Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous
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Pop Culture Icon Joss Whedon And Award-Winning Artist John Cassaday Bring You The Continuing Saga Of The Astonishing X-Men!
The tragic death of a student at the Xavier Institute reveals that a powerful enemy is working from inside the mansion to destroy the X-Men, an enemy who knows all their weaknesses and can predict their every move. This new foe doesnt want wealth, power or world domination: it only wants them dead. As the X-Men fight for their lives, they learn theyve been deceived by one of their own . . . even if they survive, the team will never be the same.
A second set of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men comic book series comes into view with this slickly tooled story, which fits a couple of metropolis-bashing battles (and various intra-X dramas) into about 70 minutes or so. Dangerous finds a batch of the Xers fending off large threats, notably a Danger Room that traps a bunch of students in its deadly walls and a major smackdown involving Professor Xavier himself. You've also got the Fantastic Four swooping in to collaborate on cleaning up a mess in Manhattan, an alliance that leads to a little territory-marking between the two groups. The "motion comics" approach means that John Cassaday's comic book art is given (pretty darned vivid) life not by full animation but a clever digital style. It's effective enough to make you forget about the limitations of the technique after a while, and the big set pieces--and there are some big set pieces--don't suffer in the slightest. Whedon's tongue-in-cheek one-liners are securely in place, and (like his work on The Avengers) manage to create a humorous undercurrent without subverting the spirit of the mutant heroes. The motion comics enterprise will always be a hybrid, but if you're going to do it at all, this is the way to do it. --Robert Horton
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1. Astonishing X-Men: Gifted
2. Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous
3. Astonishing X-Men: Torn
4. Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable
While you can watch the first (Gifted) by itself, as you get through the series, you will need to see the other stories to better understand the overall story.
My only complaint is that there are no subtitles on any of the discs. They would have been especially handy in the last chapter of Gifted where the background sound effects of the action scenes were so high in the mix that you could not make out what the characters were saying.
Also, F.Y.I. the only disc of the series with extra features is Gifted.
Motion comics look as though someone was able to animate the spaces between the panels of a comic book. It makes for an interesting hybrid genre that is not quite an animated cartoon but a lot more than static pictures on a page. The voice actors for Dangerous are spot-on. Wolverine is gruff without being over the top.
There are a few "cons" to the motion comics. The episodes are short (six episodes, each under 15 minutes-ish). The DVD case is very minimalist: a slim case with a cardboard front. I would have liked an insert or episode list. And I really would have appreciated a case that snapped close. However, these packaging issues aside Dangerous in particular and motion comics in general are a lot of fun to watch.
Dangerous features some great action and spotlights a lot of the X-Men's younger members including Kitty Pryde and Armor. I can recommend this DVD to anyone looking for some animated X-citement.