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Wolverine And The X-Men Volume One - Hindsight

01/05/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Wolverine And The X-Men Volume One in the USA - or Buy Wolverine And The X-Men Volume One in the UK

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Region 2 CD: pub: Contender Home Entertainment B001TEKJXE . 6 * 25 minute episodes. Price: 12.99 (UK).

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Does anyone out there not know who the X-Men are? Does anyone not know who Wolverine is now, especially with a film devoted to him out now? Good. That makes my job a lot easier. This, however, isn't live action but animated.

It's always difficult gauging where animated adventures begin and how they compare to the comicbook version. From the six tales on this DVD, Magneto has his island of Genosha for wayward mutants escaping from the Mutant Registration Act led by Senator Robert Kelly and industrialist Warren Worthington II (Angel's father). The Xavier Institute is attacked destroying half the school with Professor Xavier and Jean Grey missing and the other X-Men scattered in confusion.

It's a year later and Wolverine regains his memory and starts to draw the forces of the X-Men back together. Over the six episodes, this allows an opportunity for teamwork as well as solo adventures. Interestingly, Nightcrawler gets an episode of his own and Gambit makes a mean thief in another. The last episode is a solo one for Wolverine when he's 'asked' by Nick Fury of SHIELD to take on the Hulk when the truth is, there is another menace out in the Canadian outback.

The number of characters in these adventures meant there are no stock shots and plenty of action combined with some reasonable characterisation with some great animation. Wolverine has a fetching Clint Eastwood voice even if his head is slightly too small for his body. If I have to pick fault, then its making Cyclops morose and he's almost acting the Wolverine role of being a loner. I know the title says 'Wolverine And The X-Men' but that surely doesn't mean the mutant with adamantium claws has to be the leader.

These episodes hit their mark with a variety of characters. The X-Men have always made a connection to people who are outsiders, which in the old days was essentially most comicbook readers. Come to think of it, still is. Their appeal still comes across in these episodes and with more to come, many of the mysteries started here will be explored. Great stuff.

GF Willmetts

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