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Featured TV on DVD Review: Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy

August 14th, 2010

Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy - Buy from Amazon

This is a sixth and final volume in the Wolverine and the X-Men TV series, maybe, sort of. This show was produced by Lionsgate, but since the show started, Marvel was bought out by Disney. So while this show is ending, there's a chance the franchise will continue with the same creative staff in play. Let's hope, because this has been a great show so far. But if this truly is the end, does it go out on a high note?

The Show

I've reviewed all five previous DVD releases and many times the final episode of the DVD had too big of a spoiler to really talk about, like Battle Lines, Shades of Grey, etc. Here's the problem, Final Crisis Trilogy has only three episodes, and they are a three-part trilogy. I know, that should be as obvious as it is redundant given the name of the DVD. (Strangely it is called Foresight and not Final Crisis.) This makes talking about the plot, in all but the most general terms, difficult. But here is goes.

As we learned in the past, Senator Kelly and Magneto were working together to ramp up Human and Mutant hatred so each side could gain more power. When they were told this escalation would cause the end of the world for both humans and mutants, they called a truce. Meanwhile in the future, Professor X learns that it wasn't the Humans vs. Mutants war that caused the global catastrophe, but the unleashing of the Phoenix force that caused the destruction. All of the destruction.

During the three-episode arc, we learn who was manipulating the Phoenix force and for what reason. Of course, we also learn Magneto never gave up his plans to start a war with humanity.

So does the show go out on a high note? Hell yeah. This has arguably been the best cartoon series from the X-Men franchise since X-Men and arguably the best Marvel cartoon currently airing on TV. There have been some complaints that are valid. For instance, very few of the core characters from the X-Men franchise get much in the way of character development. Wolverine shines the most, which makes sense, as he is the leader of the group. This is something that was obviously done because Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the character in the live action movies was so popular. But also because it went against his character, which was important, as this gave the writers a lot of possibilities.

I'm sad to see the series go.

The Extras

As usual, the only extras on the DVD are audio commentary tracks featuring Craig Kyle, Greg Johnson, and Chris Yost. If you've checked out the previous DVD releases, you know how entertaining these commentary tracks are. Granted, these three episodes are a lot more dramatic than many of the previous episodes, but they have plenty of opportunity to make jokes. The "Bench of Despair" is mentioned, the stoic silence by many of the X-Men, which is explained by the characters' great courage, and not the fact that the voice actors were not there that day. (You have to pay the voice actors for the day, even if they are in for just one day.)

The Verdict

Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy is a great end to a great series. Hopefully The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the next Marvel cartoon, will live up to the high bar this show has set. If you have bought the previous releases, then there's absolutely no reason to stop now. If you have been waiting, wait a little bit longer for the Full Series, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in October.

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