Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Wolverine return
with a new batch of three adventures. As with volume
the emphasis is heavily on the new and younger members
of the Xavier Institute: Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue and
Spyke and their mischievous counterparts...
Mutant Crush, the Blob (couldn't they have thought of
a better name?) is a super-strong teenage mutant with an extremely
short fuse. When Jean Grey attempts to befriend him, the formerly
friendless Blob takes the relationship too far by kidnapping
her. Jean uses her mind powers to call for help from the X-Men,
but it is the loner Rogue (who temporarily takes on the abilities
of others by touch, and was recently the subject of a power
struggle between Xavier's team and the evil Mystique) that
saves the day.
In Speed and Spyke, Evan Daniels is introduced to the
Xavier Institute when his mutant gift of shooting bone spikes
from his body materialises with unpredictable results. There
is a further shock when he discovers his friend and basketball
team mate is also a mutant calling himself Quicksilver. The
friendship is short-lived when Quicksilver uses Spyke as a
scapegoat in a crime. Now Spyke seeks retribution, but it
comes unexpectedly at the hands of the X-Men.
In Middleverse, Nightcrawler inadvertently triggers
a booby-trapped lab, and the only piece of equipment left
intact sends him into a universe where everyone appears as
insubstantial ghosts but don't see him at all. Here he meets
the inventor of what turns out to be a transdimensional projector
and they try to devise a means of contacting the outside world.
While the X-Men search for Nightcrawler, Toad gets hold of
the projector and uses it as a weapon. Again the reclusive
Rogue helps out, but affiliates herself neither with the X-Men
nor Mystique's henchmen.
mentioned in my review of volume
this is modern-looking traditional animation with enjoyable,
well-constructed storylines. The costumes and characters have
been revised to make them more personable and this shines
through in their very different mannerisms.
there are only three episodes (the six episodes comprising
volumes 1 and 2 would have sat comfortably on one disc and
been a more attractive package), each with the optional producer/director
introductions. The one documentary relating to the artwork
is interesting, enhanced by demonstration animated sketches
and designs, but at only four minutes I'd barely settled in
the chair before it was all over.
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