X-Men: Volume 3 (1998)

Genre(s): Action / Animation
Disney || NR - 345 minutes - $23.99 || September 15, 2009
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2009-10-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

As I've said in previous reviews, I frakkin' love the X-men. I love (most) of the films, I love the comic series, I love the various merchandise (t-shirts, toys, etc.) that's come out over the years. I love it all. But there is no part of the franchise that has quite lit my fire like the X-men animated series which ran on Fox from 1992-1997. Before X-men hit TV screens, I had no concept of season long story arcs or season finales or any kind of serialization in general. When the show came out, it galvanized both my imagination and my thirst to learn more about these characters. The first 2 seasons and roughly a quarter of the third were released earlier this year on X-men volumes 1 and 2. I didn't get to review those but I was fortunate enough to get the new installments Volumes 3 and 4 for my viewing pleasure and oh what pleasure there was.

The first season I consider to be an animated masterpiece (with volume 1 getting a solid 4.5 stars had I reviewed it. I took a half point off for no special features) and season 2 is almost as good (volume 2 would've gotten that 4.5 anyway) but while Volumes 3 (also known as the rest of season 3 ) are even more ambitious in story and scope than the first 2 seasons, they weren't quite as good.

The major centerpieces of season 3 were the original phoenix saga and its sequel, the dark phoenix saga. While the first is very enjoyable, 5 part romp, the second is not quite as good. The problem being that the writers got a bit too melodramatic at times and some of the scenes where Cyclops complains about Jean's escalating issues come off as whiny. And this happens throughout that story. Still, it's a worthwhile group of episodes. More enjoyable for me on Volume 3 were the one shots highlighting other characters. "Obsessions" sees the return of Archangel as he continues his quest for revenge on Apocalypse. "Courage" features the onetime X-man (and season 2 villain) Morph return to the x-men only to find out he may've returned too soon. Iceman and Nightcrawler make their first appearances of the series in "Cold Comfort" and "Nightcrawler" respectively. Volume 3 is a great batch of episodes with the only yawner being the two part "Savage Land, Strange Heart" in which the x-men face Sauron and a giant stone god in the Savage Land. Doesn't sound dull but trust me it is.

Season 3 also had the notable distinction of when the main cast stopped appearing as much as a group. Although the series usually didn't have EVERY main x-man in every episode, in season 3 it became much more common. Usually we'd see an episode containing (for example) Wolverine, Beast, Rogue, and Jubilee with maybe Professor X once in again as well. In fact, beginning with volume 3, Beast begins to feature almost as much as Wolverine. In season 5(what will probably be volume 5), it became a BIG problem but we can get to that later.

The only criticism most fans will have with the episodes is that they're not all in order. Sure, the big multiparts are but some of the episodes meant to bridge the gap between storylines like "No mutant is an island"(which addresses the events immediately following the Phoenix Saga from volume 1) for example are not on the set. This is because the episodes have been released in order of air date and not always how they should be chronologically shown. As a result, the eventual volume 5 will contains that episodes that are better left watched BEFORE some of the volume 3 and 4 episodes. It's a minor thing for me but for some, this is a bigger deal.

Overall great mix of episodes though.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

No features.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Sounds great and looks great. There are a handful of noticeable animation mistakes but that was typical in early 90's animation. Having DVD quality makes them more noticeable though. Can't complain about the sound at all though. The infamous and catchy theme song sounds ultra bass-tastic coming out of my speakers.



.::OVERALL::.

X-Men: Volume 3 is a fantastic addition and must haves for any true X-men fan. Not quite the genius of the first 2 volumes but not far from it and quite a bit of enjoyment nonetheless.