On April 28th, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the animated series Marvel X-Men: Volumes 1 and 2, complete on DVD for the first time ever. The best aspect of this great DVD set release, is that the two sets together consist of the best episodes of the five season show. After The Phoenix Saga aired during Season Three, the remaining shows were not aired in the correct continuity order as the comics they were based on. According to reports, part of the reason for this was that a variety of animation studios were creating art for the series, and their were quality issues with some of the later episodes.
However, that’s not the case with the 33 episodes on both of these two-disc sets. While I had my favorite episodes and story-arcs, including the aforementioned Phoenix Saga, which follows Jean Grey’s transformation into the powerful Phoenix, the majority of the segments showed Marvel’s desire to create a series that would be both entertaining for hardcore fans of the X-Men comic and appealing to the masses.
The Phoenix Saga begins as Professor Xavier receives a psychic plea for help from an alien woman, and sends his X-Men on the next space shuttle to the Eagle One space station. They’re greeted by a brute named Erik the Red, who’s on a mission from Emperor D’Ken to destroy a rival’s ship and take the M’Kraan crystal, which would give him unlimited power. The ship Erik the Red is supposed to destroy contains the emperor’s sister, Lilandra, who is the one who established the psychic link to Professor X. Meanwhile, Jean Grey pilots the shuttle back to Earth and is hit by a burst of radiation that slowly changes her into Phoenix, the guardian of the M’Kraan crystal. This strong story has surprising deep internal conflicts throughout; from Cyclops meeting the space pirate Corsair – who is his father; to squabbling emperor kin; to Professor X fighting his half-brother Juggernaut. The consists of Part One: Sacrifice, Part Two: Dark Shroud, Part Three: Cry of the Banshee, Part Four: Starjammers, and the final episode – Child of Light.
Other engaging episodes include the two-part Time Fugitives; A Rogue’s Tale, in which Mr. Sinister sends Mystique to destroy the X-Men while Professor X is lost in the Savage Land; Red Dawn, featuring Colossus returning home to Russia with Jubilee, and being confronted by cold war super soldier Omega Red; and The Unstoppable Juggernaut, which features the X-Men squaring off against the demolition man known as Juggernaut, after returning from an adventure at Genosha.
Both two-disc sets are a must for X-Men fans, or animation fans looking to find out more about the origins of both popular and lesser known X-Men characters, with stories adapted directly from the original comic books.
Marvel X-Men: Volume 2 Episode Guide
- Night of the Sentinels (Part 1)
- Night of the Sentinels (Part 2)
- Enter Magnet
- Deadly Reunions
- Captive Hearts
- Cold Vengeance
- Slave Island
- The Unstoppable Juggernaut
- The Cure
- Come The Apocalypse
- Days Of Future Past (Part 1)
- Days Of Future Past (Part 2)
- The Final Decision
- Till Death DUs Part (Part 1)
- Till Death DUs Part (Part 2)
- Whatever It Takes
Marvel X-Men: Volume 2 Episode Guide
- Red Dawn
- X-Ternally Yours
- 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
Here is the cover art for both DVD sets.
Below are some scenes from the X-Men animated series releases
Juggernaut (Vol. 1)
Wolverine vs. Morph (Vol. 1)
Swampland (Vol. 2)
Sinister (Vol. 2)