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Wolverine and The X-Men: Revelation DVD Review

Watching the five episodes included here is somewhat bittersweet with the recent news that a second season of Wolverine and The X-Men will not be happening. On one hand, we’re heading toward the story’s climax, going full speed ahead. More and more details are coming to light in some of the best episodes yet for Wolverine and The X-Men. But, as great as these are, it’s a shame this is all we will get. This is one show that had plenty of mileage left in it and begs for more stories to be told. Thankfully, Lionsgate Home Entertainment is committed to getting all 26 episodes out and, with this release, we are one step closer to that reality.

Synopsis:
The world’s end arrives in eight days. Will Wolverine and the X-Men discover the deadly secret to stop it? Uncover the truth in Wolverine and The X-Men: Revelation with five gripping episodes. As the X-Men face a threat lurking in their midst, Angel goes against his own father to save fellow mutants. But when his wings are taken from him, will he throw away everything for revenge? Next, dangerous secrets await Scott in the depths of his own mind when he attempts to rid himself of his memories of Jean Grey. Meanwhile in the future, Xavier struggles at all costs to get information back to Wolverine, even at the risk of Rover and Marrow’s loyalty. He must act quickly, before Gambit succeeds in his treacherous game of thievery. Because if he doesn’t, a power more deadly than anything the X-Men have ever faced will put the world at risk: a fiery entity known as…The Phoenix.

With the five episodes included on this new release, we are heading into the endgame for not only the first season of Wolverine and The X-Men, but for the entire series as well. For here, the series really kicks it up I find, with a lot of problems with the earlier episodes addressed here. We’re heading into the big three-part finale and every episode here is a part of that. Even the episodes that feel like simple “one-offs” actually contain a plot point or hint toward what we’re going to get in the coming episodes. Everything is being stitched together in such a delicate fashion here, showing off the deft writing and planning that has worked so well for this series

What we get here with these episodes is, essentially, the final endgame of the season coming together. Characters from their different respective sides are making their moves, secret agendas and motivations are bubbling up, and it’s all coming together bit by bit. We see some major character advancement, like with “Guardian Angel” and some startling revelations (hence the apt name of this volume collection), such as with “Breakdown” and “Shades of Grey.” Both “Rover” and “Aces & Eights” are kind off one-off episodes, but both episodes introduce plotlines that will become very key in the final story-arc of the season.

In fact, there’s not even a real weak episode in the bunch. Sure, “Rover” was likely the least received episode of the bunch, but I still enjoyed it. It’s important that was have enough set-up in the future as well as in the present to make sure the big finale does hit all the right marks, and we get sufficient future background here. However, the episodes set in the present day are the real bread and butter. “Guardian Angel” and “Shades of Grey” feature some of the best the series has to offer, and the surprise revelation at the end of “Breakdown” caught me genuinely for a loop. It’s episodes like this that make me very thankful we get this show on DVD. The series is definitely all-ages appropriate, but the mature tinge to the series just gives it the extra gravitas it needs to succeed.

The writing continues to remain top-notch throughout these episodes, offering some of the most compelling tales on television today. It’s an utter shame we won’t get to see this show explore a second season’s worth of storylines. The animation holds up quite nicely for the most part too, though I still find some of the action sequences are paced somewhat slower than they should be. They seem to lack that visceral edge from time to time, but they’re still very well balanced and composed, with all the characters usually getting at least a few solid moments to show off their abilities.

Episodes collected in this release include “Guardian Angel,” “Breakdown,” “Rover,” “Aces & Eights,” “Shades of Grey.”

Overall, it’s a freakin’ great collection of episodes. For those who have been enjoying Wolverine and The X-Men so far, I have no doubt this volume will continue said enjoyment. Everything is starting to pay off here, as we see hints to the future and pay-offs from past episodes. It’s in this collection, more so than any other, that we really get the idea of how intricately plotted out this entire series was. Everything just matters, and it never feels forced, but natural. By no means is it perfect, but it’s such a rousing story. As to what should be no surprise, this latest collection of enjoying Wolverine and The X-Men episodes definitely comes stamped as Recommended.

The DVD:
Like the previous Wolverine and The X-Men DVD releases, Wolverine and The X-Men: Revelation looks and sounds great. The 1.78:1 picture is vibrant and really pops off the screen, with the only noticeable defect being some slight interlacing and compression on the image. The Dolby 5.1 English mix sounds excellent, with loud sound effects and action sequences coming out loud and clear. An alternate Spanish 2.0 dub is also available.

Bonus material is along the lines of previous Wolverine and the X-Men home video releases. Each episode comes with a commentary track featuring supervising producer Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson and Chris Yost. The tracks are informative and enjoyable, providing a nice amount of behind-the-scenes information amongst the joking and ribbing between the creators. With the news that the show is not continuing past the first season, listening to these tracks is somewhat bittersweet, as you can just tell the crew had so much more planned for the future, and it looks like we may not get to see that. The disc is then wrapped up with a collection of trailers. Not much, admittedly, but I admire Yost, Johnson and Yost coming back release after release to share their thoughts on the release. The consistency is great and you get a real sense of pride and accomplishment when these three talk and rib back and forth during the course of the episodes.

Wolverine and The X-Men: Revelation features a solid collection of episodes, teasing the final release. While it is another single-disc collection, much to the chagrin of many fans, the quality of the episodes can justify the price-tag. Without the prospect of a complete season collection coming from Lionsgate Home Entertainment any time soon, at least until the entire first 26-episode season is released in single-discs releases beforehand, these individual DVD volume releases are currently the only Wolverine and The X-Men titles available to American consumers unless they wish to import. But these volumes are worth it. And with there being just one volume left to go until the entire series is out on DVD, there’s no reason not to pick this up. Not a single one. The quality is undeniably solid and worth seeking out. Wolverine and The X-Men: Revelation is another well put-together collection of episodes, deserving of the Recommended stamp of approval.

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