Wolverine DVD Round Up, April 27, 2009: ‘Wolverine and The X-Men,’ ‘Marvel X-Men’

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CHICAGO – Welcome to a special edition of the DVD Round-Up, HollywoodChicago.com’s infamous column covering smaller titles that may have gone unnoticed by the Best Buy circular. With all the buzz surrounding Fox’s upcoming “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” with Hugh Jackman, there are several companion DVD releases, including the theatrical trilogy on Blu-Ray (which will be covered here later this week), and three animated releases for serious Marvel, Wolverine, and X-Men fans.

“Wolverine and The X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy” was released on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009.

Both volumes of the “Marvel X-Men” titles are being released this Tuesday, April 28th, 2009.

“Marvel X-Men: Volume 1”

Marvel X-Men: Volume 1
Photo credit: Disney

The syndicated cartoon version of “The X-Men” brought Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Beast, and the rest of comic-dom’s favorite mutants home long before Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, or Bryan Singer had ever thought about the Marvel universe. The show ran from 1992-1996 and notched over 70 episodes. Unlike a lot of superhero cartoons, the stories were based on the stories from the actual comic books. The first volume includes 16 episodes from 1992-1993, including all of season one and the beginning of season two. On two discs, some of the stories in this volume include the legendary “Night of the Sentinels,” “Enter Magneto,” “Days of Future Past,” and “Till Death Do Us Part”.

“Experience the classic Marvel legacy as the popular 1990s X-Men animated series explodes onto DVD! With stories adapted directly from the original comic books, this collection is a piece of Marvel history and a must-have for every X-Men fan. Discover the origins of your favorite characters and uncover the secrets of Magneto and more of the world’s most diabolical villains in X-Men: Volume 1. Relive the first 16 episodes, beginning with the 2-part “Night of the Sentinels,” in this thrilling collection.”

The episodes are presented in full-screen with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and with Dolby Digital Surround Sound tracks (French and Spanish tracks are also available. There are no special features.

“Marvel X-Men: Volume 2”

Marvel X-Men: Volume 2
Photo credit: Disney

The second volume of “The X-Men” features 17 episodes from 1993-1994 including the rest of season two and part of season three. These “volume” releases instead of actual seasons is a little odd but cartoons didn’t often run on typical season structures. This volume includes several great stories, including the amazing, five-part “The Phoenix Saga,” and “Time Fugitives,” “Beauty & The Beast,” “Reunion,” and “Out of the Past.”

“Prepare for more electrifying action as the X-Men return in Volume 2 of the classic 1990s animated series! All of your favorite mutant heroes are back for 2 discs full of spine-tingling battles with Mr. Sinister, Omega Red and more of the most fiendish villains on earth! Be a part of Marvel history with these stories adapted directly from the original comic books. Experience 16 thrilling episodes, including the 5-part epic “Phoenix Saga,” in this action-packed, must-have collection!”

The episodes are presented in full-screen with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and with Dolby Digital Surround Sound tracks (French and Spanish tracks are also available. There are no special features.

“Wolverine and The X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy”

Wolverine and The X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Many years after “The X-Men,” Nicktoons brought the heroes back and put Wolverine front and center in “Wolverine and The X-Men,” a new 2009 show primed to take advantage of the summer of Admantium claws. As kind of a primer for the show, Lionsgate has released the first three episodes of the series under the banner “Heroes Return”. 68 minutes of running time seems a bit low - why not wait for the entire first season to be released - but the special features are extensive enough to make up for it if you consider these three episodes as merely a sampler for the currently-airing show and an appetizer for the movie.

“In the late 20th century, mankind began to change. Suddenly, teenagers developed incredible abilities that science classified as the next stage in human evolution. In response, Professor Charles Xavier created The Institute for Gifted Youngsters so the young “mutants” could learn to control their uncanny abilities and live in harmony with the non-mutant members of society. From then on, Xavier’s students – the X-Men – intervened to protect the peace until a mysterious explosion devastated Xavier’s school. Leaderless and without direction, the X-Men disbanded and the man known as Wolverine struck out on his own.

One year later, the once fiercely independent Wolverine must reunite the X-Men to prevent a horrible vision of the future where the X-Men have given up on Xavier’s mission and the world has fallen into chaos. With great tragedy in their past and their future, Wolverine must lead Xavier’s disillusioned heroes against the forces of fate and destiny. Only together can the X-Men steer the course of history away from catastrophe and save us all.”

Wolverine and The X-Men is presented in widescreen with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and accompanied by a Dolby Digital Audio 5.1 track. Special features include “Nicktoons Network Going InScene,” “Character Profiles: Wolverine and the X-Men,” “Making of Wolverine and the X-Men,” audio commentary with Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson, and audio commentary with Boyd Kirkland and Steven Gordon.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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