Ultimately, the powers that be of planet Breakworld are aiming for nothing less than the destruction of Earth. Before that, we meet a new Hellfire Club in “Torn,” with some very interesting entanglements between Emma Frost and Cassandra Nova. Under the nefarious influence of this incarnation of the Hellfire Club (which also includes Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Sebastian Shaw, and Perfection), the team of mutants is indeed torn. Viewers may find themselves torn over the effectiveness of the presentation of these episodes. Each of the four subtitles is broken down into shorter segments (representing individual comic book issues) that are bracketed by opening and closing credits. It’s really too bad these couldn’t have been eliminated when choosing the “play all” function for a given title, because they really interrupt the flow of the stories.
Astonishing X-Men Collection is very acceptable on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer framed at 1.78:1. The motion comic format simply isn’t in the same realm as fully animated features. Still, this looks good in high definition for the most part. Having reviewed the individual release of “Dangerous,” I was able to compare that segment’s standard definition presentation with the Blu-ray. Clarity is definitely improved, with the outlines of the art standing out as more defined. Colors were bolder as well. The earliest of the four segments, “Gifted,” is slightly weaker from a visual standpoint, with lines that are somewhat less crisply defined.
In terms of audio, the 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mix does exactly what it needs to do and nothing more. Dialogue clarity is good. Music and effects are generally well balanced overall. Again, the format doesn’t attempt to approximate the audio complexities of a big budget feature. If you don’t already know what to expect, think of it as a no-frills animated TV series. As with the imagery, simplicity is the key to successful audio here as well. We can easily hear what the characters are saying and the additional elements blend together smoothly.