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Featured DVD Review: Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous

April 22nd, 2012

Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous - Buy from Amazon

When I first reviewed Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, I called it the best motion comic book I've seen. Not only was it adapted from an award-winning comic book series, it was also arguably the best use of the technology. This sets really high expectations for Dangerous. I'm a little worried they are too high.

The Show

Dangerous begins right after Gifted ended with three main storylines. Firstly, there's the Mutant "Cure", which is seen by some as a blessing and others as a weapon of mass destruction with the goal of complete genocide against the mutant race. Secondly, there's Ord, an alien who has come to wipe out the mutants in order to protect his home world. And thirdly, there was the rescue of Colossus, who has been acting a little weird since he was freed, but that's understandable given what he went through. The action begins with the X-Men heading off to Manhattan to stop a big green monster from destroying the place, and it isn't long before they are joined by The Fantastic Four. However, the emotional story begins with one of the depowered mutants, Wing, committing suicide as a result of his loss. In the second episode, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is attacked, first by a burst that takes out all of the psychics, and the technological means of communication, then by an antique Sentinel, which is so badly damaged that it can barely move. It's an unusual strategy, but what could be behind this attack? And why?

We get to the answer to the first question by the end of Part 1.2, but we don't get to the end of the second question till nearly the very end. However, both are spoilers that are far too large to talk about here.

Every review should answer a simple question: Do I recommend watching the DVD. To answer that most efficiently, I can simple say what my initial reaction to the end credits was. "What? Already? Nooooo!" There are only six 10-minute installments (minus credits), but I still managed to completely lose track of time while watching the show. This is an incredibly engaging story and while there is a satisfactory beginning, middle, and ending to the main arc, it builds on what we saw before and ends on a cliffhanger that you will immediately want answered. So the comic the story comes from is great, but how did it make the transition from comic book to motion comic? Arguably even better than the last installment. The voice acting its great and the limited animation is even smoother. If you are a fan of the format, this is an amazing example of the work. If you still aren't sold on the potential of the motion comic, this franchise could change your mind.

It's going to be a long wait before Torn and Unstoppable come out and expectations couldn't be higher.

The Extras

Sadly, and this is my only complaint, there are no extras on the DVD, unlike last time.

The Verdict

Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous is absolutely worth owning for fans of the comics, either of X-Men in general, or of the Joss Whedon / John Cassaday run in particular. Hell, it's worth owning if you like motion comics in general and are not a fan of X-men or of Marvel. I am disappointed that the DVD has no extras. If it had an audio commentary track, making of featurette, etc., it would have been a contender for Pick of the Week.

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