Buena Vista Home Entertainment has released the next two installments of the X-Men cartoon series that aired on FOX Saturday mornings during the 1990s. The first two volumes was previously reviewed and a basic overview of the characters were given. Volume 3 has 15 episodes and Volume 4 has 14 episodes and they offer a lot of quality superhero entertainment.
For reasons not clearly explained, the continuity after the five-part “The Phoenix Saga” completely fell apart and episodes aired out of production order, screwing up the storylines. This is an unfortunate but completely understandable situation because the demands of television and the difficulties of producing a weekly, animated series can come into conflict. However, it’s been over ten years and all the episodes are at hand in the vaults. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever why the DVD producers didn’t rectify the situation and present the cartoons in the correct order as intended.
Volume 3 skips four episodes, including "No Mutant Is an Island" where Cyclops quit the group because he was so distraught over Jean’s death, only to discover her alive. However, all viewers know as they watch “The Dark Phoenix (Part 1)” is that Jean is having tests conducted on her in Scotland at Dr. Moira MacTaggart’s lab with no explanation to her reappearance. The resolution of Jean Grey-Phoenix storyline was altered from the comics and lightened, likely for child viewers. It works, but loses its power, especially after she, and the audience, already experienced a false death.
The second disc offers a few single-story episodes featuring X-Men members from the comics such as Archangel, Iceman, and Nightcrawler. The Juggernaut returns in an episode of the same name. Revisiting the “Days of Future Past” storyline, Bishop comes back from the future in the two-part “One Man’s Worth,” which opens in 1959 when the assassination of a young Charles Xavier creates an alternate timeline where humans and mutants are at war.