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DVD Review: Marvel X-Men, Volumes 3 and 4

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The X-Men animated series ran for 76 episodes on the FOX network from 1992 through 1997. Adapted from the popular Marvel comic book series, X-Men follows the exploits of Wolverine, Gambit, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Morph, Professor Xavier, and newly joined Jubilee. The series took some of the best storylines like "The Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga" and "Days of Future Past" and adapted them for the 1990s.

After years of requesting this series on DVD, fans were finally rewarded with two volumes. Those sets contain the first 33 episodes (volume 1 has 17 episodes and volume two has 16 episodes) and was released to coincide with the theatrical release of X-Men: Origins – Wolverine. Well, with the film coming to DVD, volumes three and four, which contain the next 29 episodes (15 episodes and 14 episodes), are being released.

Volume three includes an adaptation of "The Dark Phoenix Saga" which is arguably the best X-Men story of all time — Wolverine trying to remember his past and returning to the Weapon X project which created him. The killing of Xavier alters the timeline so the X-Men were never formed; the story features the return of time traveler Bishop, who is attempting to repair the timeline, which has a married Wolverine and Storm, to its correct status.

Volume four has the return of Magneto who offers his orbiting fortress Asteroid M as a sanctuary for all mutants; it doesn’t go exactly as he plans. It also has Apocalypse stealing Cable’s time platform to kidnap all telepaths, which also strands Bishop in the time stream and more.

The episodes cram so many cameos of mutants throughout the series' run that it's fun to see who appears in what episodes. Even if your favorite character isn't on the team, chances are they'll be in at least one episode during the run if not more. Characters like Angel, Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Longshot, Colossus, and more do show up throughout the five seasons with some characters being the focus of an episode.

The only thing missing are extras. The first two volumes had no extras and these have none either. It’s great that X-Men are finally out on DVD, and they will make their way into the fans' homes, but it would be nice to have some of the cast talking about their time on the series, some commentaries, or interviews with the creators of the X-Men stories that were adapted for the show and their thoughts. The fifth DVD set, when it’s released, should contain the final 14 episodes and we can hope that the producers are saving the extras for the last set.

That said, I’m glad that X-Men are finally on DVD, I’m looking forward to getting the complete series. Now if we can just get the Spider-Man series from the '90s that aired on FOX, I’d be a happy fanboy!

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