Review and Scans By Stu
Warner Home Video has just released the sixth DVD volume of the popular X-Men: Evolution animated series, containing the episodes "The Beast Of Bayville"; "Adrift"; "African Storm"; and "On Angel’s Wings."
Alas, there's not much to say about the episodes themselves: only the last-mentioned has much to recommend it. "On Angel’s Wings" manages to ignore a lot of the teenage clichés and concentrates on telling a good superhero story, in which Angel, bourne by the holiday spirit, decides to help people but gets caught between the public’s love/hate relationship for him and Magneto's attempts to lure him to the Brotherhood. It's an outstanding episode with great characterisation, beautiful animation and a genuinely heart-warming ending.
The other three offerings, unfortunately, range from the mediocre to the truly awful. "The Beast Of Bayville" introduces The Beast and his struggle to keep his inner creature under wraps. Unfortunately, this episode features a lot of Spyke, which means you have to put up with terrible skater boy puns and, well, Spyke himself. "Adrift" suffers from terrible dialogue of a different type--surfer boy slang--as it deals with Scott meeting up with his annoying brother Alex. But "African Storm" is simply a terrible episode which serves little point; it's one of the weakest episodes that the mostly enjoyable season 2 had to offer.
As for the DVD itself: The extra features surpassed my expectations and are far better than those carried on the previous Season 2 disc. Stan Lee: The Original X-Man documents the origins of the X-Men and Lee gives his own personal view on each of the main characters. It reminded me more of what you’d expect Disney to put on one of their Marvel DVDs, which is by no means a bad thing to say.
Inside Xavier’s Institute is another enjoyable feature, narrated by Wolverine. Logan takes you through the institute, explaining what the students do in each of the rooms. It doesn’t sound too great, but I got a few laughs out of Wolverine, most likely due to his delivery.
To put it simply, the transfer brings out the best in the animation, and the episodes have never looked better. The sound is similarly well-transfered, cleanly carrying the voices and music.
Overall, the disc is enjoyable, and with Warners' promise to deliver the rest of season 2 later in the year, (possibly to tie into the upcoming Spider-Man 2 release) I won’t hesitate to pick those up, either.