode but it has the feel of "haven't we been here before" as numerous other Wolverine episodes have dealt with similar issues. "Family Ties" gives us the big reveal of who Magneto's children are, but outside of that the episode is mostly uninteresting. Rogue's old flame Cody returns in "Love in Vain" and the results are about as interesting as the episode premise sounds (though one thing that always bugged me about this episode is why didn't the creators use this opportunity to give us the Brood?). "Xavier Remembers" is an okay episode that details the backstory of the Shadow King, a villain I personally have no use for. And lastly, Cyclops gets some face-time in "Secrets Not Long Buried" but the results are probably the worst episode of the series. I don't know if the series writers just felt burned out by Cyclops and Jean following the Phoenix Sagas but they do not surface much on these two discs (Cyclops also famously had an episode delayed until season five which seems to irritate fans to this day as it takes place between the two Phoenix Sagas).
That's one man's opinion anyway on these set. In short, disc one is excellent and disc two is mostly throw-away. I fear Volume Five will be the same case though likely worse but it shall at least conclude the series. If I have one last gripe with Volume 4 its that the cover art is definitely lacking when compared to the other three releases. Still, for the completists out there, this is a must buy. Disc one is essential viewing and hopefully you will find more to like about disc two than I did.
I am hoping they will release the last season, when they SERIOUSLY upgraded the animation...and finally showed THE PHALANX.
49-50. Proteus: Moira MacTaggert's son Kevin, also known as Proteus, is suffering from an uncontrollable mutation. Moira scrambles to find a cure while trying to hide the true identity of her son, but when he escapes from Muir Island she has no choice but to call on the X-Men for help. My least favorite 2-part story, but it's still good. B
51-52. Sanctuary: Weary of battling for mutant supremacy, Magneto offers to transport all mutants to an orbiting asteroid named Asteroid M where they can live peaceful and human-free lives. However, Fabian Cortez tricks Magneto into an escape pod and launches him into space. When the X-Men arrive to investigate Magneto's intentions, Cortez blames Magneto's disappearance on them and accuses them of assassinating their long-time foe! This 2-parter, on the other hand, is excellent. Look for a cameo of the Black Panther in both parts. A+
53-56. Beyond Good & Evil: In the year 3999, Apocalypse obtains Cable's time machine and uses it to go back in time. Accidentally falling in the axis of time, Apocalypse hires Mister Sinister to kidnap psychics all across the universe. This is an epic episode that was supposed to be the series finale, but fortunately wasn't. A+
57. Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-Mas: While the X-Men prepare for a festive Christmas celebration, Jubilee, Storm, and an extra grouchy Wolverine go last-minute shopping in Manhattan. But the jubilant mood quickly turns sour when the heroes find themselves in a race to save Leech, a member of the Morlocks. And so ends one of the longest streaks of no thumbs down (below B) I have ever seen in any show. This is a stupid episode, but not without its moments. Wolverine gets a couple good lines, and Gambit vs Jean Grey in the kitchen is hilarious, but that's it. D
58. The Lotus and the Steel: Realizing that he is slowly losing control, Wolverine quits the X-Men and returns to the rural Japan of his younger days in an effort to find himself. He works peacefully with a former spiritual teacher, the monk Oku, to build a temple. But when the neighboring village is threatened by a group of bandits led by the Silver Samurai, Wolverine is faced with the difficult decision to risk losing control in order to help the villagers. The worst Wolverine-focused episode ever. There are some genuinely good moments, but the rest of it is just boring. C-
59. Love in Vain: While exploring a New Mexico desert, Wolverine witnesses the crash of a spaceship carrying alien bug-like creatures who call themselves "The Family." Meanwhile, Rogue is reunited with her first boyfriend, Cody, only to discover that he is part of the Family's plot to have Rogue become their new leader. My other favorite episode to focus on Rogue. This is one of the greatest episodes of the whole show, with a plot straight out of the comics, creepy villains, & a sad ending. A+
60. Secrets, Not Long Buried: When Cyclops flies solo to a tiny desert community to see an old friend, his plane is blasted out of the sky. Injured and unable to use his powers, he struggles into town, only to discover his friend is missing. To make matters worse, the town is caught in the grips of a mutant-only, anti-human hate group: the Children of the Shadow. Without his powers, Cyclops is mistaken for a human and The Children of the Shadow hunt him down. This episode is a little weird, but it's still good. A-
61. Xavier Remembers: When Professor X suffers a slight concussion, his powerful psychic mind is suddenly open to manipulation. The Shadow King takes advantage of this and takes possession of Xavier, leaving his mind trapped on the Astral Plane. Now the X-Men must fend of the powerful psychic attacks created by the Shadow King while Jean Grey scrambles to find a way to bring Professor X Back to reality. One of the most interesting episodes. A
62. Family Ties: Shortly after Magneto breaks into the X-Mansion, he is captured by the High Evolutionary and his New Men. Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Beast and Wolverine are also captured and used as test subjects. In the process, the High Evolutionary reveals the identity of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's father! This is a great episode with guest appearances by one of my favorite Marvel villains & 2 of my favorite Avengers. A
Another good collection overall.
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