DVD
X-Men: Evolution - Xplosive Days
Season 1 Volume 2

Starring: X-Men
Warner Home Video
RRP 12.99
D027790
Certificate: U
Available now


Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Wolverine return with a new batch of three adventures. As with
volume 1 the emphasis is heavily on the new and younger members of the Xavier Institute: Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue and Spyke and their mischievous counterparts...

In 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.

As mentioned in my review of volume 1, 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.

Again 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.

Ty Power

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