DVD: Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Wolverine and the X-Men was an outstanding animated series that drew from all corners of the Marvel universe. Sadly, it lasted only one awesome season before being canceled. This month Lionsgate collected the entire series for a new DVD release, and it quickly joined our Fandomania archive of great TV and movies.
This is not the first time Wolverine and the X-Men has been on DVD, and it’s not even the first time I’ve reviewed it. In my previous coverage, however, I’ve complained that my only problem with the DVDs has been that they were released piecemeal instead of collecting the whole series in one package. This Complete Series set renders that complaint obsolete, even if it doesn’t help the folks who already bought all the individual volumes.
From the start, Wolverine and the X-Men pulls its inspiration from its comic book origins, both classic and current. The X-Men roster includes tried-and-true mutant heroes like Cyclops and Rogue while also bringing more relatively recent additions to the team into the spotlight, such as former villain Emma Frost. Other non-core characters pay visits throughout the season as well. The Hulk appears in an early episode, and other important comic characters like the Scarlet Witch and Domino show up later.
Wolverine and the X-Men works well as a serial, telling one long story that spans the season. The series begins with an explosion at the Xavier mansion, followed by the mysterious disappearances of both Jean Grey and Professor X. Shattered, the X-Men disband and abandon their former goals and team. Xavier then contacts Wolverine telepathically to warn him about a horrible impending future. Wolverine regathers the team, who then must make sense of what really happened to their missing mentor and teammate while trying to stave off a deadly future they can’t even begin to understand.
The DVD Release and Extras
The new DVD set comes on three discs in a plastic case with a holochrome slipcover featuring some awesome artwork of the X-Men team. Inside, discs 1 and 2 include 9 episodes each, with the remaining 8 episodes collected on the third disc, comprising all 26 episodes from the series. Even if you’ve already seen the whole season, these discs are worth adding to your collection, even if only for the audio commentaries. Twenty-nine audio commentaries are collected throughout the three discs. Yes, that means some episodes have more than one commentary track, an unusual and great thing for a series like this one that is based on such a rich history of stories and characters.
In addition to the audio commentaries, the set includes two featurettes:
- The Inner Circle: Reflections on Wolverine and the X-Men – A 19-minute talk with the crew behind the series that showcases concept art and talks about the origins of the series and its place in the Marvel universe.
- Making Wolverine and the X-Men – A 5-minute look at the stylistic and adaptive process that brought the X-Men from the comics page into animation for this series.
As a lifelong fan of Marvel Comics and its characters and storylines, I am a big fan of Wolverine and the X-Men. It mixes classic and current comic stories and situations to present a brand new superhero animated series with a modern feel and an ongoing story arc that doesn’t pander. It’s faithful enough to the source material to provide some geeky in-jokes and references, but it branches out enough to provide some familiar but unique stories for fans new and old alike. If you’re a Marvel fan and missed this series when it was airing, don’t miss out on the DVD set.