Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther DVD Home Video Release
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Marvel Animation
Release Date: August 8th, 2006

DVD Special Features:
"The Ultimates" featurette
Gag reel
"What Avenger Are You?" DVD-ROM feature
"Iron Man" First Look
"Dr. Strange" First Look
Trailer gallery

Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther DVD Review
By Jim Harvey

Lionsgate gives their second Marvel feature a nice collection of extras, on par, if not a little less, than the first "Ultimate Avengers" video release. We get a main featurette detailing the history of The Ultimates and how the movies came to be, as well as a look at the upcoming Marvel video features and a DVD-ROM game.

The audio and visual for the release, much like the first one, is top notch. The audio comes out loud and clear, and the battle scenes sound just stupendous. The opening sequence in Wakanda sounds amazing, and the climactic battle just roars out of the television. Its a great audio mix, and the visuals are just as impressive. Definitely a gorgeous transfer, there appears to be any hardly noticeable interlacing. If there are any visual problems then I must have missed them.

The main featurette clocks in at around twenty-three minutes and fills us in on how The Ultimates came to be and why these Ultimate Avengers cartoons were made. Interviews focus primarily on Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch with Joe Quesada, Avi Arad, and the team behind the movies also adding their thoughts. A nice surprise is how the featurette deals with some of the controversial aspects of "The Ultimates," including the infamous "France" quip at the end of the first comic volume. It's a well done and quick affair, filling us all in on the comic and the movies themselves.

Save for the sneak peeks, the other featurettes are pretty forgettable. The gag reel may get a laugh or two, but overall proves to be just filler, and pretty boring. The extra just drags on until the bitter end. The DVD-ROM game is something to a quick time-waster and looks to be exactly the same as the DVD-ROM game on the previous movie's DVD release.. There are also trailers for "Ultimate Avengers 1, a video game and one for Liongate's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" DVD releases. Oddly, there is no trailer for "Ultimate Avengers 2."

The early look at both "Iron Man" and "Dr. Strange" provide great insight on those productions, including designs and early animation. Both of the sneak peeks provide a great look at the story and style for these two movies, but Dr. Strange looking absolutely amazing in terms of visual style. The feature based on Iron Man looks to be a high quality product as well.

Theres some truly good material in here, but there should be more. The extras only look to add up to only 40 or so minutes of actual extras content. The featurettes and sneak peeks are worth checking out, but the DVD-ROM is (once again) a waste of space. The main attraction is, of course, the feature film, and the extras do add some context to it, but not as much as Id like. Still, the disc is well put together and worth the hour or so it will take to go through the materials.